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Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

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Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:11 pm

What do you guys think of this unit? It seems very well priced with a good sales blurb.
How does a unit like this connect to a computer running Reaper for example?
What else would one need to buy to start making use of it?
You will appreciate that I haven't much of a clue as to what is presently going on in this computerised recording world so would need very basic directions :)
Thanks in advance ....
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:56 pm

Cheap and good value for what it can do with plenty of inputs you won't find much else that can do that many inputs at that price with decent preamps. Only problems I find is the Dice chipset in it can be a bit of an arse at times if you don't have a Texas Instruments (or VIA I find tend to work fine as well) based firewire card in your system that Focusrite recommend. If your working on a desktop then you may need to factor in another £20 for a pci-e card for your rig in the worse case senario that the onboard doesn't play nice, but other than that it should do the job for you perfectly well.
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:58 pm

So if I went for this I would also need a Texas 800 firewire card (about £40) fitted to the 'puter and all would be honky dory? :)
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby jaminem » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:13 pm

whis4ey wrote:So if I went for this I would also need a Texas 800 firewire card (about £40) fitted to the 'puter and all would be honky dory? :)

its firewire 400..
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:48 pm

So the 800 is not twice as fast as the 400 .... it only carries twice the capacity?
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby jaminem » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:35 pm

whis4ey wrote:So the 800 is not twice as fast as the 400 .... it only carries twice the capacity?

uh?

The Saffire 56 is firewire 400 with a firewire 400 connector, so you would only 'need' a firewire 400 card, not an 800 as you stated.

Fairly sure You could use a Firewire 800 card, with an 800-400 adaptor cable, but it wouldn't make anything work any better/quicker.

and if budget is a concern why buy what you don't need?
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:51 pm

Thanks
You will appreciate that I haven't much of a clue as to what is presently going on in this computerised recording world so would need very basic directions
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby muso steve » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:04 pm

I've found it's perfectly usable with no complaints sound quality wise. Initially didn't find the liquid pre's anything worth worrying about. Recently stumbled upon the Focusrite emulation with 50% harmonic and it's worked really well for vocals. For the first time, twice in a row it's given me rich and warm vocals that didn't really need EQ.
The mixcontrol can do a fair bit but is confusing.
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:10 pm

Helpful Steve ... thanks
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:36 am

whis4ey wrote:So the 800 is not twice as fast as the 400 .... it only carries twice the capacity?


Nah, FW 2 is faster, but the interface itself is only a 400 device and the connection is only as fast as the slowest link. You should be able to get a 400 based card for about £25 if you hunt about.

It might perfectly well with your onboard, it was just a heads up so you know. What you plugging into an onboard connection on your motherboard? If so what motherboard is it?
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby BenLD » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:42 pm

I've had one for a while - and have made a fair bit of use of the different preamp emulations, though inevitably after a while you find the ones you like best with certain mics and stick to them on the whole...

I've never had a problem with firewire or overall reliability - famous last words.

Quick question though - if you're new to all this, do you really need all those simultaneous inputs and outputs. I rarely if ever use more than two preamps at one time (it has eight); and have never used the adat connections or all 8 analogue outputs (though I needed the option to do 5.1 surround, so may need them in future).

The software it comes with is very flexible, but with flexibility comes lots of routing options and complications (if you're new to this stuff). There are other cheaper Focusrite interfaces that may do all you need them to do (without the liquid preamps though).

Just a thought.

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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby Domsmart » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:05 pm

I like the '56...good sound quality and plenty of I/O and features for the money. Best thing about it is that the inputs have separate XLR/Jacks for the mic/line connections which avoids all the unplugging you have to do when using combi sockets.

Switching sample rate can be a bit of a pain though...it doesn't like doing it when ASIO is running and this can stop any Windows sounds playing if you're on PC. Very annoying, but I know it's not the only interface to suffer from this.
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:17 pm

if you're new to all this, do you really need all those simultaneous inputs and outputs
I have only ever used at the most 5 at once in the past
Presently I would only normally use two, maybe three
Difficult to get a unit that delivers five only :)
I can image the frustration though, if I needed five and only had four :)
So, the availability of 8 is as few as I would spend the money on
And the idea of two being liquid appeals :)
Am I wrong????
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:12 pm

I do believe Focusrite is picky about the firewire chipset might be worth checking
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby Big Kev » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:18 pm

I used to use a Metric Halo 2882+DSP (very nice expensive thing) which went bang one day, so I needed to purchase a replacement ASAP. I had one day to get something and the only thing available was a Saffire 56 so I got it. To be honest I was amazed at the liquid channels so after getting the Metric Halo fixed I sold it. Since then I have added two Behringer ADA8000 to give me 24 input channels and love it!

I'm not over impressed with the mix software. The thing I find most annoying is that you cannot monitor more than 16 channels. Focusrite support are great from experience but I would love it if you could monitor 24 channels rather than be limited to 16.
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:10 am

Being able to monitor 16 channels would be fine for me. However, I would want to use this with Reaper. Would that work OK? I don't really want to learn yet another software product :frown:
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby BenLD » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:57 am

whis4ey wrote:
if you're new to all this, do you really need all those simultaneous inputs and outputs
I have only ever used at the most 5 at once in the past
Presently I would only normally use two, maybe three
Difficult to get a unit that delivers five only :)
I can image the frustration though, if I needed five and only had four :)
So, the availability of 8 is as few as I would spend the money on
And the idea of two being liquid appeals :)
Am I wrong????

No you're not wrong - if you might need 5 inputs, then yes, you will need an 8 input interface - and the liquid preamps are good too.

Re the software thing - yes, you can use it with Reaper. The Mix Control software that comes with the 56 is designed for setting up monitor mixes without going through your DAW (Reaper) - the inputs can be routed directly to the outputs (including the headphone outputs) so you can monitor yourself at near-zero latency while you are recording. But you use it in conjunction with Reaper, not instead of...

You can also set up different monitor outs for different speakers, or 5.1 setups, or 16 outs to a mixing desk etc, but to be honest I've never used it for that as I have a hardware monitor controller.

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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby smash4686 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:48 pm

New to recording in general or new to computers? The Saffire 56 is a serious interface. For £400 or less you might want to consider the Focusrite Pro40 as a cheaper option. Granted it's not as beautiful. I will also warn about the TI chipsets. I used the Pro40 with the motherboard's firewire and a PCI card and it was prone to dropouts. I also bought a cheap TI card, however that made problems worse so make sure you get the right one. This site claims the card will work with Focusrite. http://www.inta-audio.com/music-pc-systems-c192/pc-accessories-c197/inta-audio-3-port-firewire-card-texas-instruments-chipset-1394a-ti-chipset-p2036?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=3-port-firewire-card-texas-instruments-chipset-1394a-ti-chipset-pcc-fwc-belpci400&utm_campaign=froogle#2036
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby whis4ey » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:59 am

New to recording with computers
Many many years ago I dipped my toes in the water recording with a Tascam TSR8 and a Proline Gold (Studiomaster) mixing desk
Outboard Quadraverb, Compressor/limiter, and a 31 band EQ, and 'mastered' onto casettes
We had great fun, but somehow there seemed always to be something missing from the final result
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Re: Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Postby alexis » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:53 pm

smash4686 wrote:New to recording in general or new to computers? The Saffire 56 is a serious interface. For £400 or less you might want to consider the Focusrite Pro40 as a cheaper option. Granted it's not as beautiful. I will also warn about the TI chipsets. I used the Pro40 with the motherboard's firewire and a PCI card and it was prone to dropouts. I also bought a cheap TI card, however that made problems worse so make sure you get the right one. This site claims the card will work with Focusrite. http://www.inta-audio.com/music-pc-systems-c192/pc-accessories-c197/inta-audio-3-port-firewire-card-texas-instruments-chipset-1394a-ti-chipset-p2036?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=3-port-firewire-card-texas-instruments-chipset-1394a-ti-chipset-pcc-fwc-belpci400&utm_campaign=froogle#2036

Excellent information, thank you smash4686! I will look to see where it can be obtained this side of the pond.
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