You are here

Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby Dina-Mo-Humm » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:24 am

Ok. So when recording my band with my Saffire Pro 40, some of the inputs are way hot (usually snare and kick) to where the gain knob of the those certain inputs are turned all the way down yet i'm still peaking at around -12db on my DAW, sometimes over -12db. I bought another saffire 40 to daisy them thinking the other one wouldn't have that problem, but it does... is my only option buying a pad? or is there a setting that i don't know about? or are my Saffires just f***? :?:
Dina-Mo-Humm
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby James Perrett » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:41 am

Provided you aren't clipping, these levels aren't really a problem. No - it isn't ideal but it isn't a show stopper either.

Having said that, as an owner of a slightly older Saffire Pro 26io, I find Focusrite's choice of gain range on their interfaces of that age to be very strange. Even the budget Behringer ADA8000 has a more sensible gain range and doesn't overload as easily as the Focusrite.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8582
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:31 am

James Perrett wrote:Provided you aren't clipping, these levels aren't really a problem. No - it isn't ideal but it isn't a show stopper either.

Having said that, as an owner of a slightly older Saffire Pro 26io, I find Focusrite's choice of gain range on their interfaces of that age to be very strange. Even the budget Behringer ADA8000 has a more sensible gain range and doesn't overload as easily as the Focusrite.

Not for the first time mate, I remind you that the Gain structure was changed between the old Pro26 one and the later Pro40.m and Liquid Saffire 56 /

and -12dB is NOT clipping.... so what's the problem ?

and I note inputs 1&2 have switchable pads....

so plan your mIc rig accordingly, Kick on channel 1, Snare on 2, job taken care of with even the heaviest drummer.

I did find the gain lopsided on the old blue one (of which I still have at least 1 example in working order, used as an ADAT expander ) but i never found that I couldn't get the job done....

but the later Series, Pro40 and Pro56 were just fine.

Please stop lumping them all together as one, the later versions had a LOT of rework from the original series.... hardware metering for one thing, and a decent Mix app with comprehensive input metering, flexible routing, and rock solid stability.... none of which we got on the original blue series.... ..... ...

the Mic pre topology is the same, and the AD/DA is similar, but the actual build is totally different....
User avatar
Studio Support Gnome
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2868
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:00 am
Location: UK
Now available for consultations and audio engineering jobs .  Also guitar tech work , and “rent-a-shredder” sessions .  Oxfordshire based but can and will travel .  Email maxtech.audio@me.com

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:20 am

Dina-Mo-Humm wrote:..., some of the inputs are way hot (usually snare and kick) to where the gain knob of the those certain inputs are turned all the way down yet i'm still peaking at around -12db on my DAW, sometimes over -12db.

Transient peaks to -12dBFS sounds pretty much ideal to me. I don't see a problem!

I bought another saffire 40 to daisy them thinking the other one wouldn't have that problem, but it does...

Didn't someone famous say that repeating an action but expecting a different result was a definition of madness? :lol:

... is my only option buying a pad?

Using an inline XLR pad is a perfectly valid solution to reduce the input level from a specific mic... But it would seem unnecessary from your earlier description.

...or is there a setting that i don't know about?

The pads on the first two channels? Or you could connect high output dynamic mics to the line inputs.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25046
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:17 am

Studio Support Gnome wrote:Please stop lumping them all together as one, the later versions had a LOT of rework from the original series.... hardware metering for one thing, and a decent Mix app with comprehensive input metering, flexible routing, and rock solid stability.... none of which we got on the original blue series.... ..... ...

The Pro26io certainly wasn't one of their finest moments...
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8582
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby ef37a » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:20 am

The simple gain control used on most AI pre amps is always going to be a compromise.
How many SOS reviews tell of a cramped control with the highest gain coming in super fast in the last few degrees of control rotation? The problem has got better over the years but putting 60dB of gain or so in a pre amp is always going to be a problem if you only have one knob!

So, the AI mnfctrs have a problem. Lot of final gain but hard to trim? Not so much gain but then get complaints from peeps who want to record a mild V/O one foot from an SM58 (never mind a 7b!). I see many more complaints about the latter, "can't get a decent signal" than headroom issues on forums.

IMHO a high level of gain, if noise is kept low, is the best option. XLR pads are now only a few pounds. Cloudlifters and their ilk a lot more... Best of all, fit a pad switch to each AI channel, costs though.

What I DO find silly and inexcusable is the excessive gain and consequently low headroom on some high impedance inputs?

https://www.studiospares.com/Microphone ... 568590.htm

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10879
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby Dina-Mo-Humm » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:57 am

Ok, cool. Thanks for the replies. This is my first year recording music and i get most of my info from Youtube. i was told that staying under -12db is what i should shoot for but now knowing as long as i'm not clipping i should be gravy, i'm at ease.
Dina-Mo-Humm
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:32 pm

You might find this article helpful: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/gain-staging-your-daw-software

In general, though it's a good idea when tracking to try and keep the average levels on each individual track at around -20dBFS, with the biggest transient peaks to no higher than about -10dBFS.

No one will die if the highest peak is -6dBFS, but it's getting a bit dicey if things are that close and it won't take much to get horribly caught out and end up with clipping...

Similarly, it doesn't matter if the average level is around -18dBFS, or -24dBFS... but if the meters are sitting around -15dBFS all the time it's all running a bit on the hot side, and if it's all around -30dBFS all the time it's a bit on the low side... But both situations are generally salvageable without too much trouble.

The underpinning idea, though, is to operate in the digital domain in exactly the same way as all the greats worked in the analogue domain, which is with a decent headroom margin!

Analogue meters had the normal reference level (0VU or whatever) around 20dB below the clipping point, and they didn't show the transient peaks or headroom margin! Digital meters usually do both... and that can be very misleading and disconcerting!

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25046
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Inputs of Saffire pro 40 too hot

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:36 am

James Perrett wrote:
The Pro26io certainly wasn't one of their finest moments...

I disagree to some extent....
when they were working on the original 2 channel idea, "we" asked them for 8 clean , low noise Mic pre's , with the same naked truth sonic signature as my beloved Green series pre's and 16 channels of ADAT , S/MUX, and word clock I/O separate line I/O and insert points.... for £1000 , with one or two other details discussed...

they gave us all that for £499

but were badly let down (mis-sold) by the DSP and firewire chipsets. (didn't do what it said on the tin )

and it was the first such market sector product to bring us all that , at that quality, and at that price point.... and forced all the other manufacturers to up their game sonically....

so it was a game changer in the market place. and deserves a certain amount of grudging respect for that...

However I would agree that ultimately it was somewhat flawed, but if you could work around it, , the thing sounded excellent....

They weren't the only manufacturer to fall foul of the chip sets either... Presonus had a similar experience, and I understand that development in a couple of other manufacturers ran in to it as well.... but were fortunate someone had beaten the trail before esteem to a degree and they could pull out and redesign earlier in the game.... once you're making units in mass production you kind of have to move forward to stay afloat ....

The vast majority of issues were addressed with the second generation devices.
Including the gain range issue. as discussed above.
User avatar
Studio Support Gnome
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2868
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:00 am
Location: UK
Now available for consultations and audio engineering jobs .  Also guitar tech work , and “rent-a-shredder” sessions .  Oxfordshire based but can and will travel .  Email maxtech.audio@me.com


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users