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No more Focusrite interfaces for me

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No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby CS70 » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:56 am

Just stumbled on this, about end of any development for the Forte. https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... 0009742999

I have one, used it all the time, haven’t used it for a couple years now as I cannot afford strange glitches in location recordings.

Gotta say Focusrite has really dropped the ball on this one.

It was marketed in it’s time as a top end interface (which it was) . Back then I was considering a babyface but opted for the focusrite as I didn’t need all the multichannel firepower of the RME. Didn’t think a “professional” interface was supposed to last just a handful of years.

While they could be acceptable for a consumer, entry level product, I don’t think it is for a high end one and it’s completely killed my trust in anything computer-related the company makes. Needless to say I won’t buy any more Focusrite computer-related gear ever (still lots of love for the hardware stuff).

Of course I understand both the possible technical and commercial reasons, so no need to go there, but it’s still unacceptable and deeply disappointing.
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:08 pm

I agree it is disappointing... but at the same time, it is a ten year old product now which is pretty good going for an interface. And the relentless development of both Apple and Windows OS that drop core backwards compatibility does make life extremely difficult for many manufacturers -- especially those reliant on third-party software.

It's been said so often before, but if you want really long term OS support, RME is still the only game in town.
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby ef37a » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:41 pm

I remember the Forte review in the mag and thinking "meh, bandwagon jumping". There was another brand I seem to think at the time trying to compete with the Babyface?

Not surprised it has died the death? What happens when marketing whizkids get traction in companies then the bean counters trail several years behind and we ALL lose out!

Thank goodness for RME...One day, maybe one day. Be for son mind,too B deaf now to appreciate one!

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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby Dave B » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:57 pm

I have a suspicion that the Forte was a little bit of a side line to the main product line. I know a couple of people who adore theirs, but found that support for the hardware stopped a long time ago.

I've just checked on my own interface (Liquid Saffire 56) and that is now only supported up to Catalina on the Mac. Does this mean that I won't consider another Focusrite interface? No - I have had many years of use out of it and I suspect that it will continue working for many more years to come. And even when it does become completely impractical, I would happily consider another Focusrite interface.

Obviously, ymmv
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby CS70 » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:28 pm

Yes, it is ten years old but the point is that it’s every bit as functional and High quality in sonic terms as it ever was.

There would be little point in maintain say a m-audio from 2001, because it’s been surpassed to a degree that a entry level interface from a consumer manufacturer is better. Not so for the Forte.

And - speaking with the perspective of 40 years of software engineering of all kinds, including embedded systems - I cannot fathom any reason for which keeping a driver up to date is so complicated or costly,, especially when you have the documentation for the chip manufacturer, if not the code, and must have the Windows support agreement (as they do write or customize drivers for other interfaces).

It is a decision to drop, pure and simple, and that makes (to me) the computer-side of the company no longer trustable.
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby Dave B » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:10 pm

I'd say that they are dropping it as they stopped being able to support the hardware many years ago - and I don't think that that was something that they had any control over. I have memories of a couple of heavy users being very upset as they used theirs for location recording quite extensively (and I can't remember anything about glitches - but then this would have been on Macs).

As I said, ymnv. Also, there may be considerations that you are unaware of that forces these situations upon companies...
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby MOF » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:58 pm

still lots of love for the hardware stuff
I presume you’ll be building the SOS DIY Forte Console though? :lol:
https://www.soundonsound.com/news/build ... rite-forte
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby Dave B » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:35 pm

I'm not allowed near a soldering iron, so I will have to settle for today's promo on the new Adam Audio Acoustic Socks!

https://www.soundonsound.com/news/acous ... adam-audio

Damn - they are out of stock already!!

:D
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby Wonks » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:47 pm

I expect Hugh ordered all the ones in the pink fluffy material.
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:02 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I agree it is disappointing... but at the same time, it is a ten year old product now which is pretty good going for an interface. And the relentless development of both Apple and Windows OS that drop core backwards compatibility does make life extremely difficult for many manufacturers -- especially those reliant on third-party software.

It's been said so often before, but if you want really long term OS support, RME is still the only game in town.
Agreed! It can be very difficult. I imagine most of the cost of an RME is in the gubbins that talks to the OS. And the biggest part of that cost is the people who do that engineering. It is very much non-trivial. Most people with that skill don't work for ickle baby audio gear manufacturers. They work for the heavy hitters in electronics such as TI, Molex, Boston Medical and Analog Devices. Who treat them very very well and pay big! I've met our graduates over the years who work for them.
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby MOF » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:23 pm

Damn - they are out of stock already!!

:D

Or maybe that should be ‘they are out of sock’ :lol:
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby blinddrew » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:47 pm

MOF wrote:
still lots of love for the hardware stuff
I presume you’ll be building the SOS DIY Forte Console though? :lol:
https://www.soundonsound.com/news/build ... rite-forte
Nice finish on that.
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby OneWorld » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:33 pm

Dave B wrote:
I've just checked on my own interface (Liquid Saffire 56) and that is now only supported up to Catalina on the Mac. Does this mean that I won't consider another Focusrite interface? No - I have had many years of use out of it and I suspect that it will continue working for many more years to come. And even when it does become completely impractical, I would happily consider another Focusrite interface.

Obviously, ymmv

I also have the Liquid Saffire 56 and it is a really good interface, I prefer it to my RME, but I am so disappointed they stopped making drivers way back when. I am reluctant to abandon my LS56, but there is a known bug in the software which the software team basically say, learn to live with it
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby OneWorld » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:37 pm

CS70 wrote:Yes, it is ten years old but the point is that it’s every bit as functional and High quality in sonic terms as it ever was.

There would be little point in maintain say a m-audio from 2001, because it’s been surpassed to a degree that a entry level interface from a consumer manufacturer is better. Not so for the Forte.

And - speaking with the perspective of 40 years of software engineering of all kinds, including embedded systems - I cannot fathom any reason for which keeping a driver up to date is so complicated or costly,, especially when you have the documentation for the chip manufacturer, if not the code, and must have the Windows support agreement (as they do write or customize drivers for other interfaces).

It is a decision to drop, pure and simple, and that makes (to me) the computer-side of the company no longer trustable.

Yes that is the whole point, I have a lIquid 56 and it is a really good piece of kit, does all I need in the way I want it done, but this built in obsolescence means I will reluctantly have to eBay it and stump up for the 8pre. But then how long would it be before Focusrite abandon that too :-(
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Re: No more Focusrite interfaces for me

Postby dpete » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:59 pm

I'm also a forty software industry veteran, but I did custom business software. My perspective has been keeping in-house systems running and in the past 10 years cloud migrations. Long ago, I realized the depreciation schedules, at least for US tax purposes were correct. Five years and it's time to replace. (before hard drives went to a three year life).

From my perspective keeping old software / hardware going was always going to be a big problem. There's not career in being an expert in the old stuff. It just locks your income and role in place. The big problem is there's nobody to answer the phone, unless you can levy a maintenance subscription on enough systems.

All of that impacts my assessment of digitally dependent assets. How long will DSP dependent monitors be running? Is there a way to switch to outboard DSP, when the time comes?
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