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Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP

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Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP

Postby Lodious » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:37 pm

Background:

I was after a new audio interface to replace my white original Saffire. Although I like the design, I've had a bit of a running battle with it over the years, trying different f/w cards, cables and drivers. I'd never managed to reliably get the round trip latency down to much below 10ms. I play electronic drums w/software VST's, so latency is important to me.

I'd pretty much decided on stumping up for a RME UCX to put the latency issue to bed once and for all. The problem is, despite the cost, I don't really like the feature set of the RME as much as the Saffire. I'm not keen on breakout cables (for the Midi I/O), I don't really want an extra hardware remote on the desk, and I like having two headphone outputs (I can leave a pair of headphones with the drumkit and have another pair by the computer) with dedicated knobs.

I'd seen a lot of chat about the Saffire range having less than excellent latency (I think it's been touched on an some of the SOS reviews), but I'd also seen on the PC forum Latency Database thread that with TC Applied 4.0 drivers that the Pro 24 could perform well. Trouble was, I wasn't sure if Focurite's latest driver used V4.0 of the TC Applied driver (It does, BTW).

Anyway, plan was, buy the Pro24 DSP, if I can't get it to work out the box at low latency, return it for a UCX and stump up the cash. I bought from Andertons, who have a promo which includes the Midnight suite of plugins free.


In Use:

It arrived, I downloaded the drivers, plugged it in to the mobo f/w port, set the latency as low as it will go and fired up Superior Drummer. No glitches, pop's, crackles. Sounded great.

Headphone output(s) are louder than the white Saffire (goes loud w/250ohm DT880's and very loud w/HD650's), The unit's really nicely made (I think it's all metal, including the front panel). It has proper line in's (separate from the Mic Pre's, unlike the Saffire). The metering is useful. The MixControl software is flexible. The manual is well written. I has optical ADAT input which can be used for SPDIF. Worked with windows generated audio without any configuration.

I am using it with a ISA One, so I haven't tried the mic pre's. The unit comes without feet (they are supplied in the box), so with 4 squares of pedal tape to Velcro it to the top of the ISA One, it does not move when plugging stuff in, and it doesn't take up any more desk space than the ISA One. Size wise, it fits great on the ISA One and is a good visual match.

I probably will never use the VRM stuff or any of the input processing, but at £250, that's not an issue.

I guess a F/W interface that's been around for 4 years is probably not much to get excited about, but I'm really impressed, and it's saved me a fair chunk of change (approx. £750 compared to the UCX w/controller).

Big thanks to Vin and the contributors to the latency thread, it's a shame that given the probable lifecycle of the product, the latency only got sorted a long time in, which has left a ton of bad reviews strewn across the internet.
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Lodious
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Re: Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP

Postby Goddard » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:47 am

Interesting.

I take it your ISA One isn't fitted with the ADC card?

Are you also using the ISA One's headphone out (which offers cue/DI mixing)?

Btw, if you've no interest in the Pro 24 DSP's onboard fx or VRM features, why didn't you just go with the less costly Pro 24 model?
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Re: Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP

Postby Lodious » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:06 am

No, I don't have the digital output board for the ISAOne, and I don't use the direct monitoring feature.

I went for the version w/VRM as it has the extra headphone output and the dim button, not for the VRM. I haven't got round to really trying the VRM, other than to confirm it works.

Still really pleased with the unit...not found any problems yet :-)
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Re: Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP

Postby rscain » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:19 pm

I have the Saffire Pro 24 and I've really been happy with it.
I'm not all that impressed with the VRM implementation on it, but I don't really need it so.....
I have mine mated with a Focusrite OctoPre MkII and it's been a really solid 10 input rig.
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