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AES 2008: Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 (Video)

Firewire Audio Interface

The latest audio interface in Focusrite's Saffire range is the Pro 40, a 1U rackmountable device which uses the Firewire protocol to connect to the host computer.

With eight of Focusrite's well-respected preamps built-in, the Pro 40 will be useful for those who want to record with multiple microphones, such as when tracking a drum kit. Digital connectivity in the form of ADAT optical and coaxial S/PDIF busses enable the user to record up to 18 external sources simultaneously. A clever 'loop-back' input, adjustable in the accompanying software, allows two more channels of audio (web-based sounds, for example) to be routed into the connected DAW.

There are a total of 20 outputs: ten of which are analogue, on TRS jacks, and ten are digital, and use the eight-channel ADAT optical protocol and stereo S/PDIF, as with the inputs.

The Saffire Pro 40 has on-board DSP, which is used to power an on-board mixer/router. This enables sub-mixes for artists, for example, to be set up and fed to the monitor or headphones outputs, of which there are two. Also, it can be used to configure the outputs for surround purposes.

Other useful features include front-panel meters, to give real-time status information on the eight inputs, and there's so-called 'anti-thump' circuitry, designed to prevent audio spikes reaching the speakers during start-up and shut-down.

The Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 will be shipping this month, costing £349 in the UK and $499 in the USA.

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