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Discussion in 'Recording' started by ouzo77, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member


    i'm thinking about buying the focusrite saffire pro 24 dsp firewire interface.
    has anybody ever used it (with or without dsp)?
    can you recommend it?
    what is the general latency (software monitoring) of the unit?

    i would be using it on a macbook pro 2.2 core2duo with logic 9.

    thanks for any input.
  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Also interested in this....

    My Firestudio has been giving me fits lately, and am looking at this unit or an RME FF800. Not anytime soon, but I like to do lots of homework first.
  3. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i've read some good stuff about it.
    according to some reviews (the few i could find) the converters and micpre's are really good, especially for it's price range. it's routing capabilities are very flexible and the drivers seem very stable.

    since nobody here could tell me anything about it i will have to do the testing. just ordered one...
    i'll let you know how i like it, when i'll have some time to mess around with it.
  4. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    so i've finally had the time to test my new focusrite saffire pro 24 dsp.
    the unit seems very solid and the potis and switches have a good quality.
    the routing in the mixer software can be quite tricky and i had to consult the manual, but after some time i got used to it and could record and playback tracks into logic.
    the integrated dsp fx like the compressor and eq are a nice feature for recording vocals. you can either record the signal with the fx or without while giving the singer a compressed and eq'ed signal to his headphones. there's also a reverb you can apply to the signal but is not recorded. it's not high quality but enough as a comfort reverb. all the fx are without any noticeable latency.
    i haven't used the preamps yet. if i do i will post my thoughts about it.

    another nice thing is the "virtual reference monitoring". it's supposed to simulate speakers in a room and can be only applied to the headphone outs.
    there are different kinds of speakers in three different rooms and different placings.
    it does seem that the sound is moved out of my head and more in front of me, but it's still not a real "speaker-in-front-of-me" feeling but sometimes i thought i could hear my real monitors bleeding through the headphones although the monitors were off.
    i think it's not exactly like listening to monitors but when i compared a mix with reference songs it seemed quite helpful in finding problems with levels and frequencies to switch between the different simulations. it did feel kind of like listening on different systems in different environments.
    though i probably won't use it while mixing it does a good job when it comes to comparing the mix to other material.

    so that are my first thoughts on this unit.
  5. CH

    CH Guest

    I have not been able to install and use Focusrite Saffire 24 DSP It does not like any firewire connections on three different computers. Vista and XP. I do not know, maybe I got a bad one but how will I ever find out? :( :(
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Onboard firewire or addon card? XP SP2? Vista SP1 or SP2? Have you been over to Focusrite and checked out their troubleshooting FAQ?

    How do you know it isn't installed correctly? What are the symptoms?

    And-you should have started your own post instead of hijacking someone elses.
  7. CH

    CH Guest

    Okay sorry if anyone was offended by my honest response to the post asking if anybody had any experience with Focusrite Sapphire Pro 24 DSP. Although I am new to this particular forum, I have over 40 years of musical experience that has directly involved the use of every imaginable electronic device, good, bad and useless. I personally spent my own money on this unit. After researching everything I could find about it. I was very excited to experiment with the VRM. What I can say based on years of experience in the music and computer world is that this unit is far from user friendly. I regret to have to make a statement like that, because I truly would like to use the VRM feature of this unit. Perhaps, if you are using something other than Windows. You could sing a different song. But, like millions of musicians, who would really like to buy something, plug it in, and make music with it. This is not it. In the real world of price point engineering, to not have a USB 2 output that adheres to plug-and-play standards sings a real sour note for profits. That's how I feel about the FOCUSRITE SAFFIRE PRO 24 DSP. :!:
  8. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the Focusrite but there are many interfaces that don't play well with cheap firewire chips especially those built in to a motherboard. Many of these units require a Texas Instrument chip to operate though it should say that in the specs (many do.) I can certainly understand why when dealing with high end audio equipment the manufacturer requires a high quality transmission device. I understand this may or may not be the problem.
  9. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I've spent too many years on all of this stuff too...old school and new school...Don't fool around....just get an RME anything you'll never regret it....you'll love the sound you will get out of it....it works, it's works flawlessly and relentlessly, it's high quality electronics, well designed, well thought out, flexible and if you buy one and make the investment you'll probably never get rid of it!
    I've been using the RME FF800 for a couple years now and can't say enough good things about it!
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Ok. I get you have a beef with the Saffire Pro. But your post asked questions about how to get it working. To have any chance at helping you I need more information. Reread my post and answer the questions and any other computer/Saffire related things you might think are relevant. Enough people have working units that either you do have a bad unit or there is an issue with your pc/interface connection.
  11. vibesville

    vibesville Active Member

    Limited choice on a budget

    I to am looking at the Focusrite pro 24 and have seen a lot of pretty good reviews, so it's looking like an option. I'm afraid as much as I would like to opt for something better like the RME FF800 I haven't got a thousand pounds burning a hole in my back pocket... oh I wish! so I guess it has to be on a budget for me.
    Maybe next christmas, if santas kind and I've been a good boy ;-)
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you want a comparable product (not equal to) the FF800 look at the Konnekt 48 by TC Electronics.
  13. sigmundklaus

    sigmundklaus Guest


    I made a video on VRM. Just a quick run through the presets, monitors, listening environments, switching VRM on/off etc

    Before I bought the unit I was looking for such a test but could not find anything.

    So I made one and here it is:

    YouTube - Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP VRM test
  14. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Also, have a look at the Steinberg MR816. I got one last week and the pre-amps are simply amazing. The one drawback is that the drivers are a little picky. I made the mistake of buying a new Dell when I upgraded my DAW (just to save money) and I'm having compatibility issues with the MR. I have a new motherboard on the way though, and that should take care of it. But I hooked the MR up to my old PC, and...wow! The difference in the quality of the pres compared to my Tascam FW1884 (which has decent pres) really surprised me. I believe it also has the same d/a conversion that RME uses.
    Anyway, look into it. If the drivers don't work for you, you can just get your money back and go with something else.
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I find this virtual room/monitor emulator idea hard to swallow if not totally useless. Roland M1s will never sound like Genelec's, no need to mention Urei. It's just not possible. The idea is bunk and nothing more than a gimmick IMHO. You can't emulate a room. Not while your own room has issues of it's own. It's just a ridiculous concept. Now, if the Saffire has a DSP chip that has other value than that VRM, great but the VRM on it's own is kind of a joke.
  16. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    the emulation works only on the headphone outputs. and here it does a pretty good job in simulating a speaker setup. does it sound like genelecs or any other brand? probably not, but it provides a few reference options for those, who don't have different speakers or rooms.
    i wouldn't mix with the simulation turned on, but i check my mixes with it.

    anyway, the dsp effects, like compressor, eq and reverb are quite handy while recording.

    but as mentioned above, it takes some time to grasp the signal flow and workflow of the software interface.
  17. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, how much can you rely upon those emulations?

    Consider this parallel. When working with photography, in order to ensure that what you see is what you get when you go from Photoshop to print, you need two things. First you need a profile of your printer which, if your printer is of any quality, will have included as a file or preferably instructions on how to create a profile. Second you need to calibrate your monitor so that it represents the profile of your printer.

    Does VRM allow you to profile your monitors? Does VRM allow you to profile your room? This is half of the equation. Fine. You have the emulations. Maybe they are accurate emulations of rooms and monitors. The problem is that your own room and monitors are going to color that by nature.

    Forgive me. I'm not trying to be argumentative here. You find value in the software and that's great. I just think it's good to consider all the factors.
  18. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    as i said, the emulation/simulation is only applied on the headphone outputs, so your own room doesn't affect it.
    i have also said that i wouldn't mix with it turned on. but it can show you frequency problems in your mix. it's more like an additional reference like listening to it on a kitchen radio or in your car.
  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    This is how Focusrite is advertising VRM:

    I don't think I need to point out that listening with headphones is even more prone to color the sound of your mix.

    Here's the promo from Focusrite:


    At 3:00

    I'm not trying to discredit the SaFFire Pro 24 DSP. I'm sure it's a fine interface.
  20. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i know what you mean. it sure is no substitute for a good room and good speakers. but if you have no good room or/and no good speakers it can give you another perspective on your mix.
    btw, when you have to mix through headphone due to noise/neighbor problems it's quite useful, because it will sound more like speakers in a room. you don't have that inside-your-head sound.

    anyway, one has to decide for himself if he wants to use it. the dsp is really handy while tracking and the preamps are really nice too.

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