Choice of addon pre via ADAT to a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by pcrecord, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Hi Guys, Following my purchase of a Focusrite ISA 2 Preamp unit, I decide to upgrade my 4 m-audio delta cards. I went with the Saffire 56, seemed a good choice with good reviews. The Preamps quality is honest and for the small tests I did, the converter seemed better than the delta cards.

    So the question : I'm used to have 16 inputs, what can I get to upgrade the Saffire 56.

    I saw the focusrite octopre that seem a good choice, I just wonder if the pre equal those in the Saffire (since the low price)

    Any alternative (24bit 96khz) 8 pre, with ADAT outputs (below 1000$ if possible)
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    From my experience, the quality order for those units would be: Octopre (good), Saffire 56 (better), ISA2 (best). That means you could get away with the Octopre if you rank the importance and dynamic range of the channels you have to put through them.

    However, it begs the question about what you do with the analog outputs of the ISA2. If you are intending to put them through two channels of the Saffire for conversion, you will suffer a reduction of quality because of this. You might consider a separate high-quality two-channel ADC with S/PDIF output that you could feed into the S/PDIF input of the Saffire, thus preserving the native sonics of the ISA by not going through any of the Saffire's analog circuitry.

    The difficulty is cost, of course. If your $1K is needed just to add 8 acceptable mic input channels before considering further improvements in sound quality of existing channels, then it's something you could step up to when the budget permits.
     
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Boswell, you got it right, I just upgraded up from the converters of m-audio delta cards to the saffire 56 but I miss the 16ins/outs I had.
    So once I'm up there with the inputs I need. A converter for the ISA seems like a good plan! But now I need to be fonctionnal and start recording ;)

    I did test the ISA through the Saffire (via line in), It sounded good, very different from the liquid pre or the standard ones. I read a guy who plays around puting preamps in chain to get different textures (like output of a liquid pre to the second liquid pre..) But I'm not that adventurous..

    I will indeed prioritise preamps in there quality order.
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Hey I just saw the saffire pro 40 is actually at a lower price than the octopre(50$ less) ?? any difference for the preamp quality ? Will passing firewire instead of the ADAT be cleaner ?
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    The Pro 40 pre-amps are certainly better than the older Octopre, but what you need is an ADAT expander for your Saffire 56 rather than another interface. That said, it may be possible to configure the Pro 40 to output its converted data via ADAT and feed that into the Saffire 56 rather than use the FireWire interface on the Pro40. There's no quality difference between the various methods of getting the digitized data back to the computer as it's not modified in any way.
     
  6. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

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    You can't connect a saffire 40 to a Saffire 56 via firewire in Duel link mode. Only the saffire 24 and 14. :-/ Which units can I combine in dual unit mode? | Focusrite you could still connect the 40 Pro via lightpipe.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    i use the octopre mk2 for drums, and describe them as clean, and useful, not exciting, not sterile.
     
  8. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Active Member

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    The only caveat i can think of, is the pro 40 has 1 ADAT in and 1 ADAT out...This stops you from having 16 channels at 96/24. Even with the pro 40 & OCtopre, the best you can hit is 48.1/16, if not mistaken. The 56 and Octopre both have 2-2 way lightpipes, plus connecting a BNC cables wordclock makes all 16 Channels 96/24 in "SMUX" mode....my 56 is arriving any moment, so i can elaborate more soon.


     
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Actually 1 adat port can support 8 channel in 44-48khz or 4 channel at 96khz
     
  10. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Active Member

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    Right, and with the 56 and Octo, i can dual lightpipe 16 Channels at 96/24, in SMUX mode, is that correct? The only reason i ask about the S/PDIF is in the even i wanted to use a single channel, specialized Pre, a Compressor/Gate or an EQ, in addition to the other channels and remain at 96/24. Obviously, i could just drop a channel from the Octo, and set for gain unity, and run a pre or other outboard, without taking down the sampling rate. i also need to understand how the 56 uses the loopbacks...this would probably solve any effects hardware. Of course this isn't taking the Liquid Pres into account, nor the "in the box" software effects, which are quite good, which can compress, gate, limit and EQ. It would just be good to know how much gear the 56 can run at optimal bitrate...and i havent even brought midi into the pic. ::::Full Plate, considering a Punk Band is in Late Feb/Early March for a full LP, complete with mix, sent to master and stamp a short vinyl run at QRP::::

    Staying Afloat,

    —trout

    ...wait, a floating trout is a dead trout....ive merely been stunned, back to swimming.
     

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