Focusrite are applying their massive audio brains to the world of FireWire - and jolly good on em I say. Focusrite have been the must-have outboard for many serious recordists since I can remember, but prior to this, they've never dabbled in the direct computer interface.
The new Focusrite Saffire is a firewire interface with onboard DSP and 24-bit/192kHz processing.
Saffire has four inputs (2 digital) and 10 outputs (2 digital) with flexible foldback and monitoring options.
Accompanying the Saffire hardware is a new software platform from the team that produced LiquidControl and the Forte Suite. This application floats comfortably over any recording software and allows extensive control over the sound of the recorded signals and the multiple (monitor and headphone) output paths.
Compression, reverb, amp modeling and EQ Saffire-powered plug-ins are included. All four are also available as a suite of plug-ins from within the recording platform in use. Up to five separate user-defined stereo mixes can be created of all incoming signals and recorded tracks from the recording platform. With such comprehensive monitoring/foldback options and onboard high quality signal processing and effects, the Saffire could take us one step closer to the mixerless studio.
Saffire features at a glance:
Ultra-low latency Firewire 400 interface with onboard DSP
24-bit, 192kHz integrated A-D/D-A
Four inputs; two Focusrite preamps and SPDIF I/O
Eight balanced outputs for creating separate headphone/monitor mixes or 7.1 surround monitoring
Suite of Saffire-powered plug-ins; compression, EQ, amp modeling and monitor path reverb available on analogue inputs, for recording wet and or monitoring
Free accompanying software allows the engineer to create up to five unique stereo mixes of all incoming and recorded tracks
Plug-ins also available for use within the user's software platform