Jump to content


Photo

Firewire Interfaces:


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#21 headwerkn

headwerkn

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Location:Hobart, Australia
  • Logic User Since:2001

Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:10 AM

How many people are using the Focusrite Saffire (or its little bro Saffire LE)?

I bought a Saffire about 10 months ago, though sadly it's spent most of that time packed away with the rest of my studio (while we renovate our new house). When I first got it I was finding driver stability to be a bit of a concern. I certainly wasn't the only person either. SaffireControl would frequently crash, stall or lose the Firewire connection when shifting sampling rates and sometimes on a seemingly random basis. Focusrite were very good in helping me out with beta drivers and various suggestions but around the time the Saffire went back into its box along with the rest of my studio, the issues weren't really solved.

Since then there's been a few subsequent updates of SaffireControl, and - as the unpacking date quickly approaches - I'm interested if things have 'matured' and are reliably stable now? Hopefully they have, as otherwise the Saffire is a brilliant piece of kit; the pres sound very good (for the price), the I/O is a great balance and the input DSP effects (which were mostly the reason I bought it) are fantastic too.

#22 headwerkn

headwerkn

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Location:Hobart, Australia
  • Logic User Since:2001

Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:38 AM

Another firewire interface I've used: the Phonic Helix 24. It's not mine, rather my better half's father's, which I now use to mix his two bands.

Basically it is a 'knockoff' of a Mackie Onyx 1640, that being a 16 channel (all monos with mic pre), 4 buss live mixer with a built-in Firewire interface which gives 18 channels of audio in (16 discrete and a L-R input mix) and 2 channels out (ie. DAW mix).

For the money (US$750/AU$1400, about half of the 1640+FW card) it is by far the cheapest way of getting 16 mic sources recorded into your system. The fact that it is also a fully fuctioning mixer is really just a bonus. :-p

I've recorded a couple of live shows and rehersals (8-14 channels usually) and in spite of its low cost and budget nature, the results have really surprised me. Okay, I don't think Apogee have anything to be worried about, but whereas I thought the Helix's ADs would be pretty nasty, they are in fact quite transparent and accurate. Again, the mic pres aren't overwhelming, but are clean and have plenty of gain. Ultimately, recording while live mixing is really quite simple; PFL and set your levels (as you would anyway), assign your tracks, hit record and let it do its thing while you mix the show. Easy. On Mac OSX it's straight plug and play with all the I/O showing up in CoreAudio - the only time consuming part was assigning the inputs to each track in Logic (make yourself a template).

The discrete inputs are prefader so you're free to do a full remix later on - great for demos or making a CD for the bass player to help explain why you can do walking bass lines on waltzs (long story... it's funny what you hear on the drum overheads).

For the money, the Helix 24 is really quite impressive, and for people on tight budgets needing to record a whole band in one pass, it is a very viable option.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users