The Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 represents the new generation of Focusrite multi-channel firewire audio interfaces. It is the best sounding interface in its class; attentively designed with today's project studio in mind.
Focusrite's unparalleled pre-amp legacy forms the foundation of this new interface, with eight award-winning Focusrite pre-amps. These are combined with the very latest in firewire interfacing technology to deliver seamless integration, excellent routing flexibility and future-proof, rock-solid driver stability.
With Saffire PRO 40, sonic integrity reigns supreme. The eight Focusite pre-amps ensure low noise and distortion, whilst quality digital conversion and JetPLLjitter elimination technology ensure pristine audio quality as your audio flows between the analogue and digital domains.
Alongside the eight Focusrite pre-amps are a host of i/o options; 10 analogue outputs, ADAT i/o, stereo SPDIF i/o and 2 virtual ‘loopback" inputs for routing digital audio between software applications. Every channel features phantom power, with the first two channels also featuring -9dB pads for additional headroom. Front panel 5-LED metering for each analogue input offers accurate viewing of levels.
Saffire PRO 40 comes with the Focusrite plug-in suite. All-new Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins provide a significant upgrade from standard sequencer effects, bringing a touch of class to your session. Focusrite's established Xcite+ bundle is also included. The bundle has Ableton Live Lite, Novation's Bass Station soft synth and over 1 music gig of royalty-free samples.
Saffire PRO 40 Control, the zero-latency 18 x 16 DSP Mixer/Router software provided with Saffire PRO 40, sets a new standard at this price point for audio interface control. It features unparalleled output routing and monitoring, as well as intuitive one-click solutions, a clear and concise mixing layout and large on-screen metering for inputs, outputs and submixes.
Two independent headphone buses are provided, each with your own level controls available on the front panel. A dedicated stereo monitor mix output features pads for improved audio fidelity when connected to active monitor speakers. An 'anti-thump' circuit protects your monitor speakers from spikes when booting up or shutting down. Front panel controls include a main monitor dial with dim and mute switches, all of which fully integrate with customisable software to cover every possible monitoring need, providing a set of controls for any set-up from basic stereo to full 7.1 surround.
Focusrite likes to set the standards, and your latest bundled software collection is no exception.
'Xcite+' comes on a DVD-ROM filled to the brim with royalty-free loops and samples alongside a host of powerful applications perfect for getting the new user started, or to expand the experienced user's creative toolbox.
Ableton Live Lite 6 forms the foundation of this collection, providing the perfect platform to create, produce and perfom. Novation's classic bass synth, ‘Bass Station", the Waldorf PPG Wave Lite classic synth, and the Arturia Analog Factory SE plug-ins combine to provide a powerful virtual instruments collection. Waldorf's D-Pole Lite FX classic filter plug-in is also included, to take these and other sounds to the next level.
Flawless drums and beats can be crafted using FXpansion's powerful 'BFD Ultra lite' acoustic drum plug-in and a demo version of the 'Guru' sample player with library. Waldorf's 'Attack Lite' analogue drum module plug-in also provides alternative drum flavours. Alongside these comes 'Mike the Drummer'; a collection of 572 inspiring and original live drum loops ranging from 79 to 191 bpm, with loop lengths ranging from 1 beat to 4 bars, as well as extended freestyle solo sections. Individual drum hits and REX files are also available.
These drum loops are however, just the beginning. An entire music gigabyte of royalty-free samples, exclusively compiled by LoopMasters, provide a selection of loops and samples large enough to satisfy the appetite of even the most demanding artist.
Finally, a free 3 month membership for 'i-dance' (value $25) is included. Users receive 3 months of Global XS Artist for free. After this period, the user can renew/upgrade his/her Global XS membership (subscription fee and full features) or become a Standard member (free and unlimited community access). I-dance.com helps dance music producers to get feedback on your music and connects them to worldwide record companies when they're ready.
The Xcite+ Pack bundle is Windows XP, 32 bit Vista, Mac OS X and Intel Mac compatible.
The Focusrite Pre
Focusrite has, over the past decade, built a reputation as the market leader for high quality recording equipment, with is mic-pre technology as the cornerstone of that enviable reputation. The original mic-pre, as featured in the early Focusrite Forte console, used rotary switched gain controls and high quality audio transformers. This mic-pre is still used by many of the industries greatest producers and is the sound of countless hit records. Today, Focusrite design equipment for a far greater audience, from professionals to amateur enthusiasts, all with varying budgets.
As with the Red and ISA ranges, the Mic-pre technology found in the Platinum and Saffire ranges is designed to the highest possible standards. They uphold the same wide bandwidth philosophy featured in the original forté console, back in 1989. All Focusrite mic-pres feature custom components which have undergone an intense testing and qualification process. With the facts and figures in, Focusrite designs then have to pass the essential listening stage. Any design can measure well on the test bench but only a great design can be qualified in the studio. The FET-based design in the Saffire range is no exception and ensures the same low noise and distortion performance as earlier transformer-based designs. It delivers clarity without colouration and exhibits the signature transparency for which Focusrite have become famous.
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (32 bit and 64 bit) and Windows Vista (32 bit and 64 bit)
900MHz AMD or Pentium. (1.5 GHz or higher recommended)
512 MB (more recommended)
OSX (10.4 and 10.5)
PowerPC G4/Dual 1 GHZ or faster or any Intel-based Mac
512 MB (more recommended)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
THD+N: 0.001% (measured at 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise: EIN > 125dB (128dB analogue to digital) (measured at 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm termination (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise: -90dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
THD+N: 0.004% (measured with 0dBu input and 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise: -87dBu (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Dynamic Range = 110dB (A-wieghted)
Clock jitter = 250 picoseconds
THD+N AMPL = -109dBFS 'A' weighted
Front and Rear Connectivity
Analogue Channel Inputs (Inputs 1-8)
2 Mic/Line/Inst Combo XLR (Inputs 1 and 2)
6 Mic/Line Combo XLR (Inputs 3-8)
Automatic switching of Mic / Line (e.g. inserting a jack switches from Mic to either Line or Instrument)
Digital Channel Inputs (Inputs 9-18) 44.1-96kHz
Stereo S/PDIF input on RCA
8 ADAT inputs on Optical Connector, reduces to 4 inputs at 88.2/96kHz Optical input can be switched to S/PDIF 3/4 in software preferences (ADATs disabled)
Analogue Audio Outputs (Outputs 1-10)
8 1/4" TRS Jack (Outputs 3-10)
2 monitor mix outputs on 1/4" TRS Jack (Outputs 1 and 2)
Stereo headphones mix 1 on 1/4" TRS (also routed to outputs 7 & 8)
Stereo Headphones mix 2 on 1/4" TRS (also routed to outputs 9 & 10)
Digital Channel Outputs (Outputs 11-20) 44.1-96kHz
Stereo S/PDIF output on RCA
8 ADAT outputs on Optical Connector, reduces to 4 outputs at 88.2/96kHz Optical output can be switched to S/PDIF 3/4 in software preferences (ADATs disabled)
2 6-pin Firewire sockets
2 Standard 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors: In and Out
IEC mains power input connector
Weight and Dims
3kg / 6.6Ibs
350mm / 13.8" (W) x 45mm / 1.8" (H) x 235mm /9.3" (D)
Focusrite Plugin SuiteSaffire PRO 40 has the Focusrite plugin suite, produced by the same team that who developed Novation's nio FX rack and Saffire PRO 40 Control. They provide the perfect upgrade from your standard sequencer effects with all-new Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins, for use in the mix.
The compressor and Gate have been modeled on the Focusrite's hardware devices, using the measurement of custom optos to achieve the signature Focusrite sound. (All Focusrite optos are tuned by ear, just like in the old days of analog design, ensuring a faithful recreation of those classic vintage 1960s optical compressors.)
With the same signature as the original Focusrite EQ curves. Focusrite's R&D team used state-of-the-art numerical transform techniques to create an authentic response across the entire audible frequency spectrum for this software EQ.
The Reverb is based on classic algorithmic studio reverb designs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here follow some initial frequently asked questions and answers. For a growing number of up-to-date support articles relating to this product, we highly recommend you visit the Focusrite Answerbase.
Q: What is Saffire PRO 40?
A: Saffire PRO 40 is the first of the second generation Firewire interfaces from Focusrite, making it the fifth Saffire range product to be released. The inputs consist of 8 classic Focusrite pre-amps, 2 channels of S/PDIF, 8 channels of ADAT and 2 loopback channels. The outputs consist of 10 analogue balance lines, 2 S/PDIF and 8 ADAT, making the total input and output count 40, hence Saffire PRO 40.
Q: What comes in the box?
A: The Saffire hardware comes with a CD containing software (Saffire Control PRO application and AU/VST EQ, Compression, Gate and Reverb plug-ins) and drivers. A Firewire cable and power cable are also supplied. The Saffire PRO User Guide pdf is included on the same CD.
Q: Is Saffire PRO 40 cross-platform?
A: Yes. Both 32 and 64bit versions of Windows XP and Vista. Mac OSX PPC and Intel compatible.
Q: What is the Saffire Control PRO software for?
A: The Saffire Control PRO software is designed to allow the hardware setting controls not present on the hardware itself to be accessed, as well as providing a host of different monitoring options. There is a Mixer section where all 20 Input levels can be set, to create an Input Mix that can be blended with 20 backing tracks from the sequencer on the 10 analogue outputs and the 10 digital outputs. There are also controls for setting the sample rate, synchronising the hardware to an external source and extensive level controls for all outputs.
Q: Is Saffire PRO 40 a USB drive?
A: No, Saffire PRO is a dual port Firewire 400 device. USB can occasionally be quite unstable; Firewire 400 offers better stability. There are two Firewire ports on the Saffire PRO so that you can chain/connect additional Firewire devices (such as hard drives) to your computer, even though your computer may only have one Firewire port. NOTE: Some third party devices may require an independent firewire port. Depending on the number of channels being used, Saffire PRO 40 may also benefit from its own dedicated firewire port.
Q: What is the difference between Firewire 400 and 800 specifications?
A: The main difference is bandwidth. Firewire 400 is really all you need for audio applications unless you're running 48 tracks at 192 kHz. Of course, there is a higher price associated with Firewire 800 and fewer computers support it.
Q: What are Saffire PRO 40s minimum system requirements?
A: Mac: OS X (10.4 or later), PPC G4, or Dual 1Gig Intel. 512MB RAM
PC: XP or Vista (32 or 64 bit versions), AMD or Pentium 800MHz Processor, 512MB RAM.
Q: Does Saffire PRO 40 have built in DSP? If not, why not?
A: No. The only member of the Saffire family with built in DSP is the original Saffire. This was designed to be an all-in-one recording solution, providing the facilities of a channel strip (input processing), small mixing console (foldback reverb and monitor mixing) and high quality audio interface all rolled into one. Saffire PRO, on the other hand, is a means for tracking the highest quality of multi-channel audio into the DAW, without the considerable extra cost of onboard DSP to provide potentially unnecessary processing.
Q: Does Saffire PRO include any plug-ins? If so, what are they?
A: Yes. The brand new Focusrite plug-in suite, consisting of EQ, Compression, Gate and Reverb. These plug-ins work on both Mac and Windows and come in VST and AU format.
Q: Does any free recording software come with Saffire PRO 40?
A: Yes. The Saffire PRO 40 comes with Ableton Live Lite, and the Xcite+ bundle.
Q: What sequencer/audio software packages have been 'qualified and tested' to perform with Saffire?
A: Saffire will work with all ASIO and Core Audio compatible software, in other words all software apart from Pro Tools. It's been tested thoroughly with Cubase, Logic, Sonar, Ableton Live, Digital Performer and Reason to name but a few. For more information on specific software apps, check with technical support at Focusrite HQ. (The list of tested software is v long!)
Q: Can I run the SPDIF and ADAT inputs & outputs with the analogue inputs & outputs simultaneously?
A: Yes. All inputs and outputs can be used at the same time at 44.1/48kHz. At 88.2/96kHz, the number of ADAT channels is reduced from 8 in, 8 out to 4 in 4 out.
Q: Does the Saffire PRO 40 have inserts?
A;There are no dedicated Inserts on the Saffire PRO 40, but due to the flexibility of Saffire PRO Control software is very easy to use set up a send and return using the mixer to route to and from the physical Inputs and Outputs.
Q: What are the Presets for in Saffire Control Pro?
A:Saffire PRO Control has routing presets and monitor presets. Routing presets allow quick set-up of what signals are sent to the outputs. The presets include settings for recording and monitoring inputs with zero latency, and presets for mixing externally. This means that rather than having to manually configure all your output routing, one output after another, select the relevant routing preset for a quick setup solution.
Monitor presets allow quick switching between monitoring set-ups. If you are using surround monitoring, then you can quickly switch between 7.1, 5.1, 2.1 monitoring. If you have multiple sets of stereo monitors, then you can switch between your various monitors with a single click.
Q: What are the set-up presets for?
A: To help provide a quick setup of a particular session arrangement, a series of presets have been created for SaffireControl PRO. This means that rather than having to manually configure all your output routing, one output after another, select the relevant routing preset for quick setup solutions.
Q: Is there a word clock input?
A: No. Word Clock is embedded within the ADAT and/or SPDIF signals.
When using external devices, you can sync to the ADAT or SPDIF inputs, or use the Saffire PRO 40 as the master sync device.
Q: What are the pads for on input 1 and 2?
A;If you are recording particularly loud signals e.g a drum kit, or amplified guitars, the inputs pads reduce the signal level by 9dB. This ensures that you never overload the inputs.
Q: Can I use Pro Tools with Saffire PRO 40?
A: No. Only Digidesign hardware is compatible with Pro Tools. However, Saffire PRO 40 will work with all other ASIO or Core Audio compatible platforms.
Q: How can Saffire PRO hook up with other FF or Novation gear?
A: One possible option is to connect Focusrite hardware equipped with a digital output to one of Saffire PRO's digital inputs, allowing additional classic Focusrite pre-amplification to stream directly to the DAW. The S/PDIF In could be used to receive audio from the TwinTrack PRO, for example. In addition, the stereo SPDIF output from the X-Station could be sent to the SPDIF In of the Saffire PRO 40, leaving the other 8 analogue inputs free for Guitars, vocals, drums etc.
Q: What if I only have 4 pin firewire?
A: The Saffire PRO will function the same when used with either 4 or 6 pin firewire. If you only have a 4 pin firewire connection, then simply use a 4 to 6 pin firewire cable.
Q: What is the Dim Switch all about? And what's the difference between this and the Active Monitor pad?
A: The DIM switch is a way of temporarily reducing the level if the volume needs to be cut quickly, (e.g. if a phone rings.) The switch attenuates the digital level by 18dB when active. Using this switch means that the level can be restored to an identical volume after the interruption, without having to manually adjust any gain dials or remember values.
The Active Monitor Pad switch is used to calibrate your speakers" volume control(s). For example, if the level is consistently too high, regardless of the volume knob position, then activating the Active Monitor Pad will cut the analogue level (after the DAC) by 20dB so that the speakers" volume control has a more suitable output level range.
Q: Can Saffire PRO 40 be used in standalone mode (away from a computer)?
A: No. The Saffire PRO 40 can only be used as an audio interface, connected to your computer via firewire.
Focusrite warrants its products to be free from defects for 1 year from the date of purchase.
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