Recording - September 2014 - 39

your DAW, and use the Routing Section to determine which tracks are sent
to the various physical outputs.
In effect, this gives the Saffire PRO 26 a significant subset of features
you'd expect in a monitor controller (see the article elsewhere in this issue
for a discussion of those handy devices), complete with the ability to adjust
level, dim, and mute either or both sides of a stereo mix. You can configure
the outputs for multiple monitor sets, for surround playback, or feed a subwoofer if desired; about the only control that's missing is a Mono switch.
As an added bonus, the Saffire PRO 26 can remember one of its mixes in
internal memory even when removed from the computer, making it a handy
standalone mic/line mixer for live use in a pinch. A lack of visual feedback
and fine tweakability limits how much you can do with a mix stored in this
fashion, but it's a cool extra feature.
In use
The Saffire PRO 26 is a relatively recent release; I had my test unit for
about three weeks before we went to press, and put it through its paces on
a variety of tracking and mixing projects
in my personal studio. In all applications,
I felt it gave me what any recording musician would want-over and above its
operational flexibility and wide feature set, it just plain sounded good.
Focusrite knows how to put preamps in an audio interface and have them
sound great. The pres in the Saffire PRO 26 were clean and clear without
being sterile. The Instrument inputs did a good job of capturing the sound
of my electric guitars; Focusrite doesn't list an input impedance for them, but
I'm guessing it's in the hundreds of kilohms. Outputs sounded lush and crisp,
reproducing high-resolution audio beautifully, and the two Headphone outputs offered plenty of gain without any distortion or hashiness.
The Saffire PRO 26 drivers require Mac OS X 10.8/10.9, or Windows
7/8. My DAW software on my two test Macs worked with it perfectly, as did
the loop-back function. Oh, and Focusrite was kind enough to loan me a
FireWire/Thunderbolt adaptor for my review, and I can report that the

Saffire PRO 26 worked flawlessly over Thunderbolt for
anything and everything you'd expect it to do-no
extra drivers, no hitches, no fuss.
All in all
I won't deny the fact that I'm a big fan of FireWire
audio interfaces. While I do good work with USB inter-

faces as well, there's something comforting about knowing my interface is doing its thing without tripping over
something else on the bus, and I applaud Focusrite for
keeping this option available for recording musicians
along with a relatively seamless bridge to the next era
of audio connectivity over Thunderbolt.
The Saffire PRO 26 represents a solid audio I/O
solution at a great price. Stop loading down your
USB hub and check it out.
Price: $349.99
More from: Focusrite, www.focusrite.com


http://www.focusrite.com http://www.cras.edu http://www.cras.edu http://www.audiorecordingschool.com/consumer.html

Recording - September 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - September 2014

Contents
Recording - September 2014 - Cover1
Recording - September 2014 - Cover2
Recording - September 2014 - 1
Recording - September 2014 - 2
Recording - September 2014 - 3
Recording - September 2014 - 4
Recording - September 2014 - 5
Recording - September 2014 - Contents
Recording - September 2014 - 7
Recording - September 2014 - 8
Recording - September 2014 - 9
Recording - September 2014 - 10
Recording - September 2014 - 11
Recording - September 2014 - 12
Recording - September 2014 - 13
Recording - September 2014 - 14
Recording - September 2014 - 15
Recording - September 2014 - 16
Recording - September 2014 - 17
Recording - September 2014 - 18
Recording - September 2014 - 19
Recording - September 2014 - 20
Recording - September 2014 - 21
Recording - September 2014 - 22
Recording - September 2014 - 23
Recording - September 2014 - 24
Recording - September 2014 - 25
Recording - September 2014 - 26
Recording - September 2014 - 27
Recording - September 2014 - 28
Recording - September 2014 - 29
Recording - September 2014 - 30
Recording - September 2014 - 31
Recording - September 2014 - 32
Recording - September 2014 - 33
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Recording - September 2014 - 35
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Recording - September 2014 - Cover3
Recording - September 2014 - Cover4
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