11-29-2010 01:37 PM
11-29-2010 01:55 PM
11-29-2010 02:06 PM
12-02-2010 01:49 AM
12-02-2010 03:23 PM
12-02-2010 03:54 PM
Hopefully this review will help you scratch a little deeper!
I've only scratched the surface so far, but this seems like the type of interface that could last someone for years.
Bus-powering should work fine as long as you're connecting to a six-pin FireWire connector. Look into the jack on the back; there should be a tab coming up from the bottom that almost contacts the center pin. If it's far away from the pin, you can try to bend the tab CAREFULLY (using very fine needle-nose pliers) so that it's closer to the pin, thus putting more pressure on the connector. Another option is to undo the screw on the side that's closest to the power connector. Get a small piece of solid wire, loop it around the screw, then screw the screw back in firmly so that it holds the wire in place. Route the power supply cable around toward this screw, and wrap the solid wire around the power supply cable to act as a sort of strain relief. If this isn't clear, let me know and I'll do it to mine and post a picture. Welcome to the pro review, and remember that any comments or questions are always welcome!!
My only complaint is that the power supply plug isn't very secure, and has popped out if I so much looked at it funny. I might try just running it bus-powered, although I tend to avoid that for no particular reason.
12-04-2010 06:39 PM
12-07-2010 12:30 PM
12-07-2010 01:01 PM
Sorry to hear that! But if that's the extent of your negative experiences, I guess it's much better than "So I fried my motherboard..." (Don't laugh, that happened once with me where a physical copy protection device malfunctioned. I called the manufacturer because I couldn't believe a copy protection device would be designed where if it malfunctioned, it would kill your motherboard...but they confirmed that it could. FYI this was back in the 90s and that device hasn't been used in well over a decade, so don't worry unless you're using a NuBus-based Mac!)
Just chiming in on what has been my only negative experience with my Saffire, or more specifically with MixControl. Being of the "save and save often" mindset, I made a point to save my MixControl settings once I had everything dialed in for the various recording sources I have connected: two mics, a Line 6 TonePort DI and an old Korg pedal that I use for a cab sim. Life was good, and I didn't make any changes for a few months. At some point, I decided to check the Focusrite website for firmware updates and found one, so I downloaded it and installed it as instructed. Everything when fine, except that MixControl would no longer recognize my saved settings file! Now, this isn't catastrophic by any means, but for a set-it-and-forget-it sort of person who dials in their settings and then ignores them, it could be a real pain in the rear end. This also wiped out saved settings for the EQ, compressor and gate routing.
12-08-2010 08:32 AM
12-10-2010 11:04 PM
12-10-2010 11:06 PM
12-11-2010 09:13 PM
12-14-2010 09:33 PM
12-14-2010 11:10 PM
Funny you should mention the 1820, it's been my old faithful interface for years. Interfaces for review come and go, but the 1820 is a constant. I end up using the one in the V-Studio a lot because of using Sonar, but the 1820 was a fantastic unit for its time, and still does an excellent job. As a result, I've often compared it to other interfaces. Most newer units, including the Pro 24 DSP, have more neutral mic pres; there's a little "peakiness" in the E-Mu's pres. They're fine, mind you, but we've come a ways since then. FYI it might not be the pres per se, but the converters or some other element; in any case, I can hear a difference. Another issue with the 1820 is the effects don't go above 48kHz. That might not matter to you, but it's worth noting and indicative of the era when the 1820 came on the scene. The routing is indeed flexible, but the routing in the Pro 24 DSP is every bit as good, and in many respects, better. We'll be getting into the mixer app next, so you'll get the details then. There are not as varied a group of effects in the Pro 24 DSP, e.g., distortion and such. However, you do get solid EQ and dynamics control on the inputs, as well as reverb, and the plug-in suite (which we'll also cover) has real merit. No diss on E-Mu, but a lot of the effects in the 1820 have been eclipsed by what you get bundled with DAWs, or from companies like Kjaerhus. When the 1820 was introduced native operation was not as efficient, and there was value in having plug-ins residing in hardware. There still is - the DSP in the Pro 24 DSP is a good example of why - and of course, companies like Universal Audio, SSL, and TC Electronic have taken DSP-assisted plug-ins to a very sophisticated level. But the E-Mu effects are a little long in the tooth at this point, and have been equaled or surpassed by many other products. Stay tuned for more details...
Hi Craig, Thanks for the detailed comparisons between those three units. I am very interested in purchasing the Pro 24 DSP, but have been on the fence for a while. The feature set is very appealing. I have an old Emu 1820m and have come to appreciate its quality and the Patchmix software which provides very flexible routing. Are you familiar with the 1820? If so, can you make some comparison between the Focusrite and Emu interfaces? Particularly, how does the Saffire MixControl stack up against the Patchmix? I am certain that the Pro 24/MixControl effects are superior to the 1820's. So, I will be looking forward to your comments on that end also. Thanks for all the great first hand info as always!
12-15-2010 12:55 AM
12-15-2010 01:30 PM
Sorry to hear you had problems with it - I've tested the FS Mobile and didn't encounter any funky FireWire noise at all. Then again, it was working off a separate FireWire card, NOT a FireWire port on the motherboard. This seems to make a major difference in general with FireWire interfaces, and USB interfaces as well. It also seems that some FireWire ports are "dirtier" than others.
Hey Craig! Great review, thank you. I was looking for new interface for my new Win 7 laptop ( I know it was time and you told me so) and got PreSonus FireStudio Mobile first. It's hard to beat 118 db of dynamic range, right? Well, after playing with FS I thought it's done deal and almost lost a gig because of terrible noise. As you know FS FireWire port is next to power supply jack and in crucial situation when you record classical pianist this power supply noise was more than just inconvenience. This was the main reason I sent PreSonus back and got DSP 24 instead.
The more I explore VRM, the more I regard it as the ultimate reality test, not a substitute for different monitoring environments. Just because you call up an emulation of a big-bucks speaker doesn't mean your little-bucks speaker is going to sound big-bucks. But, you can get a hint of what your mix would sound like over other speakers. Where I think VRM is most helpful is in having a selection of real-world environments - what would my mix sound like through a TV speaker? Small computer speakers? This can really help you to sign off on a mix by giving you the confidence that it will translate reasonably well over typical systems. As to future reviews, who knows..."always in motion, the future." (Hope you're staying warm up there in Alaska! We're supposed to get eight inches of snow tomorrow...)
DSP 24 is very clean and easy to work with interface and it does exactly what it suppose to do - it works smoothly. I don't really dig VRM yet - of course I tried it, but I will do it next. In your review you just confirmed that I made a right choice
12-21-2010 12:57 AM
12-22-2010 12:07 AM
12-31-2010 12:50 AM
HarmonyCentral.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms.