Saffire

Antti 'Dee' Heikkinen

I'm a hobbyist singer/songwriter/musician with a small home studio. In my basement lair I've recorded several indie releases of my own, such as my solo EP "D-A: Star Children", "Crankenhaus: Bet You Burn Some Day", "Spookbox: Spook Box", as well as vocals and parts for bands such as Project-43, collaboration projects and many others, with several new releases in the works and soon available on Spotify and such. In my whole career I've composed and recorded hundreds of songs, but only in the recent years it has really boomed - and a big part of it is due to the Saffire soundcard.

A year back I was able to soundproof my tiny studio and make it really quiet, and it became clear I needed something more than any run-of-the mill hobbyist soundcard, as every small noise was suddenly audible in my system.

Looking for a new soundcard I decided a Liquid Saffire 56 would be exactly what I need, and haven't regretted the decision one tiny bit. It is quiet. It is laden with features, and it really delivers a great sound. You might think ""what does a single guy in a home studio need so many inputs for?"" but there's a huge reason for going for more than a handful of inputs: with this setup I can have EVERYTHING ready and set to go whenever I find the time to retreat to my studio - being a family man any time saved for setup is worth gold. I can have my guitar amps, bass, drums, vocals, everything hooked up and ready to go in Cubase the minute I boot up the system. No waiting while routing and attaching cables. At the most I have to select whether to use XLR or line inputs, and I can only imagine how many hours in total it has saved me. Not once have I had any kind of issue with it either, no crashing drivers or buggy mixer applets here.

With the Saffire I was able to get rid of a lot of excess outboard gear as well, things like my vocal tube preamp. Thanks to the Liquid pre's I can pick any kind of sound right in the software, and lay down saturated, old-tube sounding metal vocals, or switch to ethereal, gentle vocal sound with a mouse click.

Speaking of the MixControl software - could it be easier to, for instance, route vocal monitoring to external reverb for zero latency monitor effect? Or to create separate, ready-set mixes for headphone monitoring while drumming, playing guitar and singing? Again, what a huge time saver. With all the features all I need to do is start Cubase and pick the template I want, and the MixControl will give me exactly the combination of monitor mixes I want right there. With the Saffire as the heart of my small studio, I am able to go and create new songs and tracks with such ease it's incredible. Such as the Star Children solo album - I did the entire EP in 48 hours flat from scratch one long weekend. I could never have gotten even close without the Saffire. Already when I ordered it I knew it was going to be a great unit, but I hardly ever realized just how pivotal it would prove for my recording hobby.

To put it simply: I love my Liquid Saffire 56, and if I ever have to get a new soundcard, Focusrite will definitely be the first choice based on my experience with it.

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