Saffire

Michael Voss

After using the PRO 24 DSP for some years, I decided to get the flagship Liquid Saffire 56 in Summer 2013. I was curious about the 'Liquid' preamp emulations. Even the standard Saffire pre's are a good choice to record vocals or acoustic instruments via Microphone, but the Liquid emulations offer a wide range of creative sound design for use during recording.

Wait.... musicians are creative people. Wouldn't it be perfect to have a chance using the Liquid pre's during mixing or mastering sessions? Of course it would be, especially as I do a lot more mixing and mastering than recording. All i needed to know was that the line outputs of my LS56 offer an unbalanced signal, and the XLR Inputs of the Liquid pre's need a balanced signal; a DI box would do a good job

I got two mono DI boxes, one for each channel and connected the line outputs 5 and 6 (these are the ones i had chosen, you can use any you like but don't use them twice in your routing settings!) with the line in of each DI box. The XLR outputs of the DI's are connected with the Liquid pre inputs 1 and 2.

That's what to do on the hardware side, don't forget the routing in the Software - not just the Saffire Mix Control but also inside your DAW. In Cubase, I can use this setup in two different ways:

  • The first way is to register them as an external 'effect', this setup can be used for offline bouncing - with the limitation to insert the 'external' LS56 on one insert point of a single track only.
  • The second way is to create an additional bus (or group-track), and to route every single track you want to that bus. So i have an independent output which i can record to a new track. As always, keep an eye on the routing - and muting - settings...

The LS56 is a very good choice and offers a lot of value for the money, there is no other Interface offering this huge amount of connectivity in combination with an upper-class sound and stability - and, with some creative routing, a lot more is possible! I use the LS56 in my home studio for mixing and mastering sessions in Cubase and Wavelab, as well as for recording Vocals and acoustic instruments. It's a really good combination that offers a lot of possibilities.

I produced my first recordings on a simple PC soundcard many years ago. A lot of jitter, among a world of other problems and mistakes I did at that time. I was remastering some of the old stuff, using the LS56 and the Liquid pre's to get the sound a bit smoother than in the original release, which was hyper-compressed. It was also possible to get some more dynamic range compared to the original.

The LS56 is the perfect heart for my Studio, and Focusrite will remain the first choice for me.