Saffire Pro 24 DSP: running Archie Pelago's sensational stage show

18 Mar 2013

archie pelago focusriteArchie Pelago is a production trio of Cosmo D, Kroba, and Hirshi who have been working together since the fall of 2010. They produce original music, re-mixes, and perform live with a defining sound that is strongly influenced by their instrumental backgrounds. Despite the seeming complexity of Archie’s live setup, it’s quite streamlined. Cosmo D gives us a quick rundown on how it all works, specifically with the Saffire Pro 24 DSP as part of the mix.


“The instruments take the priority at the end of the day. I am a cellist first and foremost, Kroba plays sax and other reed instruments, and Hirshi grew up playing trumpet. In addition to lending these instruments to our original productions, the live show combines the best of all worlds. I play cello and use Ableton on stage alongside Kroba, who plays sax and also uses Ableton, while Hirshi dj’s in Serato via the Bridge. I use the Saffire Pro 24 DSP to record my cello, both line-in and with a mic. Kroba uses his Scarlett 2i4 to record his sax on stage, in addition to his vinyl DJ sets at home. The Focusrite interfaces have become our main workhorses for studio recording and on-stage performance. We literally don’t leave home without them.

We were attracted to Focusrite products for the brand’s reputation, ease of use, solid design in practice, and dependable drivers. The Saffire Pro 24 DSP has made me think critically about pre-amps (as the Saffire’s are great) and the interaction pre-amps have with certain microphones.

The Saffire has solid drivers for both Mac and Windows. I can do long sessions live and in the studio without worrying about crashing, digital glitches, or other technical hiccups. All the important buttons are right on the front panel of the interface. The Saffire MixControl is a really powerful and useful piece of software for all sorts of routing needs, and I have many. The DSP offloading provides a reverb that I can use without putting strain on Ableton Live’s CPU processing which is very useful in a live setting, as well. The two discrete headphone outputs on the front-panel allow Zach and I to both listen in on the same mix, with independent volume control. The integration of MIDI and Optical In is good if I ever wanted to expand my studio. The Monitoring Software is definitely a unique feature as well. Being able to listen to your mixes in a variety of simulated environments is both novel and useful. 

We recently did a remix for Fimber Bravo on the Moshi Moshi label featuring the vocal styling of Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor. I engineered the whole thing with the Saffire Pro 24 DSP while travelling. Ultimately, the project came together quickly and we got all of the parts recorded easily and with character. Everyone at the label, plus Alexis Taylor, loved the remix!

Focusrite gear is reliable and well built. They don’t try to copy other products’ feature sets; they do their own thing and do it well. You can tell you’re getting a taste of top-shelf gear, even with Focusrite’s more entry-level interfaces."