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Focusrite Saffire Pro 24
3.8 3.8 out of 5, based on 9 Reviews

This is a review of the DSP version of Saffire pro 24.


30th December 2011

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by Arthur Stone

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

Intro:
I needed a W7 compatible interface and after reading reviews and Gearslutz I opted for the PRO24DSP. The unit does what many in this category do - it offers a couple of preamps, a few ins and outs and a software mixer; the Focusrite adds a little extra in that it can emulate different monitoring environments (monitors and rooms) through the headphone outputs...a system called VRM or 'Virtual Reference Monitoring.'
The hardware is robust, stylish and has good ergonomics (unless you have large-sized hands). The unit sounds great for this price-range. Maybe 'design classic' is too much but the unit certainly doesn't disappoint and Focusrite are an established and innovative company with a good reputation for support.

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24-pro24c.jpg

In use:
It took me a week or so to get to grips with the software - not that complicated (compared to any other interface) but quite extensive in it's abilities. I've been using for a year now and it's second nature although I'm still finding new features and tricks.

The unit is very flexible with the 4-ins and 6-outs, plus S/PDIF & Adat, DI's, and 2x headphone outputs (each has dedicated level control and shared DSP environment). I usually send a digital signal to the unit via S/PDIF from a Sound Devices702 A/D - the Pro24DSP then sends that signal via firewire to the DAW; the signal from the DAW is then sent back via firewire to the Pro24DSP and out via S/PDIF to a KRK Ergo (for monitoring). This system works great for me and I find the unit rock solid in the 'middleman' role.

Like other budget interfaces, the preamps, although smooth and tasty, lack grunt (in comparison to pro preamps); also the useful gain is bunched in the last 1/4 of the range - not so bad for large-diaphragm condenser mics but hard work controlling the noise-floor with an SM58 and a quiet singer. I do use the preamps quite often though - perhaps not for critical recording - but the sound quality of the preamps and digital converter is appropriate for many sources and the DI's sound ace. Guitars sound good too - through the DI and mic'd.

The VRM technology ( Saffire PRO 24 DSP Audio Interfaces Saffire PRO 24 DSP ) is the icing on the cake; IME it's not a substitute full-time listening environment, rather it's something to run a nearly finished mix through. The VRM emulates different professional and consumer monitors/speakers in either a lounge, bedroom or studio setting. I usually use the studio setting and play through a mix a few times listening on different sets of emulated monitors e.g. similar to Adam, KRK, Quested, NS10, Genelec, etc. - I tweak as I go...so if the bass sounds too heavy on the Quested emulation I can adjust the DAW EQ to compensate and then switch to the Adam emulation to check how the tweak affected the bass. After a few play throughs it's possible to get a mix sounding reasonable on many emulations...then I switch back to normal non-headphone monitoring to finish the mix. It's a great tool - totally immersive, great fun and educational.


Conclusion:
I'd have no problem recommending this unit (in the price range) with the proviso that it takes awhile to appreciate it's full potential. With careful settings and mic placement it can produce sounds worthy of more expensive units. It's good value, has great design and style. The VRM is the icing on the cake.

4th January 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by squirreltrench

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

I recently purchased a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP. It's exactly what I needed and then some.

Two quality mic-pre's, which can be switched from Inst to Line level via the software. Phantom power. Mains level, and 2 headphone levels right on the front. And then all kinds of ins/outs on the back I haven't even had a use for yet. Except I do use the old school MIDI in and out; those works flawlessly.

With the Focusrite software, you can set up independent monitor mixes, so the capability for tracking a small group is there, if you can get all but two items up to line level. I haven't done this myself, but the fact you can do 100% of the monitoring control with the interface means that you can give your artists a good mix with absolutely no latency... because they are monitoring directly, not monitoring what is going into the computer and then back out again.

This package also comes with a few Focusrite plugins for AU. Nothing too earth-shaking with the plugs, but a nice alternative to stock plugs if the occasion arises.

The VRM (Virtual Reference Monitoring) is nice. Again, it's not jaw-dropping, but it can be helpful to simulate other environments in your headphones. If your phones can't reproduce bass, then you aren't going to hear bass in the VRM. You can't create something where it doesn't exist to begin with.

Bottom line: If you are looking for something which is a step-up from a total-entry level audio interface, this one is a great value. MIDI, two excellent pre's, two separate headphone volume controls, knobs on the front for what you need. I am very happy with my purchase!

12th January 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by brianellefson

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

I've owned mine for about a year now. No problems at all.

I was running it on a Macbook Pro and at that time I had to work with the software it comes with (for linking it up to the DAW engine, etc). But for some reason on my new iMac, I've never had to open that software up - not once. It just worked right from the install without any tweaking.

Happy with the converters and with the pres in it. I'm getting good sounds and without really any latency (iMac 2.4Ghz quad core).

Great for the price! If you only need a few ins and outs, this is a really good piece of gear.

17th January 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by TripleXbeatz

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

For the price, you'll be hard pressed to find a better FW interface with the I/O and features that the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 has to offer.
With 2 Speakon Jacks on the front to handle both XLR and TRS cables, and two more 1/4 inch TRS Inputs on the rear, you can record four true analog inputs simultaneously.
The rear panel has 6 TRS 1/4 inch outputs, as well as an Optical Input that can do Adat 8 Ch in, and is also switchable via the Mix Control software to Optical SPDIF. Speaking of SPDIF, the unit also has a SPDIF in and out, and offers Midi IN/Out connections as well. The unit is bus powered via FW, but also comes with a Ac Adapter.

The front panel supplies Gain control for both front Ins, a Monitor Gain knob, and Headphone Gain Knob and 1/4 Headphone Jack. The 48V Phantom power button is located directly under the Ch1-2 Gain knobs, and Focusrite has included LED meters for the Four Analog Inputs so you can monitor your input levels right from the front panel.

Included is Focusrite's Mix Control software which allows you to take full advantage of the routing capabilities of this unit. Some users may find it a bit cumbersome at first, but a quick read of Focusrite's user manual is sure to help anyone find their way. Also included is the Focusrite Excite pack which includes Focusrites own plugin pack, Ableton Live LE, some great Drum samples by "Mike the Drummer", and over a GB of loops provided by Loopmasters. They even include a FW cable which I thought was a nice touch.

My personal experience with this unit has been great. The pre's are very transparent, and I get more than enough headroom to capture great recordings. I love how small and mobile it is, so if I need to record on the go, I'm good. Customer support is a bit slow to get back to your emails in my opinion, but I have only had to email them once, over a minor issue I was having.

I purchased mine from an authorized dealer on ebay for $235 bucks. In that price range, you will be hard pressed to find something this nice, with these features. I would, and have recommended this FW Audio interface to several of my friends, and I also recommend it for anyone looking for an inexpensive, quality Interface. Enjoy!

xXx

19th January 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by Brickwerks

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

I had one of the older Saffires, the plasticy little white boxes, for about 4 years. It sounded good but it was a finicky unit that dropped out from time to time, it had problems dealing with different sample rates, and it had popping issues.

Yet for some reason, when it was time to replace it I went with another Saffire unit. Maybe I made that choice because the old unit did sound good when it wasn't causing me problems, maybe I was just hoping the newer products would work better. Regardless of the reason, I'm glad I made that call. The Saffire Pro 24 is a 100% improved product over its predecessor.

The box itself is better built. It's sturdier with better jacks. The display panel is simple but easy to read. The new version of the Saffire Control software is much easier to use and much more stable (though honestly I rarely even need to use Saffire Control, I can just set it and forget it). The recorded audio is crystal clear. Even the headphone amp is solid, with enough juice to power my Sennheiser HD-650 cans.

I bought mine through Sweetwater for around $300, which I believe is actually less than the inferior original Saffire cost me. Definitely a bang-for-the-buck winner and well worth checking out if you're looking for a quality Firewire interface on a tight budget.

22nd January 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by asdfdsa

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

I have the DSP version of this interface, but everything else is the same so I'll add a review here.

First of all, I spent many many hours researching 2-channel interfaces, and can say with certainty that this is the very best interface for the money on the cheaper-end of the scale (as far as audio gear goes). You get 2 pre-amps that are just as good if not better than anything else in the price bracket (though you start to get some noise past '9', and the gain is not linear with the knob, being that a good 25% of the gain if from 8-10 - typical of cheaper pre's...but they sound good none-the-less, nothing special, but work great). You also get a pair of line-ins in addition to the #1 and #2 inputs, great for doing keys and singing, or DI guitar, etc. What's really cool is the amount of outputs you have as well, enough for 5.1 surround sound monitoring, or feeding a stereo pair out into some outboard gear, then back in through the line in inserts - great routing flexibility for such a small box and price! Don't forget the RCA/S/PDIF I/O and the MIDI I/O either!

The LED metering in the front is really useful for setting levels, and functions great. Don't forget about the pair of headphone outputs, not all interfaces have more than one output for phones!

About the DSP. Quite frankly, it's cheap sounding and I wouldn't use the FX for anything other than a cans send to relieve the cpu while tracking - which is a valuable little feature to have, but definitely not always worth the extra $100. The reverb sounds tinny and cheap, the EQ leaves much to desire, though is workable, and same with the compressor plug. The VRM (virtual reference monitoring) I have found no use for, but I imagine if you had to mix with headphones, it could come in handy. It has certain distance and pan settings as well as speaker emulations to get that ''expensive mixing room sound'' (don't let the marketing get to you, haha). Jabs aside, it really is a good unit through and through. The GUI, or mixer interface is laid out simply and works great.

I had a real head-ache setting this thing up with the drivers and DAW routing at first, but after messing around with the OS and computer settings, it ran no problems and very stable - but be sure to have this plugged in and turned on before you start your computer (after it's installed obviously). This is a FW interface, so keep that in mind when you see all the other cheap-ish 2 channel boxes and they're only USB.

Some of the more important features are 24bit/96khz quality, which is great, and you have the ability to light-pipe 8 more channels in with another interface (such as the octopre, or digimax, etc), you can have a total of 16 inputs and 8 outputs (in 48khz mode)! Really good bang to buck.

All in all, I'd say if you're looking for a 2 channel interface with the ability for future expansion, say for recording drums or a live band, and you can only spend under a grand, look no further - I really think this is the best you'll get until you hit the $1500 or so mark to get something like a metric halo. Enjoy recording with this little box, pro results are certainly attainable with it.

4th March 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by jmainitmusic

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

This review is for the Saffire Pro 24 from Focusrite.

I use the interface for tracking in my home studio. I record mostly acoustic guitar, cajon drum, percussion, and vocals.

The Saffire has decent preamps. They sound extremely clean with most mics I have used and the ability to have zero latency monitoring with the Saffire is a huge plus.

On the downside the preamps often need to be cranked to the upper end of the pot before a useable signal comes through. I contacted focusrite on this to see if it was a faulty unit and they said that the pots are not linear and will often need to be cranked. In my opinion this is a slight problem because there is no headroom left in the preamp. I tend to use my external Pres and go line n in order to bypass the focusrite pre and give myself more wiggle room.

All in all I'd give the Saffire a 6.5/10. The routing flexibility is great and the converters sound good but the preamps aren't all they are cracked up to be.

22nd March 2012

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by sbellamy84

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

Now, I should start by saying that I am an amateur recording engineer with an amateur studio and am by no means a "professional". That being said, I trust my ears and I know enough to know what sounds good and better. I am writing this review for any other amateur out there who is not ready to spend the big bucks, but wants to make great recordings......

I struggled and searched and struggled and tossed and turned and struggled about which interface I should purchase in the 300-500 price range. I have read countless reviews and finally decided that the Focusrite was the best option, (over and presonus or m-audio or others out there). I have had the unit for only a few weeks and have had the time to do a handful of samples with it and holy cow! This things does not dissapoint in any way.

Now for years I have been using a Lexicon Omega. Dont laugh, but it served me well for what I do. Before selling it on craiglist, I took the time to record some samples of different sources and save them. Upon receiving the Focusrite, I couldnt beleive my eyes when I opened it up. All metal chassis, solid build, good feeling knobs, I mean, this thing is nice to look at.

Sound quality did not let me down. I recorded more samples to AB with my original Lexicon recordings and couldnt believe my ears. The new found clarity and tone was amazing. I only gave it a 9 because I know there are better out there, just not for the money.

The pres are transparent and gained well, not too hot and not too low but juuuuust right. The line ins are equally consistent and sound great.

The included software monitoring mixer worked flawlessly and offers a plethera of monitoring options that make this a fun unit to use. It also functions seamlessly with my Cubase DAW and I'm sure would be bug free with other software as well.

I hope this helps someone else make their decision when looking to make the dive into a higher quality interface without starving to do so.

25th February 2013

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by metoo

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

The Focusrite 24 DSP is very capable interface. Really includes most of the things you would want in any IO - specifically if you are looking for something more than just a simple "2-input", but less than a full fledged professional unit.

Sound quality is superb - with good A/D convertors that are very low noise.

I upgraded from a 16-bit interface, and the sound difference was obvious.

A quick list of Pros / Cons:

  • 16 Inputs / 8 Outputs
  • Front panel knobs for both headphones AND for output monitors.
  • True input meter for first 4 channels (instead of just a peak led, you actually get to see levels)
  • VRM - allows you to spot-check mixes by simulating a bevy of different speakers and listening environments
  • Very configurable routing options - can even create 'loopbacks' so for instance you could record youtube audio output and route that to an input into your DAW.

Cons:
  • The included effects are nice and do a good job. But none are of truly stellar quality. They are more like the effects you would find in entry level DAW.
  • VRM - the only "Con" here is that it doesn't seem to work in all versions of Mountain Lion - there seems to be some incompatibility with specific CPU chipsets, as on some machines it produces nothing but horrible distortion when activated. The devs evidently know about this, but as of now (Feb 2013), a fix still hasn't been released. This is unfortunate since without the VRM, I could've saved $100 and just bought the regular Focusrite 24 model instead.

All in all its a quality IO, with the legendary Focusrite pre-amp sound quality. They just need to sort out their OS compatibility issues to wind up with a truly stellar product.

13th April 2014

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by chinesewhiteman

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

The Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP is a 14x8 firewire audio interface in a 1U/half-rack format. It features 4 analog inputs(2 preamps and 2 line in), 6 analog outputs, 2 headphone amps, MIDI and spdif I/O, and 8 channels of ADAT in(no out). Not to crazy compared to most any other interface, but what is really special is the EQ and compression on the preamp channels and DSP powered software mixer. It also has Focusrite's VRM headphone monitoring system built in (which I never used). That's a lot of bells and whistles in a compact and affordable package. While features are nice, the bottom line with an audio interface is "how does it sound?" I'd say the AD/DA conversion is as one should expect at this price. This is low end, so let that be a disclaimer to this review. (I should also mention recording is not my profession. I am however quite serious about recording and have a humble home studio that gets a good amount of use outside of my 40/week)

That said the preamps are just ok, as IMO any built in interface pres's sub $500 are. I originally leaned toward the Focusrite because of their reputation, which rides on the Forte and ISA series, which the preamps in the Saffire line are NOT. I also had a Octopre mk2. The Saffire preamps are just bland. Not a lot of gain so you have to run the pots pretty high and they start to get a bit noisy. I was also swayed by the EQ and compression feature, which though they are nothing special, they do combine to make a fairly decent chain. The EQ in particular I found very useful. So all in all I'd say the "Saffire Pro 24 DSP" has an edge over most of it's competition at this price point.

Everything else about the unit is solid. While the build quality is nothing to get excited about, after 3 years it's as good as new. I've had no issues on my 1st gen Mac Pro. The unit is stable, never a failure. Did get cracks and pops running bus powered, but using the power supply it's rock solid. I like the software, it's nice and simple. Having two headphone amps is fabulous and should not be understated considering the demographic of this league of interface. I'm sure many, as I, will be tracking in close enough quarters that monitors will need to be muted when using mics.

19th September 2015

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by PistolP

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.25
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

I bought it when I was going overseas and wanted to have a mobile rig. I owned it for a year and replaced it with RME Babayface. I felt the downgrade I made from a more expensive interface really had an impact on the listening experience and the quality of my work. The DA conversion was a bit off in the lower range of the frequency spectrum - the kick (and bass in general) started sounding inaccurate and wrong. The DSP (Virtual Monitoring and DSP effects) died suddenly after 6 months of use. I knew Focusrite from before for making great sounding preamps but felt they had sold out by producing this low end of [email protected]

27th January 2016

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 by acmeman

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

I started off back in 2004 with Motu which served me well for years then I had a Apogee Duet for a few years. 3 years ago I bought this unit.

It has been a great interface, less coloured than my previous 2. I record mainly bass guitar and it works flawlessly with a DI or direct out of an amp. I don't use the EQ or Comp settings, though I can see it as usefully for a live band set up.

Input 1 is used for a shure beta58 and skype
Input 2 is for bass

CONS:

1) Not with Focusrite but the latest iMacs that don't support firewire. A Belkin thunderbolt hub solved that problem.

2) Since Yosemite the software always crashes on boot up but it's stable after reopening.

Apart from that I would highly recommend it for a 2 channel interface thats easy to use (once you get your head around the routing) and great bang for the buck.

 

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