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How well do focusrite saffire pres "stack", are they the same pres on the "octopre"?
Old 12th September 2011
Gear Nut

How well do focusrite saffire pres "stack", are they the same pres on the "octopre"?

The title says it all.
I know some cheaper conversion boxes cut corners on their pres. They might sound awesome on their own, but as soon as you track 10-16 channels on the same pres things slowly become distant, dark, brittle and muddy.

Does anyone out there know how well the "Saffire" pres stack on eachother, and if the pres found in the "octopre" are the same pres in the Saffire? (save the 2 liquid pres, of course)
Old 12th September 2011
Gear Addict
Capashitor's Avatar
when you stack apples in an apple pie, it still tastes like apple, no matter how you fry them beforehand.

I'm not sure what I'm saying really applies to audio. Nevertheless, I once used 12 of my saffire pre's on a drum record and couldnt hear any "stacking" effect. I think the stacking theory is like 192kHz and oxygen free atomic clocks.
Old 12th September 2011
Lives for gear
ears2thesky's Avatar
The pres in the current Octopre are of the Saffire range. The older silver-faced Octpres are of the Platinum range. They both sound good for the money, and I've done many projects using both with no detrimental "stacking" effect (most songs used 20-60 tracks).
That being said--how the tracks are processed probably has as much (or more) to do with good cohesion as the tonality of the pres.
Old 12th September 2011
Gear Nut

Thanks for replying Capa****or.

I def notice a "stacking" effect on consumer rate pres. I truly believe this is one of the things that will separate the high end gear from the consumer rate stuff.

If I only have access to a single breakout box (like a 002), I try to keep my projects as "old school" and simple as possible. I'll hook up a live feeling session by cutting down on mikes and inputs, even if it's multi-tracked. This will help the tracks retain a fuller color if panned and attenuated properly.

High end preamps totally make a difference (though you need good mikes too). I will stack to no end with quality pres, and absolutely love going to town on experimental ideas and microphone placement.

This is why I ask about the focusrite saffire/octopre. I've got a bunch of LaChapell/Blue/Telefunken Tube remake/API preamps coming in the mail and I want to know if I can use the focusrite as my workhorse. I plan to use the 14 focusrite pres on "meat and veggies" during bedtracks and then use all the funky colors during multi-tracking sessions. Sometimes I like mixing things up for the skins during bed sessions too. ie: LaChapell + Blue on snare, API on kik, Telefunken Tube Remake on Rooms. I want to know if I can get away with using the saffire/liquid/octopres on my toms/cymbals/extra rooms/Rhythm instruments. You can see what I mean by "workhorse" for bed tracking sessions.

Anyone had any experience using the units in "stacked" sessions beside other studio pres?
Old 12th September 2011
Gear Nut

Hi ears2thesky,

Thanks for chiming in.

I've often wondered the same thing myself. Perhaps the "color" has more to do with the sound of the converters and the ultimate delivery of final signal. It would make sense as to why a lot of the cheaper breakout boxes get a lot of different "colors" even though they all use the same cheap chinese plastic parts. haha. This is where my "stacking" theory comes into play.

In any event, it's good to know the focusrite A/D is getting upvotes for "unstacked coloration". Any one else want to chime in?
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