Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 Overview

The Liquid Saffire 56 from Focusrite is a 28 input and 28 output FireWire digital audio interface featuring 8 microphone preamps, 2 of which utilize the company’s innovative Liquid technology. A comprehensive complement of I/O options is provided, including a loop-back facility for routing audio between software applications via the Saffire Mix Control software.

The Liquid preamps represent a marriage of a flexible analog front end with dynamic convolution DSP, with each preamp providing a choice of 10 different classic pre-amp emulations, with an eleventh “flat” option. Emulations are based on the Neve 1073, the Pultec MB-1, Telefunken V72 amongst others. The other 6 preamps are Saffire based, with all 8 pre-amps demonstrating the same wide bandwidth philosophy that lay behind early vintage Focusrite units.

Front panel 5-LED metering for each analog and digital input offers accurate viewing of levels. Two independent headphone buses are provided, each with its own level control. Additional front panel controls include a main monitor dial with dim and mute switches, all of which fully integrate with customizable software to cover every possible monitoring need, basic stereo to full 7.1 surround.

Saffire Mix Control is a zero-latency DSP mixer/router software application that provides extensive output routing and monitoring, a clear mixing layout, and large on-screen metering for inputs, outputs and sub-mixes. A suite of Focusrite AU/VST plug-ins provide compression, EQ, gating and reverb. Focusrite’s Xcite+ bundle features Ableton Live Lite (for all your production, performance and compositional needs), Novation’s Bass Station soft synthesizer, the Midnight Plug-In Suite, and over 1 GB of royalty-free samples from Loopmasters.

The Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-In Suite (AAX, Audio Units, VST) delivers accurately modeled plug-ins based on the classic Focusrite Red 2 EQ and Red 3 Compressor hardware. The plug-ins allow for conveniently exploring the sound of the hardware originals from within Pro Tools (10 and above), along with other audio software. The software is a free download for new and current owners of the Liquid Saffire 56.

28 input, 28 output FireWire interface
2 Liquid and 6 Focusrite microphone preamps
10 balanced line inputs
Inputs 3 and 4 have additional Hi-Z instrument inputs on the front panel
10 balanced analog outputs
Phantom power on all 8 microphone inputs, individually switchable
Hi-pass filter on all 8 microphone inputs with 3 to 8 featuring phase reverse switches
Coaxial S/PDIF on RCA connectors along with 16 channels of ADAT Lightpipe I/O (S/MUX supported up to 192kHz)
ADAT Lightpipe can be switched to 2 channels of optical S/PDIF
The interface is fully Thunderbolt compatible with the use of a simple FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter (sold separately)
2 independent headphone busses each with its own level control on the front panel provide fully customized monitor mixes
Monitor control panel includes level control and “Dim” and “Mute” switches
Front panel LED metering for each of the analog, ADAT1, ADAT2 or S/PDIF inputs offers accurate viewing of all levels
Zero-latency 18 x 16 DSP mixer/router software for controlling the interface and for setting up every possible monitoring need, from basic stereo to 7.1 surround
Plug-in suite upgrades the standard sequencer effects with Focusrite compression, reverb, gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins
Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-In Suite (AAX, Audio Units, VST) delivers accurately modeled plug-ins based on the classic Focusrite Red 2 EQ and Red 3 Compressor hardware
Midnight EQ 4-band, full-parametric EQ with peaking and shelving plus low- and high-pass filters based on the ISA 110 hardware EQ
Midnight Compressor with compression ratios of 1.5 to infinity, adjustable attack and auto/manual release, based on the ISA 130 hardware compressor


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