Logic Pro 8 Focusrite Saffire


Hi All,

A friend of mine is contemplating purchasing a Focusrite Saffire to run with Logic Express 8 on a new Macbook Pro. Does anyone have any experience with this interface with Logic on a laptop? Does it work well with Logic? Are the drivers efficient? How is the performance? Any "gotcha's" to be aware of?


I'm using the Saffire Pro with an 24" iMac (2.16 GHz white core 2 duo).

I had some initial difficulties with drivers - it was a pretty new model when I got it 2 years ago.

It runs fine now, but it is a bit finicky about the order you start things: with computer on, turn on Saffire and wait for it to finish the start up routine, start the Saffire Control software, then start Logic.

I tried to run my external hard-drive on Firewire at the same time - had several problems due to the implementation on the iMac (i.e. not the Saffire's fault). I found if the Saffire was connected to the FW 400 port, that the FW 800 port (for the drive) wouldn't work at all. Then I tried daisy-chaining the Saffire and drive on FW 400. It would work fine for a while, then I would start getting nasty glitches in the recording - it didn't matter what order on the FW port.

So, in the end I gave up and just connected the drive to USB - since then, no problems.

Kurrajong NSW Australia
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Well, I have had the new Saffire Pro 40 now for about a month and so far it has been great.
Stable, great sounding and it has a very flexible routing system.
I also like the fact Focusrite seems like a real "Mac-developer", and not treating Mac development as an afterthought.
They also seem to have a good reputation of supporting and fixing their products if any problems appears...
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I have been using a Saffire 3 years now, currently with an Intel iMac 2.4 and a WD external USB drive. I had previously used it on a G4 Mac Mini without problems once the drivers and firmware were updated. I have also used it briefly with a Windows laptop & Reaper. You only need to check for updates on Focusrite's website every now & again at http://www.focusrite.com/support/software/

The option to use plugins when recording is also worth consideration. The Focusrite compressor and EQ are competent enough and easy to use. The guitar amp is quite forgettable. I have used the reverb when mixing tracks - fine if you want a reverb which sounds like a reverb rather than a room, if you know what I mean!

Tony Thompson
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I should add that it hasn't failed with any audio input I've thrown at it, whether male & female vocals, sax, flute, acoustic guitar or all sorts of percussion. The preamps are clean, detailed and have enough power for most purposes. It's also been very easy tracking bass through phantom-powered DI or Sansamp Bass Driver, particularly with the ability to save presets with compression and/or EQ.
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it works fine, i have the original saffire and it's class compliant you just plug it in. The firmware update always appears to fail on mac though so i did it through win/bootcamp, all was good.

funnily enough, i recently invested in an mbox 2 pro and pro tools le 8 just to be compatible with some local studios, and the mbox 2 pro core audio driver on the same mac pro gives me MUCH better performance in logic. At 32 samples, i can take the cpu to the red without popping, with the saffir i have to have it at at least 128.
at 64 which is what i settled on, the mbox behaves like the saffire did at 256.

problem with mbox is the monitor outputs are incredibly soft even with high quality balanced leads, i need to have it over half way to get decent level out of my hr824's, the focusrite output is much better, but even better is using a little presonus monitor station, that thing runs super hot.
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Well, this is a common behaviour with devices using the built-in drivers.
OSX built-in drivers are Generic, they aren't optimized for performance but for compatibility.

Focusrite today writes their own drivers, and I had no problems running my Pro 40 using 32 samples and the minimum of safety buffers on the interface.
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