New from Focusrite is the Saffire PRO 26.
Quite comparable to the Saffire PRO 40, this could very well be it’s little brother. The Saffire PRO 26 has four preamps, firewire or thunderbolt capability with firewireto thunderbolt adapter, 18 inputs and 8 outputs, and dual headphone outputs. It also has 5 input monitoring capability with the LED meters. An added bonus is that the Saffire PRO 26 can be powered via firewire for complete portability. Software included is Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Midnight and Scarlett suites, Novation Bass Station synthesizer, loopmaster samples.
There are two line inputs on the front panel along with the headphone outputs. The 4 gain controls are also on the front as well as a switch for phantom power, LED meters, monitor volume, and power switch. The back panel has 2 XLR inputs, 2 mic/line inputs, an additional 2 line inputs, 8 analogue outputs, ADAT input, Midi in/out, power supply input, firewire input, and a S/PDIF in/out.
Installation is pretty simple. A CD is not included for the software and does need to be downloaded. Registration was straight forward and software was readily available after registration. There is an included code that you do need to enter in order to download the software. It is recommended that you download and install the software before connecting the Saffire PRO 26 including the Saffire Mix Control. The current version is 3.4. Focusrite also recommends that you connect the Saffire PRO 26 while your PC or MAC is not powered up. Once the Saffire PRO 26 is connected and powered up, be sure to check your audio settings to ensure that they are setup the way you prefer.
As an audio interface, you definitely want to use the Saffire PRO 26 for input, and your options for output can be the same, or the preference of your choosing. You can also connect powered studio monitors to the outputs on the back of the unit and control their volume with the monitor volume knob on the front of the unit. The Saffire Mix Control should be used whenever you are using the PRO 26, even with your DAW. Once it is setup with your preferences, there is really no need to have it running, but Mix Control does give you the option to make many adjustments based on inputs and outputs, as well as controlling the mix. While the included DAW software is Ableton Lite Live, the Saffire PRO 26 also works flawlessly with other DAWs as well, including Logic Pro and Cubase. Recording with the Saffire PRO 26 is a breeze. Connect your instrument to the front panel, or a mic to the back, adjust the gain and you are ready to go.
The Saffire PRO 26 makes recording a breeze and with the portability of the unit, it can be a welcome factor in live recordings too. Check out the Saffire PRO 26 at a music retailer near you.