Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

With 18x20 simultaneous I/O and 8 Focusrite mic preamps with switchable AIR, this rack-mount USB audio interface belongs at the heart of your recording rig.

Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 FireWire Audio Interface

No longer available at zZounds
With cutting-edge Liquid Sound capabilities and JetPLL jitter-elimination technology, this interface gives your studio a total of 28 inputs and 28 outputs.

Digital and analog meet in the middle with the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56, a powerful Liquid technology-driven audio interface with a cool selection of both revered Focusrite microphone preamplifiers and emulated preamps alike, plus a massive load of I/O. With 28 ins and 28 outs to unite your gear, Focusrite's flagship 2U multichannel FireWire audio interface is more than capable of becoming the center of your recording studio. Saffire Mix Control DSP mixing, a suite of Focusrite VST/AU plug-ins, easy monitoring solutions, JetPLL jitter elimination technology, rock-solid conversion, zero latency, and front-panel 5-LED metering are icing on the cake.

Learn more about the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

Preamp Variety

More than enough mic pres are onboard to shape your sound. In addition to six legendary Focusrite preamps, the Liquid Saffire 56 boasts two of Focusrite's famed mic preamps driven by flexible analog/DSP Liquid technology. Available on the first two channels, these Liquid preamps effectively emulate ten sought-after preamplifiers, giving you instant access to models based on classic gear such as the API 3124+, Avalon VT-737SP, Focusrite Red 1 Quad, Helios Console preamplifier, Manley SLAM!, Millenia HV-3D 8, Neve 1073, Pultec MB-1, Telefunken V72, and Universal Audio M610.

There is even an eleventh "flat" option, as well as a handy harmonics dial on each Liquid preamp. Using the harmonics dial, you can account for the variance in vintage originals of the same read more model, or alternatively, use levels of 2nd, 3rd, and 5th harmonic distortion to get a unique sound.

All microphone preamps on this 192 kHz/24-bit FireWire interface ensure low noise and low distortion, and pristine audio quality is further guaranteed by high-end digital conversion and JetPLL jitter elimination technology.

28 Ins and 28 Outs

How much I/O do you really need? For those who can never have enough connectivity options, the Liquid Saffire 56 provides 10 analog outputs, 16 channels of ADAT I/O, stereo S/PDIF I/O, MIDI I/O, Word-Clock I/O, and 2 virtual "loopback" inputs for routing digital audio between software applications -- very useful for capturing audio playback within your computer. Like other Focusrite FireWire interfaces, the Liquid Saffire 56 is compatible with Thunderbolt (using a FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter).

Mic, Line, and Instrument inputs have independent connectors, where the input type for each channel is selectable via custom control software. Since all the inputs can remain permanently connected, this audio interface is always ready for whatever your recording session demands. Word Clock I/O via BNC connectors allows the Liquid Saffire 56 to act as either a master clock for your studio, or as a slave to an existing clock.

On every channel, you have independent phantom power and a high-pass filter that are switchable from the front panel. What's more, the two instrument channels feature -9 dB pads for additional headroom. So that you can assess your levels at a glance, the Liquid Saffire 56 also offers front-panel 5-LED metering for all inputs, including ADAT and S/PDIF.

Onboard DSP Mixing/Routing

The included Saffire Mix Control 18x16 DSP mixer/router software features zero-latency performance and impressive output routing and monitoring. In addition, Saffire Mix Control conveniently gives Liquid Saffire 56 users one-click setup solutions; a clear and concise mixing layout; large onscreen metering for inputs, outputs, and submixes; and direct control over your choice of liquid emulation.

Easy Monitoring Solutions

From the front panel, you can access two independent headphone buses with their own level controls, which make it easy for you and a friend to receive and control fully independent and customizable monitor mixes. The audio interface also features a dedicated stereo monitor mix output with pads for improved sound quality when connected to active monitor speakers, and an "anti-thump" circuit designed to protect your monitor speakers from any spikes that may occur when turning the unit on or off.

Suite of Focusrite Plug-Ins

Need effects? No problem -- the Liquid Saffire 56 comes with Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating, and EQ VST/AU plug-ins.


- 28-in/28-out, 192 kHz/24-bit FireWire audio interface
- 2 Focusrite Liquid mic preamplifiers with 10 classic preamp emulations, with an eleventh "flat" option
- Emulations based on gear by API, Avalon, Focusrite, Helios, Manley, Millenia, Neve, Pultec, Telefunken, and Universal Audio
- 6 Additional Focusrite preamplifiers
- Separate line inputs on every channel
- Loopback function for routing audio between applications
- JetPLL jitter elimination technology
- Suite of Focusrite VST/AU plug-ins, including Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins
- 2 Separate headphone buses with independent controls
- Saffire Mix Control 18x16 DSP mixer/router software included
- Front-panel 5-LED metering for at-a-glance level status
- 2 Banks of ADAT I/O
- Word Clock I/O
- 10 Line Outputs -- 2 for monitors with "Anti-thump" circuit
- 2 FireWire ports
- Compatible with Thunderbolt
- Mac/PC compatible
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We always quote 'real world' performance figures (measured to the AES17 standard). Some companies choose to quote chipset performance, which is misleading, and here's why.

Microphone Inputs:
- Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 109dB
- SNR (A-weighted): -109dB
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
- THD+N: 0.001% (measured at 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
- Noise: EIN > 125dB (128dB analogue to digital) (measured at 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm termination (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
- Maximum level (A-weighted): 8dBu at 1%

Line Inputs:
- Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 109dB
- SNR (A-weighted): -109dB
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
- THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
- Noise: -90dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
- Maximum level (A-weighted): 28.5dBu at 1%

Instrument Inputs:
- - Frequency Response 20Hz-20KHz +/- 0.1dB
- Maximum Input Level min gain no pad +8dBu
- Maximum Input Level max gain no pad -42dBu
- THD+N, -1dBFS, min gain, no pad < 0.0015%
- SNR 109dB "A"
- DNR 109dB "A"
- Input Impedance > 1MOhm
- X-talk < -100dB
- Adjustable Gain > 50dB
- Pad Attenuation 10dB

Headphone Outputs:
- Frequency Response 20Hz-20KHz +/- 0.1dB
- SNR 109dB "A"
- DNR 109dB "A"
- Maximum Output into 32R +12.4dBu (+10.2dBV)
- Power into 32R 250mW
- Output Impedance < 7Ohms
- Load Impedance > 24Ohms

Line level Outputs:
- Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 108dB
- SNR (A-weighted): -108dB
- THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
- Maximum level (A-weighted): 15.7dBu at 0.883%

Additional Conversion Performance:
- Clock jitter < 250 picoseconds
- THD+N AMPL (A-weighted)= -109dBFS

Analogue Channel Inputs (Inputs 1-8):
- Mic inputs 1-8 on rear XLR's.
- Line inputs 1-8 on rear 1/4 in. TRS.
- Instrument inputs on channels 3 and 4 (separate front panel 1/4 in. TRS).

- Individual switchable High Pass Filter on all inputs.
- Phase switch on inputs 3, 5 and 7.
- Input Pad on inputs 3 and 4 = -10dB.

Analogue Outputs:
- Line level 10 x 1/4 in. TRS Jack.

Notes: Outputs Monitor 1 and 2 have anti-thump protection circuitry.

Digital I/O:
- SPDIF input and output (RCA phono) on rear panel, (24-bit, 44.1 - 192kHz),
output transformer isolated.
- Optional AES output mode with professional channel status and voltage levels
on SPDIF output (isolated and balanced). [Currently not implemented, a future update will include this feature].
- 2 x ADAT In / Out 16 channels (44.1 / 48kHz), 8 channels S-MUX (88.2 / 96kHz),
4 channels S-MUXII (176.4 / 192kHz).
- ADAT Input and Output 2 can be re-configured to be optical SPDIF input /
output via control panel.
- BNC Word clock input and output (75 ohms).

- 1 in / 1 out (16 channels) on rear panel.

Headphone monitoring:
- 2 x 1/4" TRS Jack on front panel (mirrors outputs 7-8 and 9-10).
NOTE: These are high power headphone drivers.

Other I/O:
- 2 6-pin FireWire sockets
- 2 Standard 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors: In and Out
- IEC mains power input connector

Weight and Dims:
- 5kg / 11 lbs
- 350mm / 13.8 in. (W) x 90mm / 3.6 in. (H) x 235mm /9.3 in. (D)

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 310-322-5500

Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 Interface

Liquid Saffire 56 is Focusrite's flagship 2U multi-channel FireWire audio interface. Liquid technology combines with Saffire Pro FireWire interfacing to deliver a host of authentic pre-amp flavours, seamless software integration, excellent routing flexibility and future-proof, rock-solid driver stability.

In addition to six of Focusrite's legendary mic-pre's, two of Liquid Saffire 56's pre-amps utilises the third generation of Focusrite's Liquid Pre-amp, providing the choice of ten different pre-amp emulations. These include emulations based on the Neve 1073, the Pultec MB-1, Telefunken V72 and seven more. A harmonics dial on each Liquid pre-amp lets you account for variance in vintage originals of the same model, or use levels of 2nd, 3rd and 5th Harmonic distortion creatively to shape your sound.

Liquid Saffire 56 doesn't just offer pre-amp variety; sonic integrity is also guaranteed throughout. Both the Liquid and Saffire pre-amps ensure low noise and distortion, whilst quality digital conversion and JetPLLTM jitter elimination technology ensure pristine audio quality as your audio flows between the analogue and digital domains.

Alongside the two Liquid- and six Saffire pre-amps, are a host of i/o options; 10 analogue outputs, 16 channels of ADAT i/o, stereo SPDIF i/o, MIDI i/o and 2 virtual 'loopback' inputs for routing digital audio between software applications - ideal for capturing audio playback within your computer. Mic, Line and Instrument inputs all utilise independent connectors, with the input type for each channel selectable via custom control software. Consequently, all the inputs can remain permanently connected, ready for whatever your recording session demands. In addition, word-clock i/o is provided on BNC connectors, allowing Liquid Saffire 56 to act as either a master clock for your studio, or as a slave to an existing clock. Every channel features an independent phantom power and a high pass filter, switchable from the front panel, with the two instrument channels also featuring -9dB pads for additional headroom. Front panel 5-LED metering for all inputs, including ADAT and SPDIF, offers accurate viewing of all levels.

Saffire Mix Control, the zero-latency 18 x 16 DSP Mixer/Router software provided with Liquid Saffire 56 features unparalleled output routing and monitoring. It also provides intuitive one-click set-up solutions, a clear and concise mixing layout, large on-screen metering for inputs, outputs and submixes and control over the choice of liquid emulation.

Two independent headphone buses are provided, each with their own level controls available on the front panel. A dedicated stereo monitor mix output features pads for improved sound quality when connected to active monitor speakers. An 'anti-thump' circuit protects your monitor speakers from spikes when booting up or shutting down the unit.

Two Liquid Pre-amps

The marriage of a hugely flexible analogue front end with cutting-edge dynamic convolution DSP, each Liquid Pre-amp lets you choose from ten different classic pre-amp emulations, with an eleventh 'flat' option.

Six High Quality Award-winning Focusrite Pre-amps

Six award-winning Saffire pre-amps complement two Liquid pre-amps. All eight pre-amps demonstrate the same wide bandwidth philosophy behind the early vintage Focusrite units.

High Quality 24-bit/192kHz FireWire Interface

Professional digital conversion and JetPLLTM jitter elimination technology; pristine audio quality and reliable synchronisation are guaranteed.

Total I/O Count of 28 Inputs and 28 Outputs

A host of i/o options are provided*, including a unique loop-back facility for routing audio between software applications via Saffire Mix Control.

Suite of Focusrite VST/AU plug-ins

Upgrade your standard sequencer effects and bring a touch of class to your session with Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins.

Two separate headphone buses

Two artists can receive independent and fully customised monitor mixes. Each output has an independent level control available on the front panel.

Saffire Mix Control Zero-latency DSP Mixer/Router

Routing flexibility and intuitive one-click set-up solutions; Saffire Mix Control provides an 18 x 16 DSP mixer with excellent output routing and monitoring capabilities.

Front panel 5-LED metering

LED metering for each of the analogue, ADAT1, ADAT2 or S/PDIF inputs offers accurate viewing of levels direct from the front fascia.

All of Focusrite's FireWire interfaces are fully compatible with Thunderbolt using a simple FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter. Focusrite fully supports the use of Thunderbolt with their FireWire interfaces.

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (18 ratings)
Submitted August 5, 2012 by Mark E in Nashport, OH
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I must admit, I am extremely impressed! After 1 full year of using the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56, I am SOLD. At first, I experienced some issues with Firewire compatibility and a computer that was too slow, (NOT A FOCUSRITE ISSUE) once I upgraded and built a new computer to today's expected specs, I was up and running. The only technical issue was latency and driver issues, which after reading and running tests with a well known (Latency Test, 3rd Party Download) I was able to see that drivers running on my computer were spiking the time intervals which affected the Firewire interface and other processes not wanted or necessary in a DAW setup. Long story short... I am using windows 7 professional 64bit with 32gb of ram (tower build was built for around 2K) because I also wanted to do some video editing and graphics. I decided to make custom settings to allow the computer to be Protools10 only at boot with one user login and with only necessary things turned on, I made this username Protools10. For other all other programs I made a separate user account with all things left on. For Protools10 logon I turned off wireless internet, blue tooth and other pesky problems that should be apparent to most users, but not all when using a dedicated system. The results are more pleasing. The round trip latency before the dedicated user account was about from 0.200 to 0.320 max. That's not milliseconds but microseconds (looks like backwards (u.) then s. again (not ms.) The latency read more test software shows range from 0 to 16000 on their measured scale with anything under 0.500 being okay for streaming audio or video. Since that time FOCUSRITE has a new driver out 3.00 for the MixContol and it's made the latency even better and you do not have to use the legacy firewire settings that you once were more depending on to make things the best that they could be as far as latency. After installing the MixControl software 3.00, I noticed with Protools10 running and the Liquid Saffire running the latency had gone down even further to about 0.088 lowest to 0.180 highest. So if my calculations are correct that's still under .25 ms. GREAT NEWS!!! For me and for you if you are looking at the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. Check this link out for update. (AS OF JUNE 2012) Here's a link also to download the DPC LATENCY CHECKER (FREE) if you use it for private personal use and not commercial. Hope this helps so of you on the fence for which device to use. Best Regards, Mark

Musical Background:
28 years, recording engineer, producer, editor
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