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Focusrite Saffire LE

Focusrite’s new Saffire LE 24-bit/96kHz FireWire audio interface offers six inputs (including two Focusrite preamps, two ¼-inch balanced line inputs and two S/PDIF inputs) and eight outputs (including six ¼-inch balanced analog outputs and S/PDIF output) with comprehensive monitoring and I/O control options.

Although Saffire LE lacks the onboard DSP of the original Saffire, it comes bundled with the same compression, reverb, amp modeling and EQ VST/Audio Units plug-ins. All four plug-ins offer both template and advanced modes for EQ and compression, as well as save and paste functionality.

Saffire LE is bundled with other software titles, including FXpansion’s BFD ultralite, a demo version of FXpansion’s GURU, Novation’s B-Station soft synth and Ableton Live 5 Lite (a Focusrite edition). It also comes with 470 MB of royalty-free loops and samples from Loopmasters, compiled exclusively for Focusrite.

The accompanying SaffireControl LE software controls input and output levels and monitoring solutions. Also provided are one-click solutions to switch between tracking and soundcard setups, as well as switches for selecting MIDI Thru and AC3 Thru, which allows an AC3 or DTS signal to be transmitted using the S/PDIF output. The hardware also features tactile controls, including input level, phantom power switch and indicator, and independent, simultaneous monitor level control for the artist and engineer.

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