Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56  

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Liquid Saffire 56 is Focusrite's flagship 2U multichannel FireWire audio interface. Liquid technology combines with Saffire PRO FireWire interfacing to deliver a host of authentic preamp flavors, seam... Read More

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Liquid Saffire 56 is Focusrite's flagship 2U multichannel FireWire audio interface. Liquid technology combines with Saffire PRO FireWire interfacing to deliver a host of authentic preamp flavors, seamless software integration, excellent routing flexibility and future-proof, rock-solid driver stability.

In addition to six of Focusrite's legendary mic pres, two of Liquid Saffire 56's preamps use the third generation of Focusrite's Liquid Preamp, providing the choice of ten different preamp emulations. These include emulations based on the Neve 1073, the Pultec MB-1, Telefunken V72 and seven more. A harmonics dial on each Liquid preamp 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 preamp variety; sonic integrity is also guaranteed throughout. Both the Liquid and Saffire preamps ensure low noise and distortion; while quality digital conversion and JetPLL jitter elimination technology ensure pristine audio quality as your audio flows between the analog and digital domains.

Alongside the two Liquid- and six Saffire preamps, are a host of options; 10 analog outputs, 16 channels of ADAT, stereo SPDIF, MIDI, 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 utilize 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 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 sub mixes 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 during boot-up or shut down.

Main Features

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

Six High Quality Award-winning Focusrite Pre-amps

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

High Quality 24-bit/192kHz FireWire Interface
Professional digital conversion and JetPLL jitter elimination technology; pristine audio quality and reliable synchronization are guaranteed.

Total count of 28 Inputs and 28 outputs
A host of 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 customized 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 setup 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.

The Focusrite Preamp

Focusrite has, over the past decade, built a reputation as the market leader for high quality recording equipment, with is mic pre technology as the cornerstone of that enviable reputation. The original mic pre, as featured in the early Focusrite Forte console, used rotary-switched gain controls and high quality audio transformers. This mic pre is still used by many of the industries greatest producers and is the sound of countless hit records. Today, Focusrite design equipment for a far greater audience, from professionals to amateur enthusiasts, all with varying budgets.

As with the Red and ISA ranges, the mic pre technology found in the Platinum and Saffire range is designed to the highest possible standards. They uphold the same wide bandwidth philosophy featured in the original Forte console, back in 1989. All Focusrite mic-pres feature custom components, which have undergone an intense testing and qualification process. With the facts and figures in, Focusrite designs then have to pass the essential listening stage. Any design can measure well on the test bench but only a great design can be qualified in the studio. The FET-based design in the Saffire range is no exception and ensures the same low noise and distortion performance as earlier transformer-based designs. It delivers clarity without coloration and exhibits the signature transparency for which Focusrite have become famous.

Liquid Pre Technology

The Liquid Saffire 56 draws on the breakthrough technology deployed in the revered Liquid Channel and Liquid 4PRE. It uses a 3rd Generation Liquid preamp as the motor for pres 1 and 2, which as well as a flat setting include the emulations listed below.

Rather than creating a similar sound to vintage units, as with modeling devices, Liquid Technology samples their sonic behavior. This is achieved through Dynamic Convolution; the application of a unique, level-dependant set of responses to an audio signal. These measured responses, sampled at numerous levels and with every possible setting combination, are applied to the input stream on a sample-by-sample basis for accurate emulation.

**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 our FireWire interfaces. All Saffire FireWire and Thunderbolt-compatible interfaces now come bundled with Focusrite's Midnight plug-in suite for free upon registration - a $99 value. The Midnight plug-in suite models two of the most iconic Focusrite modules of all time - the ISA110 equaliser and ISA130 compressor - and gives them elegant, functional on-screen front panels for easy control.

Note: Includes the Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-In Suite (AAX/AU/VST) upon registration of interface. Accurately modeled on the classic Red 2 EQ and Red 3 Compressor, the Red plug-ins let you exploit the sound of the hardware originals, conveniently from within Pro Tools (10 and above) and other audio software.

  • Two Liquid preamps
  • Six high-quality award-winning Focusrite preamps
  • high-quality 24-bit/192kHz Firewire interface
  • Total I/O count of 28 inputs and 28 outputs
  • Two separate headphone busses
  • Saffire Mix Control zero-latency DSP mixer/router
  • System Requirements
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista
    CPU/Clock: Athlon 900MHz or higher (1.5 GHz or higher recommended)
    Memory (RAM):512 MB (more recommended)

    Apple Mac:
    Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4.x or later
    CPU/Clock: PowerPC G4/Dual 1 GHZ or faster or any Intel-based Mac
    Memory (RAM): 512 MB (more recommended)

    Performance Specifications:
    Microphone Inputs:
    Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
    THD+N: 0.001% (measured at 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)
    Noise: EIN > 125dB (128dB analog to digital) (measured at 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm termination (20Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)

    Line Inputs:
    Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
    THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)
    Noise: -90dBu (22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)

    Instrument Inputs:
    Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
    THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)
    Noise: -90dBu (22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)

    Instrument Inputs:
    Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
    THD+N: 0.004% (measured with 0dBu input and 20Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)
    Noise: -87dBu (20Hz/22kHz band-pass filter)

    Conversion performance:
    Dynamic Range = 110dB (A-weighted)
    Clock jitter < 250 picoseconds
    THD+N AMPL = -109dBFS A-weighted

    Front and Rear Connectivity:
    Analog channel inputs (inputs 1-8)
    XLR Mic inputs 1-8 on rear panel
    1/4" TRS line inputs 1-8 on rear panel
    Instrument inputs on channels 3 and 4 (separate front-panel 1/4" 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.

    Analog Outputs:
    Line level 10 x 1/4" TRS Jack

    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)

    MIDI I/O:
    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 x 6-pin FireWire sockets
    2 standard 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors: In and out
    IEC mains power input connector

    Weight: 5kg/11 Ib.
    Dimensions: 350mm / 13.8" (W) x 90mm / 3.6" (H) x 235mm /9.3" (D)

All Focusrite products are built to the highest standards and should provide reliable performance for many years, subject to reasonable care, use, transportation and storage.

In the event of a Manufacturing Defect becoming evident within 12 months from date of purchase Focusrite undertakes that the product will be repaired or replaced free of charge if the product is returned to the authorised dealer from whom it was purchased. In these circumstances, or if you need an out-of-warranty repair to your Focusrite product, please contact your local Focusrite distributor in your country of residence or business : Find your local distributor here and you will be advised of the correct return procedure.

Alternatively contact the Focusrite Reseller from which you purchased the product. If you purchase a Focusrite product outside your country of residence or business you will not be entitled to ask your local Focusrite Distributor to honour this Limited Warranty, although you may request a chargeable repair.

Alternatively, the unit may be returned at your cost to the dealer you purchased the unit from so that they can organise a Warranty repair with their Focusrite Distributor.

This Warranty does not include cost of shipping to and from the authorised dealer from whom it was purchased. In every case it will be necessary to provide the original invoice or store receipt to accompany the defective product to the supplying dealer. This Limited Warranty is offered solely to the first purchaser of the product from an Authorised Focusrite Reseller (defined as a reseller which has purchased the Product directly from Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. in the UK or its Authorised Distributors outside the U.K,) and is not transferable.

This Warranty is in addition to your Statutory Rights in the country of purchase.

Please note: A Manufacturing Defect is defined as a defect in the performance of the product which may be expected from a reasonable interpretation of the published description and performance specifications as published by Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. This does not include damage caused by post-purchase transportation, storage or careless handling, nor damage caused by misuse.

A significant proportion of products returned under Warranty (which are very few in number compared to numbers sold) are found not to exhibit any fault at all. Please check that the mains voltage is correctly set for your local supply and that your connecting cables are in good order and correctly connected.

If in doubt about the product functions please read the user guide and if necessary contact your dealer for advice before returning the product to the supplying dealer. You can also contact the Focusrite Tech Support team at the Focusrite Answerbase for general advice.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FocusriteLiquid Saffire 56

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 7 customers

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I bought mine 4 years ago and I would replace it if needed


from Big Lake,MN

About Me Experienced


  • Clear Sound
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    I've had mine 4 years and came here purposely to make a good comment about this product. This product let me plug in a second computer output which is my backup by means of a video/audio selector box into which I also have connected my TV out which is also my property surveillance monitor, and a tuner for my radio all into one set of inputs 7,8. Inputs 3456 are the sub outs on my Mackie SR24/4 which gives me 24 analog inputs. I use the Liquid 1,2 inputs for mikes one on guitar amp and one vocal mike. My main comp comes through the DAW I'm using Sonar Platinum and for my outputs 1,2 to Yamaha montors3,4 out to a reciever as a sacond set of monitors 5,6 out to the house P.A. for all around and outdoor listening 7,8 outputs to a headphone amp and outputs 9,10 to the Mackie for live sound since it is connected to the stage sound or(studio stage). In other words I have all I need in this one unit to do everything I want to do. I love it. If there is a con it would be I was using Windows 7 Pro and updated to Win 10 which went o.k. but when I undated the Mix control software for the Liquid 56 from 3.2 to 3.7 I lost sound and had to go back to Win 7. All is well

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    Nice Unit

    By Donald

    from Perkasie, PA

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    I recently built a home studio in my barn and wanted an AI with lots of I/O to handle numerous mics and instruments (I have a band that often plays together in the studio) and to connect to three sets of monitors and a headphone amp. I also bought the OctoPre MkII to handle inputs from a drum kit - it's connected via ADAT and an optical cable. It's surprising how quickly you can fill up a lot of I/O, but the Saffire 56 and OctoPre is just about right for me and can handle 16 mic and/or line analog inputs at any one time. I've only been using it for a couple of weeks and so far find that it works just as I had hoped it would. The preamps perform well. The two "liquid" mic preamps have several options to emulate various preamps and I'm still trying to discern the differences in their sounds. Not sure if that feature adds much value, but someone with a more discerning ear than mine might find that it does. I like the controls, which are logically laid out and relatively easy to see. The unit looks and feels solid, but is not too heavy. The MixControl software that comes with the Saffire is useful for monitoring purposes and works seamlessly with Logic Pro X. You don't necessarily have to use it except that, as far as I've been able to figure out, you need it to designate whether you have a line or a mic plugged into each input. I can't speak to the reliability of the unit yet, but thus far it has performed flawlessly and I'm very happy with it.

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    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Serious Gear for a reasonable Price !

    By Matthew Felix

    from Orange County, CA

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    Ive own the 56 for a couple of months now Simply a must have if your serious about Pro Recording !

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


    Great pres and quality

    By Juan

    from Colombia

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    I bought my liquid saffire a year ago and i dont have any problem with it. It has great pres, 8 analog inputs and a lot of digital inputs and it sound and product quality its terrific. Another great thing its that in this moment i have two monitors, but in future i can buy more monitors and have 7.1 sound system. So its a great product with a lot of flexibility.

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    (21 of 23 customers found this review helpful)


    Its the best option

    By William Mcknight

    from Nashville TN

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    Okay I have owned a 003 rack and a apogee duet (same converters as its big brother ensemble). So when I tell you that the saffire 56 is a better value than the rest, I know what im talking about. So lets compare 003 I really only had it because I wanted to run protools. But whith my switch to logic and PT9 being released there is no need for it. The sound quality was okay, but i didnt particularly care for the sound of the pres The apogee Duet is amazing in sound quality but for $500 bucks it doesnt have enough i/o. You could drop 2 stacks on its bigger brother but we are in hard economic times and I need to get the most for my money, and most of the pricing of apogee is for the name yes they have great a/d/a conversion but wow that price is steep. The saffire how ever sounds great uses the same A/D/A chip as the apogees up above (different circutry design though) so the loss in conversion is not a great gapping hole. However the saffire has a ace up its sleeve its called liquid technology, and with it you can explore different pres. Plus its focusrite a company known for its mic pres. So you are getting great pres and way above average conversion. This thing is the absolute biggest bang for your buck in this the age of the interface.

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    (12 of 22 customers found this review helpful)


    this is the man

    By carlos

    from Maracaibo Zulia

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    i bought The Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 Multi-Channel Firewire Audio Interface and is a 2U size 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.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (10 of 17 customers found this review helpful)



    By Nikko

    from Fernley,NV

    Comments about Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56:

    This thing is insaine. With line in compression it's very handy for electronic music. Very excelent sound and nice headphone pre-amps. This unit is for the win.

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