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Please Help... Gain settings for ISA one and Liquid Saffire 56.
Old 12th March 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Please Help... Gain settings for ISA one and Liquid Saffire 56.

I have a quick question and I haven't found the answer online. I have a focusrite ISA one preamp without the digital converter, and I have a focusrite liquid saffire 56. I am running my ISA xlr output to a xlr input on the saffire 56. Currently I have it plugged into the 1st input (the liquid pre), with the intentions to use it "flat" to still get the ISA's effect. I am using xlr to xlr because I do not have a xlr to trs yet. My question.... should I use a combination of gain between the 2, or should I keep the saffire's gain to 0 and just use the gain on the ISA?
Old 12th March 2014
  #2
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Also... Do I have to use the phantom power on both?
Old 12th March 2014
  #3
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adrianww's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Don't use phantom power on both! Only the device that is connected to the mic should be providing phantom. If you send phantom power from the Saffire to the ISA, you could risk damage to the ISA's output stage.

While you've only got that XLR cable, keep the Saffire's gain at 0, but get that XLR to TRS cable soon as you can. The output from the ISA should be going to the line input (TRS) not the mic input.
Old 12th March 2014
  #4
Here for the gear
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Adrian.. I appreciate your response. I will be getting the cable today.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #5
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adrianww's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by redprint โžก๏ธ
Adrian.. I appreciate your response. I will be getting the cable today.
No problem - you're welcome.

The thing to remember is that if you're connecting to the XLR input on the back of the Saffire, you're passing through the mic pre at its fullest (so to speak), so even with the gain knob set to 0, the Saffire will still be adding at least 13dB of gain to the signal. So depending on the level coming from the ISA, you could run into problems with things being too hot when you're recording.

If you connect to the line input (the TRS connector), you're still passing through the same variable gain circuit that the mic pre uses, but it covers a gain range from -10 to +36dB so you can set the input for unity (0dB) gain and have all your gain control happening in the ISA.

The only possible downside to connecting via the line input is that the Liquid Pre emulations only work on the mic input. However, to be honest, with something like an ISA, I wouldn't really think about passing it through some other preamp emulation - it's a nice clean preamp in its own right and it makes most sense to use it for what it is. (In fact, if it were me, I'd probably just connect it to the line input on one of the standard pres, rather than the Liquid Pre line input but it doesn't really matter either way.)

In any case, XLR-TRS into one of the line inputs is the way to go. Once you've got it connected like that, you can adjust the gain knob on the Saffire to get unity gain, so that the level coming out of your ISA is the level that you see in your DAW. I've tested my LS56 and the unity point is usually somewhere around the middle of the dial (in the 5-7 range if I remember rightly). That isn't too surprising when you bear in the mind that the gain controls are not linear (which is a fairly common occurrence in a lot of interfaces).
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