8 New Channels: Slaving an M-Audio ProFire 2626 to a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40

Using the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 with M-Audio 2626 as Slave

If you have an old micpreamp / soundcard which no longer has driver updates – or is Firewire 400, or which Mac updates have rendered obsolete, here’s an idea that worked for me.

An ADAT-slaved micpreamp  will allow you to use your up-to-date 8 channel micpre’s Firewire connection to add a further 8 analogue inputs which work just as well as they ever did back when the old system was working.

But it’s a connectivity hassle, which I hope this blog can help clarify for you.  I used my new Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 with its Firewire 800 (through a Thunderbolt converter) with up-to-date drivers, as the master.  My redundant M-AUdio Profire 2626 is the slave.  It works into a Yosemite Macbook Air, and Logic X.

ADAT connects the Saffire to the M-Audio with two ADAT ‘light’ cables.

You have to configure the M-Audio to match with Saffire as the host: at 44.1Hz, clock by ADAT.

I configured the Saffire MixControl mixer as clock by ADAT, with ADAT Inputs as Inputs 9 to 16.

NOTE: Despite hearing the M-Audio inputs from the headphone outputs on the Saffire, I couldn’t get them to show up on my DAW (Logic X). This caused me lots of headache, until I re-read the manual very closely.  To discover that the Saffire hardware inputs are hard-wired directly to the DAW inputs.

As you’d expect, Analogue inputs 1-8 go to DAW inputs 1-8.  But S/SPDIF inputs 1-2 go to DAW inputs 9-10, which means that:

ADAT inputs 1-8 go to DAW inputs 11-20

  • therefore DAW inputs 11 to 20 must be selected for mic/instrument inputs 9 to 16.

Loop Back inputs go to DAW inputs 19-20

And it works beautifully!  Both micpre’s sound great, and I’ve reclaimed my old M-Audio, which had been abandoned with much irritation when they stopped driver upgrades, and I bought a new Mac which couldn’t operate the M-Audio without crashing.

I’m also transferring back to a PC (having had enough of Mac upgrades), so this afternoon’s frustration was in a very good cause. I will be able to use my new 8+8 = 16 interface with Cubase Pro 9, which I’m looking forward to getting back into.

Subscribe, and I’ll let you know how it all goes. I may also make a short video to show you the screen options.

Postscript:

I’ve now managed to hook this up with my new music PC into Cubase 9.  It works just fine – 18 lovely mic preamps with lots of options for monitoring sends etc.

There’s usual hassle with the soundcard software. But that’s nothing that several hours  of frustration and re-reading the user manual can’t solve!!

Hugh McManners

Oxford-based singer-songwriter and guitarist, with a love of the blues, psychedelic rock and the poetry of song. Past lives in Australia and the British Army; and a forty-year career as a writer.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Tyler Pawlak says:

    Hugh,

    Man are you a savior.

    Just picked up a Focusrite Pro 40 after rendering my Profire2626 obsolete, by upgrading to a maxed out 2015 27″ iMac with current os (High Sierra) & (Logic Pro X 10.4)

    Came across you article after doing a search for the possibility of doing this exact thing instead of boxing up the profire to never be seen again.

    I definitely want to try and see if I can get this working. An extra 8 channels would be awesome for live performances as well as drum tracking.

    It would be a great help if you could send some screen grabs of the channel settings/options. If thats possible.

    Also if you could explain how you ran the optical cables between interfaces. I/O – A/B…

    Thanks again for your help. This is awesome news.

    -Tyler

    • Hugh McManners says:

      Hi Tyler,

      I laid out all the details in the blog, with some care as I didn’t even know if it would work, and it was totally trial and error. Just do exactly what I say in the blog. I also recommend reading both manuals very carefully.

      Good luck,

      Hugh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *