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.

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.

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