The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!!

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Vastman
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2014/01/08 06:26:05 (permalink)

The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!!

The interface hunt is OVER!!!! I've spent the last few hours a/b ing the Audiobx 44VSL and Forte... and remember well my years with the Saffire Pro24dsp...  It's ironic that it died the day I got my DAW rebuild back... which got upgraded when MB/power supply failed.... In both cases, I wouldn't have made the plunge but am glad I was moved to do so...in retrospect.
  
They say ya don't know till you know... and I honestly liked my Pro24dsp, really loved the direct monitoring system of the 44VSL but the elegance, simplicity, and clean sound of the Forte is something I didn't have a clue about until I tried it.  Meets all my needs as a singer/songwriter needing no more than a couple mic/inst/line inputs... with top notch components at half the price of the babyface...
 
The Forte, using some new advanced RedNet Preamps... just friggin rocks and blows the others away...It sounds fantastic on my voice, has the best direct in sound ever on both of my Ibanez basses (1200/sr505) and at least, on my "maschine" I can run it at 1ms/96 for a total roundtrip latency of 3.6ms! (direct monitoring is .5ms). At 48 it's 7.1ms (DM= .9ms) and 44 yields 7.8 (DM=1ms). At 2ms, 96000 SR, it's still a respectable 5.9ms...
 
Using it at it's lowest 1ms setting I got minimal artifacts on a track with heavy cpu gobbling Diva, cinamatic guitars, several vocals, 3 instances of BlueTubes' Tempo Delay, EWQL spaces on send,  and drums... in fact, the nicest artifacts I've ever experienced...a subtle sandy sound on just one passage, totally acceptable for doing guitar work with a sim...no droppouts/hangs or anything... This was my biggest worry... and the direct monitoring is simple, when needed...
 
The Forte, in a word... sounds gorgeous!  21 page technical review got me to dig into my emergency funds to give it a whirl:
http://mikeriversaudio.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/focusrite_forte_review1.pdf   Thanks, Mike!
 
Note:  I didn't want to like it.  Didn't really know what it would mean to like it... the 44vsl sounded fine! (Actually, my CAD E100S sounds fine!), I'm beyond broke...and got a steal on the 44VSL for $240...and it sounded good until...I brought the Forte home....
 
Thanks, cclary and tom1 for your pms and perspectives...
 
post edited by Vastman - 2014/01/08 07:59:18

Dana
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#1

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    bluzdog
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/08 21:53:56 (permalink)
    I've been mulling the Forte over lately. I was leaning towards the Babyface because I like the idea of having midi, adat and spdif along with the other goodies. Then I saw the Audient id22 and it looked awesome until I found out it's Mac only but they claim windows support is on the way. Congrats on the new gear!
     
    Rocky
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    Vastman
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/08 22:22:19 (permalink)
    bluzdog
    I've been mulling the Forte over lately. I was leaning towards the Babyface because I like the idea of having midi, adat and spdif along with the other goodies. Then I saw the Audient id22 and it looked awesome until I found out it's Mac only but they claim windows support is on the way. Congrats on the new gear!
     
    Rocky


    bluz...one thing I really like are the instrument inputs... they are totally clean and I've never got such a good sound/levels direct inputing my bass... was always disappointed with direct before, but this is very nice...Haven't tried my guitars (gotta couple early Novax custom fan frets) and I'll have to dig um out and give the amp sims a whirl again...
     
    If you need all the inputs... seems Babyface is the way.  Personally I'll never use them, have retired all my synths and external gear and am a solo situation...and I'm able to save half of what iceni's gonna cost me!

    Dana
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    #3
    Splat
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/08 23:43:54 (permalink)
    It's amazing to think in the 1988 (I think) a maintenance engineer walked into the studio I was working in at the time and proclaimed that the Focusrite EQ's and Preamps he had were out of this world (like it was a EUREKA moment), he had the budget and was going to throw in an extra 16 channels of Focusrite EQ's and preamps to bolt onto the side of the desk. All this from a tone test.
     
    It's one of the reasons a Focusrite interface became my first choice.
     
    And now it's 2014 and people still get just as excited about Focusrite.
    post edited by CakeAlexS - 2014/01/08 23:44:59

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    Vastman
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/09 01:09:45 (permalink)
    I wish they were still made in England... on my second unit tonight with build quality issues... sound is supreme but those new age slaves of corporate earth are pissed or making mistakes from exhaustion...
     
    I think I've gotten 2 returns to the store... and either no one reported the issues or the person taking it back just ignored it and returned them to the shelves...
     
    I'm either going to get the extended warrenty or go RME...made in Germany/Japan...an outdated quality product which sounds great but is way less easy to use...oh, I don't wanna go there... more $$$, less utility for me...
    Forte is way more elegant, software very slick vs rme's clugy yuck, and the instrument inputs are the best I've ever heard, direct... 
     
    but I'm gettin' a little POed about 2 different flaws in each unit... capacitor like noise in 48v on first and jog wheel not working in second...
     
    In heaven and hell all at once!  (and since both are a fantasy, I must be in a dream or VRM)
     
    Spent the evening swapping units, testing, grrrrrring, requistioning a NEW replacement, and emailing Focusrite re: build issues...and a bit of fun with on screen software which is quite good...

    Dana
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    #5
    AT
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/09 12:16:45 (permalink)
    IF you like the unit keep trading it out.  Quality control on complex things built in China can be hard.  The Audient 2802 was a perfect board for small studios except too many were shoddy.  We used to say the same things about Oktava mics (and american automobiles back when).  If you got a monday unit the staff was hungover.  If you got a friday unit the staff was already drunk.  However, Tues-Thur units were superb.
     
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    Vastman
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/09 13:14:34 (permalink)
    Thanks for the reality check, AT...I am awaiting a third, hopefully NEW unit this time... but will probably spring for the two year GC warranty package as it's still a steal at that price and neither my bass nor voice ever recorded that well...and at nearly half the price of the relatively clugy babyface...

    Dana
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    batsbrew
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/09 15:15:07 (permalink)
    wait, what?
     
    you are saying you have a brand new unit, and it's already broken?

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    Vastman
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/09 16:24:45 (permalink)
    No...I received 2 opened units from guitar center, which GC's manager indicates should never have been returned to stock.
     
    I have also opened a ticket with focusrite to appraise them and discuss this issue. Will report back on this.
     
    I am currently waiting for a new unit. I concur with AT's perspective...as its an amazing piece. Still using my current forte, sans  the big knob... software interface is quite wonderful. 

    Dana
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    batsbrew
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/10 15:22:08 (permalink)
    ok good, thought you got ripped off..
     
    tho, it does beg the question as to quality control

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    Vastman
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/10 19:55:15 (permalink)
    Hey batman!
    I've got a pretty good relationship with carl long, at sweetwater and he indicates what I experienced is very rare...they're selling gobs of them and he has rarely had a problem. I'm gonna stick with it as it really shines and blows away the other units I've tried... still using the knobless unit til a new one comes in and Lovin it.
    post edited by Vastman - 2014/01/10 19:56:30

    Dana
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    Bajan Blue
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/11 04:54:46 (permalink)
    Hi Vastman
    What happened to your Saffire? - was it just a power supply problem? If yes I had the same issue with my Saffire, but a friend of mine took the power supply apart, found a cut out something or other buried in the wiring, removed it and all back to normal - although now no automatic over use / heating? cut out - I am just keeping an eye on it but all seems OK so far.
    Hope you get the Forte problem sorted
    Cheers
    Nigel
     
     

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    #12
    Vastman
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2014/01/11 06:10:26 (permalink)
    Hey, Blue... 
    Don't really know but my ole cat had a fit behind the computer, dislodging the firewire plug just as I was setting up my new rig and when I got to trying it nothing would happen... lit up fine, but no sound... spent the evening trying to get it going then just went back to my old tank Audiokontrol1 backup... 
     
    they want so much to even look at stuff, let alone fix it I decided to just abandon firewire and try something new and the Forte is quite an upgrade... it'll get sorted and current unit is still a blast to be using... figured my interface was the last **** in a pretty good system and now I'm close to just gettin' back into making music, which is the whole point of it all!  Gonna try and resist all new purchases after iceni (it's been challenging, financially) as what more do I need?  
     
     

    Dana
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    #13
    lucianomattar
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2018/05/19 15:45:26 (permalink)
    Hi Vastman,
    Please, do you can help me with the correct setup of the Cakewalk and Forte? I started to use the Forte for record, I'm trying record the bass first. There is difference between the recorded sound and the sound before the record, both from the same speakers. The record sound has less bright. Do you can help me to solve this question?
    Best
    #14
    batsbrew
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2018/05/21 16:05:43 (permalink)
    lucianomattar
    Hi Vastman,
    Please, do you can help me with the correct setup of the Cakewalk and Forte? I started to use the Forte for record, I'm trying record the bass first. There is difference between the recorded sound and the sound before the record, both from the same speakers. The record sound has less bright. Do you can help me to solve this question?
    Best


    4 years later.....
     


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    Bats Brew albums:
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    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
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    #15
    AT
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    Re: The Focusrite Forte Kicks Butt!!! I'm glad my Saffire died!!! 2018/05/21 18:19:40 (permalink)
    I don't know if Vastman is still posting.  You might try to start your own thread, tho.  That is what I'd do.
    #16
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