Bad news first:
Focusrite discontinued the support for the Saffire 56 from Windows 10 build 1903 due to device incompatibilities in the firewire interface and says "it will not work on versions >= 1903".
That's not a good start for that.
Regardless of this fact my audio interface seems to work very stable and reliable on my windows 10 machine now.
My PC had no firewire inputs on the board so I bought a delock PCI firewire card. The brand is not important, important was the fact that Focusrite supports only VIA and Texas Instruments chipsets on the firewire interface.
I was lucky because I had the Texas Instruments chipset and also the card was rated for 400 mbps, just like my saffire needed.
Beside that I could not work with the
Saffire Mix Control nor record anything. The device appeared to be there but only as a non working zombie. I knew from the past that the interface was working on Windows 7 and cannot remember whether it did on 10.
After testing all of those focusrite articles and some threads on various forums I found an issue with microsofts driver selection in the device manager for my firewire card.
Looking at the device manager for the firewire card I noticed something strange:
Seems to work and looking good but then I said "wait, wasn't my firewire chipset's brand Texas Instruments and not VIA?"
Windows insisted it was a generic VIA chipset so I right clicked onto it, went to settings/properties, picked the "driver" tab, selected "Update driver" then selected the "locate driver on my machine", then clicked "pick one from a list" and got basically two different options:
- OHCI compliant VIA 1394 Host Controller
- OHCI compliant 1394 Host Controller
I selected the non VIA version, installed it and that fixed my problem. The Saffire Mix Control was then able to detect the saffire without any issues and I was able to record instantly.
Firewire is quite old and I guess since windows already provides the drivers for firewire, the PCI card manufacturer relied on windows for matching it's chipset signature to the necessary driver. Either the PCI card manufacturer or microsoft botched things up picking a driver that only "seemed" to work.
If you have the same issue I hope it will help my fellow friends in the firewire hell :)
Small disclaimer: The process of selecting another driver might use a different wording, I recommend searching for a guide on how to do this if you are stuck or not sure. My windows machine uses a non English language so the guide above might be not entirely accurate on the wording you might find on your machine.