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Print 71 comment(s) - last by valkator.. on Aug 18 at 5:48 PM


Creative's E-MU 1212M PCI
Three new E-MU sound cards for the creative musicians

Creative Labs has launched three new E-MU professional sound cards. The new E-MU 1212M PCI, 1616 PCI and 1616M PCI are targeted towards creative musicians seeking multiple input/outputs, ASIO and high quality DACs and ADCs. At the lower end of the new E-MU product lineup is the 1212M PCI. It features 24-bit/192 KHz DAC and ADCs with a 120dB signal-to-noise-ratio. Audio I/O capabilities include 12 input and 12 outputs with MIDI I/O and Firewire. Two ¼” balanced inputs are also available too.

The E-MU 1212M PCI features:
  • Mastering grade 24-bit/192kHz converters - the same A/D converters used in Digidesign's flagship ProTools HD 192 I/O Interface delivering an amazing 120dB signal-to-noise ratio
  • Hardware-accelerated effects - over 600 standalone and E-MU Power FX VST plug-in effects with no CPU overhead
  • PatchMix DSP zero-latency hardware mixing and monitoring - with super-flexible patchbay - no external mixer needed
  • Comprehensive analog and digital I/O plus MIDI - 12 inputs and 12 outputs, plus MIDI I/O and FireWire port
  • Compatibility with most popular audio/sequencer applications - ultra-low latency 24-bit/192kHz ASIO 2.0 and Stereo WDM drivers
  • E-MU Production Tools Software Bundle - includes Cakewalk SONAR LE, Steinberg Cubase LE and Wavelab Lite, Ableton Live Lite 4 for E-MU, IK Multimedia AmpliTube LE and T-RackS EQ, Minnetonka diskWelder BRONZE, SFX Machine LT, plus E-MU's Proteus X LE Desktop Sound Module - everything you need to create, record, edit, master and burn is in the box
Next up is the E-MU 1616 PCI and has an external breakout box. It features 24-bit/192 KHz DAC and ADCs with a 112dB signal-to-noise ratio. There’s also a robust amount of input and output options including two ultra-low noise microphone/line-in preamps, four 1/4” balanced inputs, six ¼” balanced outputs, turntable input, S/PDIF, two sets of MIDI in/out, stereo 1/8” speaker outputs and a stereo headphone output. The stereo 1/8” speaker outputs can be configured for stereo or 5.1 channel audio usage. Lastly is the E-MU 1616M PCI, which is very similar to the 1616 PCI with the exception of the DAC and ADCs. The E-MU 1616M PCI has higher quality DAC and ADCs with a signal-to-noise ratio of 120dB. Aside from that its virtually identical to the E-MU 1616 PCI.

The E-MU 1616 PCI features:
  • Premium 24-bit/192kHz converters - 112dB signal-to-noise ratio for pristine recording and playback of your tracks
  • Hardware-accelerated effects - over 600 standalone and E-MU Power FX VST plug-in effects with no CPU overhead
  • PatchMix™ DSP zero-latency hardware mixing and monitoring - with super-flexible patchbay - no external mixer needed
  • Two E-MU XTC™ Class-A, ultra-low noise preamps (-127dBu) - Mic/Line and true Hi-Z inputs via Neutrik connectors, with analog soft limiter, 48V phantom power and 60dB of gain
  • Compatibility with most popular audio/sequencer applications - ultra-low latency 24-bit/192kHz ASIO2, WDM and 64-bit drivers
  • E-MU Production Tools Software Bundle - includes Cakewalk SONAR LE, Steinberg Cubase LE and Wavelab Lite, Ableton Live Lite 4 for E-MU, IK Multimedia AmpliTube LE and T-RackS EQ, Minnetonka diskWelder BRONZE, SFX Machine LT, plus E-MU's Proteus X LE Desktop Sound Module - everything you need to create, record, edit, master and burn is in the box
The new E-MU cards are priced at $150, $350 and $450 for the 1212M PCI, 1616 PCI and 1616M PCI respectively.


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ehh...
By valkator on 8/16/2006 10:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
Only problem with these cards is that if you want to record records over to digital.. the 192KHz sample rate still isnt good enough to match the record playback. I have a friend of mine that has a 2500 dollar record player and a 600 pre-amp enhancer and when we record records over, which he has a 1212m pci, they are still missing some parts of the record. I CAN hear the difference. 192KHz isnt good enough. If they want to enhance there pro line, they should bust out 384KHz sample rates.




RE: ehh...
By salt636 on 8/16/2006 11:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
well please correct me if im wrong, but are there any other audio solutions that do 384Khz at the price range that the EMUs are going for? I think that we should keep in mind that the EMU range is going after the computer musician and not really the audiophile. So, that being said, maybe they mean pro computer musician or something.

Being an ex owner of the 1212M myself (sold it 'cos i was poor), i would like to say that although the customer support isn't as top notch as i'd have liked it to be (they took really long), there is a really good support forum "EMU Production Forums", where EMU staff (the ones that build the cards and the drivers) themselves hang out and try to help out to the best of their ability.

Audio computers are a really different breed from your regular gaming machine. It really even boils down to the different brands and type of hardware that you have. Everybody has different individual problems, and its really not easy to identify problems straightout.

It is through numerous windows tweaks, and really just using the process of elimination to find out what's wrong (if you're unlucky enough - like me), that's why people normally scout what others are using without problems to have a trouble-free audio computer...

while i might not really agree with the previous post that suggested that M-AUDIO is a better solution (their customer service isn;t really something to be praised either), MOTUs rock. But again, as it was highlighted in sh3rules highlighted in his/her post, at what difference in price?

Just my 2 cents.


RE: ehh...
By Lyman42 on 8/17/2006 3:17:58 AM , Rating: 2
Who needs 384khz? Does somebody need to record bat sonar or something? Such a fast sampling rate can only reduce accuracy. I can understand using 96khz or maybe 192 if you're doing a lot of FIR/IIR processing, but 384khz? Take a look at Lavry Engineering's stuff, none of it goes past 96khz. There's more to sound recording than just sample rate....


RE: ehh...
By Bluestealth on 8/17/2006 5:13:58 AM , Rating: 1
Ummm I havent read the specs but I imagine this is 384khz/8 or 48 Khz per channel, where as 192khz was only 24 Khz per channel. Correct me if I am wrong.


RE: ehh...
By CSMR on 8/17/2006 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
You are wrong. No-one in his right mind would use 24khz


RE: ehh...
By Bluestealth on 8/17/2006 6:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
Are these DACs split between each input or for all? I can kind of understand why 384 khz is pointless then if its for each input :), I have no experience with proaudio tools so I was curious why something would be not good enough for a audiophile(perhaps slightly insane?) but ok for a musician.


RE: ehh...
By lemonadesoda on 8/17/2006 6:24:52 AM , Rating: 3
I think you need to explain the problem you are getting... because I just don't believe the sampling rate has anything to do with your quality concerns. Once at 192khz, you are not going to hear any difference.

I think the problem with your experiement is as follows:

1./ Interference within your PC
2./ Poor cabling
3./ Wrong bit depth. Are you recording at 16bit? LOL
4./ You recorded mono not stereo
5./ You played back via PC speakers
6./ There is a warmth in ANALOG amplifier stages, and a cold, sharpness in digital amplifier stages. No matter what the sampling rate/bit depth there is going to be this color. Try sending the output of the sound card back through the "600 pre-amp" enhancer to warm up the color of the sound.


RE: ehh...
By granulated on 8/17/2006 6:32:36 AM , Rating: 2
You *are* being ironic....right ?!!!


RE: ehh...
By randomname on 8/17/2006 9:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
"If they want to enhance there pro line, they should bust out 384KHz sample rates."

No, You really shouldn't hear much difference after 48 kHz sample rate, if it is done well (most people wouldn't hear much difference after 32 kHz). Some people suggest that modulations between two fequencies above 48 kHz sample rate (24 kHz actual frequency) might be heard, but there isn't much solid evidence to back that up.

What is holding back the quality are the ADC:s (analogue to digital conversion) and DAC:s. You would need to isolate the ADC:s and DAC:s from the interference inside the computer, and in that sense the "X-Fi Elite Pro" could be a solution. But quality of the ADC:s and DAC:s is (very likely) still not up to professional standards. 16 bits should be enough in most cases, really only when you have uncompressed classical music, you might have problems with the dynamic range. Increasing the bit depth above 16 probably increases the quality more than increasing the sample frequency above 48 kHz. But in any case you would need to have professional equipment to hear the difference. (Note that nothing can record at anything close to 24 bit dynamic range.)

There is a reason why professional equipment costs so much. I have an Audigy 2 Platinum Ex, and the microphone connection in it is quite noisy and the noise increases a lot if the recording volume is above a certain threshold. I would assume Creative hasn't gone through a massive leap in quality after I bought that (mostly an increase in specs, i.e. marketing, as well as in digital processing).


RE: ehh...
By CSMR on 8/17/2006 11:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't you start a campaign. At present I don't think any people record at 384khz (unelss they are using DSD).


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