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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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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).


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