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Emu 1212M Soundcard: Good? Audio Interfaces
Old 12th May 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Emu 1212M Soundcard: Good?

Was curious about this soundcard.Does this one have built in preamps perhaps as well?And how does this card differ from the 0404 card?Looking forward to the replies and the info on this one.

Old 12th May 2006
  #2
Gear Nut
 

The 1820M has built in Mic Pre's.

The 1212M are all line level.

The sound quality of the card is second to none, however there are problems with emu's asio drivers when paired with Emu's Emulator x software. They are simply terrible. Very erratic behavior and Emu has never corrected it. Asio4all has not corrected the driver problems neither.
Works flawless with Reason 3.0
In all honesty, as a playback soundcard i'd say there's nothing out there that beats it (sound quality) if you're looking or reliability, stability when recording; look elsewhere.
Old 12th May 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Thanx for the info.So basically, one would need to get a mic pre's to boost that signal due to the line level nature of the 1212, I presume.I've heard good things bout the card's sound quality and u've confirmed it as well.Also, heard bout the instability probs that seem to come about regarding the asio drivers.Is there a general consensus regarding this problem?If so, how come Emu havent addressed it.Thats quite strange.But hey, thats the corporate companies for u.

But yeah, seems that 1820M is the best bet out of the range.Granted it is the top one too...........but I know a producer who has it and he's luving it.Nothing else on par with that card in that same price range perhaps with built in pres?
Old 12th May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

On all the non-elitist rap forums, the ($200) 1212 is talked about like it is "high end". That statements is not meant to be a diss to this board - actually a compliment. Kinda puts a reality check in place. The newest soundblaster costs more! The low end forum here starts with "lynx"....(wtf!)

While I'll be the first one to say the card (...well...patchmix) is a finicky piece of shi..software - the entire product has a bad "online rep" because of the price. It's down in the price range where us normal people can afford it! Unfortunately - my price range puts me in a group with kids who look at a manual as "homework".

"Why do my headphones play out of the 'left ear'?!?"
"Well, if you RTFM, you'd know that's not a headphone port"

"Why can't I record using ASIO with cool edit 1.5?!?"
"Well, if you knew what you read about the software, you'd know it doesn't support ASIO. Nothing to do with the card!"

The 1212 (...and 0404 and 1820) seems very picky about your motherboard's chipset. The patchmix software has crashed on a me once or twice and doesn't like little things like working after waking the computer from suspend mode (hit or miss if it works). I've never gotten the "power FX" to work as a VST. I've never had to record more than 2 mono sources - I never had a problem. No clicks or pops. Latency was good enough not to bother measuring... (if that says anything).

If you're thinking about the card (or brand for that matter), check out their "unofficial forum":
http://www.productionforums.com/index.php?f=46

They have a few of the techs from emu roaming the board dodging questions like "when will you people implement DTS pass through or midi control of patchmix..."

...and know that people come online to complain about products - not to praise them.

If you're curious of the sound quality, the people @ www.head-fi.org love these cards for their media computers. head-fi is very similar to gearslutz - but on the other side of the spectrum. GS spends a bunch on buying gear to make music - HF spends it on listening to music... Do a search there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddstone
But yeah, seems that 1820M is the best bet out of the range.Granted it is the top one too...........but I know a producer who has it and he's luving it.Nothing else on par with that card in that same price range perhaps with built in pres?
The 1820m = 1212m + the audio dock. The 1212m has S/PDIF I/O (so you can get more than the 2 analog i/o). I've not used the built in pre's of the 1820, but I think I'd rather have my own preamp. You're not going to be using the 1820 (or 1212) forever...so maybe go the cheapest route (1212m) and spend the extra and a pre that you WILL use forever. That was the idea for me...

0404 vs 1212....1212 has balanced i/o, a firewire port and can be connected to the audio dock.

...back to lurking...
Old 12th May 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Not to my knowledge.

The thing about this card is that it uses the same converters as those that are found in digidesigns HD 192 I/O interface.

The specs :

- Professional: +4dBu nominal, 20dBu max (balanced)
- Consumer: -10dBV nominal, 6dBV max (unbalanced)
Frequency Response (20Hz - 20kHz): +/- .05dB
Dynamic Range (1kHz, A-weighted): 120dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted): 120dB
Why aren't more people using it?
Stability is the big issue here (when recording)
I used to work @ sam ash; this unit has been returned at least 90 percent of the time because of people not understanding patchmix like myself. The ammount of opened boxes was astounding.

It is beyond me why Emu hasn't addressed this. They should have Patchmix templates for Cubase, Acid Pro and Nuendo.
Old 12th May 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
chrisma's Avatar
 

I used mine extensively with SONAR PE 5.2 in ASIO and sometimes WDM with NO issues at all. Now with the EmulatorX and ProteusX softsynths and even EMU's built in effects I can't say I'm as pleased. But for tracking vocals/instruments and other softsynths it's a very clean top notch joint and you shouldn't have any problems once you get your head around their patchmix app which does all the I/O mapping for the card.
Old 12th May 2006
  #7
Gear Nut
 

I've put some serious time into troubleshooting along with tech support who gave up on me about two days ago.

I have an abit ic7 max3 motherboard with 2 gigs ram p4 3.2 ghz and two serial ata hd's (seagate 160 and 120, one for os and app installs the other just for audio)
Motherboard bios has always been kept current; I have all the necessary updates to the DAS and Emulator x installed (1.82 and 1.52)

I was told to re-install windows as a fix. Unbelievable; my old soundcard (wavecenter pci) works flawlessly even with my onboard sound. Both were disabled, turned off all unecessaries in the bios.

Before adding the 1212m and emulator x to my rig; this system ran pro tools LE with the digi 002r with absolutley no problems. I abandoned Digidesign because I hated the customer support and pricing schemes, I also didn't like the sound quality of the 002r.

One thing about Digidesign techs; they never told me to re-install windows as a solution.
So right now I have emulator x and the 1212 and cannot use it in any of my productions.
No luck in Acid or Cubase sx.
Old 12th May 2006
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
HeatWAVS's Avatar
 

I have an 1820m and the sound is great but stability was a HUGE problem until I did a format and clean install. Now it works perfect.
Old 12th May 2006
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
chrisma's Avatar
 

Forgot to mention there is an unofficial EMU forum where EMU has some of there people posting up and answering questions.

http://www.productionforums.com/inde...4a8c6964a76e00
Old 13th May 2006
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

If it sounds like its big bro the 1820M then it's a good starter piece. It sounds decent, but you get what you pay for. It doesn't sound like a Digi 192, even though their marketing says it uses the same converters. The EMU converters sounded better on strings (particularly) than they did on my MOTU 2408 mkII, but I think overall the Digi 002R sounds better than the E-MU...


It's not just the converters, it's also about the circuitry and clock. I don't think the analog stage on the E-MU stuff is that great because it seems to lack something.

Hope any of the above was useful at all in your evaluation of this card.


Old 13th May 2006
  #11
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyko/Acoustics
It's not just the converters, it's also about the circuitry and clock. I don't think the analog stage on the E-MU stuff is that great because it seems to lack something.
Exactly!
Old 13th May 2006
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Although I am disappointed in the stability of emu's card, I can honestly say the sound quality far exceeds the 002r. The 002r and ptle7 were absolutley rock solid though. I am going to explore RME and the emulator x2 software only option; it's a damn good sampler (works fine as standalone but I need functional as a vsti) on par with the hardware version of the e4 ultra. Emu sound is definitley earth shattering and the sound library is superb.

If the driver worked; the 1212m or 1820m would be an incredible value and hands down the choice over any sound card in those price ranges through the 1500 dollar range.
Old 13th May 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

If I were to put my finger on what the 002R gave that the 1820M did not, it was in the playback of a piece of classical music:

While the EMU has a slightly sweeter higher end, the 002R provided the sound of the tympani with greater power... I dunno if this was transient response or not. The impulsive sound came through very clearly, on the EMU it sounded muted. I felt that to me this particular point made my investment not worthwhile; it would have had to beat my friend's 002R hands down. I didn't think it did, it was more of a "some better, some not".



In the 1820M's defence, I did not get a chance to hear the unit on a monitor system with an extended low end.
Old 13th May 2006
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quite interesting,

I never got to fool around with any orchestral samples in any of the rtas samplers (kontakt, sampletank) to make an honest comparison between the 002r and the 1212m.

Emu hardware samplers were quite popular with hip hoppers and dance music remixers, when I worked at sam ash I discovered this phatt, nice thick sound emu has over the akai samplers. Drum kitts sizzle on emu samplers. The Akai z8 came a little too late in the game but the sound was phenomenal with orchestra sound libraries.

Nailing the right sound card is so hard to do; there are so many choices and ridiculous ranges in price. I think this is why Emu is so attractive for the price; I agree, you do get what you pay for. If Digidesign had better sounding LE hardware I wouldn't have budged; Bad disagreements and a bit of mistreat from customer support was the backbreaker for me but that's another story for another forum.

Those of you who have the 1212m or 1820m working without problems, I envy you!
Old 13th May 2006
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

Yeah, it's not a bad piece of hardware, don't get me wrong! Probably the best value in soundcards out there.

If there was a mod for it like what Black Lion Audio is doing for other interfaces it would be really cool...



...Whoa, seek and ye shall find:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ght=1212m+mods


Missing the pics for the mod. Unfortunately for recorders they don't discuss modding the inputs.

Interesting, though.
Old 14th May 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
KevWest's Avatar
 

i had the 1212m and I hated it w/ a passion. Matter of fact I sold it about 6 months later and reinstalled my old card which I am still using (firewire audiophile 2496). The patch mix is a pain in the ass
Old 14th May 2006
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xabiton
The patch mix is a pain in the ass
Agreed.
Old 16th May 2006
  #18
Gear Addict
 

alot of people dont read before they try to use this card, i wouldnt even touch it untill i installed alll the latest updates on the card and the emulatorx software(very buggy untill all drivers are updated). I have been using this card(1820m) for about a year and a half and I have no problems, the sound is the best in its pricerange but in not crazy about the pre amps. I you are a person who just wants to plug it in and play its not the card for you. You need to have time to invest in this to learn it in and out then after you learn it there will be nothing that you cant accomplish. I think most problems like all other things are people just like to feel their way through things instead of reading.
Old 16th May 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
e-are's Avatar
 

emu sound cards

i have 2 1212m's and a 1820m and lovem. at 1st the patchmix was simply stupid until i really read the manual and figured it out. that by the way took a long time. you can configure everything to go everywhere and the fx aren't great but some are definitely ok for somethings. the driver does seem to have some issues but not enough to get rid of them. sound quality is better than any other card i've used. i'd say buy 1, or 2 , or maybe even 3.
Old 17th May 2006
  #20
Gear Nut
 

I managed to get the 1212m working in Nuendo 3. All I can say is.............DAMN!
It's definitley Ultra Hi-Fidelity. I don't have the need to record into it yet; as far as recording my vsti's. DAYuuuum! Emulator X shakes the god damn roof!
Going for the Audio dock M to seal the deal.

I had problems with Nuendo until I went into patchmix and set it up for 8 channels of Asio. Don't know what that did but Nuendo works flawlessly, no crashes.

I still don't know how to configure patchmix, I just create ASIO channel strips that's it, I really don't know what to do beyond that. Anyhow i'm glad I got it working.
Old 17th May 2006
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

I see u sorted out the prob with Nuendo.So u got Emulator X to work in Nuendo?If so, I heard ppl having probs having it (the 1212m card---even the 0404 card----and the emulator X plug) work in a program called Acid Pro 5.Any possible remedy for that?
Old 18th May 2006
  #22
Gear Nut
 

No remedy as far as I know as I have experienced problems in both acid pro 5 and 6.

I hate to say it but it's like rolling dice, Emu techs should do proper troubleshoots, and not try to solve everyones problems by recommending fresh OS installs, templates for patchmix from Emu and a better troubleshooting section is what everyone should demand.
Old 18th May 2006
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
beatzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctah
The low end forum here starts with "lynx"....(wtf!)

i dont' think it should, and i don' think it does to be honest
Old 18th May 2006
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

thinking is good...I like to think too

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatzz
i dont' think it should, and i don' think it does to be honest
...yes...I was exaggerating...more for effect than anything.

but...your address bar does say 'gearslutz' doesn't it? A low end forum discussing a $1000 single channel mic pre for a hobbyist studio? 002r is low end? Come with me to rapmusic or futureproducers so we can discuss a samson usb mic and pcdj software - THAT's low end...you overpaid @#$%'s heh

Kinda depressing - I type a damn essay - and you only found that one little sentence worth discussing. Maybe if I just said "depends" or "apogee", I'd get a better response from you. Maybe even my very own thread
Old 18th May 2006
  #25
I have used the 1820m for about a year and a bit now, I'm using it with Logic 5.5.1, using ASIO and it works well with that, a few niggly problems if you start meesing with I/O assingments. Other than that no probs really.

The thing with Patchmix is if you come from a harware mixer background, then you should look at it from that perspective, as that's how they've designed it to work. so you can virtually route and signal anywhere ( I have hardware effects units conected to a Behringer ADA 8000 then routed as via ADAT as send & return on the 1820m accessable from my DAW, I can route signals from Window Media Player into my daw to record if I want) It acts as a all seeing app that alows you to connect your internal and external sound sources together and route them how and where you want.

You can have your hardware synths connected and monitor with 0 latency.
You can record & monitor mic signals with 0 latencey.
You can send 1 mix to monitor and whilst recording another. (I use this to add monitor reverb for vocalists whilst recording the dry signal)

If you never used a harware mixer, you won't get it.

Only gripe I have is that once you have a input or output assigned on a channel, you can't just simply changed it to another, you have to delete the chanel and set up a new one!! Also the lack of mono channel strips available.

However it does sound great!!! the mic pre's are very usable, it has a clean top end but no character. It's got an ADAT port so you can add another 8 input/outputs if you need it...hence the ADA 8000.
Old 18th May 2006
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002
If you never used a harware mixer, you won't get it.
This is true for any DAW.
Old 18th May 2006
  #27
Lives for gear
 

1212M

I've had a 1212M for a while. IMHO, it sounds like A**. The converters are definitely inferior to the ones in a Tascam MX-2424 IFAN-24, as well as the converters in a Lucid AD9624. Very brittle sounding with poor low frequency conversion. Also, the patchmix software has some headroom issues. It's as if the Patchmix doesn't allow all the headroom in the actual card to be utilized. I always have to back off the master and monitor level on the thing even though all I'm sending it is ) 0 dB from a Soundcraft Ghost, an analog board!

It just goes to show that just because something has supposedly high end components doesn't guarantee high end performance. YMMV, but ultimately you get what you pay for.
Old 18th May 2006
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
chrisma's Avatar
 

Tips on getting the Emu cards and patchmix to work correctly:

http://www.cgoff.fsnet.co.uk/patchmix/
Old 18th May 2006
  #29
Gear Nut
 

You get what you pay for?

Just because something uses high end components doesn't mean the product is high end?

I think alot of people are to caught up in specs and aren't focusing on making the music. I've been paid 1500 and better for remixes. My only soundcard was the Wavecenter PCI and my motheboards onboard sound dsp. I may not be on the map as a premier remixer/producer but i'm getting paid. I love the experience of being in big budget studios (quad studio NYC) and seeing the same results in mixing from professional engineers after hours upon hours long sessions using Pro Tools HD.

It's not what you use people, it's how you use it. It's about you and your talents.
I take advantage of mingling with recent graduates from IAR and NYU's audio program. If you record your stuff properly there's very little that needs to be done to blow up your sound, the engineers stick to the basics. They start out balancing everything. Then it's about the relationship you form with them. Some Producers want certain aspects of their track to stand out. They want Bottom all over the mix. Pop producers do everything in the mid range (for radio play)
Listen to a Dr Dre produced track and a Jermain Dupree track, both have characteristics that is unique to each producer. The drums are processed completely different in their tracks.

It really is about the producer/remixer individually or the team they have built around them.

Don't fall into the hype about a 200.00 sound card over a 1500.00 sound card. I've been paid more than people with 40,000 dollar set ups who were contacted to do their remix.

I can't change your mind (the mendez club mix) is an example. You can hear examples of each track on Itunes, amazon.com, napster etc.....
I can proudly say that until my remix was added; that song went unsigned for over 3 months, it was almost scrapped. I reconstructed the vocals for my remix. The entire mix was done with Reason 2.5 and 3.0 with recycle to create rex files to import into reasons rex player and nnxt.

This was on a pc with the wavecenter pci card. I had the yamaha 01v mixer at the time but I didnt' do any processing through it. I fed the spdif out on the wavecenter to the spdif in on the yamaha 01v which was directly connected to a pair of event 20/20 bas.
Make noise 2006 was the same. I finished that mix without the yamaha 01v.

a snip of all the songs are on http://www.myspace.com/davetheonemendez

I'm not dissing or trying to put myself above anyone. I have a long ass way to go before I establish myself or for anyone to consider me established. This is just my opinion regarding hi end or low end.

The 1212m is a great soundcard now that i have it working on one program; I'm using it on a 2,000 dollar legal registered version of software (nuendo)

Much Respect
Old 18th May 2006
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

Yeah, there's truth to this. Sometimes I fuss so much about mildly relevant issues that it obscures the fact that I need to get some work done.

However, if one were recording extensively I don't think the 1212m is necessarily a good idea. For the above application it is probably great; I think the EMU converters sounded better than my MOTU 2408mkII.

Dave, Nuendo is hugely expensive for doing remixes, why did you go with it over Cubase SX? Just curious.
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