E-MU 1212m or X-Fi Fatality to record music?

RomanMtz

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Hello everyone... I have a quick question for my fellow musicians... I bought an E-MU 1212m a couple of weeks ago but haven't installed it due to space issues in my case. I got an X-Fi Fatality recently and was wondering if anyone has used it to record music. I like to record primarily heavy guitars and such.

Has anyone used both systems to record and have a preference? I dunno if the E-MU is worth keeping if the X-Fi can do a decent job or recording...

Thanks in advance!
 

Vertigo Acid

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No contest whatsoever. Don't ditch the pro-sumer level card for a gaming one if that's what you're going to be doing.
 

GotNoRice

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I'm not very familiar with the 1212, but I use an EMU 0404 to make digital recordings of my LP's. Patchmix is pretty easy to configure and the sound quality is excellent. I'm sure the 1212 is even better. 0404 says 111db on the analog inputs. 1212m says 120db on the analog inputs. Not sure what the X-Fi can do but i'd be suprised if it was anywhere even remotly close to either of those figures.
 

BBA

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One thing is for sure: All three being talked about here have more dynamic range than your input ability.
 

FLECOM

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keep the E-MU, thats what it was designed to do...

the X-Fi inputs were probably not a high priority since 99% of gamers are probably just going to use it for in-game chat with their headset mics so the line in is an after-thought at best i would imagine...

i could be wrong of course...
 

unhappy_mage

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2005
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Stick to the 1212. The low latency stuff and real ASIO support alone should make you flock to it. If one person can flock, which is dubious at best.

 

Svperstar

Limp Gawd
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Go for the 1212m, games don't have the same sound-cut out problems they had back at release, and PatchMix is sexy, I love my 0404
 

HoodooGuru

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RomanMtz said:
Hello everyone... I have a quick question for my fellow musicians... I bought an E-MU 1212m a couple of weeks ago but haven't installed it due to space issues in my case. I got an X-Fi Fatality recently and was wondering if anyone has used it to record music. I like to record primarily heavy guitars and such.

Has anyone used both systems to record and have a preference? I dunno if the E-MU is worth keeping if the X-Fi can do a decent job or recording...

Thanks in advance!
Plug in your guitar to your X-fi, record to your sequencer or audio recording program, and run some software or instrument plug-ins.

I sold my Emu 0404 (and have on sale my Audigy 2) for the X-fi. I wanted one card with a drive bay and decent audio characteristics for music recording and games, though my wife has officially "killed" my gaming habit.

So, I'm now just using the X-fi for recording guitars (Fender Strat American Standard) with Adobe Audition, FLStudio, and some software plug-ins. So far, it works just fine and is MUCH easier to figure out than that Emu patch mix mess. I want to RECORD music, NOT engineer the recording software. Though the PatchMix s/w is very configurable/powerful, it seemed too overwhelming for simply plugging in my guitar and capturing some riffs.

Ditch the 1212 unless you're planning to shop your recordings to a major label... X-fi should be MORE than sufficient for the hobbyist musician/gamer...
 

RomanMtz

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Thanks for all the responses! Much appreciated.

I was thinking about this because when I installed the Sonar 5 trial with both the E-mu and the X-fi installed, it detected both cards. When it came time to detect the sampling rates, the E-MU detected up to 48KHz and the x-fi detected up to 192KHz. Thats why I thought the X-Fi had more processing power to record. Although the E-MU has "Pro-tools" converters and it is supposed to have better recording quality.

Question for E-MU owners... Can I plug my guitar directly into the 1212m's inputs or do I have to use a DI-BOX to convert the signal to a balanced signal?

Also... Is it possible to buy the E-MU break-out box separately so I can free some space in my system and use it as an 1820m?

Thanks again!
 

BBA

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The X-Fi does high bitrate high sampling rate recording which translates into less quantization errors. (Is it ON again?)

And the S/N ratio of the inputs is fine, as I said, better than any source you have in real life.
 

Vertigo Acid

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BBA said:
The X-Fi does high bitrate high sampling rate recording which translates into less quantization errors. (Is it ON again?)

And the S/N ratio of the inputs is fine, as I said, better than any source you have in real life.
Look, I know i'm not alone when I say this:

Enough with the X-Fi praise. It's a good card for gaming. No one is saying it isn't. But it is not the end all that you make it out to be

Anyways....

The EMU1212 uses the AK5394A for ADC, which is spec'ed for 192kHz 24-Bit.
See http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm/en/product/ak5394a/ak5394a.html

Whereas the X-Fi doesn't even specify what it uses, just that it has "24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 96kHz sample rate" per http://soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=208&product=14065&nav=1
Knowing creative's previous history in creative marketing, that could really mean that it is just 16-bit padded to 24-bit. But we don't have evidence either way, because they don't publish much of the same information they do about their prosumer level cards.

In terms of real-world sampling rates, they are evenly matched. But for the pro crowd, the EMU has undoubtably a step up. You can choose between balenced and unbalenced inputs. Patch mix. It has 2in/2out on coax SPDIF. Able to use an external clock for synchonization.The list goes on.

I'm a big fan of using the right tool for the job. Holesaw > Dremmel for fan cutouts. Filet knife > swiss-army knife for gutting a fish. Same thing for sound cards.
 

BBA

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Vertigo Acid said:
Look, I know i'm not alone when I say this:

Enough with the X-Fi praise. It's a good card for gaming. No one is saying it isn't. But it is not the end all that you make it out to be

Anyways....

The EMU1212 uses the AK5394A for ADC, which is spec'ed for 192kHz 24-Bit.
See http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm/en/product/ak5394a/ak5394a.html

Whereas the X-Fi doesn't even specify what it uses, just that it has "24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 96kHz sample rate" per http://soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=208&product=14065&nav=1
Knowing creative's previous history in creative marketing, that could really mean that it is just 16-bit padded to 24-bit. But we don't have evidence either way, because they don't publish much of the same information they do about their prosumer level cards.

In terms of real-world sampling rates, they are evenly matched. But for the pro crowd, the EMU has undoubtably a step up. You can choose between balenced and unbalenced inputs. Patch mix. It has 2in/2out on coax SPDIF. Able to use an external clock for synchonization.The list goes on.

I'm a big fan of using the right tool for the job. Holesaw > Dremmel for fan cutouts. Filet knife > swiss-army knife for gutting a fish. Same thing for sound cards.


CL does make an EMU based on the same chip the X-Fi is made with, I believe the 18xx series is the only one, but I could be wrong.

As for input devices and S/N ratios: The microphone input device signal to noise is the same 100db as the X-Fi. The others inputs are 120 db on the EMU, I think that matches as well but with only a 116 db S/N on teh X-Fi outputs, the EMU beats it only by a margin you will never detect.


As for why I like the X-Fi over the older chip cards...well, you have to compare generation to generation, the X-Fi has more features and capability than the previous generation chip, and that doesn't matter is it's an EMU card or not that has that previous gen chip.

As for using the right tools, I guess we are just at odds here: I use a jig saw for holes, and I cut the smoothest case fan holes anyone can imagine. The Dremel is NOT the best tool unless you just don't know how to work a jig saw.(I have two dremel's btw). And for filets, a nice kershaw is the way to go. Swiss army...lol :)
 

Svperstar

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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Vertigo Acid said:
Look, I know i'm not alone when I say this:

Enough with the X-Fi praise. It's a good card for gaming. No one is saying it isn't. But it is not the end all that you make it out to be

Glad I am not alone. BBA is convinced that everything that has ever been released pre-X-Fi is nothing compared to it and that awesome Crystalizer. After I pointed out how he was praising it too much and it had flaws he flamed me in a PM then put me on ignore.

I have run into other people on audio forums that do the same thing with other random products, people that would drop into any headphone discussion and and say "yeah but these suck compared to my HeadphoneX I bought last week"

Bravo for pointing out the truth about the EMU1212m for anyone else reading this but you will never make a dent in BBA
 

Donnie27

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RomanMtz said:
Hello everyone... I have a quick question for my fellow musicians... I bought an E-MU 1212m a couple of weeks ago but haven't installed it due to space issues in my case. I got an X-Fi Fatality recently and was wondering if anyone has used it to record music. I like to record primarily heavy guitars and such.

Has anyone used both systems to record and have a preference? I dunno if the E-MU is worth keeping if the X-Fi can do a decent job or recording...

Thanks in advance!

if the X-Fi can do a decent job or recording?

Yes it can=P And BBA is right LOL!

I've not used the 1212 but know others who swear by it. I'd say if you have it already use it. I've used my X-Fi to record and you have to break out the meters and other equipment to tell the difference in some cases others you don't. That could be the subject of a new thread.

Example-->http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q4/soundblaster-x-fi/index.x?pg=2

TR said:
On the recording side, one could blame the Wolfson WM8775 ADC, which only supports audio up to 24 bits and 96kHz. Creative says that the X-Fi can technically handle 192kHz recording, but suggests that anyone that serious about recording will probably want to consider its E-mu line of professional products over an X-Fi.

Again, you asked about "a decent job" and a 1212 would be overkill.

X-Fi and even the Audigy 2 ZS does support low latency ASIO 2.0 for recording. I've recorded Keyboard, Bass and Guitar with the X-Fi and it RAWKS LOL! Not as good as either of the EMU's according to my buds and I trust what they say. Yet, I'm not serious enough to need or want a 1212. So in a way I agree with BBA.

Sexy software?

http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q4/soundblaster-x-fi/index.x?pg=4

X-Fi XM like I have sucks music for reproduction because of its limited connections not how good or bad/poorly it records.

Donnie27
 

floodo1

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Dec 21, 2004
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The End to X-Fi for sound quality!!

The 0202 Analog board from E-Mu has a much better analog output circuit.
X-Fi can do effects at higher than 48khz that the 1010 cannot.
E-Mu has other products that connect to 1010.....the breakout box and clocking card.

Its plain and simple, for doing anything where you want real world audio quality the E-MU is the only way to roll.

Take your headphones with battery powered amplifier and 0202 and compare to an X-Fi.

ESPECIALLY after you skin Patchmix :)


(unless you need 3d audio, then get xfi)
 

Elderblaze

Limp Gawd
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Jul 28, 2005
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The elite pro is also signifigantly better then all the other x-fi's. it has superior opamps, dac's and adc's. Im sure the 0404 or 1212m are superior for this task vs all but the elite pro, and maybe even then. How signifigant t he differnce is I don't know. It's also not really fair to say X-fi is crap because it can't record as well as XXXX, just like it's not fair to say XXXX sucks because it dosent run games worth shit.. 2 differnt cards with 2 entirely differernt markets.. keep it apples to apples eh? Oh and X-Fi does a better job recording then e-mu does gaming :)
 

Donnie27

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Elderblaze said:
The elite pro is also signifigantly better then all the other x-fi's. it has superior opamps, dac's and adc's. Im sure the 0404 or 1212m are superior for this task vs all but the elite pro, and maybe even then. How signifigant t he differnce is I don't know. It's also not really fair to say X-fi is crap because it can't record as well as XXXX, just like it's not fair to say XXXX sucks because it dosent run games worth shit.. 2 differnt cards with 2 entirely differernt markets.. keep it apples to apples eh? Oh and X-Fi does a better job recording then e-mu does gaming :)

You got that right!

Donnie27
 

Chastity

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Getting sick at all this postulation as to how good the X-Fi is at recording, here are some numbers done @ home with RMAA 5.5:

Sampling mode: 24-bit, 96 kHz, External loopback (line-out, line-in)

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.01, -0.07 Excellent
Noise level, dB (A): -112.7 Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A): 111.7 Excellent
THD, %: 0.0008 Excellent
IMD + Noise, %: 0.0017 Excellent
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -96.6 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.0009 Excellent

General performance: Excellent

These numbers come close to the published results, except for crosstalk (CL reports -102.8 in their RMAA 5.5 results), which I attribute to my crappy 1/8" stereo mini cable, which came with a set of speakers. :D

As you can see, it does actual 24-bit recording, and has improved from the Audigy4 Pro, which I was only able to get it up to -108dB.

These results would definately suffice for the home recorder, and even rival some studio cards, like the RME Digi96/8. I bet if this card had balanced i/o, these numbers would improve. For someone looking for a All-In-One Recorder / Gamer / HT multichannel card, this card delivers on all three. If requested, I'll post the actual results page.
 

Donnie27

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Chastity said:
Getting sick at all this postulation as to how good the X-Fi is at recording, here are some numbers done @ home with RMAA 5.5:

Sampling mode: 24-bit, 96 kHz, External loopback (line-out, line-in)

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.01, -0.07 Excellent
Noise level, dB (A): -112.7 Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A): 111.7 Excellent
THD, %: 0.0008 Excellent
IMD + Noise, %: 0.0017 Excellent
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -96.6 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.0009 Excellent

General performance: Excellent

These numbers come close to the published results, except for crosstalk (CL reports -102.8 in their RMAA 5.5 results), which I attribute to my crappy 1/8" stereo mini cable, which came with a set of speakers. :D

As you can see, it does actual 24-bit recording, and has improved from the Audigy4 Pro, which I was only able to get it up to -108dB.

These results would definately suffice for the home recorder, and even rival some studio cards, like the RME Digi96/8. I bet if this card had balanced i/o, these numbers would improve. For someone looking for a All-In-One Recorder / Gamer / HT multichannel card, this card delivers on all three. If requested, I'll post the actual results page.

Nice work, thank you!

Donnie27
 
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