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Emu 1820m


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Emu 1820m

Category:  Products / audio interfaces / soundcards + breakout box

Added: 10-Sep-04  |  Author: admin

New price: 499.00 Euros - £ 339.46 UKP  |   S/H price: Not listed

Emu 1820m

EMU 1820m Digital Audio System, mastering-grade 24-bit, 192kHz converters , flexible connectivity with 18 audio inputs and 20 outputs, 32 channels of MIDI I/O, Word Clock, SMPTE and MTC sync, plus a FireWire® port for seamless integration with your entire studio. Two premium TFPro mic preamps with Mic/Line/Hi-Z inputs with 40db of gain/attenuation and 48V phantom power. E-DSP 32-bit Multi-effects Processor offers you over 16 simultaneous hardware-accelerated studio-grade effects with no CPU overhead - plug-in architecture allows you to add new effects as needed. , DirectSound® and ASIO 2.0 Drivers, powerful software studio package.


Update: 2/4/05 - Well having spent more time with it, the power of the systems flexibility is becoming obvious. Once you get into a habit of seeing the physical IN/OUT's as seperate from the ASIO i/o STREAMS then you're on your way.... We're real sorry for the delay in getting the second part of the video done showing the Patchmix s/w in action, but we just got some new drives today and have now got more space to do more video (it guzzles loads of drive space prior to rendering off), so hopefully we can get a visual guide out before not too long... and it does need a good one cos it can fox noobs and the more experienced alike!

The 1820M system can have 16 physical i/o's as I'm sure you know, if you add optional ADAT i/o units for an additional 8 i/o's - the DOCK unit (the outboard box) has 8 x 8 analog i/o.

The card gives your PC sequencer s/w and the PATCHMIX applet 32 ASIO streams with which to patch things... That's the interesting part. - PATCHSTRIP channel-strip, can have any available physical Input, and can then have SENDS inserted into it which SEND out to selectable ASIO streams... You can for example, have a Patchstrip, with a mono Physical Input from the DOCK, sending OUT via 2 inserted SENDS to ASIO streams 1/2 and 31/32... this allows you to then have say, 2 stereo channels in Logic, both being fed by the same DOCK input, and those channels can be ROUTED out of 2 different output pairs to a hardware.... whatever.

So the Patchmix s/w is as it says, a patching tool.

One quirk I find in Logic 5.5 (pc) is that the two front mic/line inputs seem to be fixed as routed to a stereo ASIO stream/pair.

You create a channel-strip in the applet s/w, selecting input 1(mic/line-L) or 2(mic/line-R) as an input source - But they cannot be selected as a stereo pair as far as I can see, & when you then go to choose the ASIO stream to SEND this input to, the choice is always Stereo OUT to a stereo ASIO stream pair (starting with 1/2), but the input is always mono. This in effect forces you to record physical IN's 1/2 each to a stereo track in LOGIC so that ONE mixer channel in Logic's mixer can = Input 1 or 2 on the E-mu DOCK.

I suppose they either intended this to maximise on the quality pre-amps and 'pro-studio/pro-multimedia-authoring' pitch.. Initialy tho this can confuse.

The simple answer for an 8-INPUT recording session is therefore to create 5 PATCHSTRIPS in the Patchmix applet & assign the SEND slot inserts to send out to these ASIO streams:

On the PATCHMIX applet, the mixer is setuplike this:

STRIP-1 = DOCK-IN-1 (mono) - / - ASIO STREAM OUT = 1/2

STRIP-2 = DOCK-IN-2 (mono) - / - ASIO STREAM OUT = 3/4

STRIP-3 = DOCK-IN-3/4 (Stereo) - / - ASIO STREAM OUT = 5/6

STRIP-4 = DOCK-IN-5/6 (Stereo) - / - ASIO STREAM OUT = 7/8

STRIP-5 = DOCK-IN-7/8 (Stereo) - / - ASIO STREAM OUT = 9/10

In LOGIC, the mixer is setuplike this:

Logic mixer channel-1 (stereo) - AUDIO INPUT = 1/2 - (from DOCK-IN-1)

Logic mixer channel-2 (stereo) - AUDIO INPUT = 3/4 - (from DOCK-IN-2)

Logic mixer channel-3 (mono) - AUDIO INPUT = 5 - (from DOCK-IN-3)

Logic mixer channel-4 (mono) - AUDIO INPUT = 6 - (from DOCK-IN-4)

Logic mixer channel-5 (mono) - AUDIO INPUT = 7 - (from DOCK-IN-5)

Logic mixer channel-6 (mono) - AUDIO INPUT = 8 - (from DOCK-IN-6)

Logic mixer channel-7 (mono) - AUDIO INPUT = 9 - (from DOCK-IN-7)

Logic mixer channel-8 (mono) - AUDIO INPUT = 10 - (from DOCK-IN-8)

LOGIC simply see's the possible 32 ASIO streams which are in use by any hardware... So when you go to select an audio input in Logic's mixer channel, you still see INPUT 1, 2, 3 etc... or if you switch it to a stereo channel, you still see: INPUT 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 etc. But the selectable INPUTS & OUTPUTS in Logic's mixer actualy refer to ASIO streams that are active.

You see, you CAN create a channel strip in the PATCHMIX applet, and select as it's input the PHONO pre-amp pair and assign the SEND output from them to ASIO stream 1/2, in which case they would be INPUT 1/2 as an input selection on any of LOGIC's mixer channels... Mix & match see... I'll upload some environment's and Patchmix setups for LOGIC soon...

All I can say at this point is it's working great with 8 Physical In's & out's plumbed from Logic to a hardware board, and mixing on hardware is perfect... the levels match well with Logic... meaning; if the pre-amp clip-light flickers on the E-mu DOCK Inputs 1 or 2, then the level in Logic's channel-meter is peaking just about right and passing back out to hardware mixer, again, it all matches up well... No oddities in visual level matching between the bits....

other stuff to say at this date... Without further investigation, suffice to say also, that the pre-amps do sound nice and smooth so far... I like 'em.

(Below was written at the 'added' date listed at the top of this page, below the product photo.)

The E-mu 1820M is the top of the range system of the 3 new offerings from E-mu/Creative (1820M, 1212M, 1820) - I had to supply one the other day for a client, and got the chance to check out the unit briefly prior to it being picked up.

I didn't get time to do a full-on review at the time of the first video, meaning I didn't have time to fully investigate the systems comprehensive routing system and all the permeatations this offers.

So this video review is to show you the system parts, details, build quality & features etc... We then go on to install the card quickly in a test machine just to check it working and try it with a mic. Also we got time to show the routing applet/mixer and the fx working in Logic...

I'd like to get more hands-on time with this unit for sure as without mincing words... it's SUPERB!!!.... but I had a chat with the distributors (Etcetera in UK) and gleaned a bit more info about the patching system applet and a few other things.

So - To add to the review be aware of the following:

The routing applet has operational instructions built in to the s/w routing applet HELP interface. The system functions as a standard multi i/o audio device for music computers, but also functions with a full compliment of routing equivilent to a pro hardware mixer...

Inputs can be routed to system bus's within the card DSP, meaning for example that you can set it up so that the basic inputs 1-16 (8 analog & 8 ADAT) can all be used simultaneously, with all 16 IN's routed thru to the 16 outs and at the same time all 16 in's and outs also routed to the master main L/R Outs 1 & 2 - the s/pdif outs can be similarely configured... in other words once you learn the routing applet this system can function in a huge variety of ways.

As an additional note on this configureability, apparently the system comes setup with the IN's routed direct to the OUT's - This apparently has confused alot of new users who expect it to work as default so that ALL the inputs route to the master R/L (1/2) out's - Apparently, you have to set it up to do this and it comes with a default setup of all in's routed to all outs, and only Input 1/2 are routed to the master 1/2 (L/R outs and headphone socket -

Anyways, you need to spend some time studying and learning the comprehensive routing system.

Other points - all 3 systems in the series can be upgraded with a s/w upgrade (around £79.00 in UK from E-mu direct). This upgrade turns your E-mu system into a full-blown E-mu 'Emulator-X' sampler & it comes complete with a 4gb library of top quality E-mu sounds!!! - When the sampler upgrade is added, all physical IN/OUTs are usable by the sampler, & it can be used within the host sequencer as a plugin Instrument, or standalone - The Emulator-X upgrade sampler uses the DSP onboard the card for processing and the host computer system ram & hard-disk for streaming samples... Amazing!!

The FX which come with the system are free, and upgrades to add more Fx are free also for registered users (downloadable) - Apparently more FX packages will be added month by month, some free and some for sale - These upgrade FX will also function as VST plugin fx... They use the host DSP on the card as an accelerator (like a DSP videoFX system for example) yet can be used fully within the system for things like the FREEZE function found in the latest versions of the major sequencers - Excellent!

So - If you want a good walkaround of the 1820M checkout the video. We thought it might be useful as most users online probably only have a picture or two to look at from which they must try to see the system parts etc - So check it out!...The sound is superb - it uses the same converters as in the Top-end ProTools system & VERY good Neutrik mic/line connectors with great pre-amps with tons of range!... The build quality is superb!...It LOOKS superb... A total winner product in terms of the hardware! - E-mu will probably sells TONS of these.

Dancetech E-mu 1820m - video (Part-1) zip - [57.7mb 512kb WMV video]


Until Part-2 arrives featuring the patchmix application use & fx use, let me just say that the system functions like a digital mixer, all in's and out's are configureable allowing a variety of setups for all sorts of multimedia and studio tasks to be configured. - You could set it up as a standard 16 x 16 I/O multitrack system, or set it up for live multimedia presentation using smte sync for video or slide projections etc etc... it really can be used in most imaginable situations.

SO we'll give the E-mu 1820M a resounding 10/10 for the build-quality, audio quality & price... It offers superb audio quality, excellent & stylish design and build, and with it's onboard DSP can even be upgraded to function as a full-blown Emulator-X sampler or Proteus module.

However, there ARE cons... Now that we have a unit full-time for testing (we bought one so as to be TOTALY impartial), with the Patchmix application and the newly added POWERFX upgrade found in v1.06 issues bugs/problems/limitations ARE coming to light...

While we test we're keeping a dairy which can be found here:

E-MU 1829m testing forum diary

Once we've tried everything and have sorted out any issues we find we'll condense it all into a PART-2 of this review which will include a comprehensive look at the patchmix applications routing and how to use it.

Meantime, you can read what's been found out so far.... For example: We checked out all the 'reviews' E-mu lists for the 1820m on their site, and none of these reviews touches on use of the POWERFX as plugins within a sequencer, perhaps because these reviews were done prior to it's release with the v1.6 Patchmix & driver update.

We are also testing extensively with the old LOGIC V5.5 which E-mu/Creative simply will not discuss in tech support as they say the unit was never tested with PC version Logic as it is no longer supported by Emagic... Anyways, if you want to checkout the progress diary, feel free.

I would say here a big old thumbs DOWN to Creative for making their tech support an INTERNATIONAL number!!!!... This means you must dial and pay international call rates for tech support!... But at least they answered fairly quickly when i tried them.

More to come!.. check the link for the progress diary.

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Product:  Emu - 1820m
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 20-Mar-08


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Product:  Emu - 1820m
Name: Ted Banker
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 06-Jul-14

I had to do the capacitor replacement after a while, as mine blew and made the device unstable, but it was cheap and easy (did it myself), and it's been solid as a rock ever since. I use it for professional analog to digital conversions (vinyl, etc.) and other uses.

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