EMU 1820M ??? - Gearspace.com
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EMU 1820M ???
Old 5th June 2006
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
EMU 1820M ???

I'm considering buying the EMU 1820M as my A/D interface. I'm new to DAW's but I've put together the following computer for that purpose:

AMD Athlon 64 3000 1.8Mhz CPU
512Mb X 2 dual channel 400Mhz RAM Kingston
WD Raptor 10K as primary

I have a SB Live 5.1 now. It's decent but it's but not good for want I need.

Anyone have any comments on the abilities of the EMU 1820M?


Old 5th June 2006
Lives for gear
7161's Avatar
🎧 15 years
a good sound but rather dodgy drivers basicaly - ok, all drivers for all cards can give probs, but these seem a little more prone to problems that others on one machine i use it on sometimes it causes the computer to reboot for no reason when not in use, meaning if you stop work and go and have lunch, come back and the machine has crashed and rebooted all by itself. Also in one machine it couldnt work alongside a firewire equipt video capture card (canopus ACEDVIO), if you tried to browse from the sequencer to load a song it would crash out trying to browse the drives.

the plugins are next to useless due to the stupid delay compensator you must add to every track NOT using a dsp plugin, they arent inherently bad plugin fx, just not usable in real life with a sequencer.

If it works ok it's a good unit tho soundwise
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
I have one that's been rock solid, but then I bought it as the 1.82 driver came out.

The FX's aren't much use except for monitoring purposes, which is enough to warrant having them IMO.

The real problem is that it's PCI based and PCI is a thing of the past. So if you buy, you'll likely not be able to move it to a newer PC next year because it won't have a PCI slot...

It has a decent selection of bundled software if that's important to you. And of course it's a very good sounding box.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Thanks to those who replied to my post. I guess I should have ask if there was a better equiptment solution than the EMU 1820M. I've done alot of reading on the 1820 and it seemed like a good small studio starter. I've been looking at the M-Audio 1010 and it seems like a good piece but it's PCI and there again it may become obsolete after some time. I'd like to keep whatever I decide on below $500.

Any suggestion, please?

Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Nut
lixisoft's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have had a good run with the 1820M...the trick is to make sure it has it's own IRQ, and learn how to use the Patch Mix app to set it up. I do not use the EFX, I have much better sounding ones than Emu gives you.
Old 6th June 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
catfish11's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have the first 1820m ever shipped, I use it to get my synths and softsynths into a protools hd system via adat, I have a digi 192, and a cranesong spider, the emu conversion stands up IMHO

learn the the patchmix as it is very versitle, for the money
I believe it is a no-brainer
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
And I beleive that there will continue to be PCI support for a long time to come - I cannot believe that the industry would orphan off so much hardware. There tends be be a considerable period of backwards compatability whenever a new hardware paradigm comes out.
Old 7th June 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
I moved from an old RME to the 1820m when the 1820 came out (wanted the extra I/Os), and the drivers were a step back, to be sure. The bad rep was deserved.

But the latest drivers are really very good.

The patchbay is great, once you get your head around it. If all you're looking to do is bring channels in and out, it's definitely overkill. But if you want to build a bunch of zero latency monitor mixes with verb for tracking, it's great.

It's fair to say that the DSP effects are a little weak. I don't use them as VST effects, but they're handy for monitor mixes.

Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
The new drivers are solid but I have to go through usb for MIDI . I get a delay in recording the longer it is on if I go through the MIDI ports . Kinda blows but I make do ....

They sent me a whole new system so I replaced everything and had same problem .

I have a 1212m in another box and it has been solid as can be .

The one with the problem has a Foxconn 865A01-PE-6EKRS MOBO and a 3.2 P4 800mhz FSB , 512 L2 .
Old 14th August 2006
Here for the gear
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
EMU M series (1616M or 1820M) are very good soundcards

First thing first, EMU Mseries 1820M and 1616M are quality cards with superior A/D and D/A converters (AKM 5394 and CL C4398 respectively)..let me know if you ever find another card in the price range with the same set of converters.

The problem with unstable drivers have been fixed with updated drivers.

PCI, followed by PCMIA are by far the most stable compared to USB or Firewire. I don know about PCI fading away next year. PCI is a standard. Firwire are optional and it will be that way for a long while. Firwire was developed more for digital transfer between media (e.g Camera to PC, etc) but is now popular with auduio gears as alternative to PCI based for the convenience. Hardcore audio work requires a very stable platform and firewire is not there yet.

The MIC pre on EMU is pro level in the event that you dont have a budget to buy high end MIC pres.

People have had some trouble figuring out the patch MIX console software that controls the EMU units. Well, read the manual very well, practice, call EMU support if needed and once you are over the initial learning curve, you will probably not want to use any other audio card in my opinion. And yes I have used/owned some of the good cards out there (Echo layla 3G, MOTU 828 MKII, Mackie 400f, EMU 1616M, etc)...I have sold everything else except the EMU, and no I not broke, the card just scored the highest points in my studio

I hate to sound like I work for them, but lets call a spade a spade. YOu can't go wrong with the M series IMO. The Echo comes second on my list.
Old 14th August 2006 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
[SPAM] - if you're looking for an 1820m

[SPAM]I'm selling my Exulator X Studio, pretty much new, excellent condition for $450. I like it a lot but I cannot use it cause because it doesn't coexist with my Tascam 24 channel firewire solution.

I paid $600 for it.
Old 15th April 2010 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
Eisbude's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I have the Emu 1616 ( without M). Is it a big difference to the M version? Because I think the converters and preamps sounds really good to me.
Old 15th April 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
wakestyle's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
the "M' version gives u much better line in's on the back. Preamps are pretty much the same, but the line in's give you better sound, and a few db's of extra headroom which is extrememly useful.
Old 16th April 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Arksun's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I think the M versions have both better A/D convertor chips (AKM?) as well as higher specced Cirrus Logic D/A chips too.

I've only ever used the M version though (1820m)
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