Need input from 1212m owners
Mar 22, 2006 at 1:57 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

JazzJackRabbit

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Hi,

Currently I have Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 installed in my PC. It's a great card and has given me zero problems. The drivers are very light, less than 2 megs in size, but they have every feature I need including native support for every possible bitrate, WDM, DirectX and ASIO support.

Now, my dad needs a new soundcard so I've been thinking about upgrading to 1212m and selling him my Audiotrak. I wanted to get Prodigy 7.1XT, but it doesn't seem to be available in the US. So 1212m is the next choice. However have read a lot of negative comments about 1212m driver support, including game support and WDM drivers. I use my computer for everything, including listening to music with foobar kernel streaming, watching DVD movies and playing games. I don't need eax support and I'm perfectly fine with 2 sound channel in games (since I mostly play with headphones anyway). I also use digital output when I want to watch DVDs so that's an important feature too. So I have a few questions about 1212m drivers and how it works in general.



1.I have read a while ago that 1212m didn't have WDM support so you couldn't even watch DVDs on it, however I have also read that e-mu has added WDM support and everything works now, is this correct?
2.Does it work with games, at all? I have read that it has problems with games, however nobody has ever said if they tried to get eax working or simply 2 channel audio. Will 1212m work with games as long as I use 2 channels?
3.I have read that you must manually switch within drivers 44.1 and 48Khz mode if you want to listen to CD audio or watch DVD. What happens then? If I want to watch DVD and have the selector set to 44.1Khz will the card resample the sound down to 44.1Khz or will I get no sound at all?
4.I have my speakers connected via digital out. Does 1212m support dolby digital and dts5.1 via digital connectors? What about analog ones?
5.Right now I don't have any amp (yeah, I know I should get one, but I don't have that much money and I don't really want to settle on it), can I plug senn600 directly into the card with appropriate adapters? Will 1212m be able to drive them w/o amplifier?
6.Can I individually mute and change volume levels on analog out channels in case I want to watch DVD via digital out but don't want headphones playing?


Thanks, JazzJackRabbit
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 3:48 AM Post #2 of 11

Bones13

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Wow, what a list ! And I can't answer a single one of them. Well one of them, you will have to define different sessions for 44.1 and 48, nothing automatic there.

I run the digital out to and external amp/dac, and run the analog out to speakers.

I will try a game or 2 when I get back to the office tomorrow, honestly have not messed with games there since I started reading HeadFi.

I run a Samsung DVD player audio out to my amp, and an SVideo cable to my computer screen to watch DVD's, listening to the headphones there, so I bypass most all of what you are mentioning.

I have never aquired the adaptor that would be neede to plug a set of headphones into the card itself, so I can't comment on that either.

Hoping some other folks can answer the multichannel questions for you, I doubt that the card does that though. I was under the impression that it does not handle DTS thru the SPDIF, but I most certainly could be wrong.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:42 AM Post #3 of 11

JazzJackRabbit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bones13
Wow, what a list ! And I can't answer a single one of them. Well one of them, you will have to define different sessions for 44.1 and 48, nothing automatic there.


Well, at least that's something. So I still do have to manually switch bitrate which is totally stupid, but I hope it shouldn't really be a problem since I only need 48KHz for watching movies. But still, what happens if I accedentally forget to put switch to 48KHz and try to watch DVD? Will it resample the sound, will I get no sound at all or will I get a bunch or white noise?

I don't think 1212m supports dolby digital/dts via analog - it doesn't have that many analog outputs, but I would at least expect it to pass through whatever digital stream it receives, shouldn't be that hard to do. But knowing that creative f-cks up everything it touches I wouldn't be surprised if that's not possible either.

That's my biggest problem with e-mu/creative cards. If you notice pretty much all of my questions are driver related. There is no doubt 1212m is a great piece of hardware, but the thought of installing creative drivers is frightening. lol I just checked the driver size - 25Mb compared to 2Mb for my AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1, well I suppose it's better than 100+Mb drivers for Audigy.


BTW another question. I looked at the specs on e-mu website and it says "sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 96, 192kHz" are supported. What happens if I try to feed it non-standard 16/22/24/32/88/176KHz? Is it going to at least resample it?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:05 AM Post #4 of 11

InSides

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
BTW another question. I looked at the specs on e-mu website and it says "sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 96, 192kHz" are supported. What happens if I try to feed it non-standard 16/22/24/32/88/176KHz? Is it going to at least resample it?


Recent driver releases [I am using 1.82] have included session settings for 88.2KHz as well as 176.4KHz. I am not sure regarding support for 16/22/24/32. I might be able to free up some time later on and do some testing, so I will report back to you. I might also have some answers to your other questions later on.

However:

- multichannel decoding via analog outputs is physically impossible since the 1212m has two [2] analog outputs.
- most games work for me - you mentioned you don't care about EAX anyway - I should say I don't play a lot of games anyhow [occassional UT, POP and WOW].
- I am also not sure as to whether you can use the analog outputs to drive the headphones straight from the card - although I assume you would get some results, I wouldn't expect them to be stellar [but you already knew that].

That said - the E-MU 1212m is a great card, but seeing you have been accustomed to seamless operation from your Audiotrak with autiomated settings, you might find the PatchMix DSP learning curve a bit too steep.

I do love mine, but it takes some tinkering to get it to work like you want it to, so be prepared to spend some time setting it up just right.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:17 PM Post #5 of 11

JazzJackRabbit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by InSides
Recent driver releases [I am using 1.82] have included session settings for 88.2KHz as well as 176.4KHz. I am not sure regarding support for 16/22/24/32. I might be able to free up some time later on and do some testing, so I will report back to you. I might also have some answers to your other questions later on.


Well, that's good to know. However most older games couple of years back still use 22KHz sampling rates, so that might be a problem if 1212m truly does not support those rates via WDM.

Quote:

Originally Posted by InSides
- multichannel decoding via analog outputs is physically impossible since the 1212m has two [2] analog outputs.


I guessed that already, and I don't really care about that but I would like to know if 1212m can at least pass through dolby digital/dts streams because that's what I'm using for my Audiotrak to speakers. Of course I could always downmix down to two channels, but I'd like the option of having DTS via digital out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by InSides
- most games work for me - you mentioned you don't care about EAX anyway - I should say I don't play a lot of games anyhow [occassional UT, POP and WOW].


Yes I don't need eax. However what do you mean most? Which games don't work? So far every game I have thrown at my Prodigy has worked flawlessly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by InSides
- I am also not sure as to whether you can use the analog outputs to drive the headphones straight from the card - although I assume you would get some results, I wouldn't expect them to be stellar [but you already knew that].


I know that, my prodigy with internal opamp was able to handle them though. I may buy pimeta from the forums, which are cheap enough and should be fine for the next couple of years until I can upgrade it to something better.


Quote:

Originally Posted by InSides
That said - the E-MU 1212m is a great card, but seeing you have been accustomed to seamless operation from your Audiotrak with autiomated settings, you might find the PatchMix DSP learning curve a bit too steep.

I do love mine, but it takes some tinkering to get it to work like you want it to, so be prepared to spend some time setting it up just right.



I don't mind steep learning curve. As long it it meets my requirements I think I can figure it out. The reason why I love my Audiotrak is because it does absolutely everything I want it to, from games, to DVDs and still have excellent sound quality thanks to wolfson DAC. And that's my biggest worry about 1212m that this card is mostly aimed at sound professionals so they don't care about home multimedia usage which is really a shame, that and creative involvement...
smily_headphones1.gif



BTW seems that you are more familiar with 1212m. Can you tell me what happens if I accedentally forget to put switch to 48KHz and try to watch DVD? Will it resample the sound to 44.1KHz, will I get no sound at all or will I get a bunch or white noise? As it turns out I have lots of anime which has 48KHz sound track so switching every time I want to watch it can be really bothersome unless 1212m can resample it on the fly without too much loss of a quality.


Thanks, JJR
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:44 PM Post #6 of 11

Testament

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
BTW seems that you are more familiar with 1212m. Can you tell me what happens if I accedentally forget to put switch to 48KHz and try to watch DVD? Will it resample the sound to 44.1KHz, will I get no sound at all or will I get a bunch or white noise? As it turns out I have lots of anime which has 48KHz sound track so switching every time I want to watch it can be really bothersome unless 1212m can resample it on the fly without too much loss of a quality.


Yeah you have to manually resample or no sound comes out, at least with my 0404 thats what happens
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:50 PM Post #7 of 11

JazzJackRabbit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Testament
Yeah you have to manually resample or no sound comes out, at least with my 0404 thats what happens


You mean I have to manually select 48KHz sampling rate? That's not nice...
frown.gif
Can anyone confirm the same about 1212m?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 5:58 PM Post #8 of 11

Asmo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
You mean I have to manually select 48KHz sampling rate? That's not nice...
frown.gif
Can anyone confirm the same about 1212m?



Wrong.

You can playback 44.1/48 on the 1212m without setting up seperate sessions, that is a fault on the 0404 only.

To quickly answer all your other questions.

The 1212m works perfectly in all games and movies, no problems.

I play tonnes of games, never had any problems, and watch movies all the time, you of course only get 2 channel, but it works fine.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 6:52 PM Post #9 of 11

JazzJackRabbit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Asmo
Wrong.

You can playback 44.1/48 on the 1212m without setting up seperate sessions, that is a fault on the 0404 only.

To quickly answer all your other questions.

The 1212m works perfectly in all games and movies, no problems.

I play tonnes of games, never had any problems, and watch movies all the time, you of course only get 2 channel, but it works fine.



I noticed that now emu webpage says directsound support, afaik it didn't have directsound support when it launched, maybe they added it later. If that's true then 1212m should probably work fine with most games.

One more question. So I don't have to use separate sessions for 44/48KHz, but I suppose in this case the card will resample the source to the target rate, is this correct? If this is true, then how does it affect sound quality, is it noticable?

Thanks.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 7:18 PM Post #10 of 11

Jasper994

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Regarding 44.1khz and 48khz opperation, the 1212m exhibits some oddities. I have several different sessions but generally run a 44.1khz session with ASIO and WDM support. If I don't bother to switch sessions it will downsample movies to 44.1khz rather than switching to 48khz. On the other hand, I have seen it switch from 44.1khz to 48khz on some occasions (although at the moment what those occasions were slips my memory), and then back as needed. When using ASIO, however, it will not autoswitch or resample. In foobar this will cause errors and you'll have to stop the song and then switch sessions. Keep in mind, however, that switching sessions once they are configured is a very fast process (3-5 mouse clicks).

While a lot of people really don't like the E-MU driver, I find that I'm not bothered by it. It's perhaps a bit more complicated than some of the other drivers, but it's quite powerful.

I use it for games (CS:Source and C&C Generals Zero Hour mainly but I've used it with some older stuff too like Ice Wind Dale 2), and movie watching (PowerDVD), as well as music (Foobar2000). The only thing I could wish for in the driver would be Dolby Digital/DTS pass through opperation. I think you mentioned the need for this, and in this area alone I think you may be a bit disappointed.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 7:49 PM Post #11 of 11

Asmo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JazzJackRabbit
I noticed that now emu webpage says directsound support, afaik it didn't have directsound support when it launched, maybe they added it later. If that's true then 1212m should probably work fine with most games.

One more question. So I don't have to use separate sessions for 44/48KHz, but I suppose in this case the card will resample the source to the target rate, is this correct? If this is true, then how does it affect sound quality, is it noticable?

Thanks.



Yeah, the newer drivers are better than the ones it was released with.

I also play lots of games and never had any issue with it not working perfectly out of the box.
 

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