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E-MU 0404 USB2.0 Reviews
I did a lot of research on the available USB audio / midi interfaces before opting for the EMU0404, and I must say that (in my opinion) it is easily the best in terms of both ease of use and sound quality - even though it is not the cheapest or have the best build quality of the available units out there
I am running a windows based set-up with Cubasis VST, and the EMU software and hardware both installed in minutes with no problems whatsoever. Audio and midi recording & playback worked fine from directly out of the box
What can I say!? I dont profess to be an expert sound engineer but the results obtained from the EMU0404 met and exceeded my expectations. For info, I am using the unit for both recording and playback - guitar, vocal, keyboard, and synths, and cannot fault the clarity and depth of sound across the entire frequency range. And of course, latency free monitoring is an absolute must
Features & Build:
All the essential features which I need for a small & portable recording studio. As eluded to previously, the build quality isnt necessarily the sturdiest but if the unit will predominantly be studio (desk) based, then this shouldnt present a problem
I havent really used much in truth (with the exceptiob of Amplitube and Proteus Plug-Ins. Both of which have proven to be very useful applications) however there seems to be a good selection that would get a new user up and recording fairly quickly, although arguably not the most user friendly software for the novice
In summary then, a great bit of kit with some very minor faults that can easily be lived with - 9 stars
I\\\\\\\'ve given the EMU 0404 a 3 star mark for its performance with a properly specified PC. It made the PC unstable to the point where it would consistently crash requiring hard reboots over and over again. Not once could I use it for more than 10 mins without crashing.
E-MU tech support could not resolve and hours later, I gave up and returned the unit. I could have given it a 1 star as it was literally \\\\\\\'useless\\\\\\\' with my pc. Very disappointed. I tried it as a standalone dac when it worked well and would have got a 7 or 8 stars.
Great interface,does everything i need it to do and more,sound quality is superb,highly recommended,good service and fast shipping as always,cheers dolphin
(Having spent hours reading USB interface reviews, I\'m trying to be as specific as possible here, so forgive the length! I record acoustic guitar through a mic and play indie pop style stuff.)
Previously recorded with the internal mic on my MacBook and got very lo-fi recordings with low volume and background hissing.
Searched for a month through all USB interfaces and mics online. First I got a cheap ESI UGM96 from Dolphin but it really wasn\'t good enough with my set up - a SHURE prologue dynamic mic. Basically I couldn\'t get the levels up high enough to record anything. Sent it back then was veering towards getting the M-Audio Fast Track Pro, but after reading quite a few bad reviews online I opted for the E-MU 0404 which was roughly in the same price range - I\'m so happy I got it.
I set it up in about 5 minutes, no problems at all. Had my first go with my new C-1 Behringer mic (Â£32). Recorded vocals first and they sounded loud, lovely and rich with no background noise at all. Turning up the gain past half way and I noticed the start of some background hiss but I\'m sure with a little tweaking I can get rid of this. But I was just testing it and didn\'t need this extra gain. So far :-)
Next I tried with my acoustic guitar and WOW, crystal clear and great professional sound.
I listen to a lot of demo stuff on garageband.com and to me this already sounded as good as some of the more professional stuff on there.
So these are my first impressions. It\'s a solid piece of kit too and everything is fairly intuitive and easy to use. Comes bundled with loads of stuff I haven\'t looked at yet because I was so taken aback by the great quality!
To conclude, if you\'re MacBook user keen to finally get your music sounding a little more professional but haven\'t got loads of money, I would highly recommend the E-MU 0404 and the C-1 condenser mic.
Great customer service too from the Dolphin guys. Thank you thank you thank you!!
I\'ll keep this short and sweet. A great interface, does what it says on the tin to be honest. However there is 1 problem...
If you are installing the drivers from a cd on Mac Os X Leopard. Dont. It overwrites some vital drivers that rend Garageband and Logic Useless. I had to reinstall my whole OS. Go straight to the website and download the most recent and you will be fine.
Other than that its a great audio interface.
Running sound intensive applications on my dual core tended to produce crackly sounds. The soundcard in my otherwise great laptop is not too good, and the music apps gobbled up my dual core laptop's processor too.
Reviews of the E-MU raved about it, saying there's not much else around that can beat this on price. And they're right.
The sounds produced are great, it has a wealth of sockets for input and output, so I'm now using it for things I didn't think of: upgrading my Mixer, using the E-MU's MIDI sockets to transfer sys-ex MIDI files to the MIXER.
It's USB 2.0, which makes connection to PC's very easy (Firewire plugs aren't all the same, so it can be tough to find the right cable).
I also love the idea of USB 2.0 as it's so easy to carry around and plug into another PC.
The bundle of CD's that come with it have all been installed, but I have yet to find the time to try them all out. E-MU works well with my favevourite app (Fruity Loops), and it's support of ASIO drivers means it should work well with most music apps.
All in all, this ultra portable little box of wonders has proved to be well worth getting.
I wanted an external USB soundcard to go with my laptop. I have put the other type of interface into my desktop. I did a fair amount of research and reviews etc. This is fairly new out and so it has some good features. The most important, in my opinion, is the direct monitoring.
Direct monitoring allows you cut out the latency problem that soundcards have. Latency is the delay between playing and hearing the sound. Usually to make the gap unnoticeable, you have to set the buffer time on the PC quite low and this can make the sound pop and crack during recording and playback. The direct monitoring means you can set the buffer time to a much safer setting and you don't get any disturbance in either the playback and recording. It makes the whole process a lot easier.
The recorded sound is just as good as any CD, which is very important. Pristine is how they describe it and it's true.
I use a guitar processor which can use s/pdif coaxial and this soundcard has I/O (in and out) coaxial points and also I/O optical points which many other things use. It also has guitar/mic jack I/Os x2 with mic boost. The output can go to a speaker via one stereo output or it can go out via 2 outputs to two seperate speakers/amps. There is also midi I/O. The point I'm making is that all bases are covered. I have midi in and out, drum machine into the jacks and the processor into the coaxial all at once.
The added bonus is the bundled software. Although they are the lite versions, they are still very good. Lite versions make things a little more fiddly and don't have all the features as you would expect but they are still good recording tools. You get Sonar, Cubase, Waveelab, Ableton and Proteus. You don't need much more unless you are really into music production at a higher level.
I have a lot of applications and players and music sites etc on at once and this can cause the soundcard to get a little confused shall we say. That's more to do with how I use it, I think. On/off sorts that out. You do have to remember to set the sync source manually to internal or external otherwise you won't get sound. I like that it doesn't shut off the built in soundcard in the laptop so the soundcard can be put away and your original sound is still there.
I would advise buying this to go with a laptop. It's been a good buy and it's a good price for what it does and what you get. Obviously, if you have a desktop, I would advise buying the ones you slot into the back. They are better packages all round. Nearly all soundcards from my experience and from what I've read have their little foibles but I've found this one to be very good.
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