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emu 1820 vs layla help

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Wizbang, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest

    Hello- newbie shopping- just read today's posts- very similar wants/needs as previous poster...

    I'm trying to decide between emu 1820 & echo layla3...

    question is what are the advantages/disadvantages/features of these 2 units?

    I plan to buy oneof these 2 or very similar in next few days...

    ebay as layla3 w/traction sw for $470- new auth dealer, and emu emulator studio pack for same give or take 20 bucks...

    My brain is about cooked as i have spent past 2 weeks trying to get educated on DAW in general...spent 80+ hours...lurking, reading reviews, etc.

    Thanks for help...You guys are AWESOME with helping newbies!
  2. tubes4tone

    tubes4tone Guest

    I purchased the EMU 1820M so I can only review it and not the echo.

    One thing to note: the 1820 is different from the 1820M (the subtle little 'M'). The 1820M has "mastering grade" converters (Emu's wording) and some more digital syncing options while the 1820 has standard converters. Otherwise they are about the same, except for the $100 price difference. In my case, I decided to go ahead and spend the extra money and get the better converters in the 1820M.

    Here's a quick rundown:
    Most people buy the EMU1820M because of the great hardware interface. As already mentioned, the 1820M has very high quality converters for 8 analog inputs. Two of those 8 inputs have nice mic level preamps, or they can be bypassed and just accept a line in like the other inputs. the 1820M also has 8 channel ADAT optical I/O, meaning you can hook up an external preamp/converter (such as the Behringer ADA8000) and have 8 more channels of audio input. I've found this very useful for recording drums, or even the entire band during practice (12-16 mics).

    If you're a true beginner and don't have any other gear, then the lack of mic-level preamps on the 1820M might be bothersome if you need more than 2 mic inputs right away. I'm currently using the preamps on an external mixer and then sending the individual channels over to the 1820M. I plan to buy some nice individual preamps in the very near future, but this setup is working great for now.

    The PCI card also has a DSP chip that is used to provide on board effects that don't load your main processor. These can be used to add effects to the signal before recording (not recommended) or just on the monitored signal. This is useful for, say, adding a little reverb to the monitor mix while recording without loading the processor. I don't use the effects that much, but they are there if you want/need them. They can possibly be accessed from Cubase, but I'm not sure because I haven't tried it. One thing to note: the number of effects that you can use at one time varies with the number of channels you are using and also the sampling rate. If you have a high number of channels and are trying to run at 96kHz or something, you won't be able to use many effects.

    The software interface that you use to control the hardware is called Patchmix, and it functions very much like a hardware mixer. It is very intuitive to use and easy to setup and recall different configurations. You basically set up channel strips for all of your physical inputs (analog in, ADAT in, etc), and then create ASIO sends to go to your recording software, such as Cubase.

    Speaking of recording software, the 1820M comes bundled with Cubase VST 5.1. This version of Cubase is now officially unsupported I believe, but there are many who are still using it, including me! It seems quite powerful and flexible for what I need. My original plan was to buy the 1820M with the bundled Cubase and familiarize myself with the software. Then I was going to upgrade to a newer version of Cubase (SL or SX), but I don't think I really need to do it just yet. So far, Cubase VST does everything I need, and it was free (relatively speaking)!

    In summary, if you are serious about getting into recording, then I would recommend the EMU 1820M. The high quality hardware with lots of inputs (up to 16 analog inputs using the ADAT ins) is what originally sold me on the unit. The free bundled Cubase VST was sort of a bonus, saving me from spending $300 or more RIGHT AWAY on software. I still might upgrade the software, but if you're just starting out, then this software should be fine for quite a while. Like I mentioned before, you will need some sort of preamps to be able to use 6 of the 8 analog inputs, but if you're serious about recording, you might already have a small mixer, some preamp strips, or something that will suffice.

    That's about it, I guess. If you have any more questions about this system, feel free to ask. I've been using it to record an entire band (at practice) and haven't had any problems yet.

    As a side note, I purchased my 1820M from Zzounds; they have about the best price ($500) and their shipping is usually free and fast!
    Also, the Behringer ADA8000 is the 8-channel ADAT interface that I use to add more inputs to the 1820M. It's about $230 new, has decent preamps, and works quite well for me.
    (I have no affiliation with zzounds other than the fact that I like their fast and free shipping!)
  3. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest

    Thanks Tubes!

    I really appreciate the help...after researching another 15 hours, I decided to go with the RME multiface/Hammerfall.

    AudioGaff recommended the 1820M highly as well...I think it would have been my choice had I not seen a great deal on the RME on Ebay.

    Thanks again....the learning curve is wicked, but maybe the first hairpin has been maneuvered through successfully!!

  4. Pekkizz

    Pekkizz Guest

    Audio out of sync?!


    I also use 1820 (not the M) and I have Dynacord Powermate mixer as mic preamp for lines 3-8. I have this weard out of sync phenomenon going on :)

    Right after recording to Cubase 5.1 I can listen to my drumtracks, but they are not in sync!! I play all right dude :p I exported them to Adobe Audition and the I could move them few secs around and I got the sync back.

    Do you have any idea what could lead to this kind of out-of-sync issue?


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