Anyone who is in the market for a mobile recording/mixing solution would be well served with the E-MU 1616!
I do the majority of my production work on a laptop, either in a coffee shop or at another producer’s house. Even when I am home I don’t like to feel tethered to my desk. Enter the E-MU 1616!
This interface offers more than enough inputs and outputs to satisfy any mobile producer, with 2 Neutrik Combi connectors (with 48V phantom power), plus software-switchable ADAT and S/PDIF rounding out the front of the breakout box. The back of the box has four 1/4″ TRS in, two phono in, and two MIDI in/out (via connectable dongle). The rear also has six 1/4″ TRS outputs (or three 1/8″), plus the RJ-45 port for cabling to your computer.
This breakout box is connectable via PCI (with E-MU 1010 card) or PCMCIA (CardBus), making it an extremely versatile card, especially taking advantage of the increased bandwidth both those busses offer over USB or FireWire. The convenience of being able to record to a PC, throw the project file onto a thumb drive (and subsequently the laptop), and engineer sound and perform mixdowns wherever I want to is a luxury I’m not willing to give up at this point!
If the breakout box is the guts of the system, then the CardBus card is the heart. The DSP is on the card, so when I fire up SONAR and open a project, all my virtual instruments and effects plugins run flawlessly, saving my processor for other tasks. The PatchMix DSP software is quite robust, allowing signal routing via software, effects inserts and sends, zero-latency hardware mixing and monitoring, even choosing the sample rate!
With outstanding WDM, MME and ASIO support as well as pristine 24-bit/192kHz converters, this interface is simply unassailable. Anyone who is in the market for a mobile recording/mixing solution would be well served with the E-MU 1616!