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E-Mu 1212M drivers finally not working

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E-Mu 1212M drivers finally not working

Postby Scramble » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:45 am

I've been keeping my E-Mu 1212M card going for a few years on Windows 10, but it's now started to cause crashes. I tried my rarely-used Windows 8 partition, but after updating that with the latest Windows updates the card crashed on that as well.

So either something has changed in the latest Windows updates, or there's a problem with the physical card -- I suspect the former. Either way I've decided to retire the card (it's not my main card, just a secondary one).

Creative/E-Mu haven't updated the driver since 2011, so it's been miraculous that the thing has been working for so long. Meanwhile my Fireface 800 powers on, RME are still releasing updated drivers. So many audio interface companies that fail to support their products long-term, with the exception of RME. Mind you, they don't make any small cheap interfaces to use as second or third interface!
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Re: E-Mu 1212M drivers finally not working

Postby OK1 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:14 pm

Thankfully the EMU is not your primary card.

This is the price of progress - obsolescence.

I have two EMU products I cherish - the 1212M PCI, and 0404USB. The 1212M I have not used for several years since I tried moving to a laptop - but I will move back to a desktop, and the 1212M will very likely be pressed back into service.

EMU are really great products - awesome sound quality, good performance, and in my experience relatively stable, at an affordable price, but they (Creative Labs) probably bought EMU only for the technology - and their business model of low cost premium devices, needed much higher sales volumes, than the enthusiast/home studio market could deliver, so they dropped that market.

Echo Audio is somewhat similar though their products were a bit pricier than EMU's. I happen to own the Layla 3G PCI, so you see a trend here - a customer base that wanted a lot for not too much money. - Somewhat unsustainable and not good for business - both ways - for the customer and for the vendor.

So what are the solutions.

1. Craft new drivers by tweaking the existing drivers - I am aware that this has been done for the EMU0404USB on Mac, to provide updated drivers. I am not an expert at this kind of reverse engineering/geek level chicanery, but it is feasible that it could be done, or has been done. I recall once upon a time owning - and this card is still in my storage somewhere in the world - a Creative Labs non EMU card - which independent developers had created drivers for - with a whole new custom app to control it.

2. Hope that further revisions of Windows 10 restore that compatibility with your audio device, that most likely was regressed when you upgraded to the latest version of Windows 10. I presume you may be using the Home edition of Windows 10, which gives you very little choice in when these upgrades are applied. This is the price I pay for using the Home Edition - MIcrosoft insists on keeping greater control, for using us as guinea pigs to test their upgrades - at our cost in inconvenience, lost productivity, time, should the new version introduce regression or unexpected outcomes.

3. Use Windows 10 Professional - a minor investment - to upgrade from Windows Home to a version which gives you greater control of when you need to upgrade - This way, all changes are predictable and at your discretion. e.g you can discretionarily choose to apply only the critical updates which affect security, and are unlikely to affect subsystems like audio services/devices.

4. Go back to using WIndows 7 ( I think it uses less resources than Windows 8 and 8.1). As Microsoft no longer really supports Windows 7 there is small security risk, if you use this PC for connecting to the Internet regularly for browsing, or need to leave this PC online cos you have have tons of installed plugins which need to "phone home". In my recent experience though I discern that my Waves plugins, which usually phone home, ran ok, when I was at a live venue without any LAN or Wireless connections, so temporarily turning off Wifi, disconnecting from your Wifi connection, or pulling out your Ethernet LAN cable, may fix this issue if it applies to you. If I was using Windows 7, i'd connect to the network, only for authorising plugins, and avoid browsing on this computer - if I wish to stay connected to the network/internet 24/7.

5. Upgrade to an RME interface. When you think of the number of years during which the EMU device has already served you well, an upgrade is not inconsistent. Nothing lasts forever, and you can take consolation in the fact that you have already derived a lot of value from the EMU device. You can still sell the EMU device - cos those enthusiasts who know its value keep it in demand - you may still get the same price you paid for it - last time I checked I could have sold my EMU1212M for exactly the same price I bought it for 10 years ago, and invest this in the purchase of a new audio interface.

6. You may also try rebooting Windows 10 a few times - strange but true, I find that Windows 10 seems to have some Artificial Intelligence, by this I mean it seems to "learn" what's working or not and appears to improve things like startup times, and in my experience, the driver subsystem can improve somewhat - after some reboots - strange - but true. Or it could be that the upgrade does not fully complete after the 1st or 2nd reboot - but this incomplete upgrade is not made apparent to the user.
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Re: E-Mu 1212M drivers finally not working

Postby Scramble » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:45 pm

Thanks for the thoughts.

Yes, E-Mu cards, judging by the 1212M, provide good performance at a great price (if you ignore the lapsed driver situation). I also used to have an Echo card (Mia) and agree with your comments, great cards which proved to be too good for the price.

I do use W10 Pro, not Home, and I'm delaying the major updates, mainly because the major updates won't install on my machine anyway. (I thought removing the 1212M would solve this issue, but it hasn't).

>Go back to using WIndows 7

I've been thinking about doing that today. W10 seems more hassle than W7 ever was, and doesn't really offer me anything that I couldn't do in W7. But that means problems the other way, with software that eventually won't run on W7. Not sure it's the worth the hassle of going back to W7 at this stage just for one cheap soundcard. And re-installing a new OS, whether W7 or W10, means an incredible amount of time and hassle re-installing and re-authorizing my stupidly huge amount of software, which I don't have time for at the moment.

>Upgrade to an RME interface.

I'll get a new RME when I need a new primary interface, but I don't have the money for an RME at this point.

>You may also try rebooting Windows 10 a few times.

Done that a lot. Didn't help. But I may try re-installing the 1212M in a few days. Or I may just sell it.
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Re: E-Mu 1212M drivers finally not working

Postby IvanSC » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:30 pm

FWIW RME stuff is reliable enough for you to safely buy a used card. I did years ago & it is still going strong. Funnily enough, it replaced my 1212m too.
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