Replacement for E-MU 1616

Moderator Note: Split from

You updated what? Audacity, or your operating system, or the computer…?

Does the 1616M show up as a recording device in the Windows Sound Control Panel? If it does then there is a very good chance that you just need to get the settings right for it to work.

Just to tie this up, I suppose…

When I said the link to info on compiling Audacity involved a very old Audacity version, I probably meant this page or one linked on it: However, if that’s the case, that page or whatever I went to from it may have been updated since.

Regarding your question as to what I updated from, I meant I had updated from what may have been a very old version of Audacity. But the sudden incompatibility may have been irrelevant to that. The E-MU MicroDock M (PCI version) stopped being compatible with Audacity and Skype at about the same time. In addition, Windows Sound Recorder (Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit) doesn’t hear it, nor does a program I use to record Skype calls, called Total Recorder. (I don’t know if I ever previously tried recording directly from a mic in Total Recorder or Sound Recorder.)

E-Mu is no longer in business. I’ve reinstalled various versions of it ancient (2011?) driver, no improvement. Built a duplicate PC (from spare parts and buying a new copy of Windows). After loading only Windows, Skype and the E-MU driver, Sound Recorder and Skype heard it stuttery and very low volume, then after a reboot, they heard the 1616 great, then another reboot and … nothing. Been that way ever since. Last weekend, I did a clean reinstall of Win 7 on the original computer, and the 1616 wasn’t heard at any point at all. Even tried installing Windows updates that came out through July 2013. (My last successful Skype session was last August, and I was using Audacity into October, IIRC.) Nope. Installed Windows fully, still nada. So I’ve given up. The E-MU 1616 MicroDock was a great value, with solid preamps, and LOTS of analog ins and outs, but it’s time to move on.

At about the time originally posted, I tried a program called AsioBridge. It’s a way to get ASIO audio to non-ASIO programs, but it didn’t seem quite ready for prime time, and I was afraid it might be mucking around with the sound reaching Pro Tools, so I uninstalled. I think there’s a similar solution called ASIO4all, but haven’t tried it.

I’m open to recommendations as to a suitable replacement A/D interface – one that supports two condenser mics with excellent preamps, at least two pairs of line ins, and 2 pr line outs, full MIDI, and the other usual doodads, and supports Skype, Audacity, Total Recorder, Pro Tools 10, and other professional DAWs, on Windows 7 platform. Preferably PCI or PCIe based (rather than USB) for low-latency, but I will of course consider USB2, USB3 or Firewire. (That’s the extent of my motherboard’s hookups, and I don’t want to go buying yet more stuff!) ASIO’s still okay, if theres some authorized way it also works with non-ASIO software. Loopback capability and a rich array of effects would be good to have (such as E-Mu’s PatchMix interface provides). I want more than the usual few ports because I have my computer hooked into my home sound system, and produce commercials (not just mic’d stuff), and want to digitize old tapes, etc. In other words, a simple MBox won’t do.

For comparison, here’s the feature set I’ve been used to:

If anyone is still using current Audacity with an E-MU 1616 PCI MicroDock (PCIe is functionally identical but has different driver), on a Windows 7 64-bit system, please let us know. Although I’m tired of chasing this thoroughbred goat around the barn anymore.

This is an update and follow-up, although I don’t know if it will be helpful to anyone at this date, and I realize it amounts to an almost random collection of responses to the various open questions and issues. . . . Sorry, I have researched and experimented the he** out of this problem, to the extent of even building a duplicate, clean computer and this weekend doing a clean re-sintall of Windows 7 on my main one.

  1. I have focused the issue on ASIO because it might be that ASIO is the only “version” of “sound” that some software on my system can hear. In the past with Windows 7, I have used Skype (August 2013) without even thinking about ASIO and barely knowing what it is, and have similarly used Audacity (at least as late as Oct 2013) to record my mic, although I don’t know what version of Audacity that was, possibly a fairly old one.

  2. I suspect it’s a OS issue. At about the time I originally posted, I occasionally got low-volume, stuttery sound in Windows Sound Recorder and Skype. But on a simple reboot, it went away. On the duplicate computer, with only the OS, Skype and the E-MU drivers and PatchMix installed, I got the stuttery sound at one point, rebooted and got glorious sound performance in Sound Recorder and Skype, rebooted again, and they no longer heard the mic (although Skype said and still says my mic is working normally). I then installed Audacity, and it didn’t hear the mic, either. The other day, I did a clean reinstall of Win 7 on the original computer, and again, no mic sound in these programs at any point, even when I installed only Windows Updates released through July 2013 (and no results either after fully updating Windows).

I originally thought it was an Audacity issue because (IIRC), I had updated my version of Audacity last fall, and noticed this incompatibilty next time I used it. However, that wouldn’t explain Skype and Sound Recorder’s failure, which is why I’m thinking Windows 7 changed.

  1. At the time I posted, I also could not get the mic heard by a program called Total Recorder. However, in this Windows reinstall I updated Total Recorder to its most recent version. NOW TOTAL RECORDER HEARS THE MIC, BUT AUDACITY STILL DOES NOT. I’ve selected the same drivers in both. (In TR, the Recording Source and Parameters are set at Sound board=Wave (E-MU E-DSP Audio Processor (WDM)), Use this line=Master Volume, Recording format=PCM (HQ, 44.1,24bit stereo) (which is what PatchMix and the Windows Recording Devices are set at).

Audacity is set for the same E-MU driver, and as Audio Host, I’ve tried all three options (MME, Direct Sound and WASAPI) in combination with E-MU and with any other Input Device that Audacity shows (e.g., Primary Sound Capture Driver). My motherboard’s sound is turned off, as advised by E-MU, but I believe that was the case when the problematic programs were working. Months ago, I tried turning the mobo sound on (in BIOS), with no effect. Will try that again soon and edit this post to report. It’s my last hope.

The key to this might be: What does Total Recorder 8.5 (build 5530) know that Audacity, Skype and Windows Sound Recorder do not? TR’s publisher (High Criteria Inc) says that TR doesn’t support ASIO devices (at least, they said that of build 5520; I’m waiting to hear if they invisibly changed that since Feb).

  1. In answer to Steve, the only reason I’m focused on ASIO is because it works. Although I originally chose the E-MU interface partly for its extremely low latency, latency is not my main recording concern and as I don’t mix while recording, it’s not a big factor. (I record voice-over using one or two mics, mix commercials, transcribe old tapes to digital, listen to web A/V, and hope soon to get into MIDI recording for songwriting, etc.)

  2. Also a big thanks to Gale, but I’m not longer even dreaming of compiling or using odd versions of Audacity. (Re my reference to instructions dealing only with an old Audacity version, I no longer know what they were, and since they were probably wiki instructions, they may have since been updated.)

  3. From various online posts, it seems that people have had compatibility problems with the E-MU system much earlier than when I encountered them last autumn, and maybe some people are still sucessfully using the E-MU 1616 MicroDock under Windows 7 at this date. However, there are still so many variables (32-bit vs. 64-bit, Audacity version, E-Mu driver versions (although I’ve tried all available for my hardware), E-MU hardware versions, possible user misstatements, etc.), that it doesn’t inspire me to keep sorting this out.

  4. Audacity DOES hear my system audio when it’s from software (e.g., a YouTube video), but only if I select Windows WASAPI as source. At that setting, the only in and out options is “Speakers (E-MU E-DSP Audio Processor (WDM))”. The input (microphone icon) selection ends with “(loopback)”. No other Audio Host selection hears YouTube, regardless of what Input Device I select.

  5. In other respects, the E-MU MicroDock is working fine. Its audio is heard by the PatchMix software, my computer hears it and it hears my computer. I haven’t re-installed Pro Tools or other audio software yet, but once I understood ASIO routing, Pro Tools heard it okay. As I recall, so did a trial install of SoundForge.

  6. I have read the FAQs link, but if the solution is there, I’ve missed it.

  7. Regarding item #6 above, there is a newer (but now still very old and unsupported) version of my hardware. It uses a PCIe card instead of my PCI card, and the driver is slightly newer, otherwise they appear to be the same. Maybe that accounts for the continued use by other MicroDock users (of which there are few these days in any case). I have asked E-MU/Creative Labs if using the newer card would make a difference, but they did not answer. E-Mu is like a restaurant with the “Closed for Renovation” sign that has been in the window for years.

It’s time to go A/D interface shopping, I suppose. Need something as good and versatile as this (this link is to the PCIe version): Recommendations? (See #4 above … I need more than a simple mic interface and guitar input.)
If there are any open questions I’ve missed, I’ll be happy to answer, just let me know.

:frowning: I know. I quite liked some of their kit.

Regarding possible replacements, the fashion these days seems to be for USB audio devices without MIDI.

USB can give low latency with appropriate drivers. For recording audio, most will give “zero latency” (the analogue input is wired to the headphone/analogue output, so there is zero delay). If you require MIDI in/out, that need not be on the same device as your audio in/out.

There are USB sound cards available with multiple input/outputs, but an alternative option that may be worth considering, is to use a simple stereo “line level” in/out device and connect an analogue mixing desk to it (that’s what I use, and it is a very flexible set-up). From my limited experience of USB mixing desks, I prefer to use a non-USB mixing desk and separate sound card (the signal routing options in USB desks is often less flexible than using separate devices).

This is one of the configurations I tested for Perfect Overdubbing.

There’s a mixer inside the USB adapter and it can deliver zero latency mixing and production. If you need it louder, you do have to provide your own headphone booster. All you’re going to get from this is a much volume as it can do on 5 volts.

The mixer on the right is a Peavey PV6 analog mixer. Good quality but zero USB support. The computer on the right can be anything with a USB port.


Can we stay in this topic please and not the topic about compiling Audacity? I moved the post I’m replying to here.

What mic are you referring to - is it a mic connected to the E-MU?

Have you tried (at your own risk) Audacity 2.0.6-alpha from ? Choose Windows WDM-KS host which is experimentally available in 2.0.6-alpha. There is a small chance this host will crash your computer.

Also you can always record with an ASIO enabled application, save as WAV and edit/mix in Audacity.

Did you try the ASIO Bridge?



Thanks for the guidance and suggestions, and thanks for splitting the thread.

In addition to wanting to do a little of everything in terms of audio, I’m in the same situation with my computer. A professional studio studio wouldn’t be getting email, writing articles and Photoshopping on the same box. But in a home studio, where I already have a separate computer for home entertainment, it’s almost crazy to have yet another computer just for audio. But when I get a chance I’ll consider that option. Although cost is a factor, it more a matter of space, noise control and technical communications. Too many keyboards, only so much space for the box already (it’s in the next room), etc. But since I’m encountering the ASIO issue even after a clean install with no other software added (at that time), multitasking isn’t the basic issue. (I suppose at some point I may have to explain that to Pro Tools, but would be just as happy ignoring Pro Tools for something more suited to my needs.)

As I record voice-over, I need to interface and do justice to a Neumann TLM-49, which is my main VO mic. Two condenser mics at a time is likely as many as I’ll need. Or one mic, one electric guitar, or whatever. If I saddle myself with limited I/O ports, I could probably connect and disconnect stuff for whatever the situation. But that’s a real barrier to impulse creativity and workflow, so whether the board is software or hardware, I much prefer to just sit down and do.

I also use a headset mic, to participate in webinars, remote coaching, phone interviews, etc. There are various options for headsets today, but what I cobbled up several years ago was to take the electret mic off a cheap headset (e.g., Radio Shack VoiceStar, $35, but there are others). It expects to be used iwth a phone or computer, which supplies power, so added an Andrea APS-100 Battery Box between it and the mic input (thanks to a guy deep in Plantronics who explained the need for this). Over Skype it works like a charm when recording into TotalRecorder, which puts me on one channel, the other party on the other. But although TotalRecorder worked after one boot-up the other day, it’s back among the programs that don’t like E-MU. (BTW, Skype was at least saying my mic is okay, but now although it still lets me set up the E-Mu driver, Skype says it doesn’t see a mic, and the test icon is red, not black.) Installing a USB headset works with Skype, but obviously that’s not an overall solution.

I haven’t tried any version of Audacity lately except for the mainstream one I just downloaded and installed directly from the Audacity site. I’m reluctant to start messing with experimental stuff. I’m frazzled enough already, and have just freshly reinstalled Windows and everything. Don’t want to do that again for at least a year! Besides, getting Audacity to work is not the real problem, and not the only software at issue, as I’m just discussed. But as with all other suggestions, I’ll look into it.

I did try ASIO Bridge last February. It sort of solved the problem, but seemed to perform erratically, and the interface, while simple, doesn’t strike me as logical. Sorry, I uninstalled it and don’t remember the details. Will give it another try soon, though. Am willing to use whatever is the most practical, reliable and affordable solution to this driver problem. (UPDATE, July 28, 2014: I still haven’t reinstalled ASIO Bridge, but see my thoughts so far, below.)

BTW, I think above I mentioned ASIO4all. Yesterday I learned that it’s not an ASIO Bridge-type product. But if I’m understanding the function of ASIO4all correctly, it might be a solution to someday having more than one A/D interface? However, since it’s an ASIO solution, I suppose it’s not one that will get me back into operation with Skype, Audacity and TotalRecorder, etc.

Actually, my reason for focusing on Audacity, in addition to this being the Audacity forum and the fact that I know how to use it (a few months away from Pro Tools, and I’ve forgotten what little I knew of it … and it seems to be behaving differently.) Ultimately, I will probably settle on a DAW between these two extremes. Incidentally in January, I tried Sony SoundForge Audio Studio 10 and it was nice, but that simple version supports only two tracks. You’re right, I might wind up jumping back and forth between DAWS for awhile.

It all seems so complicated these days. I just have to remind myself, every so often, that losing a day to visit a studio for an hour, or manually starting and mixing a bunch of cart machines, a record, and a couple of 15 ips recorders in real time wasn’t exactly perfect, either. But it was in some ways more fun.

You only have to try 2.0.6-alpha once. I think there is some chance that WDM-KS could help (you would select Windows WDM-KS as the Host in Audacity).

You would have to compile an ASIO-enabled build of Audacity to use ASIO4ALL.


Thanks, Gale, for your additional tip, but (as the split-off from the original thread reflects) my concern is no longer how to compile Audacity to achieve ASIO compatibility. In any case, that wouldn’t resolve the problem regarding Skype, Sound Recorder, Total Recorder, etc. Rather than thinking about ASIO4all, my thoughts are exactly the reverse.

I will give Asio Bridge ( another try. No time at present, but in revisiting their site, I’m reminded of one of its problems. Gorgeous graphics, but hardly any detailed information as to what it does. The PDF link you supplied ( ), is good to have, but more technical than I hope I need. It’s a documentation situation we’ve probably all seen before: robust technical stuff, and specs and whatever, but the writer assumes the reader already knows what the product is for, and the operational concept behind it.

In this case, that’s BURIED deep in the document:

“In a way, ASIO Bridge is an Audio Interface Converter allowing audio application to use ASIO device through its regular audio management (MME, KS, Direct-X or WASAPI).”

That should be its opening (with the English tidied up, as well, although it is far better than would be my French), and from there it should explain in a few sentences how the product is “hooked up,” plus a few typical examples of use (e.g., between an ASIO driver and Audacity). I suppose the surrounding text does that, but it requires some background education and careful parsing to be understood by this total layman.

I’m a bit unnerved by the phrase “in a way” (it seems to say the product wasn’t really meant for standalone use or solid reliability in this application), but I will give it a go. Whatever meets my need short of replacing my E-Mu MicroDock with a new $500-800 A/D interface.

This link might be also helpful to other readers:

Read this string because of the subject line. I’ve been using a Creative Labs E-MU 1616M with a Windows Vista 64 bit OS, for recording with FL Studios and Sonar X1 & X2. Finally upgraded to Windows 8 (8.1) to use Sonar X3 (not compatible with Vista).
As you all probably know, there are no E-MU drivers or software for Windows 8x.
So I am curious if anyone has found a device with the same features are the 1616M, daughter-card and all, that they are happy with.
Better, does anyone else make an interface card and drivers for windows 8x that will allow you to continue using the 1616M? It is a good piece of hardware that works perfectly. Terrible shame just to shuck it because Creative decided to move past it.
The only saving grace is that I can swap the old Vista drive and data disc and run Sonar X2 with the 1616M. But using the new X3 features would be nice.
I would love to hear anyone’s suggestions.

Two things :

  1. You can find late drivers here :

For information, my E-MU 1820M PCI card works fine in Windows 8.1 64 bits.
I checked with latest drivers (2.13 beta) and the ones before (2.10), works perfectly with ASIO, and “Windows/Waves” playback (don’t forget to unmute the WAVES strip channel in Patchmix !)

  1. Regarding Windows recording devices in the Sound Panel, now I can’t record from E-MU either with non-ASIO apps. It’s supposed to work, though, first thing :
    In Patchmix DSP, you have to send your mix to the WAVE L/R HOST channel (using an insert in channel strip, Master strip or AUX1/2).
    Could work for you, usually does.
    I’m pretty sure it worked for me with XP, but on my Windows 8.1 64 bits, the E-MU appears as Recording device, I can select as Default, I send the mix to WAVES L/R, but the meter in Sound Panel won’t move. Maybe it’s a problem with 64 bits.

Thanks, the site’s in French, but I’ve managed to check out the drivers. They’re links at E-Mu, where I’ve already downloaded all available 1616M PCI and PatchMix app drivers directly.

As for sending to Wave, been there, done that ad nauseam, using the instructions posted at for Skype, and variations. Having done clean installs of Patchmix and trying all Emu PCI drivers on TWO identical systems and still no luck, I have to conclude that something in Windows 7 has changed in an update. (Also note that in on two or three occasions, it worked okay, or partially, but then stopped working after the next reboot, which also tells me it’s not my PatchMix setup at fault.) This time last year, it was all working okay. Maybe Microsoft fixed this in Win 8? Would I be too cynical to think that MS mucked up 7 to make 8 more attractive?

Does the 1820M use the same 1212 card as the 1616 MicroDock? Do you have the PCI card, or PCIe? Those also might be factors, as the PCIe uses a different drivers.

For now, I’ve installed ASIO Bridge. Am getting echo and crosstalk in Skype unless I mute WAV L/R, but will see if maybe that’s from my Patchmix configuration. Will play with various routings. Whatever works.


my 1820M is the PCI card with a daughter-card for synchro (never used it).
I played a little with HI-FI VB-Cable and ASIO Bridge, and it works fine, takes some time to figure it out without true documentation but I think I got it !
The ASIO Route thing with the 8 ASIO channel buttons is still a little obscure, I admit :astonished:
I tried to record with Wavelab (not using its ASIO capability of course, just to make Wavelab act like Audacity I guess) and it went OK, using the HIFI cable as I/O in the software prefs.

I couldn’t make Windows Sound Recorder to record audio from Windows, though, only way was to use the Realtek sound card as Input and Output. You need a program that lets you select the audio streams I/O, and sound recorder does not.

By the way, you don’t have to use WAVE L/R with ASIO Bridge, only “regular” ASIO channels.

If you need help, tell me exactly what you want to do, we can exchange some screen captures.
And tell me, by the way, why the hell do you use Audacity instead of a REAL Asio recording software ? Well, if you love it …

Maybe your 1820M is a totally different product from the 1616M setup. Whatever, I’ve tired of the 1616 drivers’ hide-and-seek, so have stopped chasing it altogether.

To answer your question, at the moment, I have two DAWs, Audacity and Pro Tools. Each has its strengths. With Pro Tools, usability is not one of them.

I also use a program called TotalRecorder, a LOT, especially for recording Skype calls. Open, select “Software” as the input, and bingo, me on the left, my caller on the right. Used to be a no-brainer. Now with Asio Bridge, I may have to create a special PatchMix configuration to avoid echo.

I never even knew Sound Recorder even existed, until the Audacity/ASIO issue arose. Seems like garbage. I’ve used it only for testing. I haven’t tried it with ASIO Bridge yet.

If there were a PC version of Twisted Wave (not the online version), with more than two channels, I’d probably be using that.

Someday I might write up a getting-started primer for ASIO Bridge, after I’ve had more time to focus on it. Agreed, it sorely needs it. I’d used it in Feburary but forgot what I did, and last week was stymied until I ran VB Cable Setup and VB Cable Control Panel, which gave me a panel that (IIRC) got me started. From there I clicked stuff in ASIO Bridge and eventually got it going. I’m able to to set the buffer pretty small, and have set the bit rate to what I’m recording at, so that (I hope) no intermediate “translation” is necessary. The EMU MicroDock has a pretty nice preamp, I’d hate to mess it up.

The irony in this was my first-ever DAW was Cakewalk, which came bundled with my first-ever sound card, from Creative Labs. I adored both. Talk about love-hate, with regard to Creative I’ve gone from one to the other.