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Re: Emagic EMI 2|6 drivers?
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Re: Emagic EMI 2|6 drivers?

[ [EMagic EMI 2|6 drivers available]
[ >> Check out
[ >Cool. Please let us know how it works.
[ Ok, so far so good. I got my EMI two days ago, and although I
[ haven't put it through an extensive benchmark, here are some
[ preliminary results:

I've had my EMI 2|6 since December, and driver support has been getting better
over time. I'll add my experience to yours below:

[ - driverversion (or rather, kernel extension version) is 1.2.0;
[ - machine is old-rev tiBook (500Mhz G4, 768Mb memory) running OSX
[ 10.1.4;

machines tested here are TiBook 667MHz, 1GB
and Dual 800MHz, 1.5GB running 10.1.4

[ - Ableton Live (v1.5) at first only found 2 output channels
[ instead of 6, and no input channels, but miraculously it now
[ finds everything;

I believe this is a shortcoming of Ableton Live. They need a hardware
configuration dialog like ProTools or other software that deals with highly
flexible hardware.

Daisy shows all the possible EMI 2|6 output channel configurations (as
combinations of number of channels, sample rate, and bit depth - not all
permutations are available). Once selected in Daisy, simpler CoreAudio
applications see the selected mode only, and none of the other modes.

[ - with 48kHz output samplerate, I can get a latency of about 4ms
[ without noticable distortion on a not-too-heavy Live! sequence
[ (8 tracks, about 6 plugins running); CPU usage according to
[ Live! was about 20%, according to top, CPU is spending about
[ 20% in system (probably the driver doing its work);

On a related note, the EMI 2|6 has zero latency monitoring on its built-in
headphone output. However, when syncing to external digital input, there are
problems mixing input and output. To solve this, I turn off channel monitoring
in ProTools (OS9), or use Daisy to direct the output to the built-in Mac
speakers during monitoring.

[ - Spark ME finds 6 output channels, but no input channels :(

Again, this is likely to be a shortcoming in Spark ME.

[ - using System Preferences to set the default output device to
[ the EMI works; however, no way of selecting output channels
[ (defaults to 1+2);

I think Apple plans to expand System Preferences beyond the minimalist control
that is currently available. Except for crashing frequently, Daisy provides a
reasonable workaround for developers, but non-developer users are probably
stuck unless apps like Live! or Spark add config panels.

[ - I haven't (yet) tested input, or digital I/O;

I haven't (yet) testing analog input, but I've been doing extensive digital
input at both 44.1kHz and 48kHz.

My first (and only) attempt to record at 96kHz locked up the entire machine
(dual-800), requiring the hard reset button for recovery. I have tried that
again! It is interesting to note that the OS9 drivers for the EMI 2|6 do not
list any 96kHz modes, but the Mac OS X driver does.

[ All in all, apart from some quirks w.r.t. the detection of
[ channels, I'm very pleased with it already :)

Try using Daisy. I think the applications you tried are not fully utilizing
CoreAudio, or are written in anticipation of better System Preferences for

I have written a simple PlayAudio application which handle AIFFs with any
number of channels (tested with 2 and 4 channels), and plays back to HAL
devices with any number of channels (tested with 2 and 6 channels). My
application has no UI or other options for selecting among the available output
configurations - it just uses whatever is currently accepted. I use Daisy to
switch between 2 and 6 channels, and I can hear the EMI 2|6 react differently.
My app just sends silence to any extra channels that aren't provided in the
input file, and discards channels in the input file when the output mode has
too few. I still have issues with CPU usage when play 4-channel files, and
there are dropouts because my buffering is awful, but I don't find any issues
with the EMI 2|6 driver besides the 96kHz support.

You did not mention Sound Studio (2.0.1). I have attempted to use this
shareware for digital input, but I find it to be completely unreliable due to
dropouts. I plan on writing a companion RecordAudio using what I've learned
from PlayAudio, to see if I can do 100% reliable recording of 2-channel 48kHz
S/PDIF. I believe that the Sound Studio dropouts are related to thread
priorities and not the EMI 2|6 driver.

Brian Willoughby
Sound Consulting
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 >Re: [coreaudio] Emagic EMI 2|6 drivers? (From: robert <email@hidden>)

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