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E-MU 1820M
Digital Audio System

EMU 1820M

The E-MU 1820M is the flagship of E-MU's line of Digital Audio Systems, delivering everything you need to produce audio on a PC with professional results- 24-bit/192kHz converters (the same A/D converters used in Digidesign's ProTools HD 192 I/O interface), hardware-accelerated effects and mixing, comprehensive sync options and seamless compatibility with your favourite PC audio/sequencer software. No other audio solution available offers the performance, flexibility and value of the E-MU 1820M.

The E-MU 1820M Digital Audio System is a great solution for delivering the best from your music and audio applications including: Image Line FL Studio (Fruityloops), Cakewalk SONAR, Pro Audio, Guitar Tracks Pro, Home Studio, Steinberg Cubase VST, Cubase SX, Cubase SL, Cubase SE, Nuendo, Wavelab, Emagic Logic Audio, Sonic Foundry Sound Forge, Acid, Samplitude, Propellerheads Reason, Ableton Live and other music software.

"In my opinion Emu are the first company to have got it right with their 1010 PCI card range, and have done so at prices that will result in some dropped jaws from their competitors. At an entry-level price of just £149.99 you can have extensive, freely configurable DSP effects as well as up to 32 virtual ASIO outputs with the basic 1212M stereo analogue in/out configuration, all at exactly the same high quality as the 1820M under review here. However, anyone considering the 1212M would be foolish not to pay the extra £70 for the incredibly versatile Emulator X software bundle with its 2GB library."

"Overall, the 1820M and Emulator X bundle is the most impressive 'soundcard' that I've had the pleasure of reviewing for several years, and I've no doubts that it will sell and sell."

Martin Walker Sound on Sound June 2004

NEW: Now ships with E-MU Production Tools Software bundle which includes SONAR LE, Cubase LE, Ableton Live Lite and much much more

SONAR 5 Upgrade Special for SONAR LE Owners

Overseas buyers please email
for shipping costs


£ ex VAT

Compare E-MU Range

Compare E-MU Range (pdf)




  • Mastering-grade 24-bit, 192kHz converters - the same A/D converters used in Digidesign's flagship ProTools HD I/O Interface
  • Pristine 24-bit, 192kHz converters and flexible connectivity with 18 audio inputs, 20 outputs, 32 channels of MIDI I/O, plus a FireWire port for seamless integration with your entire studio
  • 2 premium TFPro mic preamps with Mic/Line/Hi-Z inputs with 40db of gain/attenuation and 48V phantom power - plug guitars, keyboards
  • E-DSP 32-bit Multi-effects Processor offers you over 20 hardware- accelerated effects (over 500 presets) with no CPU overhead - plug-in architecture allows you to add new effects as needed
  • 32 channels of zero latency hardware mixing/monitoring with super-flexible virtual patchbay - no external mixer needed


  • I/O Configuration:
    • 2 premium TFPro mic preamps with Mic/Line/Hi-Z inputs with 40db of gain/attenuation and 48V phantom power - plug guitars, keyboards and microphones straight into your system
    • 6 x 24-bit/192kHz 1/4" Balanced Inputs
    • 8 x 24-bit/192kHz 1/4" Balanced Outputs
    • Turntable Input (w/ground lug and hardware RIAA preamp)
    • 24-bit/192kHz ADAT I/O (switchable to S/PDIF)
    • 24-bit/96kHz coaxial S/PDIF I/O (switchable to AES/EBU)
    • 24-bit/96kHz optical S/PDIF Out (switchable to AES/EBU)
    • 2 MIDI I/O (32 channels)
    • 4 stereo 1/8" Speaker Outputs (configurable from stereo to 7.1)
    • Stereo Headphone Output
    • FireWire Interface
  • Sync Configuration:
    • Word Clock I/O
    • SMPTE I/O
    • MTC Out
  • Compatibility with most popular audio/sequencer applications with ultra-low latency WDM, DirectSound¨ and ASIO 2.0 Drivers
  • Powerful software studio package included:
    • Windows 2000 and XP Drivers
    • E-MU PatchMix DSP
    • E-MU E-DSP FX Library
    • Steinberg Cubase VST V5.1 OEM (Full Version)
    • Steinberg Wavelab Lite OEM
    • SFX Machine LT VST plug-in
  • E-DSP Hardware-accelerated Effects, Mixing and Monitoring:
    E-MU's Digital Audio Systems feature the powerful E-DSP chipset, which features a hardware-accelerated effects processor with over 20 effects plug-ins (over 500 presets). This effects architecture is fully expandable, allowing you to add more effect plug-ins to your system as needed. E-DSP also provides zero-latency, hardware-based mixing and monitoring via the included PatchMix DSP mixer, delivering unmatched flexibility in routing audio between all of your physical and virtual (ASIO/WDM) inputs and outputs- no external mixer needed.

    All Digital Audio Systems ship with the following Effects Plug-ins:

1-Band Para EQ 1-Band Shelf EQ 3-Band EQ
4-Band EQ Auto-Wah Chorus
Compressor Distortion Distortion
Freq Shifter Leveling Amp Mono Delay 100
Mono Delay 3000 Stereo Delay 100 Stereo Delay 1500
Phase Shifter Rotary Speaker Simulator
Stereo Reverb Vocal Morpher  

Click on the MP3 samples below to hear some of these Plug-ins in action. Each MP3 sample starts with an uneffected instrument/vocal recorded clean using the Digital Audio System, followed by the same instrument/vocal with effects. (these MP3's are between 300K and 900K each).

Acoustic Guitar (Chorus/Reverb) Acoustic Guitar.mp3
Bass Guitar (Compression/EQ) Bass Guitar.mp3
Drum Kit (Compression/EQ) Drum Kit.mp3
Electric Guitar (Distortion/EQ/Speaker Simulator/Delay/Reverb) Electric Guitar.mp3
Electric Piano (Phase Shifter/Reverb)  Electric Piano.mp3
Fat Synthesizer (Flanger/Delay/Reverb)  Fat Synthesizer.mp3
Soprano Sax (Reverb) Soprano Sax.mp3
Synthesizer Bass (Chorus/Reverb) Synthesizer Bass.mp3
Synthesizer (Vocal Morpher/Delay/Reverb) Synthesizer.mp3
Vocalist (EQ/Delay/Reverb) Vocalist.mp3



General Specifications

  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 96, 192 from internal crystal or externally supplied clock
  • Bit Depth: 16 or 24 bits
  • PCI Bus-Mastering DMA subsystem reduces CPU usage
  • Zero-latency direct hardware monitoring w/effects

Analogue Line Inputs

  • Type: servo-balanced, DC-coupled, low-noise input circuitry
  • Level (software selectable)
    • Professional: +4 dBu nominal, 20 dBu maximum
    • Consumer: -10 dBV nominal, 6 dBV maximum
  • Frequency Response: ±0.05 dB, 20 Hz- 20 kHz
  • THD+N (1 kHz at -1 dBFS): -110 dB (.0003%)
  • SNR (A-weighted): 120 dB
  • Dynamic Range (1 kHz, A-weighted): 120 dB
  • Stereo Crosstalk (1 kHz at -1 dBFS): < -115 dB
  • Common-Mode Rejection (60 Hz): > 40 dB

Analogue Line Outputs

  • Type: balanced, low-noise, 2-pole low-pass differential filter
  • Level (software selectable)
    • Professional: +4 dBu nominal, 20 dBu (balanced)
    • Consumer: -10 dBV nominal, 6 dBV max (unbalanced)
  • Frequency Response: +0.0/-0.35 dB, 20 Hz- 20 kHz
  • THD+N (1 kHz at -1 dBFS): -105 dB (.0006%)
  • SNR (A-weighted): 120 dB
  • Dynamic Range (1 kHz, A-weighted): 120 dB
  • Stereo Crosstalk (1 kHz at -1 dBFS): < -115 dB

Combo Microphone Preamplifier/Line Inputs

  • Type: TFPro combination microphone preamp and line input
  • Frequency Response: +0.8/-0.1 dB, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Stereo Crosstalk (1 kHz): < -120 dB
  • Line Input:
    • Gain Range: -12 to +28 dB
    • Max Level: +17 dBV (19.2 dBu)
    • THD+N (1 kHz at -1 dBFS, min gain): -100 dB (.001%)
    • Dynamic Range (A-weighted, min gain): 107 dB
    • SNR (A-weighted, min gain): 107 dB
    • Input Impedance: 10K ohm
    • Common-Mode Rejection Ratio (60 Hz): > 40 dB
  • Microphone Preamplifier
    • Gain Range: +10 to +50 dB
    • Max Level: -12 dBV (-9.8 dBu)
    • THD+N (1 kHz at -1 dBFS, min gain): -100 dB (.001%)
    • SNR (A-weighted, min gain): 106 dB
    • Input impedance: 330 ohms
    • Common-Mode Rejection Ratio (60 Hz): > 80 dB


  • Type: linear power amplifier
  • Frequency Response: +0.0/-0.35 dB, 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • THD+N (1 kHz, max level)
    • 33 ohm load: -69 dB (0.035%)
    • 600 ohm load: -94 dB (0.002%)
  • SNR (A-weighted): 117 dB
  • Dynamic Range (A-weighted): 117 dB
  • Stereo Crosstalk (1 kHz at -1 dBFS, 600 ohm load):< -100 dB
  • Maximum Output Power: 500 mW
  • Output impedance: 22 ohms
  • Gain Range: 85 dB

Phono Input

  • Type: RIAA equalised phono input
  • Frequency Response: +/-0.5 dB, 50 Hz - 20 kHz
  • THD+N (1 kHz, 10 mV RMS unbalanced input): -76 dB (.015%)
  • SNR (10 mV RMS unbalanced input, A-weighted): 90 dB
  • Stereo Crosstalk (1 kHz at -1 dBFS): < -80 dB
  • Maximum level:
    • Professional: 80 mV RMS
    • Consumer: 20 mV RMS
  • Input capacitance: 220 pF
  • Input impedance: 47K ohm

Digital I/O

  • S/PDIF
    • 2 in/2 out coaxial (transformer coupled)
    • 2 in/3 out optical (software switched with ADAT)
    • AES/EBU or S/PDIF format (software controlled)
  • ADAT
    • 8 channels, 24-bit @ 44.1/48 kHz
    • 4 channels, 24-bit @ 96 kHz (S-Mux compatible)
    • 2 channels, 24-bit @ 192 kH


  • 400 Mbps 1394a port (6-pin)
  • Compatible with DV cameras, storage peripherals, etc.

MIDI - 2 in, 2 out (32 channels)


  • Internal crystal sync at 44.1, 48, 96, 192
  • External sample rate sync
    • ADAT
    • SP/DIF (optical or coax)
    • Word clock (75 ohm termination, switchable)
  • SMPTE LTC Timecode
    • Converts to/from longitudinal time code (LTC) to MIDI time code (MTC)
    • Regen, stripe, and conversion modes
    • 24, 25, 30 drop, 30 non-drop frames/sec
    • Compatible with 29.97 fps timecode
    • Input level: 0.5 - 4V p-p
    • Output levels: +4 dBu, -10 dBV (software selectable)
    • Input impedance: 10K ohm

Package Includes

  • E-MU 1010 PCI card
  • E-MU AudioDock M
  • E-MU Sync daughter card
  • EDI (E-MU Digital Interface) cable (3 metres
  • Sync cable
  • Mini-DIN MIDI adapter cable
  • Headphone splitter cable
  • PC power cable
  • Quick Start guide
  • Operation Manual on CD-ROM
  • Creative Professional Software CD-ROM

E-MU Production Tools Software Bundle

Cakewalk SONAR LE - Audio/MIDI Production
SONAR LE is production environment for Windows that provides musicians with a host of potent features that include: 64 audio and 256 MIDI tracks; 24-bit/192kHz recording support; 14 studio quality real-time effects and 6 MIDI effects; audio loop construction tools; dynamic console view; multi-port graphical drum grid editor; multitrack piano roll view; staff notation; ReWire 2.0 support; DirectX/DXi and VST/VSTi support; MIDI clock and MTC slave; Cyclone DXi groove sampler; Audio Simulation's Dreamstation soft synth DXi; and more. Registered owners of SONAR LE will be able to upgrade to the full version of SONAR for a special price at

Steinberg Cubase LE - Audio/MIDI Production
Cubase LE is a powerful music software workstation that offers: 48 audio and 64 MIDI tracks; 24-bit/192kHz professional audio quality; a full set of audio effects plug-ins; LM-7, VB-1 and USM virtual instruments; and MTC, MIDI-clock and VST System Link support.

Ableton Live Lite 4 for E-MU Systems - Audio/MIDI Production
Ableton Live is the music-production solution that allows you to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise and edit your musical ideas. Live brings your acoustic, electronic and virtual instruments, as well as your digital audio recordings, together in a single interface with unparalleled ease of use. Live's specialty is composition by improvisation. Record musical ideas, combine or create new songs, and compose on the fly, and offers complete multitrack recording and editing for any acoustic source, hardware synthesizer or software instrument.

Steinberg WaveLab Lite - Audio Editor
WaveLab Lite is the only all-in-one solution for high resolution audio editing, mastering, CD burning and for complete audio production. WaveLab Lite is not just a top level mastering tool, it also offers capabilities for multimedia, sound design with samplers, and other applications.

IK Multimedia Amplitube LE - Guitar Amp & FX Modeling Plug-In
AmpliTube® is a powerful plug-in for guitar players that puts a virtually unlimited array of tones and effects at your fingertips. AmpliTube's stomp-box, post-effects and amp simulation capabilities make it easy to craft everything from rich, vintage tones to unique cutting-edge

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ - Mastering EQ Plug-in
(Not included in 0404/Proteus X)

The T-RackS® EQ was especially developed for mastering - no other single software processor sounds like
T-RackS and none makes mastering so easy by enhancing mix frequencies. T-RackS has been created with algorithms based on real analog circuitry, which is why T-RackS sounds so similar to real analog audio hardware, and so unique when compared to other software. T-RackS also delivers high order 32-bit floating point resolution and uses the best possible method to physically model analog components, resulting in an amazingly real tube sound.

discWelder BRONZE DVD Audio Authoring
(5 burn Trial version included in 0404/PX upgrade)
Minnetonka Audio Software's discWelder™ BRONZE, is an award-winning basic DVD-Audio authoring program that allows users to deliver surround and high-resolution audio on DVD-Recordable media. With discWelder BRONZE, the you can import all Linear PCM formats supported in the DVD-Audio specification, including surround (up to 6 channels of 24-bit, 48kHz audio) and high-resolution stereo (two channels of 24-bit, 192kHz audio). Surround and stereo tracks may be used on the same disc, in WAV or AIFF file format, and discWelder-burned media will play on any DVD-A player that supports DVD±R/RW. discWelder BRONZE is brilliantly simple to use, and can burn DVD-Audio discs utilizing inexpensive DVD±R/RW drives. So, whether you are making commercial releases, creating high resolution reference discs, archiving your analogue tape or vinyl or simply consolidation you CD collection (with seven hours of CDs on one DVD) discWelder offers tools for every level of DVD-Audio Authoring.

SFX Machine LT - Audio Multi-effects Plug-in
SFX Machine LT is a powerful audio multi-effects plug-in for musicians and sound designers, featuring 21 presets such as BackwardsFragment, RoboTalk, Sitar Drone and Stutter. The plug-in provides up to six sliders for fine-tuning of each preset and allows automated parameter control via a simple "MIDI Learn" interface. It also provides a Randomize button for quick experimentation. SFX Machine LT is a subset of the RT version, which includes hundreds of presets, and a special upgrade price is available for registered E-MU users.

E-MU Proteus X LE - Desktop Sound Module
Proteus X LE is a 24-bit/192kHz VST instrument for your PC that offers the pristine sound quality and powerful Z-Plane filters of E-MU's powerful Proteus X Desktop Sound Module, plus over 1,000 sounds from E-MU's legendary Proteus 2000 sound module. You can also expand your Proteus X LE with any soundset from E-MU's comprehensive sound library. Proteus X LE offers you an intuitive sound module interface to quickly dial in your sounds, with easy-to-use librarian and search functions to find that perfect preset in seconds, as well as two discrete effects processors with comprehensive MIDI modulation per preset.

Production Tools Software Bundles will not work unless you have an E-MU Digital Audio Systems Product installed in your computer (0404, 1212M, 1820, 1820M, Emulator X, Emulator X Studio, Proteus X).

System Requirements

Minimum System Requirements

  • Genuine Intel Pentium III or AMD K6 class processor or higher operating at 500MHz or faster
    Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard & chipset
  • 128MB System RAM
  • 500MB of free hard disk space for full installation
  • Windows 2000 SP 4, Windows XP SP 1 or greater
  • PCI 2.1 compliant slot for E-MU 1010 PCI card
  • Adjacent PCI slot for E-MU 0202 I/O daughter card
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive required for software installation
  • XVGA Video (1024 X 768)

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