Creative E-MU 1616m PCIe on Windows 10 64bit

Update: Update 1903 of Windows 10 introduced breaking changes that Creative will not fix anymore. The device can still be brought to operation following this article on by Mr. Freddie Stjerna. Having performed the procedure described therein, my 1616m PCIe works flawlessly on Win10Pro64, also as an ASIO device for Ableton 10 (64bit).
Update no. 2: Unfortunately, the 64-bit ASIO driver as installed using the procedure described in the previous update delivers very bad performance when used with Ableton Live 11. Status now is that i will not use the device in Windows anymore, only in Linux. 😎

On a PC running Win10Pro64 that has no Firewire port i needed a 4in4out audio solution functioning as an ASIO device.

So i dug out my E-MU 1616m PCIe, and – fearing that it would show severe compatibility issues – installed the most recent driver (EmuPMX_PCDrv_US_2_30_00.exe, July 15th 2011). To my surprise, the device started working immediately. So far i have not found any unsupported or problematic features (at 48 kHz samplerate i use WDM audio output, symmetrical input with zero-latency monitoring and ASIO sends and output to speakers through a 4-band EQ as DSP insert).

I think the E-MU 1616m PCIe is a great device:

  • 10 years after i bought it, it works as on the first day.
  • It has good and solid performance, i permanently run it with 10ms buffer size, which in Ableton Live adds on to 23.3 ms global round-trip latency, and i am yet to encounter any dropout or instability.
  • PatchMix looks and feels very functional (apart from the brushed Aluminium skin which i find quite funny and nostalgic). Since it has spent many years in maturity, having no „software development“ bloating it with useless features and workflows, it runs rock solid and lightning fast on a modern PC.
  • The breakout box (called „Microdock“) has massive connectivity:
    • copper S/PDIF, AES or EBU (really!),
    • optical ADAT or S/PDIF,
    • four balanced 6.35mm input jacks,
    • two XLR/jack combo inputs,
    • six balanced 6.35mm output jacks,
    • three unbalanced 3.5mm stereo output jacks,
    • a dedicated 6.35 mm headphone output jack with hardware volume control and
    • a stereo pair of RCA inputs plus GND (Phono).
  • It works with Linux (using emutrix instead of PatchMix).

This is the best Creative product ever – ah wait, it’s not really by Creative … 😉