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Echo Layla vs E-mu 1820 ?


Any advice?

My most important thing is to be able to apply live effects. E-mu has onboard DSP...but I hear layla can give you <5ms software effects??

Any advice appreciated.

I use the Emu 1820m and I'm quite happy with it. There are caveats....

I liken the Emu to a hotrod that you must tweak so that you can get the most out of it. Most new users have been dumbfounded by the tweaks required to their systems, and the Patchmix software is, admittedly, not that intuitive to the beginner. The Emu system, however, as a whole is quite powerful and flexible if used properly. The PowerFX dsp is not exactly stellar and some say it sounds quite pedestrian; but I go by the "if it sounds good..." principle.

AFAIK, the Layla does not do DSP in hardware but is easier to install. It also has Gigasampler compatibility which I miss in the Emu. Latency on both systems can be quite low especially if your system is quite robust. But if you load up on fx and softsynths in both, latency can be an issue.

Hope this helps.

Thanks KitC! that was very helpful...

I am sorry I didn't give too much details, but I did some research on EMU and found that with 92khz, some channels are closed and you cant do DSP effects? Is this true? :shock:

Mainly what I need is <10ms for the following: 6 simultaneous input channels with an EQ, Compressor and Reverb on each. at atleast 48khz. Is this possible with a Layla3g ?

I have never owned a prof. sound card so I am clueless as to their capabilities... :rolleyes: But I do not mind spending the extra bucks to get a quality card.

My system (didnt buy yet) is a Pentium 4 3.0 Ghz 2mb l2 cache, 1GB DDr2 533mhz, lousy graphics card.

Thank you very much!!!

ps: do you recommend getting a faster proc? or is one above enough?

In almost all systems that I've checked, as you increase the sample rate, you usually sacrifice some input/output channels. This is true for Emu although I frankly haven't verified that for the Layla. It is safe to asume so as even DAW stations like Roland VS recorders exhibit that same trait.

The Emu 1820m accepts 8 analog inputs and 8 adat inputs at 48 khz. You can also apply effects at that samplerate and although they are usable, I don't consider them that outstanding. You're better off getting a DSP card like the UAD-1 or better software plugins if you're picky about your effects. As usual, let your ears be your guide. If it sounds good to you, there's no rule that says you don't have to use PowerFX.

Yes, it's also true that you lose the PowerFX DSP of the Emu when you go into 96 khz and higher but if you go into other posts in this forum, you will find other peoples opinions on recording at high sample rates. Personally, I feel you have to consider the medium that will playback your recording. If its CD, everything will be dithered down to 44 khz anyway.

The PC you're considering is quite usable, having a faster proc won't hurt. But I must warn you that the Emu can be quite picky about the motherboard and peripheral combination you have in mind. It is definitely not for the faint-of-heart and the drivers are somewhat lacking for other users.

Do a search at the various forum on the net. I'm a regular member at the Production Forums (, Steinberg Cubase Forum, and will soon join the Cakewalk Sonar forum. The info you can glean from them will be invaluable.

Hope this helps!


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