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Creative's E-MU 0404: Pro Sound Quality on the Cheap

The E-MU 0404 Card

On the card itself, you can't help noticing the presence of a big E-MU processor called E-DSP, which is a special version of the processor used in top-of-the-line E-MU and Creative brand products. This DSP can perform many types of sound processing without calling on your computer's CPU, thus avoiding overloading it. It's accompanied by a specific FGPA also from E-MU.

Analog/digital conversion is handled by a well-known component, the TI Burr-Brown PCM1804, which is a delta/sigma stereo converter operating in 24 bits up to 192 kHz. Conversion in the other direction (digital/analog) uses an AKM AK4395, which is also a delta/sigma stereo converter operating in 24 bits up to 192 kHz. Note that the two converters can function at 192 kHz, whereas the card itself is limited to 96 kHz. True, that frequency is quite sufficient in practice - except for reading certain DVD Audios, but then that's not the purpose of the 0404.