In Practice, Continued
Is the 16/12 usable for games? The answer to that is more unclear. It doesn't have a hardware 3D engine or EAX compatibility, which means that the results won't be comparable to what you'll get from a sound card intended for gaming.
We had no particular problems using the 16/12, and we were able to get down to latencies of a few milliseconds with the right configuration. Of course, depending on the software you use, the problems you run into and difficulties with configuration can change significantly.
On the Samplitude mixing board, it'll take you some time to configure everything, but the twelve analog input channels are all accounted for.
We found the sound quality to be quite good, even though the preamps are not the best that can be had. But in this category of products that's pretty much inevitable, and for complex work it will generally be necessary to use a mixing board. That's par for the course.
Hercules has met the challenge of offering a high-performance, multi-channel audio interface at a reasonable price. The Hercules 16/12 FW is universal thanks to its FireWire interface and has many advantages that should earn it a spot on the market. Its retail price is $699.