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Users' Opinion - Korg 1212

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Here are the technical specifications of the Korg 1212 I/O :

  • PCI card in 12" format.
  • 1 S/PDIF input / output socket 16 or 20 bits.
  • 1 stereo analog input / output on unbalanced jack at + 4 or - 10 dB (20 bits A/D conversion, 18 bits D/A conversion).
  • 1 optical input / output socket (8 tracks) in Adat format.
  • 1 Word-clock input / output socket.
  • 1 Adat sync. input.

All these inputs / outputs are obviously usable simultaneously since this card works in "full duplex" mode. Besides, the 1212 I/O can work in 44.1 as well as in 48 Khz, this is very useful when you have an Adat Recorder...

Regarding the connectors, Korg offers two external racks (the 880 D/A and the 880 A/D which make it possible to use the "full duplex" mode), and also a digital mixboard, the 168RC. You will find all the supplementary technical details on Korg's website at this adress Korg site.

Now that I've told you about the main specifications of the 1212 I/O, I will give you my user's opinion and the way I use the card.

Of course, I've chosen Cubase VST as a digital audio software to run this soundcard and you just need to set a little Korg extension in the system software to make the card recognized by Cubase.

At this concern, I can assert that this card is really "plug and play" and I didn't have to deplore any installation problem, nor any recognition problem by the system. It works..... and very well ! Besides, the 1212 I/O is fully "Sound Manager" compatible and I can thus benefit from its converters for the other softwares installed on my computer.

Well, you should tell me, that's a good thing, but it must be expensive... If you consider that the price of the card (about 914 euros), to which you add the price of the 880 D/A and the 880 A/D (about 914 euros each), it starts to be consequent... So, I've found a solution to reduce the price of those two supplementary racks : I've just looked for a first generation second-hand Adat Recorder which I payed 914 euros. I have threfore at my disposal 8 inputs / outputs with the optical and s/pdif channels of the card, added to the A/D and D/A converters of the Adat which are, to my own optinion, better than the sound card's ones and aren't submitted to the electric pollutions owing to the environment of the card in the computer. Moreover, I can record onto the Adat, which is very useful when you don't want to bring the computer everywhere, then I can export the tracks in VST (digitally, of course) in order to edit and mix, or go back to the studio with the tracks which have been edited, cleaned et re-recorded with the Adat. In short, with the possibilities of bus routing inside VST, it's child's play and you always work digitally, without any loss of quality since the only A/D conversion is done when recording...

The synchronization of the 1212 I/O and the Adat via the sound card input is perfect (the Adat sends the digital clock) and I don't have any sync problem to deplore...

The advantage of the system is also to make it possible to synchronize several Adats for recording... That's it, I don't pretend I have considered the question from all angles, but I hope you have a better idea on the subject... Frederic Obry.


I use the Korg 1212 since it was released and I'm really, really, satisfied. Of course, it must be connected to some A/D and D/A audio converters (Adat, 03D, etc.). The 8 Adat ouputs and the stereo SPDIF output are excellent. On the other hand, the 2 analog outputs are... analog. So, a little bit of noise, as any analog outputs, even if their quality is good. The advantage of this sound card is that there isn't any surprise ; it works well.

You can have several Korg 1212 cards in the same PC. A single card offers 12 buses in VST. On the other hand, with the ASIO of the Korg 1212, you can't use any other sound card different from the Korg 1212 in VST.

I rate it at least 9 / 10. Gilles BLAIS.

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