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Users' Opinion - Fiji

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Installing this card is not so easy, particularly for the beginner or even for the tough : the idea about spending 2 hours in order to make all function has something unbearable...

First thing to know : you should use only the version 3.02 of the drivers proposed on the installation CD. The others are some beta ones and "sulk" systematically with VST. If you have the S/Pdif option, you must do some "dips" and configure the card so that the mic input becomes S/Pdif input and output. Maybe strange regarding the paper, but it functions.

If you have only one card in your PC, no problem for the Plug'n'play, it functions in condition, as it is written above, that the drivers version 3.02 are installed.

My situation was a little bit particular since I had a SB16 already installed. Using both cards was making me possible to have thus 16 supplementary MIDI channels. In this case, the installation MUST be done in NO Plug'n'Play. And hop, some "dips" again to do, you'll have to attribute an IRQ, but this is all explained in the manual.

Well, all of this is not very optimistic, but there is a reward : THE SOUND. Very subjective, after having spent my 486 euros (with S/Pdif), I am really satisfied of it. The sound is excellent, even if some people say that there is a little bit of noise. To my own concern, I was searching for a card having before all a good dynamics, and here I am very, very well served. Drums are powerful comparing to the ones I used to hear on many PC soundcards in this price scale. I don't loose any dynamics (my ultimate worry) when comes a bass line (great dB eater), the sound level stays the same, no pumping. Let's thank the DSP which works exclusively for this task.

Here I am, I think having considering the whole question : it's a very good card a little bit difficult to install. Precision : I was before on Falcon 30. The crossgrade to PC means the subject of the choice of your soundcard... I was having a SB16 and was finding this one too much limited since it was half-duplex (that is to say playback in 8 bits when recording in 16), not enough dynamics - 50 dB of signal/noise ratio -, and not so much stable considering MIDI / AUDIO, the conclusion imposed itself : I was needing a new card. On Falcon, I was having before some separated outputs, so I rather logically looked, at the beginning, for multiple outputs soundcards (Darla / Gina and other Sek'D). I finally decided to reduce my "audio card" budget in order to buy with a part of it a CD-burner. The buying aim was thus modified : I was requesting a card with VERY GOOD converters, which would have some S/Pdif inputs and outputs to function with my Promix01. I took aknowledge of what was proposing the competition, and at this time (October 97), there wasn't having too much people. Only the Prodif were able to competite the Fiji, but as they didn't have analog input, I wasn't interested about them.

Regarding the MIDI part of the card, there aren't too much things to say, except that you have obviously a bus for MIDI input/output, so 16 channels, that it can receive a daughter-board (16 other channels in internal), and that I didn't have any MIDI timing problem. To be concreete, I work regularly with some sequences built with 15 to 20 MIDI parts with many controllers, about 16 AUDIO tracks, with an average of 1 to 2 inserts not too much greedy in CPU on each track, as well as the 4 main FX, without crashing my PC (166MMX/32MB/2GB with 512 KB pipelined burst). I've never had a crash other than the ones due to VST bugs, but since the version 3.553 I'm rather quiet.

The Fiji is thus to my opinion an ideal card for the one who uses VST for finalizing (via CD) a product. It is to some extend a good mastering tool which has obviously all the functionnalities of a classic DTD soundcard. Gaëtan MANEGAT.

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