Steinberg MR816 X FireWire Audio Interface
The Steinberg MR816 X FireWire Audio Interface is both versatile and reliable thanks it's to built-in Advanced Integration system!
With a functionality that pushes the limits of other audio interfaces, the MR816 X is a powerfully featured FireWire interface with an on-board Digital Effects Processor featuring next-gen integration technologies rolled together into a single unrelenting production environment. Modeled by hands at both Steinberg and Yamaha, the MR816 X utilizes the powers of Advanced Integration to create this latency free DSP Studio, perfect for recording and monitoring by using its own limitless flexibility and power with Steinberg's own Cubase Music Production System.
Steinberg MR816 X Features
What is the difference between the MR816 CSX and MR816 X?
- True Integrated Zero Latency Monitoring with full faderless mixing
- DSP-powered reverb and dynamic 1:1 hardware/software mirroring with Cubase
- Complete Cubase user interface integration throughout
- Direct access from Cubase with no additional software mixing application
- Eight discrete Class A analog D-Pre mic preamps
- Combination XLR and TRS analog inputs with advanced inverted Darlington circuits
- Hardware gain knob, phantom power and -26dB Pad switch per channel
- Quick Connect: next-generation of plug and play
- On-the-fly routing of inputs to Cubase channels with the push of a button
- DSP Power for Cubase: VST3 onboard DSP-powered REV-X reverb
- Instant setup: Cubase automatically detects the MR hardware
- Ready made templates and automatic project I/O configuration
- Eight analog, one ADAT, one S/PDIF and Coaxial I/O and WordClock sync connections
- Extendable system; Daisy-chain up to three units for up to 24 analog inputs and outputs
- Includes Cubase AI4: hassle-free recording and creating music right out of the box
- Supports Apple OS X 10.4/10.5 and Windows XP/Vista
- Includes ASIO and CoreAudio drivers
- External software mixer and plug-in editors for using with 3rd party audio software
Basically the MR816 CSX and MR816 X are the same device. The only but not unimportant difference between those two units are the eight DSP-powered channelstrips that the MR816 CSX provides. The innovative Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip is a unique new compression and EQ tool that runs on DSP inside the MR816 CSX.
All other features of the both units are the same: Both provide best sound quality and outstanding preamps as well as the same quantity of inputs and outputs. Also MR8168 CSX and MR816 X offer one REV-X reverb, a complex reverb algorithm developed by Yamaha which provides a high-density, richly reverberant sound quality, with smooth attenuation, spread and depth that work together to enhance the original sound.
True Integrated Monitoring
Offering real-time, independent and most importantly no-latency mixes with FX for several performers is an engineering challenge in itself, and there are only one or two FireWire I/O interfaces on the market that can achieve this. Even these units are functionally isolated from the DAW software forcing the user to use additional mixing applications, in turn hampering workflow and splintering what should be a truly integrated production system.
The answer? Cubase and MR816 X. A solution defined by its ease-of-use, flexibility and pure functional elegance. Running with Cubase, MR816 X removes any need for additional mixing software between DAW and I/O (all aspects of I/O handling, DSP management and independent performer mixes are handled directly from within Cubase itself). With Cubase 4, these performer mixes are realized using the Studio Sends in the Control Room; a unique system that is completely integrated into the Cubase 4 mixer.
With the unique True Integrated Monitoring technology, Cubase manages all audio streams with perfect sync. No-latency mixes for performers with DSP FX are managed side-by-side with mixes played back through the Cubase audio engine that combine hard disk audio data and live streams being recorded at the same time; all within Cubase. Combined with other unique features, True Integrated Monitoring allows a highly efficient workflow that boosts productivity to new levels. The technological know-how required for this level of integration results directly from the ongoing cooperation between Steinberg software engineers and the hardware experts at Yamaha.
D-Pre Mic Preamps
The MR816 X features the latest generation of Yamaha microphone preamps: The D-Pre
Meticulously engineered to the highest standards, these discrete Class A analog mic preamps feature combination XLR and TRS analog inputs for connection of 8 1/4 inch jack plugs or standard XLR connectors, supporting both balanced and unbalanced signals. Each D-Pre is fitted with a -26dB Pad selector as well as true 48 volt phantom power per channel. An additional phase inversion capability and High Pass filter are available directly from the Cubase mixer or MR Editor software via remote control.
What sets these preamps apart? The audio quality of the eight D-Pres can only be described as stunning. Each utilizes an advanced Inverted Darlington circuit design and electronics components specifically designed for the MR816 X. The result is a sumptuously smooth and richly detailed sound normally only attained by preamps costing many times more; the outstanding sound of these mic pres obviate the need for all but the rarest vintage preamps.
Just as important as the preamps are, of course, the converters behind them. The MR816 X includes first-rate A/D and D/A converters that offer absolutely crystal-clear sound that portrays the sound with astonishing precision and clarity.
Each D-Pre is paired with a useful signal/peak lamp that lights up green when a signal between -40dB and -3dB is connected, warning with a red light if levels reach -3dB. Unlike many other preamps, the red warning light alerts the engineer not just when it’s already too late
and a signal has already clipped the converter behind it, but indicates that gain levels should be checked and monitored closely.
DSP Power for Cubase
On top of its excellent I/O capability, the MR816 X features an onboard DSP chip that runs renowned REV-X reverb, which is also featured on many top Yamaha hardware mixing consoles.
Each independent monitor mix can utilize the DSP capability to add an excellent reverb that every performer will feel extremely comfortable performing to. Optionally, the FX can be included in the signal recorded to the input track. The signal can, of course, also be recorded dry with no FX or bypassed completely.
The Advanced Integration of MR816 X in Cubase goes even further. The REV-X reverb is also available as VST3 plug-in in Cubase when mixing! This adds additional first-class FX capability that is available even when the computer’s CPU is running under a high load.
For Cubase owners, MR816 X combines not only outstanding I/O capability, extremely easy handling and no-latency monitor mixing, but also a powerful DSP capability – a peerless combination with an almost unbeatable price/performance ratio.
The REV-X built into the MR816 X is a complex reverb algorithm developed by Yamaha. It provides a high-density, richly reverberant sound quality, with smooth attenuation, spread and depth that work together to enhance the original sound.
Yamaha's REV-X digital reverb algorithm is renowned for its high resolution and extraordinarily natural sound.
The MR816 X features three types of reverb effects: Hall, Room and Plate simulations with reverb time and level control. Reverb Time and Level can be controlled either through Cubase or from the front panel of the MR816 X. This superlative reverb processor also featured on Yamaha’s premiere digital consoles is ideal for monitoring mixes for performers, but also adds a further excellent reverb to your available VST plug-ins on mixdown.
Complete Cubase user interface integration throughout
MR816 X features direct integration into Cubase through unique windows and views within Cubase that appear only when they are connected. These interface element allow full control of the hardware’s functionality from within Cubase itself. This includes not only the REV-X reverb DSP effect, but almost all hardware functionality in the MR816 X including performer mixes and their levels, phantom power selection, -26dB pad, High Pass filters and phase inversion switch per input channel.
The benefits are an extremely fast and intuitive workflow that handles software and hardware effectively as one system! Attention is focused on Cubase at all times without creative flow being broken off by having to open or edit in other applications. And because the features are all embedded in the Cubase graphic environment, they’re very intuitive to use for anyone who is already used to Cubase; no need to adjust to another graphic environment to adjust levels for performer mix, for example. This is only one of the many Advanced Integration features between MR816 X and Cubase, which effectively meld hardware and software together into perhaps the most sophisticated production system available today.
Quick Connect: next-generation of plug and play and instant setup
As soon as the drivers are installed, Cubase automatically recognizes when the MR816 X is connected, featuring complete plug and play and very fast setup.
MR816 X offers another stunningly unique feature: instant routing and rerouting of inputs to Cubase channels on the fly from the front panel of the I/O with the push of a single button! Just select a Cubase channel, and press a channel button on the I/O front panel, and that channel is instantly routed to the selected track. To help quickly identify which input is routed to the selected Cubase track, the front panel light for the channel flashes, showing which input is currently routed to that track.
Setting up a project with MR816 X is extremely easy and intuitive. Templates offer pre-made setups with routing and I/O configurations already set up, automatically creating and assigning inputs and outputs for connected devices. Additionally, if no input busses have yet been created within the project, selecting a Cubase track and pushing the button of the desired channel on the front panel not only routes that input to that track, but automatically creates either a mono or stereo bus as desired.
The bottom line? No need to manually create busses or reassign I/Os in the VST Connections window, with obvious benefits for project workflow. No other combination of FireWire hardware and software offers such flexible and intuitive I/O handling within a software DAW. As one of the unique Advanced Integration features, Quick Connect helps MR816 X integrate completely into Cubase to form a next-generation software and hardware system that discards traditional boundaries between these two previously separate worlds.
Developed using advanced technologies to offer seamless scalability, this mixing and recording system offers many options to increase the number of available inputs, preamps, outputs and DSP capability; all on the same FireWire port. Up to three MR816 Xs can be used simultaneously by connecting them in daisy-chain fashion to a computer via IEEE1394 cables. The number of available channels for input and output across the system can be easily expanded simply by adding up to two more MR816 X interfaces. MR816 X supports up to 48 input and output channels using only one FireWire port on the computer. All connected I/Os are recognized by Cubase simultaneously, with no additional setup required. Cubase also automatically assigns the correct I/O port configuration for one, two or three units, depending on how many are connected. Even when multiple MR816 Xs are connected, parameters such as those for digital audio input/output and REV-X are available for each device individually.
The available DSP power of the entire system is also scalable with the addition of more units, as each DSP is available to Cubase in the form of VST3 plug-ins during mixdown. A system composed of three MR816 X offers not only 48 inputs and outputs, but also three instances of high-quality REV-X reverb.
Because of the highly flexible driver architecture, both MR816 CSX and MR816 X models are fully compatible with each other and run daisy-chained together on the same system, allowing full flexibility in creating a customized system that offers the needed number of inputs, outputs and DSP capability.
Cubase AI4 included
Cubase AI4 is a special, compact version of Steinberg’s famed music production system. Based on the same technology as Cubase 4, Cubase AI4 offers powerful yet easy-to-use software tools for audio recording, editing, MIDI sequencing and mixing; exclusive to customers of selected Steinberg or Yamaha hardware.