Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH

Creativity First

Frankenstraße 18 b
20097 Hamburg

Tel: +49 (0)40 210 35-0
Fax: +49 (0)40 210 35-300

Cubase AI included
Cubase AI is a special, compact version of Steinberg’s famed music production system. Based on the same technology as Cubase, Cubase AI 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.

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Flexible I/O

The MR816 interfaces provide all the audio I/O connectivity needed for any audio recording situation:

  • Eight D-PRE XLR/TRS combo connectors with Class A discrete preamps with +48 V and -26 dB pad switch per channel
  • Eight analog balanced TRS outputs for separate studio performer mixes and a variety of different monitoring setups
  • One Hi-Z input for electric guitar or bass
  • Optical input and output port for ADAT digital audio streams or S/PDIF optical
  • S/PDIF coaxial input and output
  • WordClock port
  • Two independent headphone outputs with individual level control from the front panel
  • Two inserts for integration of additional hardware FX

What is the difference between the MR816 CSX and MR816 X?

Basically, MR816 CSX and MR816 X are the same device. Both provide exceptional audio quality, state-of-the-art preamps and he same quantity of inputs and outputs. Plus, MR816 CSX and MR816 X offer one REV-X reverb for high-density, richly reverberant room sounds. But the MR816 CSX interface has even more to offer: with its eight additional DSP-powered channel strips you get state-of-the-art compression and EQ tools.

D-PRE microphone preamps

The preamp is where sound creation begins in recording, and ultimately determines the quality of your mix. The D-PRE is carefully designed to capture all the subtleties and expressiveness of any audio source and is the culmination of years of development by the experienced engineers at the Yamaha Corporation. The results are stunning, and the difference is in the design.

Usually, preamps use one transistor each for the hot and cold signals at the input stage to amplify the signal. However, the D-PREs specified on Steinberg audio interfaces use an inverted Darlington circuit, where two transistors are used for each hot and cold- a total of four per unit. With only one transistor on a preamp circuit, distortion tends to increase along with the signal level. By using a pair of two cascaded transistors, very low distortion can be maintained regardless of signal level.

Some users might look for a microphone preamp to dramatically color the sound while others search for a very neutral response. For example, some highly sought after vintage microphone preamps excel at amplifying certain components of a given source, imparting a generous amount of color to the signal. Such a preamp might be great for a vocal recording, however those preamps will not suit every use. D-PRE has a very wide frequency range so that it can handle any music source and it does not overly amplify any specific components of the signal. It’s beautifully tuned to be able to capture the true expression of a given performance or audio source, while leaving flexibility for later editing. The end result is that D-PRE provides a sound that is a perfect amalgamation of understated signal enhancement combined with impeccable sonic integrity. The development team took a lot of time to adjust this subtle balance and the D-PRE sound quality speaks for itself.

And just as important as the preamps are, of course, the converters behind them. The MR816s include first-rate A/D and D/A converters that offer absolutely crystal-clear sound that portrays the sound with astonishing precision and clarity.

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 the MR816: a solution defined by its ease-of-use, flexibility and pure functional elegance. Running with Cubase, MR816 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, these performer mixes are realized using the Studio Sends in the Control Room — a unique system that is completely integrated into the Cubase 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. The technological know-how required for this level of integration results directly from the ongoing cooperation between Steinberg and Yamaha.

DSP power for Cubase

On top of the excellent I/O capability, the MR816 CSX features an onboard DSP chip that runs up to 8 instances of the highly acclaimed Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip plug-in, featuring the latest compression and EQ technology. Both MR units feature the renowned REV-X reverb, which is also featured on many top Yamaha hardware mixing consoles.

Each independent monitor mix can utilize the DSP capability for an outstanding sound that every performer will feel extremely comfortable performing to. Optionally, the FX can be included in the signal recorded to the input track.

The Advanced Integration of MR816 in Cubase goes even further. The full DSP capability is also available as VST 3 plug-ins in Cubase when mixing. With the MR816, up to eight instances of the Sweet Sport Morphing Channel Strip plug-in can run as an insert plug-in in Cubase (MR816 CSX only), as well as one instance of REV-X. This adds additional first-class FX capability that is available even when the CPU is running under a high load.

For Cubase owners, MR816 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.

Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip (MR816 CSX only)

The innovative Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip is a unique new compression and EQ tool that runs on DSP inside the MR816 CSX. While the first-class algorithms developed by Yamaha deliver sonically excellent equalization and compression, this unique new plug-in has also been designed for convenience, accessibility and simplicity of operation.

The Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip consists of a sidechain-enabled compressor and a 3-band parametric equalizer, which can be applied to up to eight mono input channels or four stereo input channels on the MR816 CSX or on Cubase tracks during mixing. Both EQ and compressor were developed to attain a highly “musical” sound that can not only give audio signals new sparkle and punch or help (re)define their sonic personality, but also work adaptively on audio signals to blend them satisfyingly into a mix.

The first-class sonic qualities of the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip are not the only aspect that set it apart. It also features a unique new way to set up a great sound for just about any audio signal in next to no time: the Morph knob. Simply turning this knob smoothly morphs through both EQ and compression settings in combination, allowing the user to ‘dial in’ the ideal sound very quickly just by using one single control element.

Plus, MR816 CSX also features built-in hardware control for the DSP effects: both the Morph and Drive knobs can be controlled from the front panel of the MR816 CSX. Using the Morph knob is especially useful for recording situations where quick setup for EQ and compression is paramount. Newcomers to recording will also find this system very helpful, as presets for many common recording situations are included. The presets were designed by veteran audio engineers using their many years of recording experience, and cover ideal EQ and compression settings for instruments, drums, vocals and many more situations.

REV-X Reverb

The REV-X built into both MR816 interfaces 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.

Each MR816 features three types of reverb effects: Hall, Room and Plate simulations with reverb time and level control. 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 interfaces feature direct integration into Cubase through unique windows and views within Cubase. These interface elements allow full control of the hardware’s functionality from within Cubase itself. This includes not only the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip (MR816 CSX only) and REV-X reverb DSP effects, but almost all hardware functionality in the MR816s, including performer mixes and their levels, phantom power selection, -26 dB 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!

Setting up a project with MR816 interfaces 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. The bottom line? No need to manually create buses or reassign I/Os in the VST Connections window. No other combination of FireWire hardware and software offers such flexible and intuitive I/O handling within a software DAW.

Quick Connect: next-generation of plug and play

Cubase automatically recognizes the MR816, featuring complete plug and play and very fast setup. The MR816 interfaces offer another 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 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.

Extendable system

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 MR816s can be used simultaneously by connecting them in daisy-chain fashion to a computer via IEEE1394 cables. The MR816 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, depending on how many units are connected. Due to 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.

New and enhanced features with free updates


Version 1.5

  • Output level metering of each audio stream and additional control of MR816 Master volume levels from within Cubase
  • Expanded and enhanced Audio Hardware Setting dialog for controlling master levels of analog and digital outputs from within Cubase
  • Enhanced MR Editor

Version 1.6

  • The Yamaha Steinberg FireWire driver now supports the Yamaha FW16E FireWire Expansion Board
  • Better performance on Apple Macintosh computers with faster processing of the audio input and output
  • The Steinberg MR Extension also sees several minor enhancements

Version 1.7

  • 64-bit compatibility on Mac OS X
  • Cubase 6 support
  • The Steinberg MR Extension also sees several minor enhancements

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