Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH

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Frankenstraße 18 b
20097 Hamburg

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

MR816: Resolving audio performance issues

In case of problems with the MR816 during operation, such as audible drop-outs or noise during playback and recording, please follow these steps in order to solve the problem:

1. Increase the buffer size
. Your DAW needs a certain time to process the audio data. The more tracks, effects or virtual instruments you use in your project, the more time is needed. If the latency (or buffer size) is set too low, drop-outs may occur. You can adjust the buffer size in the Control Panel of the Yamaha Steinberg FW Driver for the MR816.

2. Make sure that you have the current driver and firmware installed for the MR816. To check this in Windows, right-click on the Yamaha Steinberg FW Driver icon in the taskbar an select "Control Panel". On a Mac go to the System Preferences and click on "Yamaha Steinberg FW" to open up the Control Panel.

Then (on both Windows and Mac) click on the "MR816X" or "MR816CSX" tab to show the firmware version. Click on the "About" tab to show the Yamaha Steinberg FW Driver version. You can find the latest updates here.

3. Using the YSFWUtility (Windows only) for troubleshooting: This utility software provides options to solve issues when noise occurs in the following situations:
- Audio latency is at the maximum setting (Case 1).
- An IEEE1394 interface with circuitry made by O2Micro or JMicron is used (Case 2).

The YSFWUtility is included in the current "Tools for MR" ZIP file. Please download and unpack the file to a location of your choice. To use the YSFWUtility browse to the "Utility" folder inside the unzipped "Tools for MR" folder and double click on the "ysfwutility.exe".

The YSFWUtility allows you to change two options: the "IEEE1394 Buffer Size" and the "IEEE1394 Transmission Speed".

Case 1: If you are suffering from noise although the audio latency is already at the highest setting, please change the "IEEE1394 Buffer Size" from "Small [Default]" to "Large". This will increase the buffer size of the FireWire port. Please note that you will have to restart the computer afterwards.

Case 2
: If you are using a FireWire interface with an O2Micro or JMicron chipset, change the "IEEE1394 Transmission Speed" from "S400 [Default]" to "S200". Please note that you will have to restart the computer afterwards.

For further information please refer to the release notes included in the "Tools for MR" ZIP file.

4. Use a dedicated FireWire card if possible. A list of compatible chipsets can be found here.

5. Remove any additional FireWire devices from the port where the MR816 is connected. These may interfere with proper operation of the MR816.

Mac systems only:

Certain Mac computers feature two physical FireWire ports, while these are connected to one common FireWire bus internally. For testing purposes please also remove any devices connected to the second FireWire port of the Mac as well.

6. Use the FireWire cable shipped with the MR816. Improperly shielded cables may interfere with correct operation.

7. Try both FireWire ports on the MR816, however refrain from simultaneously connecting both FireWire ports (using two cables) of the MR816 to one or more computers. This might damage both units.

8. Incompatible FireWire chipsets: In certain cases of incompatibility of FireWire chipsets you may try to daisy-chain the MR816 to the computer using e.g. an external FireWire harddrive. First connect the FireWire harddrive to the FireWire port of the computer, then connect the MR816 to the second FireWire port of the harddrive. This way the MR816 is not directly connected to the FireWire port of the computer, which might help solving incompatibility issues.

9. Disable the network adapter for the FireWire port. This can be done in the Device Manager (Windows) or the System Preferences (Mac).

10. Disable Wireless Lan on your computer while using the MR816, as it might interfere with audio streaming.

11. Current drivers: Make sure that your computer's BIOS, drivers (also for the FireWire interface) and operating system are up-to-date.

12. Change PCI(e) slot: If you are using a PCIe or PCI FireWire interface please try to install the card into a different slot, depending on your motherboard certain slots may share IRQs with other slots or devices on the motherboard which may lead to drop-outs.

13. Windows-related FireWire issues

Windows XP Service Pack 2 only

After the installation of Service Pack 2 the performance of FireWire devices may be decreased. This is because the update switches the FireWire speed from "S400" to "S100". The recommended solution would be to upgrade to Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.
If you would like to continue to use Service Pack 2 instead, please refer to this Microsoft article on an available update to fix this problem.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 only

In case you have installed the update to fix the decreased FireWire performance on Service Pack 2 and then update Windows XP to Service Pack 3, the FireWire speed will again revert to "S100". In order to fix this problem please refer to the following Microsoft article on an available update.

Additional information can be found here.

Windows 7

Windows 7 replaces previous FireWire bus drivers of earlier Windows versions. Although this usually will not cause any trouble when using the MR816, you might want to try the following in case of troubles with proper functioning of the MR816:

a. In Windows 7 open up the Device Manager.
b. Expand the "IEEE 1394 Bus-Hostcontroller" entry and right-click on your "Hostcontroller" entry. The name will vary from system to system. Select "Update driver software...".
c. Select "Browse my computer for driver software" and select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer". Make sure to check the box "Show compatible hardware".
d. Select "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)" and click "Next". Now the driver will be updated.
e. Check if the MR816 now works properly.

Windows 8

Since Windows 8, the legacy driver is not available anymore as Microsoft has rewritten the driver. It should work better than before now.
If the issues persist, there is a workaround to take the old and now unsigned driver from a Windows 7 system and use it on Windows 8.
A link to this workaround and a general discussion on this can be found here.

14. Optimizing Windows for DAWs. Please read this article for important general system related settings.

15. Optimizing Mac OS X for DAWs. Please read this article for important general system related settings. 

16. Contact support: In case none of the above seems to fix the troubles you're experiencing with your MR816, please contact our technical support team.


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