Extending MR816 Workaround for Direct Hardware Monitoring

All about Steinberg's Advanced Integration DSP Studio MR816 CSX and MR816 X.
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ron5150
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Extending MR816 Workaround for Direct Hardware Monitoring

Post by ron5150 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:41 pm

I would like to share some of my workarounds to get more CUES after setting up Steinberg's MR816 Direct Monitoring Workaround.

I've been relentlessly testing and re-configuring my hardware setup to get a More-Me Hardware Monitoring type of system working with the MR816.

My Hardware:
(1) X99 PC System with Window 10 Pro with Cubase Pro 9.0.10
(4) MR816CSX - 3 are cascaded via Firewire and attached to an X99 System (wired as per MR816 documentation)
The 3 MR816 are configured and wired up with SPDIF as per SB's workaround (during my tests, I have not attached nor activated my 4th MR816 which I intend to attach via ADAT lightpipe to the last unit in the cascaded chain.)
(1) Behringer P16-I; (1) Behringer P16-D; and (2) Behringer P16-M
(1) PreSonus Monitor Station v2

I've utilized SPDIF OUT from the MR816 (basis) STUDIO CUE-3 and attached it the Presonus Monitor Station v2's AUX/SPDIF IN to have a more external hands-on control over monitoring. Also, the SPDIF IN from the last MR816 in the cascaded chain is also in use as an additional INPUT source.

With SB's workaround, and after hooking everything up and testing audio flow from MR816(2) to MR816(1) to MR816(basis) while Cubase is in "DIRECT MONITORING" mode, and seeing that everything works fine and dandy as SB's documentation, you end up with a system/DAW with 1 CUE left (CUE-4). NOT AN IDEAL SETUP!

My solution was to get Audio IN(s) to Audio OUT(s) while in "DIRECT MONITORING / HARDWARE MONITORING" mode. And the only facility that I could think of that might be able to do this was SB's inclusion of "DIRECT ROUTING" from its later releases of Cubase Pro.
- I have patched in my Behringer P16-I's 16 Analog INPUT(s) to 16 OUTPUTS from 2 of the MR816.
- I created a project with Buses to match those INPUT(s) and OUTPUT(s) and had Cubase in "DIRECT MONITORING" mode. Mapped SB's new featured DIRECT ROUTING from the mixing console to MR816 OUTPUT(s). SAVE THE PROJECT and exit.
- I went into the MR Editor and enabled similar mappings on the MR816 hardware,saved the scenes and exited.
- Loaded Cubase 9 back up and tested each input to output signal flow to the P16-I with a standard mic (Beta SM57) to the Behringer P16-I. The signal flow could be visually verified via LED which flickers when audio is present on each channel on the P16-I.

Conclusion:
SB's "DIRECT ROUTING" overcomes the Control Room's restriction that "Hardware Monitoring HAS TO BE CONFIGURED IN THE CONTROL ROOM" by passing audio signals directly to designated or assigned output buses for audio monitoring. As per SB, DIRECT ROUTING is Post-Pan and Post-Fader. With this setup, audio monitoring/mixing is done at the Artist's location/fingertips utilizing the P16-M (digital monitor mixers) attached via CAT5 (shielded) to the P16-I. **** This will require an extra track with the same input source with its output mapped to an actual MR816 output port for the P16-I. (Direct Routing Summing - DOES NOT WORK in Hardware Direct Monitoring on the MR816. You will be just basically creating a duplicate track with the same input source but mapped to a different output source to get the signal out to the P16-I. ======== Hope this clarifies the work around).

I hope some will find this workaround an ideal expansion or added value feature helpful / useful in dealing with the frustrations we've had to endure with the MR816 line of hardware from Yamaha / Steinberg.

Attached is the latest documentation I have created for my own setup for all's use and reference.

Maybe we can build upon this and make it even better! Please throw in your 2-Cents/Comments and feedback.

Cheers! - Ron A.
Attachments
MUSIKER STUDIOS - New System - Direct Hardware Monitoring.jpg
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Last edited by ron5150 on Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Extending MR816 Workaround for Direct Hardware Monitorin

Post by DTS Recording Studio » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:16 pm

Nice work Ron!!
I have a similar setup and faced the same Direct Monitoring issues when using multiple MR816CSX devices. I purchased 3 units unbeknownst to me that such limitations existed. Thought i had the holy grail of audio interfaces with what SB claimed the MR line was capable of. It was disappointing to figure out its shortcomings after purchasing, but in the end, i'm glad i have them. Really nice preamps!

I also have the Behringer power play system only with just one P16M at the moment. Fantastic monitoring! Instead of using Cubase's direct outs, i am using the Sends to output my channels to the P16I. I have all 3 mr816csxs via Firewire, and have the Adat outs of units 2 and 3 going in Adat ins of the P16I. I also have my CB9 control setup so i can still use the 4 Cues out via the 6 headphone outs of the MR devices, which then feed a 6 channel headphone mixer. I still have to have a couple people share mixes since there are only 4 Cues in CB, but thats not a big deal. And only lucky performer gets to use the single P16M that i have while the others get Cue Sends from me in CB. Even a year later after setting up and i'm still confused how i managed to make it work. :)

Anyway, excellent job with what you have figured out. Thanks for sharing! I might give my setup another look now that i have more ammunition. Lol

- Dan
"An Optimist says that glass is half full, a Pessimist says that glass is half empty...an Engineer says that glass is twice as large as it needs to be!"
www.DTSrecordingstudio.com www.facebook.com/DTSrecordingstudio

ron5150
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Re: Extending MR816 Workaround for Direct Hardware Monitorin

Post by ron5150 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:08 pm

Hi Dan, glad to know I'm not the only one with more than 2 units of this fine Pre(s)! I love them so much that I've been working on this solution for quite sometime, on paper, and finally got the chance to actually do the test this year.

The set-up using the P16-I(s), is elegant and soo flexible especially when all your MR(s) are all patched HalfNormaled! The flexibility in hardware routing along with and complimenting CB's Direct Routing software routing is a beatiful marriage in routing capabilities with the amount of I/O(s) these units offer. Looking back at all my previous posts on the topic, I just found out I started to look into this hardware marriage (MR816 + P16) back in June 2016. From this point on, with this foundation in-place (ease and flexibility in routing and monitoring), everything else that needs to be connected and monitored to this system/setup should be a breeze.

When it does come together and works as designed, it's another accomplishment you can be proud of!

Thanks for sounding off and sharing in your setup, I know others would be interested on our use of the P16 + MR816 ! :). Cheers! - Ron

Here's a snap of the current installation

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Re: Extending MR816 Workaround for Direct Hardware Monitoring

Post by ron5150 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:19 pm

Further tests shows that "Direct Routing" in "Direct Monitoring" mode only allows the 1st "Direct Routing" slot for mapping or assigning routes to an available output bus. Also, I was able to send multiple "Group Tracks" to a single Directly Routed output bus. So, we will now try to reverse the process in the above previous tests and FREE UP the CUES (1-4) by utilizing "Direct Routing" to bring in the audio(s) from MR816(2) and MR816(3) into MR816(1) and see if we would be able to monitor.

By doing the above we would FREE UP CUES 1-4 from the original work-around and utilize them as intended CUE(s) that offer "Talk-Back" and the "Click" (still physically patched into our P16-I with IC-Pro to control the CUE(s) remotely). If we require more cues, we would simply re-implement the use of "Direct Routing" to an assigned Output Bus physically patched into our P16-I for More-Me monitoring.

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