anyone using the control room instead of hardware controller

THe control room in Nuendo seems to do all that a good hardware monitor controller does albeit digitally.

Anyone using it that way,or is everyone still using an analogue hardware controller?

I appreciate digital attenuation isn’t ‘perfect’ however is that negated by loosing all that cabling ,Pots etc from the signal chain?


Yes , including my mixing theatre monitoring .
It’s very good.
Just make sure you set up your gain so max level does not overload your monitors.


thanks for the reply Mike, so basically you’re setting your maximum volume on your UFX and then using the control room volume inside Nuendo for everything else?

Is the attenuation on your UFX digital or analogue?

I’m using MR816’s and I think the main volume is digital, hence my question.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with digital attenuation.
These are the kind of urban legends which are kept alive by the people who have something to gain from making digital sound bad. Pun intended.

And if there would be something wrong, it won’t make any difference after the millions of digital number crunching that is happening inside the DAW and your hardware I/O.


Thanks Fredo,

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t digital attenuation reduce bit depth at lower levels, hence my using the word ‘wrong’ ,or I should have said ‘inferior’ compared to a good analogue attenuator?

I’ll be more than happy to get rid of an extra piece of hardware between my 816 and lovely $10,000 Quested VS3208 Actives if possible :smiley:


Bit depth is related to dynamic range, that’s all.
16 bit gives you 96dB of dynamic range. 24 bit give you 144dB of dynamic range.
As far as I know, there is no AD converter in the world that can capture a dynamic range of 144dB.
Bits are in no way related to “resolution” as we know it in -for example- photography.
Less bits don’t make the recording less “accurate” or “detailed”, it just reduces the amount of dynamic range that can be captured.
And even if you would be able to record a 96dB signal, there is no way you would be able to hear what’s happening “at the bottom” (lower bits) without blowing your eardrums out.

Yes, you can “prove” that digital has some limitations and possible innacuracies, but only in a laboratory, exotic, non-realistic test. (Like attenuate by 90dB, then raise volume again by 90dB, etc …)


OK, then it’s time to embrace the 21st century…

out with the old…

Anyone want to buy a McONE stepped attenuator controller?


I’m using both:

  1. Nuendo’s Control Room for summing my mix-busses, the click and the pre-listen bus, controlling the cue-mix, and most of all:for downmixing 5.1 to 2.0, which is implemented very well. Leaving the outputlevels to my I/O software at 0dB.

  2. Dangerous Music ST+SR for up-to-5.1 monitoring, and cue-amp for talent’s monitoring.

The advantage of using a hardware level-controller is that it always controls the levels in an absolute-way. I had quite a lot of scary moments before I worked with a volume-knob; my MC Control didn’t connect correctly (or not at all) to my Nuendo (and/or my MIO Console) and very loud sounds came out of my powered speakers………

at this stage I can’t rely on Nuendo’s ControlRoomWindow as a serious “master control”; I experience tabs being closed after I opened them, losing CRM-setup presets, metering presets which can’t be switched by key-commands etc etc. …………but that’s a whole different subject:

Niek/ Amsterdam.

Just let it sit between your DA convertor and your speakers, as a safety device.


That’s the whole point though Fredo hence my question.

Can I get rid of my hardware controller and use the control room in Cubendo?

the ’ safety’ aspect is exactly one of my concerns about the software control room.

Obviously the less there is in the signal chain between my DA and monitors the better, so removing a potentiometer and the extra cabling would be a worthwhile exercise if possible.

I think as I’m using steinberg MR and or UR interfaces they do have a volume control on so I’m good to go that way, if I was jut using a DA converter with no volume control then indeed I wouldn’t feel safe going direct into my VERY loud at full volume Quested VS3208’s



Yes, but is the MR’s potentiometer an analog one positioned at the end of the signal chain or is it an encoder controlling the volume ?

If it’s the later, keep your hardware controller for safety or you’ll end up deaf in case of a bsod with a 0db digital loop going on through your quested !

As I suggested.


Well as the MR is directly in front of me, in the worst case scenario of a 0DB blast I can just flick the power switch of to kill it. This would be the same as hitting the mute on my hardware controller.

It seems the MR software always defaults to the master at -inf when rebooting anyway so I think that’s a built in safety feature.

I spoke to another MR user and he’s been using it directly for a few years with zero problems so I’ve given it a go…

I’ve now got the MR connected directly to the Quested’s and my NS10 and it certainly sounds great :smiley:

thanks for the replies guys.



I’ve just come across a showstopper with this.

external hardware;

as the master volume controls all the output levels at the same time if you have any external FX then the levels are lowered accordingly rather than being left at unity which is useless :cry:

the only way to use external FX is to leave the volume at zero which of course means everything is way too loud so you HAVE to use an analogue attenuator.

Need to see if the UR works the same


Well yes…
And that attenuator can be the power amps on your speakers too.


Hey Norbury,
Over the past 2 years I’ve changed from using external hardware monitor controls to using interfaces with monitor controls built in. So I’ve recently gone through this very same nervous feeling of hoping I wouldn’t regret removing an analogue control from my monitor path.

Unfortunately, I had really bad luck with the MR816CSX and sold it after months of issues so I can’t speak to using it. But I have set up several rigs over the past 18 months using RME and Metric Halo (Total Mix and MIO Console respectively) and have had 100% success on 4 systems now.

I trust those systems enough that I am about to sell my last analog hardware monitor controller. The reason I’ve liked RME & Metric Halo is they’ve never left me unable to control the volume because their volume control for output is so well coded to the driver that even if the Mac or applications “freeze” which has happened a few times, I’ve still been able to hit mute or adjust the volume via front panel knobs and buttons or ext remotes.

Whether or not the MR816 drivers have improved to this point to deliver that level of user confidence I wouldn’t know ( I hope for Steinberg’s sake they have as it would be good for the brand) but I know you can eliminate the analogue controller if you want to from your signal path and have and have reliable monitor control from several products out there.

Hope this helps.
I’ve got to say I’ve had Zero regrets in eliminating a redundant item from my system.


Thanks, After realising the short comings of my MR 816’s when using external hardware, I dusted off my UR824, connected the MR units to it so I have 24 IO and have been rockling with USB for the first time in my life on my main DAW.

been working all week here tracking various things 32/96 and it’s been great , not a single problem. I still need to get my head round the WDM side of things as I’ve lost my system/windows sounds at the moment but can’t find the WDM menu on the UR control panel.

Any way just to say, removing 6 meters of cable and an analogue Pot or two has been great.


I’ve been using the Nuendo control room solely for my monitor control needs since Nuendo 3.2.1
It is great.

These days I have the RME ADI-8 QS as the last step before my 6 speakers (5.1)
I use the QS’s remote controller set so that when the Nuendo control room level is at 0, I have 85dBc calibration.
This means some digital attenuation on the QS, but not much.
The QS’s remote have a recall setting so I can always recall the perfect calibration.
It also has a (panic) mute if something should go wrong. I’ve never used that mute function :slight_smile:

The control room in Nuendo is one of the most important features we got IMHO, and I love it.


Thanks Guys,

A quick update;

had a very frustrating few days trying to integrate my analogue hardware and various other things.

My main problem is that after 1; realising the MR units have a global volume control and therefore would turn down the sends to hardware when using the volume control.

The UR only has 4 mixes available which seem to have to be shared with your monitors so if you’ve more than 2 pairs of monitors and more than 2 cue mixes you’re stuffed.

Also even with that limitation, when I exit cubendo the channels that have the hardware on then suddenly are at 0db and very noisy and the only way to lower them is to open the UR editor and uncheck the corresponding outputs to link them back to the volume knob and turn them down.

I then have to re do the whole scenario then when I open cubendo as the settings aren’t remembered.

I’ve asked on the UR forum but no one there uses the UR/ control room for more than just basic recording so have had no joy in getting to the bottom of this.

It does seem crazy that Steinberg’s own hardware doesn’t take full advantage of their own control room/Hardware FX when using it in a real world scenario.