Brand new. Looking for suggestions. MR816

Hi all.

I am brand new to the forum and recording. I am hoping some kind people can point me in certain directions, for content to read and learn. Im hoping to avoid aimlessly searching the net.

Here’s the problem, as is the case with all newbies to any profession/activity/hobby.
I don’t know, what I don’t know. I’m hoping someone can point me where to go to start learning.

Here is what I want to accomplish, and the gear I have, and the gear I plan to get.

What I want to accomplish:
Record myself playing drums. I would like to be able to record myself to send to a friend for remote collaboration. But I would also like to be able to play music he sends me, and play drums to it, as well as be able to play songs from known bands and cover the drums.

Gear I have:

-7 piece drum set, with lots of cymbals.
I usually have -

hi hats
crash x2
china x2
ozone stack x1
mini china stack x1
ride x1 (with bell effects stacked)
usually no more than i additional cymbal, usually a third crash or a splash.

-Peavy PVM DMS 5 piece drum mics
(This set includes:

snare mic x1
tom mics x3
kick mic x1)
I will explain how i want to configure these a little later - 5 mics in kit, 7 piece kit. We have a problem

-RE-20 mic (for kick)
-Cheap old Radio Shack wide/narrow, AA battery powered condensor mic
-No name, unbranded condensor mic

-Behringer EuroTrack UB802 6 channel mixer
-Steinberg mr816x interface

-Stagg SM-57 knockoff mic
-Behringer matched pair condensor mics for overhead

It may seem like I have enough equipment to know what Im doing! I don’t. My father recently passed and a lot of this equipment was his. My brother did some recording in the past, which is where all the recording equipment came from. Unfortunately, my brother is not available to help get me set up.

I guess my first questions are things like:

-Do I need a firewire to USB converter (I think I do since my laptop doesn’t have firewire…)
-Suggestions on a free DAW to get started
-Suggestions on sites/videos to learn the Steinberg Mr816x.
Here is what I would “like” to do with the mics.

SM-57 on snare
snare mic from Peavey set on 8" tom
3 tom mics from Peavey set on 10" and 12" rack tom and 14" floor tom
kick mic from Peavey set on 16" floor tom
I’d like to ditch the cheapy condensors and replace with slightly less cheapy Behringer set.

With all that said, is there any kind soul willing to impart some guiding wisdom and point me in a direction to march first?


That interface should have had a Cubase AI license included. I’m assuming you are not the original owner, so tracking down that license could prove to be a problem.

Well … considering you don’t have a firewire port, I think you already know the answer to that one. The limited searching I’ve done on firewire to USB converters for audio interface use hasn’t looked promising, however.

I have an old Focusrite Pro 40 interface which is somehow still working with Windows 10 and Cubase/Nuendo 12 on an antique desktop system (Gigabyte motherboard with onboard TI firewire). When that system dies I’m afraid I will need to start all over.

Anyway … getting that interface to work with your system would be the first hurdle to jump. I don’t see it happening. But, maybe someone else has some suggestions that would work?

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This doesn’t exist.
I only know Thunderbolt to Firewire converters.

Behringer is cheap as well. It will not improve anything to change one cheap microphone with another one.
Maybe double the budget on this to get not the cheapest mics. If you have better mics and keep them save and dry, they can last a lifetime.
On the other hand, the sound changes more with mics position, so experiment with the placement first.

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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I guess I already knew I would need firewire but I was hoping maybe there was a workaround? The more I’ve looked though, the more I’ve found the same bleek info - firewire only works with firewire. Bummer.
Oddly enough, I think i may have the PC my brother used to use to record. I am a packrat, and I will be checking the old PC to see if it has firewire. If it is the same PC, it may even still have Cubase (if the jard drove hasn’t been wiped). The problem though would be I have no clue where the dongle might be.

I am thinking I’ll fool around with the PC and the 816, to see if those will talk to each other. I am also thinking I’ll give Cubase LE a try at first, to try it out and get my feet wet.

Thanks for the info.

Cubase LE is OEM software bundled with other than Yamaha/Steinberg hardware. I’m not sure where you would get the license otherwise.

Have you ever used any DAW software before? If not, you might be jumping the gun on trying to record a multi-mic drum setup. You might want to consider spending the money you are thinking about spending on more crappy mics on a Yamaha mixer with audio interface functionality or a cheap Steinberg 2 channel interface which you could route the output of your mixer to (only 2 channels, but it would be a place to start and also give you a mobile device to use with your laptop, if desired). These products would give you a Cubase AI license. I just think that for someone starting out it might be the better way to go. There are a lot of basics to figure out before tackling mixing multi-mic drum recordings.

Anyway, just a thought …

If you can get the old interface to work on that old computer, great! It sounds like you are in for an adventure, though. :wink:

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Thanks, again, @Scab_Pickens .

I admit I am going down this road because the mr816 is the equipment available. I did mess around some with just an overhead condensor, a kick, and snare mic using Audacity and the Behringer 6 channel mixer. It turned out pretty terribly. I have that mixer because I use it to connect the RE-20 for my Ham radio setup. For my Ham setup I only used 1 channel, and didn’t EQ much.

My brother had recorded me using these same drum mics and the mr816 about 10 years ago. Honestly, I was stunned at how good my Samsung S22 Ultra sounded compared to the 10 year old recording, and also VERY surprised how terrible my Audacity recording sounded :rofl:. Don’t get me wrong, my brother did a great job. I guess I was expecting the “inside a tin can sound” I remember from recording using a cell phone 10ish years ago. My plan had been to record with mics, and sync it to video, but the S22 sounded so much better, I gave up on the mic recording.

I know this is a Steinberg forum, but do you think there would be any benefit in using a different, free DAW with the mics I have, before jumping into Cubase? If so, do you have a suggestion?

The decision for a specific DAW is just a matter of workflow,
you can achieve good results with most DAW systems.

I don’t have much experience with DAW software other than Cubase. I started with LE 4 and haven’t had any reason to try others. On Pro 12 now and still happy with Cubase (and more recently upgraded one of my Cubase licenses to Nuendo). I’ve seen a few others in action but haven’t had any reason to change. I agree with st10ss that a different tool probably won’t give you a different result. All you can do is try different things, or at least do some research, to figure out what you like best.

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Do you have your Dad’s computer that he used to record with? If you did then the FireWire barrier might be easier to overcome. Just getting the mr816x up and running is going to be your first big hurdle. It might be easier to buy a new USB interface and sell the mr816 for whatever coin you can get. It could be set up as an ADAT slave but you need FireWire connectivity in the first place to be able to put it into that mode: