direct monitoring with multiple MR816s

Is there a straight forward way to direct monitor more than the 8 inputs of the first M816 in a multiple MR rig? I find the SPDIF “work around” suggested by Steinberg impossible to grasp and it loses all but one of the headphone outs in Control Room - which defeats the purpose.

Even if I could direct monitor 16 inputs and keep 3 headphone mixes I would be very happy. Needless to say I was blindsided by this shortcoming when using more than 1 MR . I like lots of other elements of the 816 but this one flaw is a constant headache. (I bought three before recognizing I couldn’t monitor all the inputs as with my RME 800.)

Has anyone found a solution?

could you not use the 8 adat inputs of your first unit for direct monitoring using the second units 8 pre’s and going via the ADAT outs of unit 2 to the the ADAT ins of unit 1? So basically unit 2 would be just an A-D and mic pre and not connected to the main computer.

This way you’d have 16 available inputs for direct monitoring as it would be just one 816 connected to the DAW.

this is assuming the ADAT inputs can do DM.


just monitor a subgroup? not sure what your after, but for me with direct monitoring enabled, i just have have sounds from all my inputs? (MR816 unit 1 & 2 and Motif XS Rack with FW card) ?

When i have singers that need direct monitoring i just make sure that they get their studio mix fed from unit one

No, I had hoped that might work too. But the 816 will only output 8 channels when in DM mode - mic pres or ADAT, it’s one or the other but not both.

That is the challenge for me - it is when I am tracking full band with drums and need to give four different headphone mixes of all the inputs to the musicians. I can only give them 8 of the input channels - so I have to choose wisely so that the headphones at least give each performer a taste of themselves - and then make sure those 8 are plugged into unit 1.

When it is a singer and a couple of guitars there is no problem. Live-off-the-floor is where it gets frustrating.

True! i just use a clicktrack track of a quick mixdown / bounce wich i feed to studio1 (singers headphones)

tracking a live ensemble occupying more than 1 unit is a challenge without spdif

This is not a solution but an alternative. I use a RME Digiface as my DAW interface with my 2 MR816s (could be 3) connected via adat. I personally don’t like DM so I use Totalmix for 5 discreet stereo outs (1 monitor and 4 stereo cue headphone sends).

Agreed, but it suits my workflow, i always have productions already developed so far that once i am ready for singer tracking, i can offer them a draft mixdown to work with.
for just tracking and mixdown monitoring the master, the FW works fine, u don’t need additional spdif connections to monitor that.