Help with 2 MR816's setup - Want one as standalone Preamp

Here’s the problem I’m having. When running my dual MR816x setup on a late 2008/2009 iMac (dual core) with OS X 10.6.8 via the firewire daisy chain setup, the second unit will periodically drop out during recording. None of the audio recorded from unit 1 is affected (analog channels 1-8), but like I said channels 9-16 (analog) on unit 2 stop recording until it “re-syncs” (I guess).

So, I’m hoping that using unit 2 as a standalone preamp and converter feeding ADAT ins 1-8 on unit 1 will remedy this problem as well as make setting up separate direct monitoring cue mixes a bit easier. I’ve opened up the MR editor and have everything setup on unit 2 (panning hard left and right and setting the appropriate 2 channel faders to unity to correspond with the proper ADAT outs on unit 2). I have both units’ Digital I/O set to “ADAT”, world clock master as MR816, source set to internal, and sample rate at 44.1kHz.

Everything works as expected under the MR Editor. That is, I can see my input on analog channel 1 of unit 2 being fed into ADAT channel 1 on unit 1. However, upon storing the settings, shutting down both units, removing the firewire connection from unit 2 to unit 1, and restoring power, ADAT input 1 of unit 1 no longer receives a signal from unit 2. I suppose I could leave the firewire cable connected, but I’m concerned that dropouts may still occur and simply see no reason why it should remain connected.

I tried changing the clock source on unit 1 to ADAT, but that didn’t work. Do I need to have a BNC world clock cable connecting the world clock to both units in order to do this (seems that’s how the Focusrite OctoPre’s work, unless running them as the master)? Any help is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I wanted to mention that my 2005 Sony Vaio SZ230p does not have the dropout issues with the dual unit firewire setup. However, it has a Texas Instruments firewire chipset built in, which I attribute to the smooth sailing. Unfortunately, my iMac contains the Lucent/Agere firewire chipset, and there’s no way around that.

I would hook up your second MR816 to the computer ONLY, do all the routing in the MR Editor (analog 1%2 panned left and right going to adat 1%2 and so on for the other 6 channels), make the clock adat, and save the configuration. This should save to it’s internal memory. Now plug your first MR816 into the firewire, make it master clock, and hook up #2 via adat in and out to # 1.

Thanks for the reply, but unfortunately it’s still not working. The clock indicator light on the second unit flashes ADAT, but upon hooking the first unit back up I still get nothing coming through the ADAT inputs.

Again, if I connect the second unit’s firewire connection to the first one, the ADAT in’s and out’s start working immediately. This is beginning to drive me mad. Any other ideas?

EDIT - OKAY, I’ve found the solution. I simply needed to set the second unit’s clock as the master and unit 1’s clock to ADAT (the one connected to my DAW via firewire). Now it works and I’m happy. Thanks again for your input.

But what happens if you listen to a file with a different samplerate?
Let’s say you’re all set for 44.1 kHz and one day you open a project in 96kHz, will you have to plug the unit via firewire to the computer, open ctrl panel and switch the samplerate?

Just posted a topic on the same problem here:

Help me setup with 2 MR816 Please !!!.. I have 2 mr816cxs working with cubase 5. Connect the firewire port 1 on the main MR816 in the PC and connect the firewire port 1 of the secondary drive in the Firewire port 2 of the primary unit. ok
I want to use the 16 analog inputs of the units. I can record but I can not monitor the signals from the unit 8 school. I can see incoming signal in cubase but I can not listen to 8 signals of the secondary drive. Help me please !!.. I record using the 16 analog inputs. and I need to monitor 16 signals. thanks :neutral_face:

Connect the outputs of both soundcards (output 1/2) to a mixer, then you should hear everything, though it isn’t a very flexible workflow (when adding reverb etc etc). Connect your monitors to the mixer main output.

Hook up your second MR816 via adat, then you can monitor everything from the first MR816.

Te only downside with connection via ADAT is the limited sample-rate if you want to go above 48Khz.
Otherwise this is an better solution as mine (mixer option), only when going over the 16 in/out the mixer then becomes the better option.