I love my AXR4

The last years I bought/tested a bunch of different interfaces and I have to admit that the AXR4 is the best so far. Why? Because for me two things are most important:

AD/DA converters

Both are exceptional (just recently I tested the new RME Fireface UCX II and there was a noticeable difference).

Mostly, I only need four preamps and they are the best I’ve experienced with an interface. I don’t want to buy additional external pre-amps and with the AXR4 pre’s I have got everything I need (especially with the silk modes). When I need more, I still have my old Yamaha rack module with 8 pre amps. But the clarity and flexibility with the RND Silk modes is amazing.

My setup is simple. I don’t use a lot outboard gear (except my TC Finalizer or ALESIS Masterlink or ADAT HD24) and I only got one pair of monitors. When I will add another pair of studio monitors sometime in the future, maybe I will get myself a monitor controller.

I recognized some frustration in this forum regarding updates etc., which I can understand. But on the other hand I haven’t experienced any driver issue at all.

And again, the AD/DA conversion absolutely top notch! They let my Eve Audio monitors shine like never before. I notice some progress in my mixing abilities and that’s fantastic!

Some time ago, I got to know the VCM effects on an Yamaha board and that is my only little wish: To make those available for the AXR4.

But on the other hand, to work mainly only with 4 plugins (I am talking about the 4 native VCM effects) and to dive deep into those four is more effective than to use 20 different plugins, when you just have superficial knowledge. Of course, I use some more plugins at later stages of mixing/mastering.

My conclusion: The AXR4 is the best sounding interface I’ve know so far. Regarding the pre-amps, they are the best I’ve ever experienced when it comes to integrated pre-amps in an interface. My setup is not very advanced, that’s why I don’t have to care much about other issues, some other users may experience.


I agree it’s a very good sounding interface

This post would have a great deal more value if you could list which interfaces you’ve used. :slight_smile:

I am talking about the AD/DA conversion and it is on par with LYNX AURORA(N) the downside is that the AXR4 is not a modular system like the Lynx, which means it cannot be upgraded due to personal needs (up to 32 AD/DA, change of Thunderbolt, USB, DANTE, ProTools, Mic Pres etc.).

It is better than the FIREFACE UCXII conversion wise, but RME has better customer support and firmware updates etc.

It is better than the FERROFISH PULSE 16 DX and it also smokes the ANTELOPE DISCRETE 8, MOTU 828 ES and SPL MADISON.

I haven’t heard the SYMPHONY II, but the only interface with better sounding conversion is still the APOGEE SYMPHONY MKI, most significant in D/A.

That’s my experience, of course I did no direct A/B comparison, but I still use the same speakers and I mainly record acoustic guitars and voices with my Gefell M930 and AEA N22.

So, to make it more concise, the AXR4 stands up well against high end interfaces like the LYNX AURORAN, but lacks some flexibility and customer support. I would say, it is one of the best.

The integrated pre amps are also great sounding to me. They sound clear and you can add some analog mojo with the SILK modes. Of course, it is an emulation like UNISON pre amps from Universal Audio, but a very good one.

I would like to mention that none of the above listed interface are „bad“, it’s the opposite. But I was talking about my personal, subjective opinion about how they sound to my ears.


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Thanks for the detail, greatly appreciated. Re Steinberg interfaces, the AXR was not a consideration for us because of two of the things you mention. The lack of modularity and poor support are what steered us away when the time came (somewhat forced) to upgrade our interfaces. Steinberg/Yamaha are capable of creating great gear, but it’s such a shame they too often fail in the consideration of the aforementioned areas.

Actually, I owned the Symphony MkI and I think the AXR4 sounds better.

Everything is subjective ;-).
On the other hand, if you are a gifted producer, engineer you can even create a wonderful sounding album using the Yamaha O2R preamps and conversion. James Taylor’s “Hourglass” was exclusively recorded on that board using its internal converters (except some Drum overdubs and backing vocals). And it sounds phenomenal ;-).

Sure it’s great, but far too long we suffice with mediocre support on high end products.

Loopback still does not work.
The output section of the DSPmixfx is still unable to be resized. 24 outputs and we have to scroll this little window to access the faders? lol.

But those are things I wouldn’t even care about. Here’s the real BS.

Steinberg developed ASIO. They have complete control over it. Yet they literally told me to download a generic low latency driver lol. Ok that’s not the BS but that did happen. The BS is that ASIO is capable of FAR more than what their drivers offer.

ASIO can share the driver between apps with no latency increase. But rather, they write the driver so that it locks everything else from accessing it.

ASIO is capable of 128 outputs and inputs from ANYTHING to ANYTHING.

ASIO is capable of running 128 loopbacks.

ASIO is capable of sending and receiving data over network connections.

It’s a sad reality that the only way I was able to get this functionality was through a software that keeps getting swept under the rug and no one knows about it. Either Steinberg coders are inept, or they are being held back. My money is on being held back. There are a lot of technologies making money today that would be obsolete with ASIO fully unlocked.

It’s highly likely the latter, in that they are being held back from way above in the organisation. I have nothing to qualify this, just a hunch. The Steinberg teams, inc coders, are awesome. Those that contribute here are also awesome, but there has always been a sense that they only get access to limited detail on the info front or are, for various reasons, unable to share that info with us.

It’s been a pattern on the hardware front for quite a few years and why I jumped ship post.

Steinberg/Yamaha know how to make great gear, and at this point in time should and could be leading the field. It feels like there just isn’t the leadership, commitment and associated vision there in the organisation. As a huge fan of the brands, I continue to live in hope of change.

I was pretty happy to see Logic come out with the Apple Renderer for ATMOS. I really did not want to get Nuendo, based on all the lack luster support I’ve watched and experienced, just like you with hardware.

I won’t be jumping ship as our current interfaces, Universal Audio, are relatively rock solid with Nuendo under Windows and Mac, and we continue to enjoy the workflow it offers us, inc Atmos, though we’re still in the early stages with that .

Loopback does not work here either - which software do you recomend then ?

ASIO Pro Link is what you need to look for. It is literally ASIO unlocked at nearly full capabilities.

If you only want to record something from Youtube or Spotify, you can also use some other Audio Editor (I use Audacity for this). Together with Audacity Loopback is working, but not within Cubase :slight_smile:

the drivers etc are NOT developed by the Steinberg crew but the Yamaha devs in japan. That’s where the disconnect is, and having worked in Japan and experienced how things are done, they do things their own way in their own time.


This is pertaining the loopback and which DAW is best - Someone mentioned Audacity as working - This is free or low cost and it works - This must mean it’s a Cubase problem! and not an interface problem.

Maybe other DAW’s may work depending on what system you’re on! - Logic? - Reason 9 10 or later or Ableton Live / FL Studio? - Sonar? - Motu Digital Performer? -

How about older versions of Cubase? - 8.5? - 9? - 10? - BTW I’ve got an AXR4T on the way.

Hi fraz,
the point is that the loopback button inside the dspMixFX application’s mixer sends the audio of an output (e.g. Line 1/2, you can see this e.g. here: Version 2.0 Update for AXR4 | AXR4 Audio Interfaces - YouTube) back to the Windows input “Steinberg AXR4”, so you will be able to record the signal if your application can use this channel as an input. Cubase has no functionality to do this.
Not sure if other DAWs normally provide Windows input channels as inputs, or if its only “simple audio recorders” like Audacity.
So you could argue that it is a Cubase issue, but because the AXR SW (dspMixFX) seems to control the integration of the interface into Cubase (see the video I linked above), I think the AXR software needs to provide some additional loopback functionality to let it work inside Cubase.

Not sure about older versions of Cubase, because up to now I have only used the AXR with Cubase 11, but I think it is the same there.

I agree, a fantastic sounding interface.

Id agree with you and points raised. I have some great pres coupled with an Aurora legacy converters and the AXR stands up well against them. I used to have the MR 816 CSX and could never really fault its sound and the AXR as its replacement is excellent in this regard. It is however as others point out the non modular nature of its computer interface which makes you think twice along with its low DSP chip capacity,
But got a good discount on original purchase so price point worked out.


I just got a deal too hard to pass on a barely used AXR4 USB. I will be upgrading from a UR824, wich gave me years of solid stable use with a ferrofish pulse 16 and many outboard gear. The AXR’s are getting hard to source, many distributors stopped carrying them, including sweetwater. Im a little worried that steinberg drops it, particularly driver support. Then again my UR824 has worked like a champ with modest driver updates, so i hope Im ok. I am basically interested in triming down my outboard gear, so I was looking for an interface with a couple of good preamps, higher grade conversion onboard, to lay down my ferro and outboard, heading towards a simpler ITB setup, and the tight integration with nuendo/cubase really interested me. I hope its worth it, can’t wait to rack it and try it.