Interface With Direct Monitoring ??

I currently use the Steinberg MR816csx interface. I’ve been using it for approx. 12 years now, and I’m ready to upgrade,… mainly to achieve more routing output options for my summing unit.

I also use Cubase, and with those two I am able to track with zero latency utilizing the “direct monitoring” feature within Cubase.

Researching interfaces I can’t seem to find any that support “direct monitoring”. I am considering either the Presonus Quantum, or one of the UA Apollo interfaces. I’ve spoken with both manufacturers tech guys, and they will only say their units will track at “near zero” latency.

Since I’ve never used either unit, I have no idea what “near” zero latency sounds like. I’ve read that “near” zero latency sounds more like a flange, which obviously is not acceptable.

Can anyone here attest as to what either the Quantum or the Apollo units “near zero latency” actually sounds like while tracking?

Moreover, is there another interface that supports “direct monitoring” ?


Direct monitoring should be supported for most multichannel devices? I would say your Steinberg MR816csx should also support this and suffice in the majority of cases? Take a look at where they call this zero–latency monitoring? But if you really want more ‘analogue’ inputs you might look elsewhere?

Mind you, interfaces with more than 8 analogue inputs are usually pricy! Or you’ll have to bridge more similar units to get to 16 or even 32 analogue inputs? Not cheap and it might even decrease performance! One more thing, don’t expect groundbreaking performance increases. If any it will like 10-20% at the most. Depending on the interface connection you choose?

The direct monitoring from within Cubase found in the VST audio system actually refers to „ASIO direct monitoring“ which is different to simply „direct monitoring“. Direct monitoring should be available to almost any interface this is in almost all cases identical to „near zero latency monitoring“. Zero latency monitoring is not even possible in „direct monitoring“ since you have in any case the latency coming from A/D and D/A conversion.
If you have something sounding like a flanger, you are double monitoring, which means your setup is not correct anyway.
Neither Near zero latency monitoring nor Direct monitoring donˋt „sound like anything“ if used correctly.
So are you talking about „ASIO direct monitoring“ or direct monitoring in general?l