MR 816 Output Distortion

I’ve had the MR816CSX for about 4-6 months now, I love the unit, and think highly of it. But I’ve been starting to notice some distortion when the output of the MR816 is set to 0. (I use a separate passive monitor control to control my speaker volume). I hear this when I work in Cubase 5, and also just if I’m listening from iTunes through the MR Mixer; and through my speakers, and the headphone outs on the MR.

I’m just wondering if anybody else is experiencing this as well. I’ve been noticing it much more when mastering in cubase. I notice it a lot too when pulling tracks from CD’s into cubase. The levels are all set at 0, there is no clipping, but it sounds distorted. Turn the master down, and it goes away. In iTunes, I have to either turn the master fader in the MR Mixer down, or just the volume slider in iTunes down, or it will sound distorted.

I know this isn’t the ideal interface to be mastering with, but regardless, playback at 0 with no clipping should not sound like it’s clipping. Anybody else hearing this? It’s annoying, and I don’t like turning the faders down to avoid it, and possibly loosing some bits in the process. Just wondering if maybe my unit is bad, or if this is just a defect of the product itself. :frowning:

Sorry to hear about the trouble. Do you notice the distortion on the headphone outputs as well (of course, 0 on the headphones might be enough to over-drive just about any headphone)?
What are the speakers? What is the passive monitor control?

Well, I’m mainly talking about having the faders in Cubase or the MR Mixer at 0. So the essentially the main output of the MR816 set at 0. And yes, I definitely hear the distortion in the headphones. I can hear it in headphones with the headphone volume at any level, and I don’t ever crank the headphone volume to 0, so it can’t be the headphone amp that’s distorting.

The speakers are Yamaha HS-80’s, and the passive monitor controller is an SM Pro M-Patch. I use the headphone outputs on the MR816, not the M-Patch.

Hey Robo !

Have you checked your hardware eq/compression on that channel?
If the eq is bumping up some freq, I think it could distort the thing.
Btw, are you using the firewire connection to listen the music, or optical SPDIF?
I’ve noticed distorted signal on the SPDIF on mine, but it could be my output SPDIF.


No eq or comp on any channel. Happens even upon creating a new session with no eq comp or any other insert/effects. Listening through firewire, using the MR816 as my only audio interface. So when listening to music, its just coming through the MR mixer.

Can you feed the MR816 stereo output to 2 inputs, record the distorted music 16/44.1), export as wav (no editing whatsoever) and post us the link?


I was getting ready to feed the mix back in to record it, and then I realized what was going on. It was actually something in Cubase 5 that was the problem.

I’ve been using the control room section of Cubase 5 lately. What I haven’t noticed until now, is that the main mix output was being doubled. One instance of the main outs (1-2) was coming out through the control room section. But Cubase was also sending out the main mix in the VST connections, Outputs 1-2. So once I changed the vst connections output to “dummy” outs (like ADAT 7-8 which I don’t use at all), there is no distortion at all from Cubase. I don’t know why you have to do this though. I would think that if I set up a main mix in the control room output 1-2, that cubase should bypass the normal output to 1-2 that you would use when not using the control room. I know there is probably a use for somebody out there to have both, but for most of us I just don’t think it makes sense. I love the control room section, it has just been taking a little while to get the hang of it.

I must have also been a little confused about the distortion when just playing music from iTunes or from the computer. If the volume in iTunes is all the way up, the computer audio channel in the MR Editor actually does clip. So I have to keep the volume in iTunes down just a little bit to keep it from clipping. This isn’t much of a big deal to me, but I still think it’s a little weird.


Well, Alex, Merry Christmas !

Nice to know that the distorted thing is solved.
About the clipping led on the MR editor, well, listen to your ears, not to your eyes :smiley:
Is there any distortion when playing from iTunes, and the red led is clipping?
Cause, if you don’t hear any distortion, then… is no distortion.
I think the red led is clipping at about -3dB or so.
If you are listening commercial music, 0dBFS normalized, heavily compressed, you will see quite often levels over -3dB.
However, if your year say is no clipping, then is no clipping :slight_smile:

Actually, clipping form iTunes would be quite difficult, unless the file is already clipped (I doubt).

So, enjoy the music, you’ve got a pretty expensive sound card over there :stuck_out_tongue: