MR816 Training Tutorial

For those of you (like me) that are hobbyist level recording people, check this out. While I know most of you here on the forum are intimately familiar with Cubase and the MR816 I am not. From what I see there are more out there like me though. When the MR816 was introduced I mistakenly assumed that it was as plug-n-play as I interpreted the promotional materials. While it is an absolutely wonderful unit I would hardly say its “plug-n-play” especially since I bought 3 of them and planned on daisy chaining them together. Aside from the annoying drop-outs and clicks, etc that I seem to have mostly licked with the help of Steinberg’s support staff (thanks guys) I have been completely out of my comfort zone trying to set up direct monitoring for more than 8 channels. I’ve come across macProVideo and the tutorials by Matt Hepworth are great. I put in a “Suggested Tutorial” request for Matt to do one on the MR816 & UR824 and how to utilize all its combinations, features, etc. Especially direct monitoring with more than one unit. If a bunch of us go to their website and also request this training tutorial I’m hoping there’s a chance they’d do it. I’ve heard back from macProVideo and they say they’re waiting to see what interest there would be. So, if like me you need all the help you can get go to and hit up their support field with requests for this. Thanks for your time. By the way, I’m a windows user not Mac so don’t think its just for Mac users.

+1 : I like the suggestion, so I have also requested the same from MPV.

I hate to be the one that gives you the bad news, but you cannot direct monitor with more than one unit. Lots of info here:
The short explanation is that Steinberg advertised that it would work, but it doesn’t. They strung everyone along for 3+ years saying a fix was coming, then abruptly declared they had never said it was even a feature, let alone that it would actually work and refused to comment further, no doubt fearing a lawsuit.

I understand you can’t just daisy chain via FireWire but there is a way to get direct monitoring with up to 16 inputs via ADAT. But it’s kind of tricky so I thought a training video might help. Love Cubase but Steinberg really blew it with this one.

it’s not tricky, basically all inputs from a single MR816, and that would be 8 analogue and 8 ADAT have zero latency direct monitoring.

Just plug in any 8 channel ADAT mic pre/AD convertor into the MR and you’re good to go with 16 channels of direct monitoring.

if you’re using a second MR as your mic pre/AD converter then you’ll first need to plug it in via FW and set it up to pass analogue ins to ADAT outs, once you’ve done that it will work as stand alone.

This would be the same with ANY device that hasn’t got physical buttons/switches for doing it.


p.s. if the OP thinks the MR/UR units are tricky take a look at the focusrite sapphire mixer/interface…now thats’ a head f**k

MC, thanks for your reply. As primarily a musician and a reluctant recording neophyte I’m probably more of a nusance with these posts. I bought the MR’s after visiting the Steinberg booth at Winter NAMM in Anahiem several years ago. My perception of what I was told by the attendees in the booth from Steinberg were that since I already was basically familiar with Cubase SE that I would love the plug and play of the MR series w/ the newer Cubase. I had lamented about being restricted to only 8 channels with my Line6 UX8 and they implied at least I could have up to 24 channel inputs/outputs very simply by daisy chaining them via FireWire. The zero latency/direct monitoring feature was a HUGE benefit. For a player rather than a techie I was overjoyed at this development and promptly bought two MRcsx & one MRx along with Cubase 4 or 5 I don’t remember. I AM NOT BLAMING ANYONE AT THE STEINBERG NAMM BOOTH, they were and still are very helpful when I need assistance. I just think no one knew at the time the limitations of the product. I was quite disappointed upon learning it really wasn’t “plug-n-play” easy, at least in my limited knowledge. I wasn’t and still today am fairly unaware even of what ADAT is, but I am at least becoming informed.

So, with a bunch of help from my friends around the country (I live in Nebraska and there are not a lot of recording people using Cubase here, mostly Protools) I am attempting to set up the three MR’s to at least give me 16 inputs with zero latency direct monitoring realizing the last MR will only provide 8 additional analog inputs - which I can live with.

Using Cubase 7 I have hooked the MRx up to the optical ADAT in/out of my primary MRcsx, no firewire connection. MR editor shows the proper 8 analog and 8 ADAT channels. VST connections also shows the correct corresponding inputs of the primay MRcsx. MR editor and VST connections show the secondary MRcsx as well with the 8 analog inputs as it should.

The problem I’m having now is that both MR editor and Cubase show ADAT input activity even though there is no signal being sent. When I do insert either a mic or instrument signal via any analog input other than the primary MRcsx I have no signal coming through. I do show an input signal on the indicator LED on the front of all three MR’s - but that’s all there is. No signal is making its way into Cubase on either the optically connected MRx or the seconday MRcsx via FireWire. The primay MRcsx works properly. So, obviously I have some setting improperly set and I have searched high and low trying to figure this out. Thus, for me at least, its very tricky. lol

I’m not giving up yet but if you or anyone out there knows of what I’m doing wrong please let me know. Thanks much. Ulti

This doesn’t sound good. The whole reason I want to get MR816s is to fix my issue with my current interfaces (crossing inputs and no inputs communications with DAW). Please let me know if you figure this out. Thanks!


so you have 3 MR units.

lets call them:

Unit 1: Primary
Unit 2: ADAT SLave
unit 3: secondary.

the primary and secondary units will be daisy chained via fire wire

ADAT slave IS NOT CONNECTED with FW…However before it will work you do need to connect it to your computer with FW so you can use the MR editor to set the Analogue input signal to the ADAT outs. Also make sure to set your slave unit to be SLAVE and take it’s clock from the that setting then connect it to the Primary unit with your ADAT cables.

ADAT-out from slave to ADAT-in on Primary…ADAT-out on primary to ADAT in on SLAVE

don’t start Cubase but fire up the MR editor and you’ll see if your signals are getting to where they should be, bear in mind if you’ve messed up the slave settings you’ll have to plug it back into the FW port to change settings.

it sounds to me like you’ve not got the ADAT clocked properly if you’ve got meter activity with no signal, so check the master /slave and make sure you’re ADAT go from out to in.

The Primary and Secondary units will auto clock with the FW connection.

If its set up correctly you’ll then have in Cubase

MR analogue inputs 1-8 and ADAT inputs 1-8(which will be the analogue ins from your slave) so 16 channels of analogue ins with direct monitoring, Plus all the MR (2) inputs from your secondary which wont have direct monitoring.



Thank you for your helpful explanation of hooking up two interfaces via ADAT. I have all 32 I/Os available.

Since I’m new to Cubase, the last tricky step for me was selecting the right inputs. Go to VST Connections > Inputs > click add bus and add your inputs > over to the right column select the corresponding inputs (e.g. IP1, IP2…etc. ADAT 1, ADAT 2…etc.)

I am having the exact same issue and don’t know how to ensure I have a slave. The second unit is not showing up in either mr editor or cubase.
Any chance someone can send some setup screen shots?
Thank you very much!