MR816 users - am I going mad? help please!

OK, I’ve had an ongoing thread regards the input monitoring not being loud enough on the headphones when singing.

Could someone with an MR816 please, if they have a minute, try this…it’ll only take a couple of minutes and I’d so appreciate it.


  1. Import a regular mastered stereo mix of a song, typically something that has been mastered nicely to around 0db at the loud bits.

  2. Create a new mono audio track and set the input trim on the MR816, to 12 o’clock position. (without any MR816 reverb or compression). Just ensure the cubase input level is at 0db also

  3. Set the headphones level on the MR816 to around 7 o’ clock position (or thereabouts whereby you could acceptably record vocals to it).

  4. Now using any decent phantom powered mic, try and record some vocals along with the track, any vocals, just project normally!

Are your findings such that you cannot hear enough mic signal in the cans? I bet that is the case?

And to get around this, do you find yourself;

a) graphically reducing the stereo track’s waveform drastically and
b) having to increase the MR816 headphones level to maximum, just in order to hear youself singing in the cans??

That is exactly what I have been forced to do when recording vocals. From what I remember, before upgrading my PC, I was on Windows XP and this was never an issue. Also I have tried another audio interface and three other mics - to just find the same problem exists. So it’s not my hardware or mics, possibly cubase?

I’m totally scratching my head at this. You can see my frustration, Ive recorded loads of tracks, then about to record the vocal, and now I must turn down all the audio tracks to barely any waveform and crack the MR816 headphones up to max just to hear myself in the cans! Crazy!

Please could someone do that little example above and report back, noting carefully the stages 1-4 so as to replicate my problem, or not.

Thanks so much, I’d really appreciate help with this.


Typically mastered tracks are compressed and loud, so unless you compress your recorded vocal you will have to turn the music track down. Set the headphone mix level for a comfortable vocal level to record with, and adjust the music track accordingly.

Ok martin. Forget the stereo track. Just spark up a new mono audio track on it’s own with those settings an you still can’t hear enough juice in the headphone mix without having the phones up to maximum. That’d what I’m talking about.

did you define a studio? you need to define a studio in order to do this ans set your levels from the hardware control in cubase

Thanks Raphie, I do appreciate the input mate.

Ive never had to create a ‘studio’ instance before? Surely I should not need to do that. If I simply want to create a a project with a single mono track for vocal (no other tracks), and try to record vocals, I have to have the headphones knob all the way up to max to hear myself effectively. At the 7 or 8 o’clock position, there just isnt enough in the cans. That’s just not right surely? Can you try it and see?

Thanks again

What impedance are your headphones? Some pairs are 32 ohms plus and will need a fairly serious HP amp to drive them hard. A 16 ohm pair would garner twice the wattage out of the same HP amp with the same settings - see what I mean? Where is your vocal metering when you record? Peaks around -6 should give plenty of signal.

I agree that trying to track vocals over a mastered track without reducing level on the mastered 2 track would be nearly impossible and an odd situation to say the least…

Well, I tried this and got the exact same results you did. I always have to turn music down in order for the singer to hear themselves. I also have the phones almost all the way up (4 o’clock position?).

What I did was start using the control room. Here you can use the listen bus function (L) on the mixer channel. I adjust the Listen Dim Level to taste (-10 for me). (This is located in the control room mixer, under neath the “[L]” button which is underneath the AFL button.)

Now when you click the L button on the track you’re recording on, all the other music will be turned down 10 bB so you can hear yourself. When you’re done recording, just click the L button again to hear everything at it’s normal volume. I’ve assigned a button on my CC121 to the L on my channel track so I can quickly turn Listen on/off when I’m tracking/monitoring.

I’ve never had any sort of proaudio or recording training–all self taught–so routing is not something I understand completely. But this is the method I use now specifically because I ran into the same problems you did above. Hope this helps.

This why, personally, I hate direct monitoring (because when you get the “live” vocal track to a nice playback level it’s nowhere near loud enough for the talent). If I were you, I’d uninstall the “MR extentions” and use the the MR standalone mixer for monitoring (and of course turn off direct monitoring in Cubase). It’s fairly easy to set up a independant cue (headphone) and monitor mix even without setting up the Cubase “Contro Room”. On the mix (in the MR mixer), bring the DAW input level down to about -10 db so that the balance between your vocal track are more realistic. Singers always like “more me” and this is the best way to acheive this. Make sure all your levels in the MR mixer are set properply and if it’s still too quiet (as someone metioned earlier) it could be the impedance on your headphones.

Thanks sunshy and betepete. All very very helpful stuff.

The impedance on my headphones isn’t the problem. Sunshy I am curious how you set up that control room stuff. Would you be able to list point by point how you did it as I’ve followed the manual and, ye it may be simple I’m sure to some, but I’m having trouble getting it to work the way I want. Can I skype you and when is convenient?


P.s. Glad I am not alone with this problem.

Sure Al, I email you a template of mine with control room (it’s a Nuendo file, but C5 should open it up no problem). Hopefully all the connections will connect, but if not. I can skype with you and show you how I got it to work. Don’t feel bad. It took a LOT of work for me to get it to work.

P.S. There is a great program called Team Viewer which works like Remote Desktop. But Team Viewer is easier to use as you don’t have to open up a port on your router. Good luck!

Hi, could you send me that file too. I also have problems with headphone levels and i hate direct monitoring, because i can’t hear the track i’m recording anymore (or am I doing something wrong?)

The template sunshi sent me doesn’t actually change or set up control room settings unfortunately.

Let’s set a time to skype, but here are the settings:

Control room:
Monitor: out 1 & 2 analog
phones: out 1 & 2 adat

Then in your MR816 control gui:
click on the phones tab and and select “Phones” as the out on both headphones (I think it defaults to CR control room which would be your 1 & 2 analog out).

Then turn up your headphones an see if you hear signal. For recording, you’ll want to disable the control room outs if you are recording in the same room (as I am).

Not in front of my computer so this is all from memory :confused:

Well Sunshy, have followed your instruction…no joy. Cant seem to work out how this control room stuff works. Youtube instructions arent that clear.

Oliver from Steinberg says using the control room to solve my problem (when Im recording vocals in same room), is irrelevant?


Looked for you on Skype. The routing is complicated (for me anyway) if you miss one thing, you get no signal. I’d try to list the settings, but maybe easier to use Team Viewer?

Can anyone advise. Would an external mic preamp solve my problem? Would that give me the signal I need without the extra noise? I.e. Use external preamp then take that output into a line input on MR816? If so can anyone recommend a quality but low cost mic pre?

Set up a studio connection in vst connection then you can boost with the trim the studio level that is sent to your headphones.

How do I do that? I’m struggling with the manual on the control room? Al

Did you ever make any headway with this issue? As mentioned, you can boost vocal headphone levels by turning up the Studio level in the inspector (using the Control Room.) But a quick fix is to use a cheap headphone amp to give everything including the vocals more gain. Then you can turn down the “band” but still have a strong vocal in the phones.

I basically brought the other tracks down (via a stereo group) then that solved as a workaround. No need to get involved in control room. Hope this helps