Well, I’m up and running with C6 + MR816X + N12 + CC121 on Win 7 x64!
And all I have to say is, “Bravo, Steinberg and Yamaha! What a kick-a$$ combination!”
Wow, I’m thrilled by this amazing configuration. I haven’t done a complete project with the new gear yet, nor have I pushed it hard yet, but I’ve run some quick tests on it, and it seems very stable so far. The integration, potential and ease of installation are what impress me so far… as I learn more about what it can (and can’t) do, I see how it combines almost everything I need/want into one insane, killer package. If anything, it makes me get a little greedy and want more options! Of course, there’s nothing else like it on the market, but once you taste something this good, you want more, more, more!
Basically, installation was a breeze, which surprised me.
First, make sure you have the latest IEEE1394 firmware (1.07) and N12 firmware (1.0.3) installed in your N12. It was confusing at first since I didn’t initially realize that there were TWO separate packages to install. The revision numbering from Yamaha leaves something to be desired. Anyway, it was basically quick and easy, and I did this on a separate Win XP computer so as not to have any conflicts or problems with the main Cubase DAW on Win 7.
I already had the latest MR driver installed on the Cubase DAW for use with my MR816X (which uses the Yamaha Steinberg FW Driver 1.6.0). It’s the EXACT same Steinberg/Yamaha driver for the N12, so in one sense, you LITERALLY HAVE TO DO NOTHING BUT PLUG IN THE FIREWIRE CABLE OF THE N12 if you just want the basic i/o of the N12 added to the MR816! Seriously, you just plug in the N12’s firewire cable (all gear + computer OFF of course) into the back of the MR816 (which is connected to the computer to a TI-based firewire card), then turn the MR+N12 on, then computer on (at least that’s how I did it). The Yamaha Steinberg FW driver will then instantly recognize the N12 and add it as a tab to the driver control panel. Nothing to it. The N12 is ready to go, life is good.
See #2. It was shockingly simple. Technically, I didn’t have to install anything to get the N12 to work with my existing MR816 config, if I just wanted the i/o.
If you want to use the N Extension (which does a couple of neat things, including allow the DAW remote control features of the N12 to control Cubase), then what I did was simply download the “Yamaha Steinberg FW Driver + N Extension” package from the Yamaha site, but I did NOT run the normal, main installer… Which would re-install the Yamaha Steinberg FW driver. No need to do that since I had already installed it for the MR816. I just looked inside the files for the “Extensions_” folder and inside that is another small installer, which will install JUST the extensions. Quick and simple.
Then I loaded up Cubase 6, and voila! It works. All the i/o of the N12 are available right along side the MR816’s i/o. Then, you set up routing as needed… and learn the various configuration options of the N12. But basically, the driver and extension installation process was smooth and easy.
Now, having used it briefly so far, I have to say I love having the DAW remote control buttons right there, handy. I don’t know why I like them so much, since they duplicate those features on the CC121, of course, but it’s handy to have those extra controls. And I also love the metronome click remote on the N12! What a great little feature I was not aware of! I will use this every day. Those seemingly small features are the types of things that make this a very polished workflow experience for me… it’s not just an i/o device bolted on to a mixer. It’s much more than that.
At this point, I haven’t decided how I’m going to configure the various outputs and monitoring options. There are so many ways to approach this, I just have to decide which direction I want to go. I also haven’t fully wrapped my mind around the potential routing options (and various limitations), but at this point, I’m so excited about the options, I’m thinking of running some i/o of my PT9 rig right into this system as well. With the way you can route channels/tracks, I’m thinking of making the N12+MR816 the hub of my project studio now, including for control room/monitoring of different DAWs and monitor switching.
While the N12 is not perfect (I wish I could route the inputs of the MR816 directly into and out of the N12, for example), it really is a great companion to the MR series. Between the two, I feel like I can tackle just about any type of project I do here, and the integration (along with the CC121) is simply amazing with Cubase! It’s hard to get frustrated at the limitations – there definitely are a few (again, free routing between the N12 and MR816 would make this a dream come true if it were possible) – but on the other hand, I’m blown away at the overall capabilities it does have, that I’ve never seen in any other system anywhere close to this price range. Again, Bravo Steinberg and Yamaha!