Thinking of adding a Yamaha N12 to my MR816

I’ve got an MR816X which has been performing great and I’m thinking of adding an N12 to it.

  1. My understanding is that it uses the same driver as the MR816X, is this true?

  2. Does anyone here use that configuration, and if so, how is working for you?

  3. What is the best way to configure them together? (i.e.: Which should be first in the firewire chain?)

  4. What is the latency performance of the N12 vs the MR816X – is it the same?

  5. What’s the best way to take advantage of the control room/monitoring section of the N12 when used in conjunction with the MR816X?

  6. Anything else I should know?

Thanks in advance for the answers. Seems like this could be a great combo, integrates everything I need. :slight_smile:

Hi Uarte !

I would have an off topic question for you, if you don’t mind.
I see you are happy with your MR816X.
What speakers model are you using?
Are they connected to MR816X analogue outputs, or by other meanings?


Hi Mirabela,

I noticed your other thread about distortion, so I’m guessing your query might be related. :slight_smile:

While we’re OT, I’m very happy with my MR816X. It is among the best pieces of audio hardware I’ve ever purchased near this pricepoint. I’ve owned dozens of interfaces (and still own too many!), and this matches or exceeds just about anything I own or ever owned, including RME and Lynx interfaces (among many others). The price for this performance is fantastic. It’s not perfect, but at this price, it is spectacular.

I currently have it directly connected to Dynaudio BM5a monitors. I am using balanced Mogami cables, if that makes any difference to you.

I’m not happy about using digital attenuation with the direct connection, but surprisingly, it hasn’t been too much of an issue so far. I keep the BM5a’s on low to make up for this gain situation, so it has been fine so far. I’ve tested the MR816X on these monitors against several other interfaces, and the MR816X still sounds the best. However, at some point I will pick up a proper level control, but don’t want to waste any more money on the endless crap monitor attenuators out there. I’ve tried several, and finally learned that I would prefer to have them hooked up with a quality passive, stepped level control such as one from Goldpoint ( or Coleman Audio (

So for now I have the MR816X hooked up directly to the BM5a monitors, but previously, I had them hooked up through a Mackie Big Knob, which allowed me to route other DAWs to the BM5a’s and other monitors, etc… Unfortunately, the Mackie Big Knob is really not up to the level of quality I want, so I’ve removed it from the chain from the MR816X and BM5a’s. I still have the Mackie hooked up to other DAWs/monitors. The Mackie colored the sound in ways I didn’t like, so I’m now looking at other, superior alternatives like the ones mentioned above.

Anyway, I know there are some people that have been having issues from your other thread – I hope you/they get things sorted out (looks like you already got your situation figured out with different monitors). In my case, the MR816X – even with digital attenuation – has not had any issues or distortion like what has been mentioned in the other thread.

Did you get your answers? If not, let me know as this is my exact setup and have a working format for what it is you indicate you need. Would be good to know what OS you’re running and computer config. Both MR816 and N12 are excellent bits of gear which require very little config.

Thanks, fuzzydude! Unfortunately, I did not yet get the specific answers I needed. The best I got was over at the Gearslutz forum where someone said, “Lemontree says it works great with 64 bit… that’s good enough for me… for now anyhow… the only thing that the N software does is allow you to control a few functions inside Cubase or Nuendo via Mackie control I’m guessing… it’s not rocket science code”

In other words, no specifics. I’m supposed to simply follow this person’s advice who is passing it along from
“Lemontree,” who says it works…

I’m guessing it works, but the lack of answers didn’t inspire confidence. Any additional details you can provide would be fantastic, and much appreciated!

I would be using it on Win 7 x64. As mentioned before, I currently have an MR816X hooked and up and running great. My more complete query over in the Gearzlutz forum is located in post 3785 on page 127:

Thanks again for any info you can provide!


I’ve been out of the country since my last post but more annoyingly did not not have “email me when I get a response” enabled. I’m happy to help out as went through the process some time ago. PM me as happy to chat this through.

I have an N12, a MR816CSX and an MR816X and have used them all together, no problems, works like a dream apart from of course the monitoring. Recently recorded Pure Reason Revolution at the Scala London for their forthcoming live album - 32 channels off the FOH direct outs, onto a Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.66. Not a glitch in sight - I used Logic 8 not Cubase, hate going to live recording sessions and having to take that all important dongle…

Just awaiting C6 and have downloaded latest drivers 1.7 for the CSX etc, so watch this space - do prefer Logic for mixing at the moment, we’ll see whether C6 can tempt me back…

Thanks Dr Scardo, and also thanks to fuzzydude! I had a PM exchange with fuzzydude as he suggested in his post, and things look very positive. Looking forward to see how this will all work with C6 (which is supposed to show up here this week)! :slight_smile:

Hi all,

We’re installing a full recording booth studio at my work, and we need a mixer solution; I’m already running Cubase 5.5 with an MR816 CSX- so I take it the Yamaha N12 will play nice with the MR816?

We just bought the MR, so I’m feeling a little silly asking them to get an N12, but we’re definitely going to need something more hands-on for recording voiceovers, handling client call-ins and monitoring. The N12 seems like the only logical choice for Cubase/Nuendo. This is working for people?

It might help if you documented the solution here so others can tap into it.

Yes, I will revisit this thread with my notes when I get my N12 set up and go through the whole process. I took the plunge and decided to order one, and will receive it next week. I’ll update the thread with my findings. Can’t wait to get it!

That’s great, uarte, I appreciate the effort. I’m getting ready to sell my n12. It’s been very good and stable, but my home studio was upgraded to a Toft ATB-24 with an SSL Alpha Link / MX-4 setup a year ago and I’ve only been using the n-12 for location recording and it’s not ideal for that. I currently have two MR816s for my location rig and will probably take the proceeds from the n12 sale to pick up another MR816. It will be great to have 24 mic pres in a mobile rig!

Cool, let me know how you get on and if you need any help with config, monitoring options etc

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! :wink:

Basically, installation was a breeze, which surprised me.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

Thanks for the detailed report, uarte! That’s exactly the information I was looking for!

Based on my instincts, and a year with the MR816, I advised my employer to go with the N12 for our studio, and I’m so pleased to hear that it literally plugs into the MR and works! I felt bad that I had recommended the MR already, but now, if they work together, I can just hold onto it as a “future expansion” possibility. Great stuff, and I can’t wait to get mine!


Very cool. Please let us know if you do get the N12, and if your experience goes as smoothly as mine has so far.

Oh, we’re getting it. Last one in Vancouver, and two customers almost stole it from me!

You know, I’m surprised Steinberg/Yamaha doesn’t push these harder. You go to the Steinberg site, and the n12 is nowhere to be found; there used to be videos and everything! Why would they not even mention them? Made me worried at first, especially with Steinberg’s reputation for dropping things, but uarte’s review has really helped assuage me.

Agree, I don’t know why they don’t push these harder either, having used this set up (mr816, n12 and n12x2 for a while, they are a great combination to the workflow.

There was one on ebay the other day that a friend wanted, bidding started at 99p and ended up at £890, you can almost buy a new one for that if you can find one. For those that know what a great peice of kit these are, especially in combo with the m6816 there is literally nothing that comes close.

Yeah. Extra-odd considering Cubase/Nuendo are the only company to make any headway against Pro Tools - which has gone native! They should be pushing these excellent prosumer solutions like crazy. I think I’m going to ask my friend at Steinberg Canada about this…

Oooh, I’m excited now! Can’t wait! :smiley: