UR Purchasing Decision - a few questions

Hi everyone, so I don’t usually venture in this area much, been reading some posts for a day or two, trying to decide if I want to go UR242 or UR44. Been scouring the interweb for videos, testimonials, reviews, etc. As a Cubase user, it makes sense to stick with Steinberg, but I have looked at other brands, those reviews keep me coming back to SB for the overall value. :sunglasses:

I would prefer the 44 for the extra two inputs, however, I am a little perplexed as to why the 242 includes the pad switches but the 44 does not. I have read that most entry level interfaces, such as the UR 22 or perhaps Focusrite’s 2i2 have issues with guitars with active pickups, causing the inputs to peak even with the gain set to zero. Now I know you can turn the volume down on the guitar, but some guitarists I might work with may object to that, so when I noted the pads are on the 242 but not the 44, I am guessing that this might be a concession made by Steinberg to that given some complaints about clipping in the UR22 and UR12. So, is there a difference with the HiZ inputs on the UR44 that negates this concern, or am I missing some finer details in my research? Does the UR44 have the clipping issue on those hiZ inputs too?

Also, inputs 1 and 2 on the UR44 appear to not be useful for line level inputs, is that so? In some scenarios, I might want to take 6 inputs from the subgroups on my mixer for example, is this doable with the all 6 inputs on the 44?

I also note here that some folks are having issues with phantom power rendering their 12/22/242 interfaces dead after a period of use. I use LDC microphones a fair bit, so this is a concern for me, is this an issue also on the UR44?

Thanks in advance for any and all comments. :sunglasses:

Anyone? Steve, you have a 44 i believe… :sunglasses:


I have the UR 44 and have no issues with the hiZ inputs. Nor do I miss the pads. In fact I wish it had a bit more gain as I find myself often turning up the gain quite a lot to get reasonable levels. Mostly doing acoustic/electric guitars and vocals.

When compared to UR 22 which I used previously, the UR 44 needs more gain to get the same levels. So there is a difference in overall output. The hiZ input on UR 22 is a bit hot, but this is not the case with UR 44. I usually add gain even on DI-ed electric guitar.

The first two inputs are mic/hiZ only. So if you want to use them for line level signals, you probably need to use a DI box and XLR inputs.

Thanks, that is very helpful. Do you use Large Diaphram Condensers or anything else that requires phantom? Any issues there?

On dynamic mics any issue? I have an EV RE20 which likes to demand gain… any worries?

Your comments make me wonder a little about the 242, perhaps it has the hotter input too hence the pads.

Thanks again. :sunglasses:

Yes I’ve used LDC, SDC, dynamic microphones without any issues. No problems with phantom power.

But if you want to do distant miking or have a microphone which needs a lot of gain and a not so loud sound source than you’re better off with an external preamp.

Thanks again, one last thought… how long have you had the UR44 and how frequently do you make use of it?

Since March 2014, used daily.

Well that’s a pretty good stamp of approval. My mind is almost made up. Thanks again for your answers. :smiley:

Another question… I am getting from my reading that you need to have a Steinberg key if you want to use the DSP Fx… is that mandatory? I have several, just trying to understand if that has to be present for the interface to work at all… I use Cubase, but I also use other DAWs too, and may move this unit around… its not clear from the documentation what exactly is required. I would probably install AI on another machine, why not, but the DSP VST3s is what I am curious about .


The UR44 comes with additional native VST3 versions of the on-board DSP effects. I think these can either be registered to a soft eLicenser or a USB one.

Thanks Richard. That’s clear now. :sunglasses:

I have the UR-242 and the high z and pad buttons really help with active electronics. Sometimes the signal coming into the front end is just too hot without it. I have been pretty pleased with is. The preamps are superior to my last interface.

I was on the fence about the 242 vs the 44, but I really need the extra inputs, I sorta wish the 44 had those pad options at least on the 1-2 inputs, however, the DSP gain controls can also work for that. Thanks for the feedback. I have ordered a UR44 now, so my review will be coming :sunglasses:

There is an interesting review of the UR22 on youtube, the chap got some specs of the net on how to build an attenuated cable for his guitar, which drops the input by about -20db. That seemed to work for his active PU guitar…

I might have to dig out the soldering iron. :laughing:


After the difference between the 242 and what I was using, I don’t think you will be disappointed. If you need extra inputs and the signal is just too hot you might get some direct boxes if you need them. I did some recording direct out of my guitar amp and it sounded good. I still prefer the SM-57 but direct in can do wonders for Isolation. I was messing around with the effects and my wife said: “It isn’t the 70’s, you don’t need that much reverb on anything”. And “Who needs a Teac?”

She has a point.