UR28M thoughts?

Hi all,

Considering upgrading my M-Audio Delta PCI Omni Studio Audio Interface.

I was considering the UR28M and I wanted to get some opinions here first.

A few things I would like people opinions on:

  1. Driver updates

  2. USB compared to PCI (I know PCI is all but dead but I never thought USB 2.0 could handle audio smooth)

  3. Routing flexability

Any other thoughts would be greatly apprecaited.

Thanks

The drivers are completely up to date and being a Steinberg/Yamaha product, interface and integration with Cubase is second to none.

I used to be PCI stubborn and was very leery about going over to USB, but after finally throwing in the towel I’ve never had better results with an interface.

Routing depends on what you have in mind to use it for. The separation of physical outputs to Mix outputs, give this unit a great deal of routing flexibility!
I would recommend the UR28M to anyone setting up a personal Project Studio with low-scale recording requirements (i.e. simultaneously recording up to 4 - maybe 6 channels max). For anything more sophisticated (i.e. proper full recording studio) I’d suggest the UR824, whereas for light duty and portable recording the UR44 might be the way to go.

Thanks for the info. I am about to pull the plug and get it.

Do you record at 96/24? And if so, does it handle that pretty well?

Also, I see that this came out in 2011, do you think they will continue support with this for a while?

1 - OK there. Some updates every once in awhile and firmware was updated as well.

2 - No problems there. USB can handle it.

3 - Routing is the UR28’s Achilles heel as there are no routing possibilities whatsoever. No virtual patchbay, nada.

I’ll add one last problem: it’s recognized by the OS (Win/OSX) as a stereo device, so you can not do 5.1 surround with it. Surround is restricted to the DAW environment.

Other than that, it’s a good interface. Good pres, decent conversion, average bang for the buck, but I can’t really say that if I could go back in time I’d buy it again.

My 2 cents. YMMV, as always.

Hi peAk - I came from the very same interface, the M-Audio Delta PCI Omni Studio Audio Interface also! I loved it, so sorry to say goodbye when I got my new DAW computer.

That one of course didn’t have a patch-bay, but I thought it was very flexible in its internal and external routing, including a post-preamp insert point, awesome. The UR28M doesn’t have that insert point, but I have to say I haven’t found it on anything else as inexpensive since. What it does have is nice routing in terms of different monitors, different cue mixes etc. This thread is one of several on the forum that describes that a bit: http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=157&t=72673#p419132 . I found the manual quite unhelpful in understanding all that, but that may just be me.

As far as 5.1, the same thread describes how it can be set up for that - use independent mode. I haven’t done that myself, but it seems that is what it is made for.

Finally, one thing to consider is that the UR28M plus Cubase allows you to track with reverb in the cans (and compression, if that is what you like) with zero latency … in other words, you can have the buffer at a largish value and still hear the vocals with verb “immediately”. I like that, and I don’t think that’s possible with many/any? other interfaces plus Cubase.

Hope that helps!

My previous commentary is based on using it as an interface for a Digital audio workstation. If you are looking to use it as a surround sound interface for a home theater however, you would most likely be dissappointed - I believe this is what diogo_cme was inferring, it’s use in gaming or other non DAW applications is very likely unimpressive. Perhaps if said apps could use the ASIO or Core driver it would be better but that’s a matter for the respective apps designers.

Thanks guys for all the input.

See, I am not in a position where I have to update because I built my system less than a year ago and made sure my motherboard supports PCI. My Delta 66 with Omni Studio is awesome and has preformed flawlessly for over 10 years. I don’t have a to route a ton of hardware but I do have some effects, preamps, etc . that I like to have in a patch bay connected to my interface.

I wouldn’t want to upgrade unless the converters on these new cards (UR28m, UR44, etc.) are much better than the Delta, as well as latency, etc. because I don’t care too much about the preamps.

So I was kind of gauging to see the advancement of converters over the last ten years. From what I have gathered, I would have to jump into an RME to really see a difference in converters and I just don’t want to spend that much since I am just a hobbyist.

That said, the intergration with Cubase is tempting but I think I would need a little more than just that to switch. I just wouldn’t want to make a linear jump or possibly a step down from the Delta.

Hey peAk - As a former Omni I/O Studio user, current still owner, and-who-knows-maybe-future-user too (I’ve still got my old XP machine with C6.5 loaded up), can I ask you some questions?

You’ve got some preamps and say you don’t care about the preamp comparison between the Omni and the UR28M … how are you currently running things … are you sending a preamped signal into Omni I/O 1 and 2 with the preamp trims there turned all the way down … or just using the Line Ins?

Also - how are you figuring that the converters on the Omni I/O are on par with the UR28M ("… need to go to RME to really see a difference", etc.)? I think I can hear an improvement with the UR28M over the Omni I/O, but that could easily be confirmation bias … but I figured over the past 10 years the science of converters would have advanced significantly. Anyway, in your searching did you find anything quantitative?

Anyway, nice to talk to an Omni I/O user! Man, did I love that thing!

(Aside - I am thinking of using it as a stand-alone mic preamp, if I ever go back to performing live again, I think that’d be kind of fun!).

Hey Alexis,

To answer your question about converters, I have nothing really to support that besides asking as many places as I can about the progression on converters and pretty much getting the “RME….blah blah blah” so it is positive to hear that you think you are hearing an improvement. Most people talk about preamps improving but converters being about the same or only slightly better. I have also heard that USB still doesn’t run as well as PCI does/did although BriHar and some others said it was great.

As far as the way I am running things currently, I have a Mackie mixer that’s hooked up to my studio monitors and I use the ALT 3-4 outputs on the mixer routed to a patch bay. I like how Mackie boards route anything that you MUTE to the ALT bus. This way if you are jamming on external instruments and decide that you want to record one of the channels, you just mute that channel and it sends it right to the DAW. I have that ALT bus, as well as some external effects (tube preamp, pedals, etc) to the patchbay as well. I have two channels of the patch bay hooked up to the 3 & 4 line ins on the Omni as well as some of the Omni outputs. This way I can send anything from my DAW through any hardware and back into the Omni. I don’t really use the preamps on the Omni but I guess they are there if I ever wanted to. I either use the preamps on the Mackie or the tube preamp. I just have to make sure phantom power is turned off before patching anything!!! Some people don’t like to have anything with phantom power on a patchbay but it’s fine as long as you are careful.

Anyway, sorry, that was probably more information than you were asking for!

I was really close to buying the UR28M over the Christmas break but I just couldn’t find a good, strong reason to. I mean, I liked the idea of having a dedicated mono button, that it ran stand alone, buttons for different monitors, and of course the Cubase intergration but I just wasn’t sure if I’d be REALLY gaining anything…? If I would have been able to find out that the A/D conversion of midrange cards, such as the UR28M, have improved leaps and bounds since 2000, I would have instantly bought it. I just couldn’t find anything to support that and I am not going to spend $700 on a RME Babyface.

So I am okay on the Delta with Win7 64 for the time being. It is very positive that you are saying that you think the UR28M sounds better and this makes me start thinking about it again. I wish this forum (UR) was more active. It seems like BriHar is the only one really helping people with questions…haha. I was hoping to post some questions on the UR stuff here and get a plethora of information but it was mostly crickets, unlike the Cubase section.

So what made you (and others) switch from something like the Delta (PCI) to a UR (USB)? Was it because your system didn’t support PCI anymore? Lack of Win8 support?

Come on guys, sell me on the UR28M!!! :smiley: