UR816C - Confusion with outputs / inputs use


I have my UR816C setup as follows.

Monitors connected to main outs / Headphones just on PH 1 / Control room enabled just for the meters really no use for multiple mixes etc.
Mix 1L/R nothing connected
Mix 2L/R is line outs 2L/R to 2 mono HW
Mix 3L/R is line outs 3L/R to 1 Lexicon stereo fx
Mix 4 L/R is line outs 4L/R to 1 ART pro stereo or sometimes I’ll change it to 2 mono channels

So I’m using line inputs 3-8 to bring things back so I can use hardware inserts in Cubase.

One thing I am confused over is why do they provide on the back, separate main out TRS connections, if you in the software have to send your main out to Mix 1L/R? My monitors are connected to the main outs, not 1L/1R on the back.

Are those 1L/R outputs redundant now? What can they be used for?
I messed up and got too excited when I purchased and due diligence was not great, as I was thinking there would be 8 outputs and 8 (line) inputs plus dedicated monitor outs, so I could have had more hardware inserts before having to buy ADAT expansion. Unfortunately inputs 1 and 2 are not for line sources. That is my gripe with this interface. Even Focusrite or preSonus cheaper interfaces have the full 8 inputs can be lines.

Can I use those input 1 and 2 for synths? JV1080 or newer ones, maybe a Behringer? Would I need to enable the pad?

Thanks for any clarity, I’m probably super overthinking this and can’t see the wood for the trees :unamused: :slight_smile:

Hi, I understand what you mean by the confusion, I have the same with mine when I bought it. It is indeed not that simple to use.
I too use it for external hardware. I rarely use it for recordings, for that purpose I still use my old Yamaha N12 mixer-inerface.
But after a lot of testing and experimenting I maganed to assign the ins and outs to various hardware by the use of those 4 mixes.
Also I bought the Behringer ADA8200 for extra ins and outs and that works great. For a little more money a lot more options.

For you I just did a quick test right now concerning the question about input 1 and 2. You can use these for line inputs, no problem.
I connected my ART Pro channel II (loaded with a mic) to input 3 and adjusted the level on tha input. Then I plugged it into input 1 and set the same level, and everything sounds exactly the same, also the noise floor(unnoticeable). So fed with a line level signal it should be the same as the other inputs. No PADswitch used also. I also connected my JV1010 to input 1 and 2, no problem and no PADswitch used.

This is how I see and use the URC:
Mains out go to my Monitors also.
I must say that in my preset i made in the DSPfxmix I mute ALL channels to avoid feedback with external hardware use.
The 8 line outs all go to hardware inputs (some mono and some stereo). In Cubase they all get fed from the 8 “DAW Direct outputs”.
So you do not need the mixes.
But I myself do need those for the extra 8 outputs on my ADAT. I have to make outputs from those mixes, only 6 ( mix 21,3 and 4) because mix 1/2 if dedicated for the stereo-DAW output itself.
Mix 1/2 is dedicated for the DAW output, so I don’t use these for nothing else.
The other 3 mixes provide 6 independant outputs on the 6 line outs. This is my negative comment on the UR816C (nbesides that you cannot rename the inputs in the dspfxmix, hey, we live in 2020 come on).

So in the software dspfx mix you can set the line outs to the “DAW Direct 1/2” etc., do not use the 4 mixes as output routings.
Only use the main out for mix 1L/R. And so the 8 Line outs can all be used.

It is not that obviuous all together but it can be done, cost me a few days to clear my head around this and fine the best solution for my needs.

Thank you very much for your detailed post :slight_smile:

I’m just on my phone so will reply properly later.

I did try to test inputs 1 and 2 with another fx unit, but it was not working properly, although I believe it was the cables. I had crap unbalanced cables, and the balanced ones didn’t work when all plugged in, but kinda worked if they were not inserted all the way. With me being clumsy this is not ideal! The signal wasn’t great either, so I temporarily wrote those inputs off. Sounds encouraging if you can use them for line sources!

I’ll test my MPA 2 later and see if that will work, as it’s less finicky than the fx unit I tried.

I’m still a bit cloudy on managing to use all the line outs but will make more sense when at the DAW later.

Glad it’s not just me who found it confusing!


Glad to help.
I used an unbalanced cable from my Art Pro to the input 1, and this gave the exact same signal as in input 3.
Since 1/2 are Hi-Z inputs I would not use a balanced jack in those, does not work I guess(therefore you had to pull it out a bit to make the right contact).
Just use the DAW DIRECT’s in Cubase as outputs, not the mixes.

Thanks so much for testing that, after my previous test I wasn’t that sure it would work. You gave me confidence to test again, this time using my MPA2 as hardware insert with those inputs, and yeah its exact same settings I was using on inputs 5/6 without PAD. No artifacts I could detect.
If it works with line, why didn’t they say its line? Weird really!

Yes, I have learnt the hard way to mute all channels! I made sure that its super saved in the config, and now Cubase doesn’t recall the settings with project, as with old projects after my tinkering yesterday, it was not liking it.

I previously was using the DAW Directs for the Line Outs, then I changed that yesterday, as I was making sure it would work the other way round, in preparation for ADAT expansion, as I was thinking I’ll use the 8 DAW Directs for the 8 ADAT outs.

So I understand as you say I could use the DAW Directs for Line Outs to use all 8 line outs.

I guess the bottom line is the maximum outputs (not including most basic monitoring) is really only 14, not 16 as I was expecting?
They do advertise it as 16 in 16 out. I do think its a bit cheeky of them to put physical main outs on the device when really they are no good if you want to make use of all i/o.
Other than that I’m happy with it, it is solid in use and runs well with Cubase, the performance is for my needs very good.

Thanks for your help :slight_smile:

Ah sorry I just saw your reply.

I actually used balanced cable, XLR end on the MPA side and TRS end to the inputs 1/2 of UR816C. I plugged them all the way and had no issues.

Is that actually a bad thing thing to do? I used balanced because the MPA2 in and outs are balanced.

Before I was trying to use a Lexicon MPX 100, its quite old (and unbalanced I believe), I mean it works perfectly with the balanced cables with how I have it setup now, but connecting to inputs 1/2 it was not work great, signal kept dropping with the unbalanced TS cables and with the TRS cables I had to pull it out a bit. I’m using TRS Balanced ones into the proper line inputs and its fine.

My Art Pro also has balanced outs, but I plug it on my mixer into the Insertjack instead of the line input to bypass the gain-amp in the mixers input). And that insertjack is unbalanced, no problem/harm whatsoever.
If you don’t pick up any noise(from your PC f.e.) or use short cables then unbalanced is no problem at all.
Maybe best to test which exactly of your hardware matches the best on input 1/2 and with what kind of cable.

indeed, 8 Daw Direct outputs and 4 stereomixes are 16 outs. But mix 1 is always routed as DAW outputs, so you can’t use them for hardware if you want to keep hearing the DAW signal. For that reason I do not use mix 1/2.

Thanks again, really helpful. Its a bit confusing this kind of stuff and no one irl to ask really, so much appreciated.

I think I will use inputs 1 & 2 for synths, I have the other 6 setup nicely now for hw inserts, plus ADAT soon. I’m just glad I can make use of all them, that was bugging me a bit. If any issue with synths, I know now I can always swap things around so something will fit in to inputs 1 & 2.

The output impedance of the connected gear has to match somewhat with the inputs 1/2. so that is depending on the gear you use.
So does not every guitarpickup will have the correct impedance for this inputs.

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This output and Mix 1-4 thing is really a bummer…
Why do it like this? The physical outputs are there, why is it limited by software?

I really can’t understand why Steinberg would do it like this.

It is weird.
The fact that you can use all TRS outputs if you don’t use ADAT ( by way of routing mix 1 to the virtual outs) means surely they could update via firmware and give us 2 more DAW direct outs? I don’t know if it’s that easy, but would be great if so, then you can have 8 + 8 Adat and still one pair for monitoring.
That would be awesome.

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