Using two Steinberg MR816's with ADAT for DM

Hi forum

I intend on buying a second Steinberg MR816x (hopefully on the second hand market) to expand my number of inputs for my home studio and to also have direct monitoring for all the inputs. I have done my research and read about all the drama that this has caused a lot of people and the shortcomings with the firewire connection etc and have weighed the pros and cons of it and concluded that the “limitations” of the unit do not concern my setup so much and that I would be happy for the foreseeable future if I can just get 16 inputs with direct monitoring for all via ADAT connection.

Now I have a question, I don’t actually use Cubease so the VST aspects of the MR also don’t concern me (one less thing to worry about), I have no fancy monitoring needs (just a pair of XLRs to my mixer then > studio monitors is all I need) and I have no experience of this aspect of the unit so some of the the literature on this particular subject goes over my head so I was just wondering if anyone could clarify some of the instructions on the Steinberg website in this regard for me.

On this page,, I can follow all the instruction and it makes sense to me until about half way where they start talking about “SEQUENCER-SETUP” most of that information seems specifically related to Cubase and the VST side of things and routing for the “control room mixer” etc… I just want to know, am I right in assuming that I don’t need to worry about this section and all I need to do is to connect, fix my settings in the MR editor (clock, levels etc) and then I am done?

Also somewhere else I read that the units do not need to be connected to each other by firewire if going down this path, but that instead the units need to be individually connected to the computer for the initial setup. This article makes no mention of this and to the contrary suggests that the units can be daisy chained via firewire in order to carry out the initial setup on the MR editor. Also nowhere do they then mention disconnecting the firewire connection between the units after the setup. Can somebody clarify this for me please?

Many thanks in advance

To what FW problems are you referring?

I know that when I got my new motherboard, it only had a single VIA-based FW400 connection. In trying to find a TI-based PCIe FW800 card to drive both of my RME Firefaces 800 and 400, neither the Syba or SIIG TI XIO22013A-based cards could drive both, whereas one of them driving one interface worked, and the single TI chip on my previous motherboard drove both interfaces well.

However, when I used both cards, with one interface connected to each, all worked fine. Swapped them over, and still worked fine. Must be an XIO22013A thing. Took about two weeks to find that out, mostly waiting for deliveries, but I only spent half of the $200 budget I had allocated to finding out whether I could keep the RMEs, or have to upgrade them.

The point is, you may be able to use both interfaces, as long as the driver can handle multiple interfaces like the RME driver can. This topology is more flexible, and you get to double the FW bandwidth compared to ADATing one into the other.

Warning: when using the mr616’s with adat, direct monitoring is handled good, however when daisy chaning the cards with firewire the driver will handle both soundcards as 2! and DM will not be possibly thruog the connections of the first card, connected through adat means only one card will be connected through FW.

But what about the initial setup?

But what about the initial setup?

Hi, I did use this setup, and for direct monitoring it works, but with a few pitfalls, namely that the second unit you will be using as adat extender has to be preconfigured with the mr816 editor (including samplerate, bitrate, clockingsource, leveloutput channels). Secondly if you want to change samplerate or bitrate it will break the setup. I had difficulties recording a few channels which were initiale minimised in level on the MR816 editor, after connecting this unit again with firewire I raised the output channels for the adat channels to make it all work.

The setup I currently use is a UR824 because of its usb connection. To this soundcard I connected a MR816X and a Focusrite 26 Pro IO giving me 24 in en outs: all with DM but still with the same pittfals as before.