I have to say that (after a false start with a dodgy Direct Input) that the 816 is performing really well for my purposes.
Like many I had serious doubts about buying more Steinberg Hardware … but after 6 months use, getting things set up right and really wrapping my head around the thing it’s great.
I’m using Cubase 5.5.2 on a Mac (OS 10.6.5) and it’s the smoothest performing Cubase system I’ve ever had. Admittedly my main use at the moment is producing a radio show … but it’s a real National show, 1 hour long with a live recording session and ton of subsequent editing, and plenty of plug in use (not so much the high track counts … 8-12 max). So far CB has never crashed once … really.
One more firmware update that addressed my gripes (LOL) and I might believe that the Steinberg/Yamaha combination might actually be able to pull off a real Hardware presence (what gripes? Well being able to use at least 1 digital Input while mixing and using the 816’s FX as plugins, simplifying routing by assigning Studio sends directly to a Phone Output)
Having said that, for the first time I feel like I’m driving a “system” while working in Cubase. I can control recording / monitoring / mixing so nicely from my control surface and never have to break the flow by having to address management of an audio interface mixer / set up/ routing. It all happens in the Cubase Interface, which is (for me)
a great relief after all these years of back and forth …
Yeah I know it’s odd to say, but having lots of different windows, utilities, naming protocols, menu hierarchies to worry about while recording or playing just burns brain cycles that take away from what I should be focussing on.
The 816 had taken this distractions away … once I got comfortable with it (which was partly ‘learning’ to forget worrying about the other crap! LOL)
Like I said, I really hope we get at least one more refinement to the firmware, before SB start selling us on a new unit … but if not I’m pretty happy right now!