wanting another 8 channels of ad/da conversion

Here is my question if anyone has any thoughts. I have an MR816csx with an RME adi 8 running into its adat in/out.

Using a 2009 Imac with 8 gigs ram and Cubase 5. I am wanting to look into how I can get another 8 channels of straight ad/da converters with my set up.

My concern is this:
Would another purchase of a Mr816 and 8 channels of extra converters via adat lightpipe run on an imac?
The Mr816 would have to be daisy chained as the imac only has one firwire port (and I have to run on a 400-800 cable).
Do I have any other options?

One last concern is clients that have been asking me about protools. Now that this seems to be an option with the mr816 how far down this road can I go (2 mr816, with additional ad/da converters via adat lightpipe) before it’s a real headache if I want to be able to track using protools?

Thanks for any and all advice.

I’m not sure I’m the right person to answer, but are you saying you already have 16 channels and you want to go to 24? I say I’m not the right person to answer because I have only got 16, but the manual says you can chain a second MR816 with a firewire cable, and then I guess you can still use the ADAT for another 8… I am using a MOTU 8pre connected to the MR816 via ADAT for total of 16 input channels.

That starts to get a little complicated and a few other questions have to be asked…

  1. If you want to add an additional 8 chan’s, are you intending to record up to 24 chan’s simultaneously?
  2. If you do plan to record 24 chan’s simultaneously, will you also need zero latency monitoring of all 24 chan’s?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then daisy chaining a second MR816, via firewire, may not be ideal. While the marketing pitch says that you can daisy chain multiple MR816’s via firewire and have zero latency monitoring of all chan’s, to actually do this you have to use a strange workaround (detailed on the Steinberg site) that involves using the Control room function’s and routing each of the MR816’s to a studio send.

Been awhile since I flogged through all the details so I wont bore you with them. Suffice it to say, it’s not very elegant.

I’m not real familiar with the iMac…can you install a PCI expansion card into it? If so, I would suggest you look into picking up a used RME digiface with an RME 9536 PCI card. This will give you 24 chan’s of ADAT input’s into the iMac. Now connect your existing RME ADI and your MR816 via ADAT into the Digiface. For real time/zero latency monitoring, use the RME Total mix application (far superior to the MR816 mixer).

You can then add the additional A/D convertor by ataching it to the remaining ADAT connector on the RME Digiface. This could be another MR816 or something else (I use a pair of Focusrite Octopre 2’s and an MR816x for 24 chan’s).

Hope this helps/makes sense???