which new audio/midi interface at this point?

I (just) want to make music. Therefore, some time ago I decided to build a new DAW that is as solid, reliable and trouble-free as I could afford. I’m a hobbyist, not a professional, so we’re not talking about thousands of $$. But I bought myself an intel i5 3570k in a nice case (fractal design r4) with 16G ram, Windows 7 64 bit AND upgraded to Cubase 7 full version. So far for the introduction :wink:

Now I need a new audio/midi interface for a trouble-free experience. Because unfortunately my old Tascam fw1082 has failed on me on Windows 7. I tried fixing it for two days - but am fed up with it now…

Would the Steinberg MR816 still be a good option, or is there a successor in the pipeline to be released soon? (For me the MR816 is in fact a bit overkill, but the CI-series on the other hand are too small).
I want at least 4 mic inputs, asio dr and good compatibility with Cubase 7 and Windows 7 64 bit. Also, I have learned a lesson about future obsolescence, so it would be good if the product would be guaranteed to be supported by the manufacturer for a while to come…

Any advice is highly appreciated! I want to get back to making music asap! :slight_smile:


Hi Erik,
Here is a link to a previous thread. I love the MR816. Tremendous pre-amps. Some complaints out there as well about other things. Check out this thread and search for a few more on the forum.


Thanks Beagle15. I’m reading a lot of positive things about the unit. However, it’s been around for a while and I am concerned about Steinberg not having an incentive to release updated drivers in the nextcoming years. My current system is brandnew, and if my next update jumps to Windows 10 (lol) I might have to part from my MR816 again. I want to be certain that I can use it still the next time I update my daw (3-4 years from now).

Meanwhile I am also looking at the RME babyface. Quite different in terms of I/O, I know. But I’m not going to be needing a lot of I/O’s anyway. Also the the MOTU audio express is in the picture.

So: stability is the quest, obsolescence is the fear.

Decisions, decisions… :wink:

Steinberg just released a new driver yesterday and it seems, it will be supported another while. Anyway, if you buy the MR today, fully working with Cubase 7 and Windows 7/8, even 64 bit, think about how many years you can make music with this setup !? The mixing console just changed recently in C7 and I doubt it will be changed again significantly for the next upcoming versions… So, if I have to make an educated guess, I think that you’ll be able to use the MR series at least for the next 5 years with Cubase and for sure 8 years with Windows 7/8, if the support for the MR would be stopped directly, which is not the case…

I’m a little confused about what you are looking for. In your first post you stated you were looking for an audio/midi interface. Neither the MR816 nor the RME babyface has midi I/o. The RME unit has only 2 mic pres (you said you needed four), limiting unless you plan to buy a mixer with ADAT I/o to get the additional inputs.

If you can get by with just 2 mic inputs, Steinberg just introduced a unit with midi I/o as well as audio:


As far as updates, you must consider that Steinberg hardware is built by Yamaha. Yamaha has a history of dropping support for their hardware. Us former 01x users were PROMISED 64 bit drivers by Yamaha (influencing my purchase decision) which never came. The KX8 keyboard was on the market for less than 2 years. (Hmmm… I haven’t yet tried to get the KX transport controls working in Cubase 7, but it still worked in 6.5. I’ll keep my fingers crossed until I try it.)

The MR816 has issues of its own. It mostly works, but if you plan to use SPDIF input, it won’t direct monitor in Cubase unless you bring it in as a stereo input, giving the monitor signal in one ear only when using the SPDIF output from units like the Focusrite vocal master. The units don’t daisy chain properly for direct monitoring, either. According to your stated needs, I’m guessing neither of these limitations would be important to you, however.

My advice is, don’t rely on future updates which may never come. Shop carefully and buy only a unit that has EVERYTHING you need, and works NOW.

If you really need assurance about future updates, don’t buy anything unless its made by a company with a solid history of keeping their drivers up to date, even with older gear. That would rule out Yamaha, I’m afraid.