steinberg mr816 x firewire audio interface

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Steinberg MR816 X FireWire Audio Interface


What's In the Box?

From Manufacturer

  • MR816 X
  • Power Supply
  • Cubase AI (DVD-ROM)
  • TOOLS for MR (CD-ROM)
  • IEEE1394 (FireWire) Cable
  • Rubber stoppers x 4

We can Special Order this item for you. Contact us at 1-800-783-3368 for availability and an Estimated Time of Arrival.

List Price: $999.99

Our Price: $699.99

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MR816 X
Designed especially for Cubase by Steinberg and Yamaha, the MR816 FireWire interfaces represent a new generation of solutions for musicians and producers. Together with Cubase, the MR816 X FireWire interface provides an all-round system solution.

Featuring the same Advanced Integration with Cubase, outstanding I/O capabilities and first-class sound quality as MR816 CSX, the MR816 X offers a full-featured FireWire interface and inbuilt DSP-powered REV-X that combines with Steinberg’s renowned Cubase music production system to form a latency-free recording and monitoring environment.

Featuring Advanced Integration with Cubase, outstanding I/O capabilities and first-class sound quality, both MR816s merge full-featured FireWire interfaces and inbuilt DSP that combines with Steinberg's renowned Cubase music production system to form a latency-free recording and monitoring environment.

MR816 CSX and MR816 X are, simply put, the ideal hardware for any Cubase owner who needs to record vocals, instruments, keyboards, percussion or any other audio source. The Advanced Integration between MR816 and Cubase offers a unique and powerful production solution that fully mirrors Cubase functionality, adds DSP power for mixing, allows on-the-fly rerouting of input signals via Quick Connect, full integration into the Cubase user interface and much more.

Any musician or producer already using Cubase and looking to add a recording interface need look no further. The MR816 CSX and MR816 X are ideal for recording bands in rehearsal rooms or live gigs with a laptop, or building up a dedicated project studio or recording space. Full integration into the Cubase user interface means that operating the MR816 requires very little or no learning — all functions and features are in the places any Cubase owner expects to find them. The intelligent plug and play handling means that Cubase automatically detects any attached MR816 hardware. And because the DSP FX run as VST3 plug-ins, these excellent plug-ins are available during mixing in Cubase, often replacing the need to purchase an additional DSP card.

Excellent sound, great stacking options and a smooth, fast workflow are among the top priorities for studios using MR816 and Cubase as recording and production solution for their business. Connections required for studios like Wordclock, S/PDIF and ADAT are onboard, with the hardware inserts offering an ideal way of integrating boutique hardware units in the software realm. Features like Quick Connect allow on-the-fly rerouting by simply pushing a button on the MR816 front panel. Eight channel outputs offer full support for surround productions up to 7.1, ideally complemented by Steinberg's fully multi-channel architecture and the Control Room features in both Cubase and Nuendo.

Many post production facilities require an audio interface for recording tasks like foley or ADR, as well as in edit, premix or sound design suites as a high-quality, reliable playback device that integrates fully with the production software. MR816 is an ideal extension for Nuendo in these environments, offering the same Advanced Integration features, DSP FX as VST3 plug-ins when mixing, Quick Connect, no-latency recording as when used with Cubase.

Excellent sound characteristics, first-class build quality, no-latency monitoring mixes with DSP: anyone looking to change or upgrade their audio interface has plenty of reasons to take a closer look at MR816. As well as drivers for ASIO and CoreAudio for full compatibility with any DAW application using either of these driver standards, the installation package includes the MR Editor, a custom application that handles all aspects of DSP, routing, monitor mixing in one easy-to-navigate interface. Additionally, both MR816 CSX and MR816 X offer direct access to DSP parameters from the front panel of the hardware.


The MR816 interfaces provide all the audio I/O connectivity needed for any audio recording situation:

  • Eight D-PRE XLR/TRS combo connectors with Class A discrete preamps with +48 V and -26 dB pad switch per channel
  • Eight analog balanced TRS outputs for separate studio performer mixes and a variety of different monitoring setups
  • One Hi-Z input for electric guitar or bass
  • Optical input and output port for ADAT digital audio streams or S/PDIF optical
  • S/PDIF coaxial input and output
  • WordClock port
  • Two independent headphone outputs with individual level control from the front panel
  • Two inserts for integration of additional hardware FX

Steinberg MR816X connection diagram

Basically, MR816 CSX and MR816 X are the same device. Both provide exceptional audio quality, state-of-the-art preamps and he same quantity of inputs and outputs. Plus, MR816 CSX and MR816 X offer one REV-X reverb for high-density, richly reverberant room sounds. But the MR816 CSX interface has even more to offer: with its eight additional DSP-powered channel strips you get state-of-the-art compression and EQ tools.

The preamp is where sound creation begins in recording, and ultimately determines the quality of your mix. The D-PRE is carefully designed to capture all the subtleties and expressiveness of any audio source and is the culmination of years of development by the experienced engineers at the Yamaha Corporation. The results are stunning, and the difference is in the design.

Usually, preamps use one transistor each for the hot and cold signals at the input stage to amplify the signal. However, the D-PREs specified on Steinberg audio interfaces use an inverted Darlington circuit, where two transistors are used for each hot and cold- a total of four per unit. With only one transistor on a preamp circuit, distortion tends to increase along with the signal level. By using a pair of two cascaded transistors, very low distortion can be maintained regardless of signal level.


Some users might look for a microphone preamp to dramatically color the sound while others search for a very neutral response. For example, some highly sought after vintage microphone preamps excel at amplifying certain components of a given source, imparting a generous amount of color to the signal. Such a preamp might be great for a vocal recording, however those preamps will not suit every use. D-PRE has a very wide frequency range so that it can handle any music source and it does not overly amplify any specific components of the signal. It's beautifully tuned to be able to capture the true expression of a given performance or audio source, while leaving flexibility for later editing. The end result is that D-PRE provides a sound that is a perfect amalgamation of understated signal enhancement combined with impeccable sonic integrity. The development team took a lot of time to adjust this subtle balance and the D-PRE sound quality speaks for itself.

And just as important as the preamps are, of course, the converters behind them. The MR816s include first-rate A/D and D/A converters that offer absolutely crystal-clear sound that portrays the sound with astonishing precision and clarity.

Steinberg MR816X D-PRE MICROPHONE PREAMPS circuit diagram

Offering real-time, independent and, most importantly, no-latency mixes with FX for several performers is an engineering challenge in itself, and there are only one or two FireWire I/O interfaces on the market that can achieve this. Even these units are functionally isolated from the DAW software forcing the user to use additional mixing applications, in turn hampering workflow and splintering what should be a truly integrated production system.


The answer? Cubase and the MR816: a solution defined by its ease-of-use, flexibility and pure functional elegance. Running with Cubase, MR816 removes any need for additional mixing software between DAW and I/O — all aspects of I/O handling, DSP management and independent performer mixes are handled directly from within Cubase itself. With Cubase, these performer mixes are realized using the Studio Sends in the Control Room — a unique system that is completely integrated into the Cubase mixer.

With the unique True Integrated Monitoring technology, Cubase manages all audio streams with perfect sync. No-latency mixes for performers with DSP FX are managed side-by-side with mixes played back through the Cubase audio engine that combine hard disk audio data and live streams being recorded at the same time — all within Cubase. The technological know-how required for this level of integration results directly from the ongoing cooperation between Steinberg and Yamaha.

On top of the excellent I/O capability, the MR816 CSX features an onboard DSP chip that runs up to 8 instances of the highly acclaimed Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip plug-in, featuring the latest compression and EQ technology. Both MR units feature the renowned REV-X reverb, which is also featured on many top Yamaha hardware mixing consoles.

Each independent monitor mix can utilize the DSP capability for an outstanding sound that every performer will feel extremely comfortable performing to. Optionally, the FX can be included in the signal recorded to the input track.

The Advanced Integration of MR816 in Cubase goes even further. The full DSP capability is also available as VST 3 plug-ins in Cubase when mixing. With the MR816, up to eight instances of the Sweet Sport Morphing Channel Strip plug-in can run as an insert plug-in in Cubase (MR816 CSX only), as well as one instance of REV-X. This adds additional first-class FX capability that is available even when the CPU is running under a high load.

For Cubase owners, MR816 combines not only outstanding I/O capability, extremely easy handling and no-latency monitor mixing, but also a powerful DSP capability — a peerless combination with an almost unbeatable price/performance ratio.

The REV-X built into both MR816 interfaces is a complex reverb algorithm developed by Yamaha. It provides a high-density, richly reverberant sound quality, with smooth attenuation, spread and depth that work together to enhance the original sound. Yamaha's REV-X digital reverb algorithm is renowned for its high resolution and extraordinarily natural sound.


Each MR816 features three types of reverb effects: Hall, Room and Plate simulations with reverb time and level control. This superlative reverb processor also featured on Yamaha's premiere digital consoles is ideal for monitoring mixes, for performers, but also adds a further excellent reverb to your available VST plug-ins on mixdown.

MR816 interfaces feature direct integration into Cubase through unique windows and views within Cubase. These interface elements allow full control of the hardware's functionality from within Cubase itself. This includes not only the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip (MR816 CSX only) and REV-X reverb DSP effects, but almost all hardware functionality in the MR816s, including performer mixes and their levels, phantom power selection, -26 dB pad, high pass filters and phase inversion switch per input channel. The benefits are an extremely fast and intuitive workflow that handles software and hardware effectively as one system!


Setting up a project with MR816 interfaces is extremely easy and intuitive. Templates offer pre-made setups with routing and I/O configurations already set up, automatically creating and assigning inputs and outputs for connected devices. The bottom line? No need to manually create buses or reassign I/Os in the VST Connections window. No other combination of FireWire hardware and software offers such flexible and intuitive I/O handling within a software DAW.

Cubase automatically recognizes the MR816, featuring complete plug and play and very fast setup. The MR816 interfaces offer another unique feature: instant routing and rerouting of inputs to Cubase channels on the fly from the front panel of the I/O with the push of a button! Just select a Cubase channel and press a channel button on the I/O front panel, and that channel is instantly routed to the selected track. To help quickly identify which input is routed to the selected Cubase track, the front panel light for the channel flashes, showing which input is currently routed to that track.


Developed using advanced technologies to offer seamless scalability, this mixing and recording system offers many options to increase the number of available inputs, preamps, outputs and DSP capability — all on the same FireWire port. Up to three MR816s can be used simultaneously by connecting them in daisy-chain fashion to a computer via IEEE1394 cables. The MR816 supports up to 48 input and output channels — using only one FireWire port on the computer. All connected I/Os are recognized by Cubase simultaneously, with no additional setup required. Cubase also automatically assigns the correct I/O port configuration, depending on how many units are connected. Due to the highly flexible driver architecture, both MR816 CSX and MR816 X models are fully compatible with each other and run daisy-chained together on the same system, allowing full flexibility in creating a customized system that offers the needed number of inputs, outputs and DSP capability.


Manufacturer Steinberg
Condition New
Product Type Firewire Audio Interface
Channels 16 In / 16 Out
Digital Conversion up to 24-bit / 96 kHz
Connectivity Firewire
Inputs (8) XLR / 1/4" TRS Combo Jack - Mic/Line
(1) Digital Coaxial - S/PDIF
(1) Digital Optical - ADAT
Outputs (2) 1/4" Stereo Headphoe
(8) 1/4" TRS - Line Out
(1) Digital Coaxial - S/PDIF
(1) Digital Optical - ADAT
Inserts Yes
Effects REV-X Reverb
Phantom Power Channel 1-8 (48V)
Bus Power No
Rackmountable Yes
Product Weight
Unique Features Discrete Class A analogue D-PRE mic preamps
Channel 1 Hi-Z input for electric guitar or bass
2 independent headphone outputs
Word Clock I/O


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***IMPORTANT NOTE: Please test your item before getting it fully assembled. For example, with digital pianos, unpack the keyboard portion, power it on and test all the keys. It is very rare that these items arrive with defects, but it is still a good idea to test it before spending time getting it fully assembled. Use caution when unpacking your purchase from its box, as some needed parts and pieces may be packed in and amongst the packing material. Be sure to save the carton and all packing materials, in case of a needed return. Do not write on the box and do not discard!

All Steinberg hardware product qualifies for a 1 year warranty, including parts and labor.

Steinberg North America (SNA) provides warranty coverage for new Steinberg products originally sold by Authorized Dealers located in the United States. Steinberg products purchased from retailers other than SNA Authorized Dealers (whether via the Internet, or otherwise) will NOT be covered by Steinberg's warranties, and U.S. service centers will not repair such products under warranty.

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