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  • #46
    Just to add a little something:

    Recently had an MR816 CSX for testing and with the newest drivers I could go down to 64 samples buffersize for a small 44.1 kHz Cubase 4.51 project on an 2.4 GHz Intel Mac. I measured 7.5 ms latency from input to output, including all converters and firewire-protocol - a really good result.

    I then proceeded to measure the latency of the interface´s internal signal processing at 44.1 kHz and got 1.8 ms from input to output. A figure that´s right up there with the best of them.

    Personally I would have immediately bought two Steinberg-MR-interfaces for my studio if they had
    a) an internal powersupply and even more important to me:
    b) gates in addition to compression and eq on the internal channel strip

    As it stands I´ll have to look at the new Lexicon firewire interface or get the Metric Halo one (classy but expensive...).

    Looking forward to the rest of the review!


    Those latency figures are very impressive indeed. I'll check for new drivers and see how low I can go.

    Question: Why is the internal power supply important to you? I understand a general dislike of wall warts, but this is a "line lump" that doesn't take up more than one outlet on a barrier strip.

    As to the gate, it does seem like a curious omission given that many dynamics processors these days include gates or expanders and you might want to gate before the compression. However, I can't think of a host that doesn't include a gate as a plug-in. That's not the same as having it before the compressor, but it's a workaround.
    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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    • #47
      Those latency figures are very impressive indeed. I'll check for new drivers and see how low I can go.

      Question: Why is the internal power supply important to you? I understand a general dislike of wall warts, but this is a "line lump" that doesn't take up more than one outlet on a barrier strip.

      As to the gate, it does seem like a curious omission given that many dynamics processors these days include gates or expanders and you might want to gate before the compression. However, I can't think of a host that doesn't include a gate as a plug-in. That's not the same as having it before the compressor, but it's a workaround.


      Well, regarding the wallwart:
      I do a lot of recording outside of the studio - and want my rack as small and portable as possible, but with everything prewired and tightly secured. Open the lids, connect firewire and one (!) electric outlet - done (except for the audio connections of course).
      A wallwart takes up a lot of extra space - I´d either have to make the rack 2 units higher to fit the supplies for the two MRs I´d like to use or make the rack unbelievably deep to mount them.
      As for the gate: I want to use the channel strip for latency-free monitoring for the musicians. Sometimes I record (heavy) bands that require gating on kick and possibly toms to get feel and sound right even during tracking. Thats not possible with the built in gates of any native DAW - even the 7.5 ms throughput of the MRs is too much for a good drummer. Direct monitoring (or Protools HD...) is currently the ony option in this regard.

      My 2 cents, YMMV

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      • #48
        even the 7.5 ms throughput of the MRs is too much for a good drummer.


        Hi,

        I think 7.5 ms throughput is too much for any time aware musicians. I know that I possibly could not hear the difference but when I change latency in my DAW I can feel the difference and that is not good.

        Cheers,

        Mats N
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        BT King - all my backing tracks can be found at :
        http://nermark.articulateimages.com

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        • #49
          Okay, Doctor, I see where you're coming from. Agreed that for your traveling needs, the line lump is less convenient. As to the latency...that's always an interesting topic. As a guitar player, 7.5ms doesn't bother me - I just put on headphones, and I have about the same delay as if I was seven feet away from my amp. Keyboards don't bother me either, because older digital keyboards had scanning delays that got me conditioned to having a slight delay anyway...so the VST instruments just take me back to playing a 1989 keyboard

          Drums, though: As I noted in my review of Native Instruments' Maschine, you really have to have a low-latency system for real-time playing, or it'll bug the hell out of you to hit a pad and hear a delay, even if it's slight.
          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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          • #50
            Can't wait to hear about preamp quality and jitter.
            Case: Antec Take 4.......P . PWR: Antec 650w
            MB: GB GA-P35-DR4.v2.0 .. BIOS: F13b
            CPU: Intel q6600 Quad..... Mem: 4 GB DDR2-800
            Video: XFX NVidia 7600 GT. Firewire: TI 1394a
            OS: XP SP3, tweaked .........Host: Cubase 5.5
            Audio Interface: TC Electronic Impact Twin
            Drives: All SATA II - System, Samples, Audio
            Controllers: AlphaTrack, PadKontrol, Novation ReMOTE 37 SL

            Cooling: Corsair Nautilus 500 w/ D-Tek Fuzion Waterblock

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            • #51

              ... As to the latency...that's always an interesting topic...


              No Direct Monitor option with this unit ?
              88 keys

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              • #52
                Excellent question - yes, you can very definitely do direct monitoring, in fact that's one of the interface's strengths. First, you need to enable direct monitoring within Cubase, as shown in the first attached image.

                Then, there's a channel strip created for the MR816 cx interface channel. The MR816csx-specific controls are outlined in red in the second attached image. The "DM" toward the lower middle of the strip stands for direct monitoring. You'll note the phase and low cut filters toward the top; there are also indicators for the pad and phantom power above the "input" block.

                Because the effects are in DSP and inside the interface, the effects are direct as well and add no delay. The little slider on the right gives you the option to have no effects, send effects only to the monitor but not Cubase (i.e., the singer wants to hear reverb in the headphones, but you don't want to commit to recording that sound), or to both the monitor and Cubase.

                The screen shot shows both the compressor and reverb active. The reverb is normalized to a send, rather than as an insert effect for a channel (makes sense).

                So yes, there's direct monitoring and you can add the effects in the MR816csx. Of course, if you want to add (for example) an amp plug-in, you've now left "real-time land." But you can always be old school, and put a distortion box in front of the MR816csx input.

                I had originally intended to upload the last of the morph-related posts and examples tonight, but figured that since you asked, we'd do the direct monitoring instead. Tomorrow, I'll post the morph stuph, including a short video.
                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                • #53
                  In as much as I'm strongly considering this unit, that's a relief. Thanks Craig.
                  88 keys

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                  • #54
                    No problem! Ask away. That's what makes Pro Reviews fun - interactivity.
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                    • #55
                      Let's take a deeper look at the whole morph thing before moving on to the reverb.

                      I wanted to create an audio example that could be automated to sweep through the Morph knob, as well as a short video that showed the Morph changing while you could hear the processed sound. So...Example 1 is the dry drum loop I used; it's from the Discrete Drums sample library. Example 2 is the sound of the loop with the Morph control starting out fully counter-clockwise, and ending up fully clockwise. The video (Windows Media Video or QuickTime, your choice) shows the morphing in action.

                      Interestingly, though, when automating with a smooth, linear sweep, the morph control setting was "quantized" into 11 distinct steps. This implies to me that the morph control has 11 basic settings, and getting the "in-between" settings is something that has to happen with a manual adjustment; I couldn't find any way to automate the morph knob so it moved completely smoothly from one extreme to the other, as you'll see when you look at the video. I'm not sure that really matters in a practical context - I assume most users will set the morph knob for whichever setting they like best, and leave it at that.

                      BTW the Morph also sounds really good with guitar. We'll get to that later.
                      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                      • #56
                        I decided to take a screen shot of the settings for each position of the Morph knob for a couple reasons. First, this way you can see the variations among Morph positions. Second, these are good points of departure regardless of what kind of EQ or dynamics you use - the parameters have real values, (e.g., milliseconds, Hertz, etc.) that you can translate to what you use, even if you don't have an MR816csx. So...thanks, Yamaha engineers, for the free applications ideas!

                        The forum is currently configured for a maximum of five attachments per post, and as there are 11 morph shots, I'll do four with this post, four with the next post, and the final three in the next post.
                        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                        • #57
                          Here are settings for the next four morph positions.
                          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                          • #58
                            And here are settings for the final three morph positions.
                            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                            • #59
                              Let's listen to how the Morphing affects electric guitar.

                              Example 3 runs a dry electric guitar signal (Gibson Dark Fire, both pickups) through only the channel strip; like the example with drums, the Morph control once again sweeps linearly from the fully counter-clockwise to the fully clockwise position.

                              Example 4 is the same, with the exception of the Cubase amp sim inserted prior to the channel strip. The attached image shows a screen shot of the amp sim and channel strip in action.
                              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                              • #60
                                I didn't read the entire thread so forgive me if I rehash some things...

                                Good:
                                - The preamp sound quality is excellent.
                                - The reverb quality is excellent.

                                Bad:
                                - Not enough I/O. If you use all the effects you lose all the digital I/O. Deal-breaker for me having a digital console. Compared to (for instance) a MOTU device the MRCSX is way short of usable I/O *if* you also plan to use any FX and even then compared to the MOTU devices which also have AES I/O and the like.

                                Apparently the digital I/O is used internally as FX busses also and they can only do one thing at a time.

                                Conclusion:
                                If it works for you and you don't need the digital I/O when using all of the FX, it's a great sounding unit. The one I had died and - be very careful and [COLOR="Red"]UNINSTALL the MR drivers before hooking up any other FW devices - also killed my MOTU Traveler.

                                That's right. I plugged in my Traveler after the MR died to get back to work and it saw it as an MR and did something to the internal rom making it unusable on any computer. I never sent it in for repair, I just use it for field audio now (for video shoots) as it still works fine standalone, just not as a firewire device on any computer I own. It would cost me $150 to repair it.

                                As to the comps and EQ? I didn't find them that good or bad, usable, but not at the expense of losing pairs of digital I/O as opposed to just using plugins.

                                Great sounding unit for tracking/mixing through but I ignored the advice of many - no disrespect to Steinberg intended, longtime Cubase user - who warned me beforehand to avoid Steinberg hardware. I won't be doing that again.

                                I do miss those preamps though... I hope they make another mic pre product with just the pres, not the firewire.

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