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Viewing topic "Q about FW16e and MR816x daisychain"

     
Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 12:59 PM
meatballfulton
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Total Posts:  2300
Joined  01-25-2005
status: Guru

I have an XF6 with FW16e and love it except for one thing: the limitations of the XF analog inputs.  No XLR, no phantom, no dual mono with mismatched sources (i.e. mic and guitar, mic and line).

Prior to the XF/FW16e I used a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 with 8 analog ins plus SPDIF (which I used for my ES6/AIEB2 and later for my XF6).  The Saffire is now run standalone patched to the audio ins of the XF to use the preamp/mixer features with the FW disconnected.

This works OK in general: route XF parts into the computer on individual tracks, keep monitors connected to the XF and only fire up the Saffire to record analog sources.

I’ve started looking into the Steinberg MR816X to replace the Saffire. I would 8 channels of analog ins plus the 16 channels from the FW16e, Quick Connect with Cubase AI5 and REV-X reverb I can use as a plugin, all sweet stuff.

I need to be able to work in the following scenarios:

1. XF standalone connected to monitors (works today)

2. XF connected to Mac/Cubase and monitors (works today)

3. XF and MR connected to Mac/Cubase and XF connected to monitors (i.e main mix routes to XF not MR)

Will #3 work or does the MR need to be the audio master?

A second question regards clocking. When using AIEB2 or XF SPDIF into my Saffire, I had to set the Saffire to slave to SPDIF clock to avoid clicking. When aggregating the FW16e and MR what happens to the clocking?

A third question regards direct monitoring on the MR. I have read at Steinberg forums that when daisy chaining two MRs via FW only the first can do direct monitoring. What is the direct monitor situation when using the MR with the FW16e?

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 @ 06:37 PM
frankE
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Joined  12-23-2002
status: Guru

All very good questions, but I’m afraid you may need the help of a Yamaha product specialist like Bad Mister to provide detailed answers. As you probably know we are also beginning Christmas holidays, so it may be awhile before someone here can help you with all your concerns. Since the Steinberg forum has far more respondents, and perhaps even someone who is using some of the same products, I’d certainly suggest you continue to post your hardware questions there as well.
Sorry, I can’t be of more help, but I don’t use the products you’ve described, and I wouldn’t want to mislead you by attempting to comment on something with which I am not familiar. Based on the fact that your setup is somewhat unique, you could also try chatting with the folks at the store where you purchased your products.

When it comes to digital clocking, as you know, it’s important that only one device is the master and all the rest are set as slaves. If you don’t have a master clock, then perhaps choose the best device you have as the master, then lock everything else to it. In my case, I have a high end digital mixer that is the master, and devices like my audio interface are slaved to it. It’s also helpful if one’s devices have some sort of indicator showing when the device is locked...............frank

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 @ 06:55 AM
meatballfulton
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Total Posts:  2300
Joined  01-25-2005
status: Guru

Thx frankE, I wasn’t expecting an immediate response from Yamaha support. I left posts at the Steinberg website and also an MR thread at Gearslutz.

BTW I can’t ask at my local dealer, last time I asked about a Motif-related issue, the store manager asked if it would be OK if he called me when other customers had issues because I already knew more about the gear than he did...WTF!! Guess he should become a member here (ha ha).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 @ 02:03 PM
Bad_Mister
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Joined  07-30-2002
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The local dealer would be more involved in the home recording studio situation if there were more purchases locally (that type of local participation is a thing of the past as more and more musicians make e-purchases). Of course, it is a perfect paradox, because more people would purchase locally if the dealer was more involved. but that is another whole discussion… :-)

I need to be able to work in the following scenarios:

1. XF standalone connected to monitors (works today)

2. XF connected to Mac/Cubase and monitors (works today)

3. XF and MR connected to Mac/Cubase and XF connected to monitors (i.e main mix routes to XF not MR)

Will #3 work or does the MR need to be the audio master?

If by audio master, you mean does the MR have to be the main Stereo output? No, you can select the device you want to be the main output.

A second question regards clocking. When using AIEB2 or XF SPDIF into my Saffire, I had to set the Saffire to slave to SPDIF clock to avoid clicking. When aggregating the FW16e and MR what happens to the clocking?

The XF and MR are simpatico. They use the same driver and you can select the clock as you desire.

A third question regards direct monitoring on the MR. I have read at Steinberg forums that when daisy chaining two MRs via FW only the first can do direct monitoring. What is the direct monitor situation when using the MR with the FW16e?

If you set the VST CONNECTIONS > OUTPUTS > “Motif XF Main L” and “Motif XF Main R” you would use the “Firewire Monitor Setup” parameters found on the [UTILITY] > [F2] I/O > FW Monitor Setup - the setting here would determine how you are monitoring. “Stand alone”, “with PC”, or “with PC(Direct Monitor). This works as you already probably understand (see SUPPORT area for details on these options).

If you set the VST CONNECTIONS > OUTPUT > “MR816CSX L” and “MR816CSX R” you would check the DIRECT MONITOR box in Cubase in order to monitor whatever you have connected to the MR directly.

Somethings to consider: “Direct monitoring” is what you want during record. Basically, it allows you hear yourself in a record scenario without having to deal with any computer latency. You literally are monitoring your signal live.

Example, a microphone plugged into a device, and you singing. You do not want to wait for signal to traverse the computer before you get to monitor yourself. Rather, “direct monitor” sends you your vocal signal direct. With a device like the MR816CSX with its Channel Strip (compressor and EQ) and REV-X Reverb built-in, this means you can apply both the compressor and EQ to the signal that is recorded, and simply monitor with reverb. That is, the Compressor and EQ get printed to the Cubase track but the REVERB in this scenario is only for monitoring purposes.

This type of routing is the preferred method in recording studios, because usually the amount of reverb that makes the singer comfortable during the recording process (quite frankly) is way too much for the final mix. So you can make the singer comfortable as to reverb in their headphones while recording, without having to be married to it (because the REVERB doesn’t get printed). Plus since all your DSP is in hardware, you don’t have to guess about what you are getting - Summary: ZERO LATENCY plus all the DSP power pre-Record (recording the compressor and EQ, but not the reverb) that is the advantage of using the MR816CSX and the DIRECT MONITOR option on the Cubase setup page.

How to have both:
You simply setup two STEREO OUTPUTS (VST CONNECTIONS > OUTPUTS), one for the Motif XS (this is your main output - it feeds your Monitors) and a second stereo output for the MR816CSX (this one would allow the musicians recording to Cubase through the MR to monitor in headphones with ZERO LATENCY and use all the DSP of the MR as discussed above).  You can feed a stereo output (1/2) from the MR to the A/D INPUTS of the XS so you can monitor what goes on in the MR - use the A/D INPUT Channel to control your monitoring levels in your MAIN OUTPUTS).

If you are getting an MR816CSX we highly recommend that you consider the upgrade to Cubase 6 while it is at such a good deal. Advanced routing, which is what you are going to want to get involved in - is so much more flexible and elegant in the full version. Although you can get a basic feel for how things work with AI5, not until you see the CONTROL ROOM feature and how you can control the MR816 from within Cubase 6 MIXER, do you really appreciate all the power. In fact for setting up headphone mixes I don’t know how you’d get by without. You need to learn about setting up STUDIO Sends.

Not sure if what you read on the Steinberg site about using 2 MR’s is actually true - during the time I worked with the MR816 and Motif XS I found it extremely flexible, and I really appreciated getting around on it with full version of the Cubase software (which was Cubase 5 at the time). When the “DIRECT MONITORING” option is selected in Cubase it would apply to all devices that can utilize it in the daisy-chain, that would be both MR’s - so some of the statement about 2 MR’s is a bit curious, but I guess it would depend on what the specific application was… and if they knew to create a STEREO OUTPUT for it.  Not until you create that VST CONNECTION OUTPUT can you utilize the Direct Monitoring function, Make sense? No output for it, no way to hear it. The fact that it is going to the MR816’s headphone jacks shouldn’t change anything in the thinking. You need to create the path for the signal to be monitored direct

Anyway the best support for the MR816CSX is going to come directly from Steinberg support, just because it is on a forum does not always make it true. Sometimes it is someone’s best guess, or it could be a totally wrong conclusion and sometimes it is the context.

Hope that helps.

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