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Steinberg UR824

Steinberg UR824

4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews

The MR816's cousin, with USB


5th February 2012

Steinberg UR824 by npulsipher

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Steinberg UR824

When the time came for a new interface, sound quality was my number one priority. I had heard many superior examples, and glowing reviews of Steinberg's MR816. And I wanted one.

The only problem was that my computer doesn't have firewire. It doesn't have an expresscard slot either so there was no way to add firewire. So I gave up on the 816. I was just about to pull the trigger on a Motu hybrid when Steinberg announced their new UR series. Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Sound Quality:
The UR824 features the same D-pres that are found on the MR816. They are very clean and very consistent at any gain setting. When I first got the device, I did a test, recording with the gain set at zero, and cranked to the max. I was pleased to find that once I matched the levels in my DAW, the two clips sounded identical.

Overall, the sound is excellent. I've learned a ton about the characteristics of my microphones and my own technique because the 824 is so accurate that I can hear things that I wasn't able to hear before.

Ease of use:
You don't have to look too hard to find people complaining about "it can't do this!" or "such and such a feature doesn't work!" Honestly, that's only because the people that are posting those complaints don't think to look in the manual. The learning curve on this device is steep. There are some things that you just won't be able to understand unless you read the manual.

I will say that despite being advertised as offering "full integration into the Cubase user interface for a smooth workflow", many options and feature are buried deep within Cubase and not very easy or convenient to access. On the other hand, using the included dspMixFx software, all of the options and features are easily accessible, and you can use it with whatever DAW you choose.

Features:
All the regular stuff you would expect to find on an interface, plus the ability to add dsp reverb and channel strip to the monitor mix, which you can read more about in this review of the MR816

Bang for buck:
Compared to the MR816CSX, you get all the same features, plus 8 extra digital ins/out for 100 bucks less. Not to bad! (Well, I guess if you daisy chain 3 816s together via firewire you get up to 48 i/o. Whereas if you daisy chain 3 UR824s together, you have to use the ADAT, and you still only have 24 i/o.)

Conclusion:
I've only been using my 824 for a few months, but it's already lived up to all my expectations.

Have a good one!

5th March 2012

Steinberg UR824 by parlopower

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Steinberg UR824

First some tech specs:
- 8 analog inputs, mic or line, gain control and pad on each input, phantom power for each input pair, first two inputs on front panel and equipped with hi-z instrument input on front panel
- 8 analog line outs on rear and two headphones outputs on front panel
- 2 ADAT i/o, also useable as SPDIF
- word clock i/o
- USB 2.0 connection to computer
- on board DSP running channel strip and reverb plugin for zero latency monitoring FX
- complete functionality of the hardware can be controlled either from within Cubase, or if you use another DAW, from a separate application

I worked in the past with an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 plus TL Audio preamps, with an Apogee Duet (1), Universal Audio 2-610 preamps and the Steinberg UR28M. So these are the devices that I can compare it to. I use the UR824 for a couple of months now.
Converters:
To my ears, the converters are much better than the M-Audio's or the UR28M's, and slightly better than the Duet's. They have a very good resolution, frequency separation and room information. I don't know how they compare to high end converters, but for anything from bedroom to project studio with a limited budget they will certainly do a great job and make you very happy.
Preamps:
The preamps are the D-Pres that are already known from the MR816 series. They have a very good reputation, and having worked with them, I must say that I am amazed at their quality. For preamps built in on an audio interface, they are just awesome. They can not compete with the Universal Audio that I ever worked with, but we are talking about 8 preamps included in a 800 Euro package compared to 2 channels for 2000 Euros. They are clean, very low noise, and have plenty of gain to drive ribbons and dynamic mics (no problems at all with my SM7B). Certainly no character pres, certainly not the best you can pick on every source, but 100% useable on almost anything. If you don't have a bunch of good outboard pres and can only use what the interface provides, the UR824 will definitely get any job done.
Features and work flow:
The integration into Cubase is great. You can control everything from monitoring mixes with FX to hardware i/o routing from inside Cubase and save all the settings with your project. Very handy. The DSP mixer is reflected in Cubase's Control Room Mixer. The latency and performance - I tested on a MacBook Pro i7 2.66GHz with 4GB RAM - could be a bit better. When you set the buffer very low, the VST Performance Meter goes up very quickly once you go underneath 256 samples buffer size. Above, there is some room for CPU-heavy stuff, but everything under 256 samples, which you might really want for playing VSTi's or guitars through the DI with amp sims, is quickly getting difficult. Stability was great, though. No hickups.
The lack of hardware inserts on the inputs, MIDI i/o or individual phantom power switching might be a problem depending on your needs. Check if the feature set is sufficient for your needs.

All in all, a great value at 800 Euros, especially if you run Cubase.

20th September 2012

Steinberg UR824 by WooferVampire

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Steinberg UR824

I have owned many audio interfaces, starting with Motu. I have always ran mac computers so I have always had firewire. I work with Cubase 5.5.3 so I was debating buying the mr816 or the ur824 due to the integration software and Steinbergs reputation. I am mainly working with internal synths and samples, so I dont do much live instruments or sampling. The inputs I have heard are amazing but not my main concern.
Mastering and the outputs are main concern. I looked at both the units and the ur824 had more dynamic range at 117db vs 110db on the outputs, and less total harmonic distortion (UR 824 .0014% vs the 816csx .004%) The choice was clear so I purchased the Ur824.
So far it has made me happy to say that I sold my RME fireface 800
I didn't think my focal twin 6 be monitors could sound any better but THEY DO!!!!!
I know it seems like bs that I gave 10's across the board for ratings but for the money, this thing is the best interface available in my mind for mac or pc users

5th July 2014

Steinberg UR824 by Kibosh

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Steinberg UR824

The first thing to say about this audio interface is basically it works 100% stable with a Windows 7 PC. No matter what you throw at it. The driver is solid as a rock. And that's something that can't be said about other brands. So no frustrations during your creation process while making music.

The sound is very good and it has everything you need. The only thing I'm missing with it is an EQ for the master output.

19th August 2014

Steinberg UR824 by Travst

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Steinberg UR824

I think that the reviewers above have hit all the high points. I've had my UR824 for a year, and it has been rock solid the entire time on Win7x64. I'm a Cubase user and the tight integration with the DAW is very useful. The pres are open and clean, using it is intuitive, and having all the physical routing options with two ADAT ins for expansion is a great deal. I've not found a hitch yet.

 
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