Issue 93


Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.


Yamaha at NAMM: AXR4 Audio Interface Now with USB-C

Steinberg announces the release of the new, rack-mountable AXR4U audio interface, providing a USB-C alternative to the already available AXR4T Thunderbolt interface.


20 January 2020

Steinberg today presented its latest audio interface for the first time at the NAMM show in Anaheim. The AXR4U audio interface provides USB 3.0 data transfer with USB-C connectivity. Featuring highest audio quality, DSP effects to monitor the sound with various signal processors alongside hybrid microphone preamps and Rupert Neve Designs SILK technology, the AXR4U can rightly be called a true next-generation audio interface.

Flexibility in connectivity 

The AXR4U’s front side provides four easily accessible Neutrik combo inputs and two headphone outputs with individually adjustable level controls. The rear panel comes with eight TRS line inputs and eight TRS line outputs. Also available are two pairs of ADAT I/O doubling as S/PDIF, the second of which provides an alternative AES/EBU Sub-D connector. Overall, this counts to 28 channel inputs and 24 channel outputs. By also factoring in its MIDI input/output and word clock ports — featuring advanced SSPLL (Super Suppression Phase Locked Loop) jitter reduction technology — the AXR4U interface offers comprehensive input and output options that make it the perfect choice for musicians and producers of project studios and larger recording facilities. And with the custom designed SSP3 chip from Yamaha and the latest, most refined drivers, the AXR4U ensures high fidelity at a very low latency.

The AXR4U connects to Cubase, Nuendo and other DAWs through a USB-C connector with the USB 3.1 Gen 1 SuperSpeed standard, providing reliable and seamless connectivity to both Mac and PC computers.

Quality on the inside and outside 

The design of the AXR4U interface has been conceived in a way to deliver pristine audio quality, featuring 32-bit integer resolution as well as a maximum sample rate of 384 kHz. Its clear, natural sound comes from its balanced specifications and first-class components which include refined transformer circuitry and four digitally controlled hybrid microphone preamps — each with precisely modelled switchable Rupert Neve Designs’ SILK processing.

Taking a closer look at the SILK emulations reveals two choices: the red mode adds sparkling energy, while the blue mode provides solidity and power. The additional texture control adjusts the harmonic content of the source audio. All microphone inputs, either individually or globally, benefit from SILK’s signal processing function.

On the front panel, the first element that catches the eye is the multi-colour display, alongside its dial button, for configuring and using the AXR4U. The various press buttons provide easy control of various functionalities and lighten up when enabled.

Monitoring with VCM effects 

The AXR4U houses DSP effects for latency-free monitoring. The Compressor 276 and the EQ 601 are based on the VCM technology that models analog audio processors. Other effects included with the interface are the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip and the REV-X reverb. These onboard DSP effects are also available as VST 3 and AU plug-ins. The VST 3 versions integrate easily into Cubase AI, also included with the AXR4U.

By harnessing the power of the dspMixFx AXR mixing application, users of the AXR4U can set up a 28×24 matrix mixer for routing and monitoring audio signals.

“Releasing the AXR4U is the logical consequence after this year’s success of the AXR4T Thunderbolt interface. Its USB-C connectivity with USB 3 data transfer makes it extremely reliable and compatible with both PCs and Mac computers. Now every setup can benefit from the outstanding audio quality of the AXR4 interfaces,” commented Stefan Schreiber, senior marketing manager at Steinberg.

Availability and pricing

The AXR4U is available through Steinberg resellers and the Steinberg Online Shop. The suggested retail price for the AXR4U audio interface is US $2699.99.

Key features

  • 28×24 USB 3.0 audio interface with USB Type-C
  • 32-bit integer / 384 kHz recording and playback
  • AXR hybrid mic preamps with Rupert Neve Designs SILK
  • 28×24 full matrix mixer
  • Latency-free DSP-powered monitoring with REV-X reverb, Channel Strip, VCM compressor 276 and EQ 601, including VST 3 plug-in versions
  • Expandable I/O via ADAT, S/PDIF and AES/EBU
  • MIDI in/out and word clock ports
  • SSPLL ultra-low jitter reduction
  • New custom panel for perfect integration into Cubase
  • Bundled Cubase AI fully supports 32-bit integer format



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Issue 93


Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.