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Product Details


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Why CI2

The holistic approach that Steinberg provides in form of its Advanced Integration technology allows this smart CI2 USB-powered studio alongside its dedicated Cubase AI 5 audio workstation to easily assist entry-level to professional musicians and producers.

Top Features

  • A no-worry full-system solution to record music at an unbeatable price point
  • Easy to use with the Project Assistant — especially for beginners
  • Browse functionality helps and assists throughout the project
  • Interactive recording functionality allows hands-free recording
  • Advanced Integration system: totally integrated tactile control of Cubase
  • Ultra-precision AI controller knob: controls any Cubase, FX or VSTi parameter
  • AI-ready LED: when the LED lights up, the CI2 is ready to go!
    Instant plug and play — no additional setup or parameter assigning required
  • Two high quality mic preamps with +48V phantom power
  • Precision components, manufactured by Yamaha to exacting standards
  • Mac and PC compatible

Setups and Applications

With CI2 you now have all the tools in a single box to help you with whatever recording and production project you may have in mind.

Cubase AI included

Cubase AI 5

Cubase AI 5 is a special, compact version of Steinberg’s famed music production system — exclusive to customers of selected Steinberg or Yamaha hardware.

CI2 - Advanced Integration Studio

Hardware most skillfully meets software by combining the best of two worlds with the CI2 Advanced Integration USB studio and Cubase AI 5, the dedicated version of Cubase 5. As the name implies, the CI2 houses two major functions. There’s the two-channel XLR combo interface equipped with two sophisticated microphone preamps and phantom power, one HI-Z for direct guitar input and a footswitch connector for Interactive Recording. This is seconded by the controller section featuring the innovative AI Knob that provides intuitive control due to seamless integration into Cubase. You now have all the tools in a single box to help you with whatever recording and production project you may have in mind.


  • A no-worry full-system solution to record music at an unbeatable price point
  • Easy to use with the Project Assistant — especially for beginners
  • Browse functionality helps and assists throughout the project
  • Interactive recording functionality allows hands-free recording with the optional footswitch and the optional mic stand adapter
  • Advanced Integration system: totally integrated tactile control of the Steinberg Cubase range of production systems, maintaining complete focus on the project
  • Ultra-precision AI controller knob: “point and control” support: controls any Cubase, FX or VSTi parameter using mouse-pointer selection for exhilarating speed
  • AI-ready LED: when the LED lights up, the CI2 is ready to go! Instant plug and play — no additional setup or parameter assigning required
  • Two high quality mic preamps with +48V phantom power with a fully USB powered audio interface giving total freedom of mobile recording elaborate
  • Outstanding engineering and component quality: precision components, manufactured by Yamaha to exacting standards
  • Mac and PC compatible: cross-platform support for Cubase on Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista

Target Groups

For guitarists, singers and electronic music producers alike, by putting the CI2 USB studio and Cubase AI 5 in one box, Steinberg is offering the ultimate entry-level recording system solution. And with the featured Advanced Integration technology musicians are given aid during every step of the music creation process: from the first idea down to the final mix. Joining forces, the CI2 and Cubase AI 5 provides a host of tools to meet the individual demand of each and every user. To name a few: Interactive Recording mode for hands-free-recording is ideal for rock guitarist and easy editing functionality of the AI Knob CI2 is a big plus for dance DJs and hip-hop producers. Recording vocal lines, last night’s session in the rehearsal room or the latest 60-minute mix, using both CI2 and Cubase AI 5 is as easy as it gets — with outstanding audio quality, massive features, all at mind-blowing price!


CI2 and Cubase AI 5 present the ideal tool kit for singers and songwriters looking to record vocal lines, preparing playbacks and creating entire songs. The +48V phantom power of the CI2’s two high quality mic preamps provide all capabilities necessary to connect any dynamic or condenser microphone for recording vocal tracks.

Cubase AI 5 also offers virtual instruments and sounds for creating professional-sounding accompaniments, such as playback for vocal exercises or even an entire demo. Various effect plug-ins for editing vocals such as a high quality EQ, compressor and reverb are readily available and easy to control with the CI2’s AI Knob. With the CI2 and Cubase AI 5, recording and editing the user strumming the accompanying harmonies with the guitar while singing the melody is really convenient. The CI2’s interface comes with a footswitch connector enabling hands-free recording in Cubase AI 5. Here the user has the choice between 14 different amp and 10 speaker cabinet emulations thanks to the AmpSimulator.


Guitarists benefit a great deal from putting CI2 and Cubase AI 5 together. The HI-Z input on the CI2 is best suited for the guitar’s characteristics, letting the user plug an electric guitar or bass directly into the CI2 without the need for an additional DI box. The great sounding AmpSimulator of Cubase AI 5 provides different amp and speaker cabinet emulations and, together with the ToneBooster, fans of hard and heavy styles will find plenty of quality sounds to work with.

One of the outstanding features provided by CI2 and AI 5 is the Interactive Recording mode, giving the user the absolute freedom to record a performance hands-free.

Electronic Music Producer

With CI2 and Cubase AI 5 combined into a single system, producers of electronic music will need to look no further for the perfect production kit.

In Cubase AI 5, the Arranger function allows for defining different segments of the song and playing them back in any order — a great tool for those live electronic performances There’s also the HALion ONE sampler player which covers a wide range of sounds from which each producer is glad to draw. And this dedicated version of Cubase 5 can do so much more: with outstanding tools like the drum editor for programming quick and individual grooves, more than 30 audio effects for sound designing and mixing no wishes are left unmet.

Cubase Owner

CI2 is, simply put, the ideal low-cost hardware for any Cubase owner who needs to record vocals, instruments, keyboards, percussion or any other audio source and also wants to edit any project easily. The Advanced Integration technology used by CI2 and Cubase alike provides a vast amount of functional enhancements not found in any other USB audio hardware. With Interactive Recording Cubase users are now able to control basic Cubase functions with the tap of a foot so that both hands are free to perform impeccable music. Cubase customers may also be motivated to purchase the CI2 from the same trusted brand as Cubase. What’s more, with all the additional functionality available exclusively to the Cubase owner, the price value of the CI2 is much higher when compared to competing hardware units.

Cubase AI 5 included

Cubase AI 5 is a special, compact version of Steinberg’s famed music production system. Based on the same technology as Cubase 5, Cubase AI 5 offers powerful yet easy-to-use software tools for audio recording, editing, MIDI sequencing and mixing — exclusive to customers of selected Steinberg or Yamaha hardware.

Press Reviews for CI2

Recording (US) August 2010

"... the CI2 is all about a plug-and-play experience..."

"I installed the CI2 ..., installed Cubase AI5, launched the program, chose a preset and recorded a few tracks, all in less time than grinding beans and making a cappuccino, it’s that painless and easy."

CI2 - Advanced Integration USB Studio

The Steinberg CI2 is a USB-powered audio interface and controller with Advanced Integration features. Together, CI2 and Cubase AI 5 present a complete recording system, providing a plug-and-play solution for recording and editing vocals and instruments with a computer in next to no time. With 24-bit resolution and a sampling rate of 48 kHz, the CI2 offers a professional digital audio recording standard that lets you record the music in studio quality.

Instant plug and play with “AI Ready” LED

CI2 features full plug-and-play support, so there’s no need to add the parameters to Cubase, only the easy, one-step installation of a USB device. Once the CI2 has been installed, Cubase detects the launched device and automatically embeds the CI2 into the Cubase production environment. Visual feedback is provided through the “AI Ready” LED. When it lights up, CI2 is ready to assume control. But instant plug and play is just one of the many advantages CI2 has to offer as a fully integrated controller of Cubase, forming one exhilaratingly powerful hardware/software production system.


Browse Function

Browse function

The Browse function in Cubase helps you in many different ways. The intelligent browsing system focuses on available files or sounds based on where you are currently in the production process. By using the AI Knob on the CI2 to select one of many project templates, track presets and other presets, there’s no more excuse for using the mouse extensively. The Browse function also allows the user to listen in on samples while browsing, without having to load them first. As you see, CI2 supports you throughout the entire project.

Project Assistant

Project Assistant

The Project Assistant provides a wealth of ready-made templates for different styles and scopes like recording, mixing, producing and mastering. The templates contain the number of channels, effects, dynamics, amp simulators and channel inserts — tailored to your particular needs. Creating customized user templates and integrating those into the Launch browser makes recording with a DAW software and audio interface just that easy. Start up Cubase AI 5, hit the AI Knob and scroll down the list of provided templates. The chosen template is selected by pushing the AI Knob a second time. A new project is created with the necessary number of tracks, audio input and output routings, all effects, amp simulator, sounds and much more. Especially for CI2, new plug-ins like the AmpSimulator and the ToneBooster have been added to Cubase AI 5. The guitar is simply plugged into the input of the CI2 and you can start creating songs in a jiffy. Thanks to this assistant, initializing a Cubase Project from scratch even saves professionals a lot of time — and as we all know, time is money.

Interact panel 1
Interact panel 2

Interactive Recording

The Interactive Recording functionality allows a sequence of up to six transport functions. This sequence can be started and operated with the optional footswitch or the Action Pad on the CI2, letting you control Cubase AI 5 hands free while playing an instrument and simultaneously getting a visual feedback from the Action panel in Cubase. The sequences can either be chosen from a list of templates or be customized. The Interactive Recording function provides full freedom of movement, doing away with mouse operation in specific situations and, more importantly, helps to maintain the creative flow. You can operate this functionality by the Action Pad or with the optional footswitch Yamaha FC5.

AI Knob

One of the most innovative features of CI2 is the revolutionary AI Knob, which is a “point and control” precision controller. Rather than attempting to replace traditional mouse pointing devices, the AI Knob harnesses the flexibility of a computer mouse to offer unprecedented speed when editing parameters and adjusting settings. The computer mouse is simply moved over the parameter, which is then automatically placed under full precision control through the AI Knob, with no need to make any additional settings in Cubase, any additional software module or on the interface itself.

The parameter can be locked to the AI Knob to retain control when the mouse is moved elsewhere onscreen. The AI Knob of the CI2 controls all Cubase mixing parameters plus VST3 and VST2 plug-ins. On the CI2, you find an enhanced version of the AI Knob featured on the Steinberg CC121 Advanced Integration Controller.


The CI2 is powered by the USB technology on one’s computer. This means the user simply connects the CI2 to a USB port, even the +48V phantom power for two microphones doesn’t require an additional power supply.

Yamaha BMS-10A

The optional mic stand adapter BMS-10A lets you attach the CI2 to a microphone stand and adjust it to the position that suits you best.

Desktop home recording studio

Desktop home recording-studio

The CI2 provides all the necessary inputs and outputs to record music at home or in a personal project studio. Not only is it possible to record two individual signals at once, such as vocals and guitar, but by operating Cubase with the optional footswitch connected to the CI2, your hands are absolutely free to make music. And with true +48V phantom power, you can also use high end large diaphragm condenser mics for studio-quality sound.

Mobile stereo live recording

Mobile stereo live recording

Making a high-quality stereo live recording only requires a laptop, two top-notch mics and the CI2. And since the CI2 is fully USB-powered including its two +48V phantom-powered mic preamps, there’s really no need for an external power supply. The provided footswitch connector allows you to control the recording functions via an optional footswitch, operating the system during the stereo live recording of the band’s next gig, the choir’s performance or orchestra’s concert.

Mobile band live recording

Mobile band live recording

To make a professional sounding demo you simply have to connect the CI2 to the mixer desk available in the rehearsal room or live event and record in 24-bit/48-kHz stereo quality. With the included high-end effects of Cubase AI 5, you then can edit the recording later on, the CI2’s AI Knob providing full control of any mixing and plug-in parameters within Cubase.


Record a guitar

Easily record a guitar using Cubase AI 5 and CI2

One way of using both the CI2 USB studio and Cubase AI 5 is to record a guitar with “Interactive Recording”, which lets you record the guitar performance in just a few steps.

  • Connect the guitar to input 1 of the CI2 unit, press the HI-Z button and adjust the input gain.
  • Launch Cubase AI 5 and open the Project Template window using the AI Knob.
  • Select a template for recording the guitar.
  • Now simply push the Action Pad (or the optional footswitch) to start recording, using the hand-free recording feature.
Smart editing

After recording, smart editing with AI Knob

Another way to produce music is the editing of music with the unique AI Knob.

  • Simply move the mouse over any parameter of a plug-in, mixer or anything else in Cubase and easily adjust the value by turning the AI Knob.
  • To access the Browse mode, press the AI Knob and choose from a vast number of sounds and effects by turning and pushing the AI Knob.

Minimum System Requirements

The minimum system requirements state the minimal specification your computer must have to be able to use the software.


  • Supported operating systems: Mac OS X 10.5.5 and 10.6
  • PowerPC G5 (Intel Core Duo CPU recommended)
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • Display resolution of 1280 x 800 recommended
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • 1 GB of free HD space
  • USB component port for CI2 connection
  • Internet access required for license activation


  • Supported operating system: Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit/64-bit) or Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • 2 GHz CPU (dual core CPU recommended)
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • 1 GB of free HDD space
  • Display resolution 1280 x 800 pixels
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • USB port required
  • Internet connection for license activation



Information on 64-bit Versions

For more information on compatibility with Windows 32-bit and 64-bit versions, read this

System recommendation

A more powerful system may be required for certain tasks or larger projects.

Price: $119.99

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