The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Masterlink question Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 21st November 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 

Masterlink question

I'm thinking about picking one of these up (fed up mixing to DAT at 16-bit) and I've got a couple of quick questions if anyone can be arsed answering!

First of all, everyone seems to be slagging off the convertors in the Materlink - just how bad are they really? Do I NEED to buy external convertors? Would the ones in it at least better my Tascam DAT player's convertors? I have a Finalizer Express - would the Masterlink's convertors be worse than that? Would a Lucid convertor do the job?

Speaking of the Finalizer, I only ever really use it for normalizing the mixes nowadays. Is the normalizing function of the Masterlink as good as the Finalizer Express (ie could I then flog the Finalizer?)

Answers much appreciated!
Old 21st November 2002
  #2
The converters in the Masterlink are fine...
Old 22nd November 2002
  #3
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

They are pretty good and are much better-sounding to me than the Sony PCM-R500 DAT converters, for example.

You can get a better sound with high-end outboard converters, but the difference may be as much one of clock source as it is of converters.
Old 24th November 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I sold the Finalizer Express, and ended up buying a PSX-100SE in conjunction with the Masterlink. A real nice combo. I remember reading where Roger Nichols liked the ML converters, whereas Massenburg didn't. I like the unit quite a bit. I think it's one of the best on the market.

Imagine
Old 24th November 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
studjo's Avatar
 

There are a lot of people out there slagging gear down you know. I think the Masterlink has very good converters for the money (certainly better then the old Tascam converters, which were fine at their time).

There are certainly better converters out there, but do you really need to spend so much money to improve your mixes? For my part, I prefer to work harder the craft at mixing before I earn a better converter

Best regards Jo
Old 25th November 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 

2 links

I got a free MasterLink from Alesis (when they were Alesis) and it sat around while I stupidly bounced mixes or mixed to DAT.
Awhile back I tried mixing out of my PTHD3 rig into the Dangerous 2 Buss/Vari Mu/Massive Passive.
The difference was so big that I bought a 2nd MasterLink that day. Wish I still had the endorsement. No more bouncing except for references. Get one.
cheers,
chap
Old 28th November 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Masterlink = good. Very useful.

Converters better than Tascam DATs (I have both).
Old 29th November 2002
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

anyone remember offhand which drives the masterlink takes?

we have run across a few FOH guys that had 20 or 30 gig drives in theirs and were recording multiple nights of a tour (2 track of course)
Old 29th November 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
Re: Masterlink question

Quote:
Originally posted by StuartMac
I'm thinking about picking one of these up (fed up mixing to DAT at 16-bit) and I've got a couple of quick questions if anyone can be arsed answering!

First of all, everyone seems to be slagging off the convertors in the Materlink - just how bad are they really? Do I NEED to buy external convertors? Would the ones in it at least better my Tascam DAT player's convertors? I have a Finalizer Express - would the Masterlink's convertors be worse than that? Would a Lucid convertor do the job?

Speaking of the Finalizer, I only ever really use it for normalizing the mixes nowadays. Is the normalizing function of the Masterlink as good as the Finalizer Express (ie could I then flog the Finalizer?)

Answers much appreciated!
Here's a review of the Masterlink with lab tests on the convertors...

http://www.stereophile.com/fullarchives.cgi?605


Roger Nichols had this to say about his Masterlink...
http://www.musicgearnetwork.com/ubb/...ML/000357.html
"I haven't used my DAT machines in over a year. I have 2 of the new Alesis Masterlink units. I mixed the Steely Dan "Two Against Nature" to them. One unit was set to 44.1k 16 bit and the other was set to 96k 24 bit. I also used Masterlink to mix a new Junior Brown album. After the mixes were done I sequenced the songs, timed the spacing between songs and burned some CDs for Junior to listen to on his way home.
I just used the converters in the Masterlink. Couldn't tell the difference between the Alesis converters and the PSX-100. The PSX has more features and will let you do more, but it wasn't any better as far as conversion (measured and listening).
I used a Meyer SIM II real time FFT analyzer. It is a $35,000 analyzer that can test audio equipment and speakers with music playing instead of pink noise and tones (although you can use tones if you want to).
Also used an Audio Precision System One.
I mix to multiple formats in case of media errors. Besides the Masterlink the mixes were printed to Genex using the Apogee and to ProTools (double wide data split to multiple tracks fo 96k). When playing back the Genex through the Apogee or the Masterlink through its own converters there was no difference.
On the Junior Brown album I used only the Masterlink.
The sample rate converter in the Masterlink is the same hardware sample rate converter chip in the tc Finalizer 96k. The actual chip is the same one as in the expensive mastering converters. The expensive converters have external reference inputs and multi format inputs and outputs."

Masterlink ships with 20gig drives since Feb. 2002.

I LOVE mine!
Peace,
Carmen
Old 29th November 2002
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by JayCrouch
anyone remember offhand which drives the masterlink takes?

I have a 30Gb drive in mine. On occasion it runs a bit hot - especially when doing those tropical outdoor gigs. I have to keep it off, or covered/ventilated.

It would have been too cool if the ML9600 had been designed with a remove-able drive...


NYC Drew
Old 29th November 2002
  #11
"The sample rate converter in the Masterlink is the same hardware sample rate converter chip in the tc Finalizer 96k. The actual chip is the same one as in the expensive mastering converters"

Hmmm

I just paid $$$ to have my 3 year old Finalizer96k upgraded with the "up down" upgrade. That allows it to do a conversion from Masterlink 96k 24 bit masters to a 44.1k 24 bit copy that I can import into my PT Mix + for my "junior mastering" sessions when pro mastering is either too expensive or happening at a later date...

That may have been a waste of money!

Question - Can someone tell me if the ML can SRC down and produce a CD24 at 44.1/24 bit from a 96k/24 bit master on it's hard drive?

Reason I ask is, my Finalizer was off out on rental, so after several CD24 burning attempts & failing to find a soultion in the manual, finally I burned a dithered Red Bok 16bit copy at 44.1 and imported that to Pro Tools for mastering.. grudge - sounded fine, but ideally an undithered 24 bit file would have be best to work from....

Old 30th November 2002
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally posted by NYC Drew
I have a 30Gb drive in mine. On occasion it runs a bit hot - especially when doing those tropical outdoor gigs. I have to keep it off, or covered/ventilated.

It would have been too cool if the ML9600 had been designed with a remove-able drive...


NYC Drew
http://www.tangible-technology.com/a...asterlink1.htm

http://www.tangible-technology.com/a...rlink/fee.html

This place will make your Masterlink drives removable, similar to the caddies on the Alesis HD24.
He'll sell you instructions to do it yourself, or he'll do the work for you.
Thinking about doing mine myself.
Good Luck.
Peace.
Carmen
Old 3rd December 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Jules -- I am under the impression that ML options are limited to either CD24 or Redbok, and will not output a hybrid 24/44.1. However, I'm not sure, perhaps there's some way or tweak to make it do this, though.

BTW, does anyone know how to swap a ML hard drive, going from the older 4 gig to a 20, 30, or 40 gig drive?

I understand that instructions are available from that site for a price, but this is not proprietary information, and I would prefer not to pay some guy who figured out how to do this, although I respect his wish to make a little money. And certainly he should be paid if performs the service himself.

However, one of the great benefits of the internet is the sharing of experience and information, and I do it all the time with things that I have figured out and for which I might legitimately charge, but don't. IMO, the free flow of information, experience, and access on the web makes everyone richer, figuratively, and in many cases, literally.

So does anyone know how to do this?

TIA,

MattiMattMatt
Old 3rd December 2002
  #14
No, but I still think you should do the right thing and write the guy out a cheque.
heh
Old 4th December 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally posted by MattiMattMatt
Jules -- I am under the impression that ML options are limited to either CD24 or Redbok, and will not output a hybrid 24/44.1. However, I'm not sure, perhaps there's some way or tweak to make it do this, though.

BTW, does anyone know how to swap a ML hard drive, going from the older 4 gig to a 20, 30, or 40 gig drive?

I understand that instructions are available from that site for a price, but this is not proprietary information, and I would prefer not to pay some guy who figured out how to do this, although I respect his wish to make a little money. And certainly he should be paid if performs the service himself.

However, one of the great benefits of the internet is the sharing of experience and information, and I do it all the time with things that I have figured out and for which I might legitimately charge, but don't. IMO, the free flow of information, experience, and access on the web makes everyone richer, figuratively, and in many cases, literally.

So does anyone know how to do this?

TIA,

MattiMattMatt
I posted this on the Massenberg forum in March...
Senior Member
Member # 19994
posted 03-19-2002 12:37 PM ___ __ _ __ _ _ __ __
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi!
I bought a Masterlink yesterday.
I really like it, so far.
It was manufactured on 2/4/2002.
It came with a 20 gig drive!
I decided to upgrade to a 40 gig 5400rpm
Maxtor now, since I planned to anyway, and no backup is neccessary on a blank drive.
Only use a 5400 rpm drive!
It's fast enough for 2 tracks,
and the extra heat of the faster drives
is too much for the Masterlink.
The whole upgrade took 15 min.
Instructions to do this with the maxtor are here,
http://www.tangible-technology.com/a...asterlink1.htm
This guy will also mod your Masterlink for multiple switchable drives, if you want.
$150.00 plus parts.
He'll also sell you instructions to do it yourself.
You need to have a CD of the latest OS for the Masterlink BEFORE YOU UPGRADE!
You can download the file and instructions to make a CD-ROM that will work in your Masterlink here
http://www.alesis.com/downloads/software/ml9600/
I used the above instructions with these below from another board.
Worked out great.
Hope this helps.
Good Luck,
Carmen

Masterlink hard disk drive upgrade

I finally found the time to update the drives in my pair of Masterlinks. I backed everything off to CD24, and ripped into them. Here's how it went:
First, unplug the power. No, really! Then, pull the rack ears (3 screws each). Then, remove the cover (5 screws). Not much in there, eh? The case is 60% empty space... Using a 7/32" nutdriver, remove the 4 captive-lockwasher nuts that hold the drive assembly down. You can then remove the lock plate on the inner side that keeps them from sliding, and slide the entire drive assembly towards the rear of the chassis until the face of the CDROM drive clears the front panel, and the "slot" in the drive mount lines up with the threaded stud that clamps it down. You can then slide the drive assembly towards the middle of the chassis to slip it out from under the power supply. Remove the data and power cables from the hard drive, located under the CDROM drive. Pull the 4 screws that hold the hard drive mount plate, and then the 4 screws that mount the drive to the plate. The drive is then free to swap.
Installation is, as they say, the reverse of disassembly. (;-)
The original hard drives in mine were Seagate ST34313A 5400rpm 4.3 Gb drives. I replaced them with Seagate ST340810A 5400rpm 40Gb drives for the princely sum of $100 each. When I first powered up and tried to reload, the machine crashed: the hardware cannot actually support any drive bigger than 32Gb, as it turns out, so I overbought. The front panel blanks, and the machine just sulks. But these drives just happen to have a convenient jumper that will limit their capacity to 32Gb, so I installed it... Power up, and the machine will ask if you want to load the OS. Insert the CDR that you have prepared in advance with the new MLOS on it (I used 2.11, thanks to Bruce- although it is now available from the web site as well). The Masterlink will ask you if you want to install the OS, and then if you want to format the drive. Answer yes to both, and you're done.
It'd be hard pressed to be any easier, especially if you buy 32Gb or smaller drives to start with. Don't go to 40, because it just flat can't use it. Total time to upgrade two machines: 45 minutes. Would have been less if I hadn't had to pull the first one apart again to put in the 32Gb-limit jumper.
It's fun to power up and see the display say *51 hours* of recording time is available at 16/44.1, 34 hours at 24/44.1, and 17 hours at 24/88.2... I ain't a-gonna run out of recording time on live dates anymore, nosirree.
Piece of cake.
If you have a Masterlink, this is a worthwhile upgrade!

http://www.musicgearnetwork.com/cgi-...c;f=3;t=002585


http://www.tangible-technology.com/a...IVE_NOTES.html

Old 5th December 2002
  #16
Lives for gear
 

CarmenC-

Bless you! I'm going to give it a whirl.

Cheers,

MattiMattMatt
Old 5th December 2002
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
No, but I still think you should do the right thing and write the guy out a cheque.
heh
If I give someone a tip on how to play a piece on the piano, should the recipient be compelled to send a check to a piano teacher who would have charged for a similar tip?

Replacing a drive in a MasterLInk aint brain surgery, and I could probably figure it out myself, but getting feedback from someone who has already done it makes my life a whole lot easier, and I appreciate it.

If one person has figured it out and wishes to charge for instructions, all the power to him. But that should not chill the rest of the world from discussing their own experience and thoughts.

There is a reason why you cannot copyright the C Major scale.

Please note that I typically offer these wise and insightful sentiments for the reasonable charge of $50, but as a holiday special, I have debited your Paypal account a mere $49.99.



MattiMattMatt
Old 5th December 2002
  #18
Not if they didn't ask you to...

Look, the cool thing about these forums is that people are willing to share stuff that might give you the edge over them. Whoever told you that was cool - someday maybe you can return the favor.

I'm definitely not into keeping secrets...
Old 5th December 2002
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally posted by MattiMattMatt
CarmenC-

Bless you! I'm going to give it a whirl.

Cheers,

MattiMattMatt
Matt,
Your welcome.
I just want to make it clear that all I did was repost
something I found on another board and not info that I
paid for and then re-distributed.
I do not be-grudge anyone making a living off their knowledge.
I posted that link in case anyone wanted to add removable drives to their Masterlink.
He is the only guy I can find that will do the work.
He writes for Mix magazine and seems very experienced on the subject.
Good Luck,
Carmen
Old 5th December 2002
  #20
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 

Reality Check

I don't know if this helps but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Awhile back I decided to 'upgrade' one of my Masterlinks. Directions and screwdriver in hand, I disassembled it quite easily. At that point I remembered something. While I have tons of gear, I hate working on it and have been genetically deprived of the 'handyman' (or person) gene.
I realized that I had a session in an hour and there were various parts scattered about the studio. Thinking quickly, I called a friend who had done this himself. I assumed that I would get some great, enabling tip. I did. He confessed that when he reached the same place that I was in, he had sent it to a repair place. Wise words.
I quickly threw the parts and new hard drive in a bag, made a call and got it back 2 weeks later all for $173.50. Money well spent.
Moral of the story: I can make more money if I pay some one to fix a unit and it will get done correctly. Did I mention the smoke? A nice trail as I crossed hot with ground.
I love to twist the knobs but I'm done with 'fixing'. Get a geek.rollz
cheers,
chap
Old 6th December 2002
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by CarmenC
He writes for Mix magazine and seems very experienced on the subject.
Good Luck,
Carmen
I write for MIX magazine too, but like you, I'm happy to share what I know.

And while I bear no ill will to that guy for charging for his knowledge, it shouldn't stop us or anyone else from sharing ours.

And who knows, if what happened to Chap (described above) happens to me, I may end up paying that guy for a copy of his instructions, or some service center an arm and a leg to do the work for me.

peace, cheers, etc. etc.,

MattiMattMatt
Old 9th December 2002
  #22
Lives for gear
 
bjornson's Avatar
 

So why on earth can't the thing play back a cd without skipping?????????????
Old 9th December 2002
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally posted by bjornson
So why on earth can't the thing play back a cd without skipping?????????????
I've never had a CD skip or any other problem with my Masterlink.
Dirt on the lens, maybe?
Carmen
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
HAWG_TRAIN / Mastering forum
7
mosrite / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
17
Gravity8058 / High end
7
dynamo / So much gear, so little time
3
Knox / So much gear, so little time
14

Forum Jump
Forum Jump