The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Alesis Masterlink
Old 20th June 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 
ROBB007's Avatar
 

Alesis Masterlink

?
Hey guys who out there uses a Alesis Masterlink to mix down to?I was thinking off picking one up any comments would be more than welcome
Old 20th June 2005
  #2
Gear Head
 

I hate the sound of a masterlink, they turn things into plastic.
Old 20th June 2005
  #3
rjx
Lives for gear
 
rjx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by missilanious
I hate the sound of a masterlink, they turn things into plastic.
Great. Mine should be here any day now. heh
Old 20th June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

If you are looking for processing, keep looking. The DSP on the MLink is not good. Really skimped on processing power there.

If you're source is digital or you are using a nice A/D, it can be a very solid mixdown deck if you don't use any DSP, not even a gain change.

In any case you definitely need a much better D/A to monitor from for mixdown. It's pretty workable if you can clock the ML D/A to a good clock source like a much better converter. I make a lot of decisions that way due to my lack of a better headphone amp, and they stand up quite well when the good D/A comes out. But just using the ML D/A clocked to itself, you will think everything is thin and cold and needs all kinds of 'warming' and 'fattening up' when really your cheap D/A is just trashing the sound.

With an excellent A/D/A, it becomes an excellent no frills 2 track recorder that makes easy data CD backups that are openable nearly everywere, and that makes RedBook CD references that are playable nearly everywhere.
Old 20th June 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by missilanious
I hate the sound of a masterlink, they turn things into plastic.
I don't know what Jim Williams did to mine but it is stellar. thumbsup

At 96K its to die for.

Its a pain in the ass(takes forever) to burn a CD24 disc though.
Old 20th June 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I don't know what Jim Williams did to mine but it is stellar. thumbsup
Same here.

And before you ask us who what and why, do a search here and read all about it.


thumbsup
Old 20th June 2005
  #7
Gear Head
that's good news thrill -- I just sent my Masterlink to Jim for his mods (sent my HD24XR, too)

second hand info -- I too have heard good things about Masterlinks when used with a other convertors, so I am looking forward to putting a HEDD in front of mine when i get it back to see how it sounds; as others have mentioned, I am not looking to use the Masterlink for its DSP, only as a medium to mix down to
Old 20th June 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Its a pain in the ass(takes forever) to burn a CD24 disc though.
You can say that again!
Old 20th June 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Its a pain in the ass(takes forever) to burn a CD24 disc though.
What I hate worse is that if your 24 bit playlist goes over about 45-50 minutes, you can't make a CD24 because it won't fit

You have to make a second playlist and split the album up...
Old 20th June 2005
  #10
I was thinking about one. I mean it’s one of the more controversial pieces I have seen in discussion. Some have claimed there were ‘good and ‘bad’ production runs on these. I really don’t buy that. BUT, I am wondering is it purely the converters or is it just a case of expectations?
Then, It not Masterlink, What? The Tascam DSD burner? I'm Still doing 16bit DAT.

Steve
Old 21st June 2005
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Jburn34's Avatar
 

I like mine and use it a good bit when I'm not ITB. I need to get the Jim Williams mod to it.

Definitely skip the processing though...it sucks.
Old 21st June 2005
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrleansSteve
I was thinking about one. I mean it’s one of the more controversial pieces I have seen in discussion. Some have claimed there were ‘good and ‘bad’ production runs on these. I really don’t buy that. BUT, I am wondering is it purely the converters or is it just a case of expectations?
Then, It not Masterlink, What? The Tascam DSD burner? I'm Still doing 16bit DAT.

Steve
Tascam does not have a DSD burner. You can record in DSD on their unit, but you can not burn SACD's.
Old 21st June 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Do anything you can to get around buying that f**king machine.
Totally unreliable. I've owned two in my life and they've broken about five times between them.

The only reason it's any good is because it's a cd burner w/ a hard drive and it does 24/96. And it's not a computer. The only thing keeping these things popular is because there's not much in the way of competition.

If I can f**king fix mine I'm going to sell it as fast as I possibly can and just by a freaking old used laptop and some kind of easy software program.
Anything is better than the crap this thing puts out and the total lack of reliability.

If you wanna spend a buttload of money buying one of those things then sending it to Jim Williams, you might have a somewhat good sounding unit, but it'll still probably break.

How hard is it to make a CD burner that has a hard drive that actually works?
I have a computer that works great that has yes, believe it or not, both a cd burner and a hard drive.

F minus for the masterlink in my book.

It probably costs about $15 to make one of those pieces of crap.

See my masterlink post a few pages ago.
Old 21st June 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I have had mine for over 2 years and never had a problem.I use external converters and use it only as a mixdown deck,,,,,i do not use any of the DSP functions.At 96k mine sounds very nice ....I do however mix OTB and ithe into the masterlink.

Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio
Old 21st June 2005
  #15
Gear Nut
 
gregrw's Avatar
 

Mine had a few issues with burning CDs, but a software upgrade seems to have made those go away.

Depending on what you're doing, the sound and the DSP are fine. If you're working with a major label and recording a platinum release, then you shouldn't bother. If you're working with local, unsigned bands on a demo or an indie CD, then the Masterlink works just fine.

Mine has sure been more reliable than any computer I've ever owned!

-GRW
Old 21st June 2005
  #16
Gear Addict
 
BrianK's Avatar
 

Yeah - me too. No major problems. I wore out the burner on one of mine (I bought it several years used and put several more on it - burning a LOT more than most ever get used.)

I'd say don't trust anyone else opinions - you see how divided it is. LISTEN yourself. I'd say it sound similar (or slightly better) than the standard ProTools rig at comparable rates. They usually work fine; the DSP is not wonderful, but it helps when you want a quickie CD of a mix for some band guy to play in his car; 3dB of peak limiting makes it loud enough for them not to complain.

Of course bigger files don't fit on a CD24 - they are simply too big. That's got nothing to do with the Masterlink.
Old 21st June 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Mastering101's Avatar
i mix down to one via digital. i would never use the coverters on the thing... for what? i love the unit.. thumbsup
Old 21st June 2005
  #18
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
I use an old laptop computer I got on Ebay for $400, an RME Fireface 800, and a UA2192 for conversion in and out. I record into Wavelab... or sometimes even Nuendo or Cubase. It sounds amazing, I can master on it, didn't cost much more than a Masterlink total, and it's a computer... so burning cd's, backing up files, etc... is CRAZY easy. I just drop everything onto a firewire drive.

I wouldn't dream of using a Masterlink. Ugggh. I absolutely hate them.
Old 21st June 2005
  #19
Here's a hint for you Masterlink users. If you use outboard D/A converters, keep in mind that the disc drive playback is masked. This includes stock and modified units although the modified units play better.

If you do high quality acoustic work, check the playback of the cd's through a better player. A good DVD player into a HQ D/A will play better and reveal more details.

Now, back to the bench.....
"I love the smell of solder flux in the morning"

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 21st June 2005
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Mastering101's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticglobe
I wouldn't dream of using a Masterlink. Ugggh. I absolutely hate them.

what dont you like ...the converters?
Old 21st June 2005
  #21
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by effectsnut
what dont you like ...the converters?
I don't like the converters compared to most anything good (My 2192 or Aurora's, Apogee, Mytek, Lavry, etc).

My biggest objection to it is... it's a computer based world now. I don't have any patience for a device that has as many limitations as the Masterlink does. I have seen guys lose entire recordings OFTEN. I see guys spending 10 minutes to name a track and save it when I can do it on my PC in less than 10 seconds. I mean... it's just to big a pain in the butt for me. I turn my computer on, load wavelab, hit record. I don't even have to think about it. It works EVERY time, and I can save the file in ANY way I like, convert sample rate, etc... all in seconds. I can burn a data disk or an audio disk, or even a DVD.... all on my computer... in a FRACTION of the time. I can quickly convert to MP-3 and (if the studio has wireless internet - which most do) e-mail the mix to a client. I can get an answer on the mix in 10 minutes via return e-mail or phone, and then make another pass. Why, oh why would I want a Masterlink?

Before I was using the seperate laptop as my destination for mixes I was actually just recording right back into my DAW computer using my best converters. That also sounded better than a Masterlink BY far.

I dunno... just my 2 cents...
Old 21st June 2005
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Hey man,

Is wavelab available for Mac? It sounds like it's pretty much stupid simple, which is what I need, and the fact that I have an apogee converter and I hate my masterlink makes that program a candidate.

I haven't ever gotten into recording on the computer but if there's nothing else but the masterlink that can save a bunch of stuff and burn and dither, then a stupid simple laptop setup is very tempting. . . .
Old 21st June 2005
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonk
Hey man,

Is wavelab available for Mac?

No.
Old 21st June 2005
  #24
Crypticglobe,
You certainly make a good case here for the PC rather than the Masterlink. I have never been to the Steinberg web sight before, Looks good.
Which version of WaveLab are you using?
If we are going to stay anywhere near the price that we are talking, I am guessing WaveLab Essential.
Please tell more. Hoe does it compare to Sound Forge jr. (I don’t know the real name, but the $79 one not the full $300 one)?
I am thinking that street price wise it’s more like Full Sound Forge. When I looked into Sound Forge, I felt that for me right now, I would go with the jr. version. I don’t need Hi Res or Sound for now, the upgrade path is the same price and I can try it first.

THANKS Steve
Old 21st June 2005
  #25
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
Thrill Factor is right. Wavelab is not available for Mac, though I think Soundforge might be (a similar program). However, you can get a PC latpop say... 800mhz or better with 256mb or memory or more for dirt cheap. Or... you can use another recording program. I mean... recording in Cubase SX or Nuendo works every bit as well. I use them occasionally too. Heck, you could use Pro Tools Free, or something like that.

Good luck....

To New Orleans Steve: As stated above... for 2 track recording most any software will do. I can not hear a difference between Wavelab and the stripped down versions, nor can I between Soundforge and Soundforge Jr. It's just a different feature set for each program. What is going to matter when it comes to sonic quality is the converters you use. Get the best 2 channels of in and out you can afford... you can go cheap on the computer and the software at first (even the most basic programs will let you dither, change sample rate, convert to MP-3, etc.. The a/d and d/a conversion makes the difference.

p.s. I use the latest full version of Wavelab... I think it's 5.0??
Old 21st June 2005
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonk
Hey man,

Is wavelab available for Mac?
...and they have NO PLANS to port it over to mac either. I was at the Parson's Pro Audio show talking with a Nuendo rep who was trying to sell me on Wavelab. He gave me a great demo and everything. I was all puckered up to buy and then I said "It's gonna work on my Powerbook right? Uhhh...no. :(

Since I was already in the habit of moving projects from my mac to my PC, and I'm lightening fast with Soundforge, I decided to get the upgrade to SF8 with CD Architect. It's just as "stupid easy" to use, integrates seamlessly with SF, and cost me way less money. I monitor on my DAC1 to edit and I'm a happy guy! CD Architect has a great file management layout and I can cruise through editing a full 2 hour concert in less than 20 min. doing picky combinations of fades and everything. If you have no need to work in surround, this is a great option!
Old 21st June 2005
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

I have a Masterlink and haven't had any problems. I think it is great for what it is, but I'm not a mastering engineer. I have a half inch tape deck for mixdown. I only use the Masterlink while I am experimenting with mixing a track down (listening to the mix a million ways until it is ready). Once it is ready I roll the tape. I can still make CD's to hear it but the tape will go to a mastering house, so converters and everything with the Masterlink are not that critical to me.

Plus it is a great scratch tool. I come up with little snippets and use it to save them and loop them. No tapes, CD's, or anything.
Old 22nd June 2005
  #28
Lives for gear
 
DigitMus's Avatar
 

Been using Masterlinks as mixdown "decks" for years. Never used the converters or DSP. Except for a hard drive that got flakey after 4 years (I popped in a new, bigger one - took all of 20 min.). I haven't had a problem. I don't have any computers in the studio (I have 8 in the house) but I've used them in the past for 2 track editing, and CD burning - for me the Masterlink is much faster and more intuitive. ...but maybe that's just me.

Scott
Old 22nd June 2005
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

THE 2 track mix down mediu problem

Seems like we are all looking for the modern equivelant of the 2 track tape medium, but with the digital age convenience. I wenet through this same line of thinking when I posted my "Tascam DV-RA 1000 opinions" thread.

With that said.... is that an option. JUST use it as a high quality 2 track mix down medium?
What do people think?

And as a second point of discussion, why isn't this need being servided by manufacturers? Strange, don't you alll think?

Simple, high quality 2 track mix down medium that does one thing really well... something to begin to rival tape. What would that be and why hasn't it been made or more attempts?

DIRTY HALO

By the way, check out our new release on iTunes, would love to hear your feedback... not to mention a download sale or two By the way, THAT is all PPro Tools, but mixed out through Dangerous 2 Buss to 2 Track tape, mastered at Bernie Grundman by Chris. Love to know your thoughts. Thanks all.

Peace & zoooom.... andrews
Old 22nd June 2005
  #30
Gear Addict
 
The Reel Thing's Avatar
 

What's this thing about 'the sound of a Masterlink' with better converters?
That's not the sound of the Masterlink you'll be hearing then, which is basically crappy.
If you're going to use Apogee or Crane Song or Prism converters, the digital medium doesn't matter, it doesn't have any influence on the sound, it merely stores data. But if you do so, why not use a medium with proper Wordclock In and Out? That will really make a difference on the sound.

Masterlink seemed like a heavenly concept to me when it came out. Recording at any rate + being able to combine songs of different origin and format into 1 playlist for a CD - that's really a great idea!

The problem is that the CDs burned from Masterlink don't sound a bit like the mixes you put into that machine.
Even if you load songs from a regular CD onto the harddisc and burn them back onto CD (which shouldn't make a sonic difference at all), that thing comes out with a totally different, plastic-like sound. I don't know what in the world that machine does with audio, but I'm sure I won't let it do it to my audio!

I have a Tascam CD burner now, and, although it's much more work to compile songs, at least I know the sound will be alright, when a CD leaves the studio.
For the money saved by not buying a Masterlink one could by a used 1/4" or 1/2" tape recorder, which, when properly aligned, will make any mix sound better than any digital medium on any day.

Cheers,

Tom
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump