Discussion in 'Mastering' started by flatrat, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. flatrat

    flatrat Active Member

    Does anyone own one of these? It looks tempting for a budget minded guy like me, (about $800.00) but would just like to know if this piece is something you see often in the big mastering rooms.
  2. markwilder

    markwilder Guest

    We have one. I have a couple of clients who mix to the masterlink. I haven't had any problems with it. I've been told there is another engineer here who uses it quite often. I always reclock it (AES).
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    It used to be very usefull but i'm not sure how usefull it is now in a mastering enviornment. I receive masterlink discs all the time and I just pop them in my computer and off we go. I don't find the need for one as a playback unit. As a mixdown recorder, I think it's very usefull.
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I don't know of too many mastering rooms that DON'T have (at least) one...

    Agreed though, actually using it for mastering purposes is... Well... I'm not crazy about any of the DSP in that box...

    However, I think the CD24 concept in general is the shite.

    For $800, you should get two. Well, maybe one is fine. :?
  5. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    The Masterlink is a great format for mixing down to. You can record 24bit 96K and all you have to do is buy a couple CDR's, and send them to the mastering engineer
    Severall of my clients use them for mixing.
    They avoid all the DSP stuff
  6. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    I owned one as well. Very useful. Very popular from several recording studios that comes in in CD24 format. Nice Backup too.

  7. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    I had one also,
    cut a few parts with it on some of my earlier projects. Then the headphone amp & converters blew but still used it for playback...then the drive broke....gave the remaining parts way. :(
  8. flatrat

    flatrat Active Member

    Well, 5 out of 6 ain't bad! Thanks alot for the insight.
    ~Bill :cool:
  9. JonKraft

    JonKraft Active Member

    Of course these says nothing to it's performance in a mastering room... But, I took one of these out on tour so I could playback prerecorded tracks in high resolution for my electronic band. It was great. No problems to speak of.
    However, durring that tour, I did stop to see a friend's mastering room... He had one there, and said he had all kinds of problems with it... but I dont recall specifics, something with the harddrive failing.. I think...
    I thought it was funny that mine was in a DIY van-tour environment and performing well, while his was in this nice safe mastering room dying on him...

    I think Roger Nichols endorses the Masterlink... haha.
  10. Danthomir

    Danthomir Guest

    I just saw a picture of the MasterLink in a catalog... it may be a weird Q, but: Doesn't it have rackears? :?
    (maybe they removed them for the pic... ??)
  11. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    They come with them in the box.
  12. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    You can put me in there for a plus vote...just cause the thing slowly fried out does'nt mean I didn't like it & think it was useful.
  13. Helicon1

    Helicon1 Guest

    I own one and it has served me well. I don't use it for all my mastering, but it has always done a fine fine job for me. I like it fine mounted in my rack.
  14. Joe Crawford

    Joe Crawford Active Member

    After replacing a bad CD drive (failed after a couple of week's use) and upgrading the hard drive to 32gig, mine comes in handy if I have to do any off-site stereo recording. I have it mounted in a portable rack case with two Grace pre-amps. After recording a performance, I take back to the studio and dump the tracks to my DAW. I also use it to hold and play-back a few reference CDs while mixing/finalizing. As someone mentioned above, I don't know anyone that uses the on-board DSP functions for finalizing or mastering.

    It has saved my butt a couple of times when, because of certain config. problems, I couldn't render down a mix on the DAW without getting dropouts, click, crackles, etc. I just routed the mix to the Masterlink via S-PDIF at 88.2-by-24 bit. Then, I routed it back to the DAW (staying in the digital domain the whole time) for polishing and finalizing.

    Joe Crawford
    Stony Mountain Studio
    Shanks, WV 26761
  15. lowland

    lowland Guest

    I'm with you there, Joe: mine is also in a flightcase along with my HEDD, and I use the combo to take to client studios for (mostly) analog transfers.

    One producer I work with has a nice Focusrite-based residential, and I'm over there a couple of times a month taking mixes off 1/2". The HEDD has a very good ADC, and the ML is easy to use so it makes the transfers a breeze. When I get back to base I usually write CD24s from the hard drive, pop them in the SADiE and away we go - a good stop-gap to save me shelling out for analog machine for a while at least.

    A question for Mark Wilder - how do you go about reclocking your ML? Does it take AES black? - I have a spare feed from my studio clock...
  16. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Do you mean AES with only sync?

    It takes a recloking device to get completely rid of jitter and reclock a signal.
  17. lowland

    lowland Guest

    Interesting - didn't know it did that but I RTFM and there it was on page 7. D'oh! This may be of academic interest only as at the moment the ML is stand-alone, doesn't play through the DAW (as posted previously I go in via CD24s) and is heard via my DAC-1 and not its own converters - I use the DAC-1's front panel switch to route either fom the SADiE (AES) or the ML (SPDIF) and this works well for reference purposes.

    However -

    I have wondered about changing my (all-digital) workflow, so using AES black (yes, it is sync-only, BTW) to the ML I can clock the whole lot to my reference clock and play the ML through the outboard rather than playing the SADiE out in a loop, thus saving a couple of steps. This would probably only apply to those jobs where the ML has been used to dump analog tapes to its hard drive - there'd be no advantage if I was sent a CDROM to work from. I can feel a digital router coming on!
  18. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Look into the Lynx AES16. It's made my life a whole lot easier. I still normally clock from the Lavry's (wouldn't everyone?), but the AES16 also has a similar clock/reclock anti-jitter function as well.

    And for around $700 (USD) it's a typical "no-brainer" piece.

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