Discussion in 'Mastering' started by jonmmartin, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. jonmmartin

    jonmmartin Guest

    Hello, I'm new to this forum and I have a question about the Masterlink as a 2 track "master deck". I've read that it is a good unit...I would appreciate any recommendations one way or the other.
    I record folk type music (acoustic guitar, mandolin and vocals) to a blackfaced ADAT (my first venture into digital).
    Thanks to all who reply!
  2. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member


    I am a fan of the Masterlink. It's an affordable way of mixing down to 24bit with a variable sample rate up to 96K. The internal A/D are OK but a way to upgrade is to get a high quality A/D as a front end then into the Masterlink. This is what a lot of my clients are doing now.

    I did a record this week with producer Scott Pettito. He mixed down to Masterlink in this way at 24bit 96K. The difference is noticeable. Real nice extended top. I notice that I generally need less EQ when mastering 96K files.

    Generally the people I work with use it as a 2 mix recorder and don't use any of the onboard eq stuff. They burn there mixes to Data files, bring in the those CDR's and away we go. Scott actually brought in his Masterlink for the session because he wanted to use the actual file. This is fine by me if it's something the artist or producer wants to do.
  3. Joe Crawford

    Joe Crawford Active Member

    Just a word of caution about the Masterlink... Unless I have missed something lately, they (Alesis) quit upgrading it sometime early last year. By August of last year (i.e., 2002) it was already getting hard to find replacement CD drives that it could use and by now, compatible hard disk drives are probably hard to find as well.

    I was lucky that the CD drive on my Masterlink started giving me problems right after I bought it last year. So I replaced it and upgraded the hard disk to 32meg (actually 40meg with only 32 usable). At the same time I acquired a spare CD drive and hard disk drive. I also saw, on one of these forums, that the price of replacing the motherboard had gone out-of-sight as well.

    I think it's a good box as long as it works and doesn't break. I have used mine several times for stereo location recording such as church pianos, auditorium performances, etc. and it has worked great. I feed it with two Grace 101's for preamps. I usually record at either 96k or 88.2k sample rate and 24-bit (my 32meg hard drive gives around 16 hours of stereo at these setting). I then bring it back to the studio and feed it into Nuendo via the SPDIF inteface to an RME HDSP Digiface and work from there.

    As Joe Lambert said, I don't use the internal software routines. I just use it to record and playback. But, at least at the high sample rates, I have found nothing to complain about as far as the A/D's on the Masterlink. To me they sound at least as good as my RME A/D's (e.g., very low jitter and no missing values).

    Basically. it's a very handy box to have around the studio. I sometimes even use it to provide an additional 2 A/D's when I need more than normal.

    Joe Crawford
    Stony Mountain Studio
    Shanks, WV 26761
  4. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    I use mine primarily as a two-track mix down deck. Works great. I typically go into it via S/PDIF so I've never used the A/D on it, nor do I really use the onboard DSP. Seems to be some scuttlebutt about its onboard A/D collapsing the stereo image a bit. I've never noticed it as I've never used the Masterlink's converters.
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I assume you mean 40 GIG drive since 32 megs would alow you very little recording room <GRIN>
  6. Joe Crawford

    Joe Crawford Active Member

    Oops, You got me! I must have been thinking mega-meg....

    Joe Crawford
    Stony Mountain Studio
    Shanks, Wv 26761
  7. DuglsYoung

    DuglsYoung Guest

    I bought a Masterlink about a year ago, and immediately the disc drive died on me. I was a bit concerned after reading about compatibility issues. But I had 2 old PCs sitting in the garage waiting to go to the dump, with 3 drives, a 40 Gig, and 2 60s, several different brands (I forget off hand). I pulled them out and tried all three in the masterlink. All 3 worked fine. I could have gotten lucky, obviously. But for what it's worth...


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