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Product Spotlight - MasterControl


Itís here! The Alesis MasterControl boasts a vast collection of features, which have never been seen together in a single hardware package:

  • Eight analog inputs, two eight-channel ADAT inputs, and stereo S/PDIF input for up to 26 simultaneous inputs
  • A fully integrated touch-sensitive, motorized control surface
  • Pristine 192 kHz A-D and D-A converters
  • Built-in talkback mic with extensive routing control
  • Built-in studio monitor-control system
    Zero-latency fader-based monitor mixing
  • Dual, independent headphone outputs

How many inputs and outputs will I need?
The MasterControl features eight analog inputs with pristine 192 kHz converters. On the first two inputs, youíll find high-definition, discrete-design mic preamplifiers with 48V phantom power.

What if I need more inputs? Is MasterControl expandable?
When youíre ready to expand, just tap into the MasterControlís stereo S/PDIF input or its two eight-channel ADAT inputs for up to 26 total simultaneous inputs. Many manufacturers offer eight-channel mic preamps with ADAT outputs and two-channel mic preamps with S/PDIF output that are perfect for use with these additional inputs. Whether you need to record an acoustic quartet or a 15-piece band, the MasterControl has you covered.

How will I control my software?
Save your mouse for surfing the web! The MasterControlís integrated control surface supports the HUI standard, allowing its nine touch-sensitive, motorized, 100mm faders, eight control knobs, and eight hot keys to integrate seamlessly into virtually any DAW, recording or production software, such as Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, Reason, Sonar, Digital Performer, Samplitude, and ProTools. Additionally, most software instruments and effects plug-ins will automatically respond to its controls and itís completely custom-mappable so you can personalize and optimize the way it works with your software.

How will I handle headphone and monitor mixes?
With the touch of a button, the onboard, motorized control surface switches from software control to monitor-mix control. Using the faders in selectable banks of eight, all 26 inputs can be mixed to any combination of monitor outputs and headphone outputs for lightning fast, no-latency monitor mixes. Each time you switch to or from monitor-mix mode, the motorized faders jump right into position where you last left them.

How will I communicate with the vocal booth?
Integrating a talkback mic into a computer-based recording system can be tricky.  Youíre often faced with giving up a channel on your audio interface, or adding additional hardware to your setup. Not so with the MasterControl. The MasterControlís buit-in talkback mic can be activated by a dedicated button on the control surface or with an optional footswitch, and can be routed to any combination of outputs.

How does it sound?
The MasterControl is the only interface with an integrated motorized control surface that supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and ultra-high-resolution 192 kHz recording.  No matter what resolution you choose to use, your recordings will benefit form the pristine 24-bit, 192 kHz, 114 dB converters on all inputs and outputs.  The MasterControl offers a level of detail and clarity found on interfaces costing more than twice as much.

At sample rates 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz, you can use:

  • Eight analog channels (Mic/Line and Line inputs)
  • Two coaxial S/PDIF channels (RCA S/PDIF input)
  • Eight ADAT channels (ADAT input one)
  • Eight additional ADAT channels or two optical S/PDIF channels (ADAT input two or S/PDIF input)

At sample rates 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz, you can use:

  • Eight analog channels (Mic/Line and Line inputs)
  • Two coaxial S/PDIF channels (RCA S/PDIF input)
  • Four ADAT channels (ADAT input one)
  • Two optical S/PDIF channels (ADAT input two or S/PDIF input)

At sample rates 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz, you can use:

  • Eight analog channels (Mic/Line and Line inputs)

What about multiple monitor support? Can I create surround mixes?
One of the essential challenges faced by recording engineers is getting your mix to sound its best on a wide variety of sound systems: car stereos, home theaters, computer speakers, and headphones, for example. Being able to check out how your mix sounds on different sound systems can really speed up both mixing and mastering. A second or third pair of studio monitors can be a real asset, providing a second opinion to your main monitors.  Many recording-audio interfaces only have volume controls for the first pair of outputs. This means that youíd have to add an outboard mixer or speaker-control system to give you hands-on control of additional speakers.

MasterControl saves you the trouble with a built-in monitor control system. It features built-in, dedicated mute buttons for three sets of monitor outputs, and a master volume knob which can be assigned to control each of the individual pairs or all the outputs together. In addition to accommodating main and secondary monitor speaker setups, you have the flexibility to control output routingóto a vocal booth, a live room, a lounge, rear-surround monitors, a subwoofer, a DJ booth, or a PA systemóall without adding additional mixers or excessive cabling.

When used with five monitors and a subwoofer, you can assign a single volume knob for your entire surround system, or in seconds, switch to controlling monitor pairs individually.

Wrapping things up.

We hope this has been an informative look at how the MasterControl solves real questions of studio engineers and owners. Not just designed to be your mixer, control surface, audio interface, or monitor manager, the MasterControl is truly designed to be the only hardware you need to run your studio.

Cubase is a trademark of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH.
Logic Prois a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Ableton is a trademark of Ableton AG
Sonar is a trademark of Cakewalk Inc.
Reason is a trademark of Propellerheads SE
Digital Performer is a trademark of MOTU, Inc.
ProTools is a trademark Avid Technology, Inc.
Samplitude is a trademark of Magix AG
HUI is a trademark of LOUD Technologies Inc.