Alesis’s MasterControl Studio Interface is an eight fader desktop I/O that does a bit more than just give you the ability to control plug-ins, DAWs, and Alesis’ own set of recorders. It features 26 different inputs and six outputs, including FireWire, S/PDIF, and ADAT Lightpipe. The Interface uses the HUI protocol to accomplish all of this.
One of the best features of the Interface is its size. The unit may feature nine faders and many other buttons, dials, and more, but it won’t take up a huge amount of space. In fact, it isn’t too much bigger than a standard sized computer keyboard. It’s solidly constructed, so it doesn’t feel like it’s going to crack when you use it. But in this case, size really isn’t indicative of what the Interface can do. The Interface features templates for SoundTrack Pro, SONAR, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and much more. The soft keys and controllers can all be customized as you desire, too. The removable overlays that sit above the different channels and keys make it easy to integrate the Interface with different DAWs.
Alesis is usually very good about making their products easy to use, and that’s true here, too. The controls are very intuitive, and it only takes a few minutes to understand the basic functions of mixing and adjusting different features. The Preview button is especially nice, and the different outs and inputs are nice. Their placement, however, especially that of the mic preamp gains, are somewhat inconvenient and difficult to use.
Despite these few little oddities, the Interface is a great bargain for the price. It records at 192 kHz and has a number of controls and I/O options that other, similarly priced products just don’t offer. For $1,299, you’ll find that Alesis has really packed this MasterControl with just about everything you could ever want.
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