Masterlink Manual - American Musical Supply

Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Important Safety Instructions and Compliance Notices .............................................v
Safety symbols used in this product .............................................................................................................. v
Please follow these precautions when using this product:........................................................................ v
Instructions de Sécurité Importantes ...........................................................................................................vii
Symboles utilisés dans ce produit ..............................................................................................................vii
Beim Benutzen dieses Produktes beachten Sie bitte die folgenden Sicherheitshinweise: ................viii
Information to the User for Class A Digital Device (FCC Part 15, Class A) .......................................... ix
Notices Regarding Laser Devices. ................................................................................................................. ix
CE Declaration of Conformity......................................................................................................................... x
Introduction And Setup ........................................................................................... 1
1.1 MasterLink Highlights............................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Unpacking and Inspection........................................................................................................................ 1
1.3 AC Power Hookup..................................................................................................................................... 2
1.4 Line Conditioners and Protectors............................................................................................................ 2
1.5 About Audio Cables................................................................................................................................... 3
Once Around the ML-9600....................................................................................... 5
2.1 The Front Panel ........................................................................................................................................... 5
2.2 The Rear Panel............................................................................................................................................. 5
2.3 The Front Panel Display............................................................................................................................ 6
HD Mode Operation................................................................................................. 7
3.1 HD or CD Mode?........................................................................................................................................ 7
3.2 HD Recording Settings .............................................................................................................................. 7
3.2a Input Source ............................................................................................................................... 7
3.2b Sample Rate ................................................................................................................................ 8
3.2c Word Length............................................................................................................................... 8
Working With Playlists............................................................................................9
4.1 Selecting a Playlist ...................................................................................................................................... 9
4.2 Naming a Playlist ....................................................................................................................................... 9
4.3 Auditioning a Playlist.............................................................................................................................. 10
4.4 Editing A Playlist...................................................................................................................................... 10
4.4a Empty Playlists ........................................................................................................................ 10
4.4b Recording a Track ................................................................................................................... 11
4.4c The Display ............................................................................................................................... 11
4.5 Playlist Edit Mode Pages......................................................................................................................... 12
4.5a Track Start Time....................................................................................................................... 12
4.5b Track End Time........................................................................................................................ 13
4.5c Track Length............................................................................................................................. 13
4.5d Track Fades............................................................................................................................... 14
4.5e Track Level Adjustment ......................................................................................................... 15
4.6 Additional Playlist Edit Functions ........................................................................................................ 16
4.6a Editing Track Names .............................................................................................................. 16
4.6b Adding Additional Tracks..................................................................................................... 16
4.6c Deleting Tracks......................................................................................................................... 16
4.6d Changing Track Order .......................................................................................................... 17
4.7 Tracks vs. Audio Files.............................................................................................................................. 17
4.7a Audio File Names.................................................................................................................... 18
4.7b Inserting Audio Files Into Playlists...................................................................................... 18
4.7c Deleting Audio Files................................................................................................................ 19
4.7d Audio File Parameters vs. Track Parameters..................................................................... 20
4.8 Editing a Track .......................................................................................................................................... 20
4.8a Track Crop Feature.................................................................................................................. 20
4.8b Track Start/Track End............................................................................................................ 20
4.8c Scrubbing the Head and Tail ................................................................................................. 21
4.8d The Crop ................................................................................................................................... 21
II
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Table Of Contents
Digital Signal Processing....................................................................................... 23
5.1 Overview ....................................................................................................................................................23
5.2 Signal Flow .................................................................................................................................................24
5.3 Applying DSP To A Track.......................................................................................................................25
5.4 DSP Block Detail........................................................................................................................................25
5.4a DSP1:Compressor ....................................................................................................................25
5.4b DSP2:Parametric EQ................................................................................................................27
5.4c DSP3:Look-Ahead Peak Limiter............................................................................................28
5.4d DSP4:Normalizer .....................................................................................................................29
Creating A CD........................................................................................................ 31
6.1 CD Recording Settings .............................................................................................................................31
6.1a Advantages of CD24................................................................................................................31
6.2 Creating a CD ............................................................................................................................................31
6.3 The Recording Process .............................................................................................................................32
6.3a Rendering ..................................................................................................................................32
6.3b Initializing .................................................................................................................................33
6.3c Recording...................................................................................................................................33
6.3d Finalizing...................................................................................................................................35
6.4 CD24 Disc Specifics...................................................................................................................................35
CD Mode Operation ............................................................................................... 37
7.1 CD Playback...............................................................................................................................................37
7.1a Playing a Red Book CD...........................................................................................................37
7.1b Playing a CD24 CD..................................................................................................................37
7.2 Copying tracks from CD to Hard Drive ...............................................................................................37
Utility Functions.................................................................................................... 39
8.1 Util1: MeterMode ......................................................................................................................................39
8.2 Util2: File Sort ............................................................................................................................................39
8.3 Util3: HD Format.......................................................................................................................................40
8.4 Util4: Software Version ............................................................................................................................40
Specifications........................................................................................................ 41
ADC ....................................................................................................................................................................41
DAC ....................................................................................................................................................................41
Sample Rates Supported .................................................................................................................................41
Word Lengths Supported ...............................................................................................................................41
Analog I/O ........................................................................................................................................................41
Digital I/O .........................................................................................................................................................41
Unit Dimensions...............................................................................................................................................41
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
III
Saftey Notices
IMPORTANT SAFETY
INSTRUCTIONS AND
COMPLIANCE NOTICES
SAFETY SYMBOLS USED IN THIS PRODUCT
This symbol alerts the user that there are important operating and
maintenance instructions in the literature accompanying this unit.
This symbol warns the user of uninsulated voltage within the
unit that can cause dangerous electric shocks.
PLEASE FOLLOW THESE PRECAUTIONS WHEN USING
THIS PRODUCT:
1.
Read these instructions.
2. Keep these instructions.
3. Heed all warnings.
4. Follow all instructions.
5. Do not use this apparatus near water.
6. Clean only with a damp cloth.
Do not spray any liquid cleaner onto the faceplate, as this may damage the front panel controls or
cause a dangerous condition.
7. Do not block any of the ventilation openings. Install in accordance with the
manufacturer's instructions.
8. Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other
apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
(more on next page)
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
V
Saftey Notice
9. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized or grounding-type
plug. A polarized plug has two blades with one wider than the other.
A grounding-type plug has two blades and a third grounding prong.
The wide blade or the third prong are provided for your safety. When
the provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician
for replacement of the obsolete outlet.
10. Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched particularly at plugs,
convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the apparatus.
11. Use only attachments/accessories specified by the manufacturer.
12. Use only with a cart, stand, tripod, bracket, rack, or table specified by the manufacturer,
or sold with the apparatus. When a cart is used, use caution when moving the
cart/apparatus combination to avoid injury from tip-over.
Alesis recommends the use of standard 19” racks designed for use with professional audio or music
equipment. In any installation, make sure that injury or damage will not result from cables
pulling on the apparatus and its mounting.
13. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time.
14. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required
when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as when the
power-supply cord or plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or
objects have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed
to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has been dropped.
15. This unit produces heat when operated normally. If this unit is installed in a rack, make sure that
there is proper ventilation when operated. Do not operate in an enclosed rack with closed front and
back doors. If there are other units in the rack that generate a large amount of heat, spread them
apart. Do not sandwich this product between two large heat-producing units.
16. This product, in combination with an amplifier and headphones or speakers, may be capable of
producing sound levels that could cause permanent hearing loss. Do not operate for a long period
of time at a high volume level or at a level that is uncomfortable. If you experience any hearing loss
or ringing in the ears, you should consult an audiologist.
VI
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Saftey Notices
Instructions de Sécurité Importantes
Symboles utilisés dans ce produit
Ce symbole alèrte l’utilisateur qu’il existe des instructions de fonctionnement et de maintenance
dans la documentation jointe avec ce produit.
Ce symbole avertit l’utilisateur de la présence d’une tension non isolée à l’intérieur de l’appareil pouvant
engendrer des chocs électriques.
Veuillez suivre ces précautions lors de l’utilisation de
l’appareil:
1.
Lisez ces instructions.
2.
Gardez ces instructions.
3.
Tenez compte de tous les avertissements.
4.
Suivez toutes les instructions.
5.
N’utilisez pas cet allareil à proximité de l’eau.
6.
Ne nettoyez qu’avec un chiffon humide. Ne pas vaporiser de liquide nettoyant sur
l’appareil, cela pourrait abîmer les contrôles de la face avant ou engendrer des conditions
dangeureuses.
7.
Installez selon les recommandations du constructeur.
8.
Ne pas installer à proximilé de sources de chaleur comme radiateurs, cuisinière ou autre
appareils (don’t les amplificateurs) produisant de la chaleur.
9.
Ne pas enlever la prise de terre du cordon secteur. Une prise murale avec terre deux
broches et une troisièrme reliée à la terre. Cette dernière est présente pour votre sécurité.
Si le cordon secteur ne rentre pas dans la prise de courant, demandez à un électricien
qualifié de remplacer la prise.
10. Evitez de marcher sur le cordon secteur ou de le pincer, en particulier au niveau de la
prise, et aux endroits où il sor de l’appareil.
11. N’utilisez que des accessoires spécifiés par le constructeur.
12. N’utilisez qu’avec un stand, rack ou table conçus pour l’utilisation d’audio professionnel
ou instruments de musique. Dans toute installation, veillez de ne rien endommager à
cause de câbles qui tirent sur des appareils et leur support.
13. Débranchez l’appareil lors d’un orage ou lorsqu’il n’est pas utilisé pendant longtemps.
14. Faites réparer par un personnel qualifié. Une réparation est nécessaire lorsque l’appareil a
été endommagé de quelque sorte que ce soit, par exemple losrque le cordon secteur ou la
prise sont endommagés, si du liquide a coulé ou des objets se sont introduits dans
l’appareil, si celui-ci a été exposé à la pluie ou à l’humidité, ne fonctionne pas
normalement ou est tombé.
15. Cet appareil produit de la chaleur en fonctionnement normal. Si cet appareil est utilisé
dans un rack, veillez à sa bonne ventilation lors de son utilisation. Ne pas faire
fonctionner dans un rack fermé. S’il y a d’autres appareils dans le rack générant
beaucoup de chaleur, éloignez les. Ne pas intercaler cet appareil entre deux appareils
produisant beaucoup de chaleur.
16. Ce produit, utilisé avec un amplificateur et un casque ou des enceintes, est capable de
produite des niveaux sonores pouvant engendrer une perte permanente de l’ouïe. Ne
l’utilisez pas pendant longtemps à un niveau sonore élevé ou à un niveau non confortable.
Si vous remarquez une perte de l’ouïe ou un bourdonnement dans les oreilles, consultez
un spécialiste.
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
VII
Saftey Notice
Beim Benutzen dieses Produktes beachten Sie
bitte die folgenden Sicherheitshinweise:
1.
Lesen Sie die Hinweise.
2.
Halten Sie sich an die Anleitung.
3.
Beachten Sie alle Warnungen.
4.
Beachten Sie alle Hinweise.
5.
Bringen Sie das Gerät nie mit Wasser in Berührung.
6.
Verwenden Sie zur Reinigung nur ein weiches Tuch. Sprühen Sie keine flüssiger Reiniger
auf die Oberfläche, dies könnte zur Beschädigung der Vorderseite führen und auch
weitere Schäden verursachen.
7.
Halten Sie sich beim Aufbau des Gerätes an die Angaben des Herstellers.
8.
Stellen Sie das Gerät nich in der Nähe von Heizkörpern, Heizungsklappen oder anderen
Wärmequellen (einschließlich Verstärkern) auf.
9.
Verlegen Sie das Netzkabel des Gerätes niemals so, daß man darüber stolpern kann oder
daß es gequetscht wird.
10. Benutzen Sie nur das vom Hersteller empfohlene Zubehör.
11. Verwenden Sie ausschließlich Wagen, Ständer, Racks oder Tische, die speziell für
professionelle Audio- und Musikinstrumente geeignet sind. Achten Sie immer darauf,
daß die jeweiligen Geräte sicher installiert sind, um Schäden und Verletzungen zu
vermeiden. Wenn Sie einen Rollwagen benutzen, achten Sie darauf, das dieser nicht
umkippt, um Verletzungen auszuschließen.
12. Ziehen Sie während eines Gewitters oder wenn Sie das Gerät über einen längeren
Zeitraum nicht benutzen den Netzstecher aus der Steckdose.
13. Die Wartung sollte nur durch qualifiziertes Fachpersonal erfolgen. Die Wartung wird
notwendig, wenn das Gerät beschädigt wurde oder aber das Stromkabel oder der Stecker,
Gegenstände oder Flüssigkeit in das Gerät gelangt sind, das Gerät dem Regen oder
Feuchtigkeit ausgesetzt war und deshalb nicht mehr normal arbeitet oder
heruntergefallen ist.
14. Bei normalem Betrieb des Gerätes kommt es zu Wärmeentwicklungen. Wenn Sie das
Gerät in einem Rack eingebaut haben, sollte während des Betriebes die Zufuhr von
Kühlluft stets gewährleitstet sein. Arbeiten Sie nie bei geschlossenem Rack. Bei mehreren
Rackgeräten sollten diese mit einem geringen abstand voneinander eingebaut werden.
Stapeln Sie dieses Gerät nicht zwischen Geräten mit hoher Wärmeentwicklung.
15. Dieses Produkt kann in Verbindung mit einem Verstärker und Kopfhörern oder
Lautsprechern Lautstärkepegel erzeugen, die anhaltende Gehörschäden verursachen.
Betreiben Sie es nicht über längere Zeit mit hoher Lautstärke oder einem Pegel, der Ihnen
unangenehm is. Wenn Sie ein Nachlassen des Gehörs oder ein Klingeln in den Ohren
feststellen, sollten Sie einen Ohrenarzt aufsuchen.
VIII
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Saftey Notices
INFORMATION TO THE USER FOR CLASS A DIGITAL
DEVICE (FCC PART 15, CLASS A)
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a class A digital
device pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable
protection against harmful interference when the equipment is operated in a commercial
environment. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if
not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause interference to radio
communications. Operation of this equipment in a residential area is likely to cause
interference in which case the user will be required to correct the interference at his own
expense.
The user is cautioned that changes and modifications made to the equipment without the
approval of manufacturer could void the user’s authority to operate this equipment.
Use only shielded and grounded cables with this equipment to ensure compliance with FCC
Rules.
INDUSTRY CANADA (DIGITAL APPARATUS)
INTERFERENCE-CAUSING EQUIPMENT STANDARD
ICES-003 ISSUE 2
This Class A digital apparatus meets all requirements of the Canadian InterferenceCausing Equipment Regulations.
NOTICES REGARDING LASER DEVICES.
THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS A CLASS 1 LASER DEVICE AND COMPLIES WITH TITLE
21, SECTIONS 1040.10 AND 1040.11 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE OF FEDERAL
REGULATIONS
LUOKAN 1 LASERLAITE
KLASS 1 LASER APPARAT
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
IX
Saftey Notice
CE DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY
Manufacturer’s Name:
Alesis Corporation
Manufacturer’s Address:
1633 26th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
USA
declares, that the product:
Product Name:
Product Type:
Masterlink ML-9600
CD Recorder
conforms to the following Standards:
Application of Council Directive:
89/336/EEC; 73/23/EEC
Safety:
EN 60 065
EMC:
EN55103:1997 Class B
(All tests were performed with fully-shielded
cabling.)
European Contact:
Sound Technology
17 Letchworth Point, Lechworth,
Hertfordshire, SG6 1ND, England.
Phone: +44.1462.480000
Fax: +44.1462.480800
Janurary, 2000
X
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION AND
SETUP
The Alesis MasterLink ML-9600 is a revolutionary stereo high resolution integrated master
hard disk recorder and compact disc recorder with built-in mastering digital signal
processing. Never before have the technologies of high-resolution audio, hard disk recording,
digital signal processing, and CD recording been combined into a single, stand-alone,
integrated audio device that is so remarkably easy to use.
1.1 MASTERLINK HIGHLIGHTS
•
24-bit A/D and D/A converters
•
Sampling rates of up to 96kHz
•
Large internal hard disk, allowing many hours of CD-quality audio recording
•
8X read / 4X write speed CD-R
•
48-bit floating point DSP
•
+4 dBu balanced XLR and –10dBV RCA analog audio connectors
•
IEC958 Type 1 balanced XLR (AES/EBU) and Coaxial digital audio connections
•
Custom vacuum fluorescent display
•
Stereo headphone output with volume control
1.2 UNPACKING AND INSPECTION
Please retain the MasterLink’s shipping carton, which is designed to protect the unit during
shipping, in the unlikely event that you need to return the MasterLink for servicing. Some
carriers have restrictions on shipping electronic equipment without the original packing.
The shipping carton contains:
•
MasterLink with the same serial number shown on shipping carton
•
Power cable
•
Detachable rack ears
•
MasterLink infrared remote control unit
•
This instruction manual
•
Blank CD-R
•
Alesis warranty card
In order to be advised of future updates, please register your purchase immediately by filling
out the warranty card and mailing it back to Alesis.
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
1
Chapter 1
1.3 AC POWER HOOKUP
1
Make sure the MasterLink is turned off. It’s good practice not to turn on the MasterLink
until all other cables are hooked up.
2
Before plugging in to AC power, note that the MasterLink’s IEC-spec AC cord (do not
substitute any other AC cord) must feed a 3-pin outlet, where the third, round pin
connects to ground. The ground connection is an important safety feature designed to
keep the chassis of electronic devices at ground potential. Unfortunately, the presence of a
third ground pin does not always indicate a properly grounded outlet; check this with an
AC line tester. If the outlet is not grounded, consult with a licensed electrician.
3
Plug the power cord’s female end into the MasterLink’s power input socket, and the male
(plug) end into any AC power source from 90 to 250 volts, 50 or 60 Hz.
Your MasterLink includes the correct power cord for your country or local area. When using a
MasterLink abroad , use only the following alternative power cords approved for use with
ML-9600:
•
For 90-120 VAC 50/60 Hz operation in the US, Canada and/or Japan, use Alesis
UL/CSA power cord #7-41-0001.
•
For 240 VAC 50 Hz operation in England, use Alesis UK power cord #7-41-0004.
•
For 220 VAC 50 Hz operation in Europe and Scandinavia, use Alesis EU power cord
#7-41-0002.
•
For 240 VAC 50 Hz operation in Australia, use Alesis AS power cord #7-41-0003.
Alesis is not responsible for problems caused by using the MasterLink or any
associated equipment with improper AC wiring.
1.4 LINE CONDITIONERS AND PROTECTORS
Although the MasterLink tolerates typical voltage variations, the AC line voltage may contain
spikes or transients that can possibly stress your equipment and, over time, cause a failure.
There are three main ways to protect against this, listed in ascending order of cost and
complexity:
2
•
Line spike/surge protectors. Relatively inexpensive, these help protect against strong
surges and spikes (they usually need to be replaced after enduring an extremely strong
spike).
•
Line filters. These generally combine spike/surge protection with filters that remove
some line noise (dimmer hash, transients from other appliances, etc.).
•
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS). This is the best option. A UPS provides power
even if the AC power line fails completely. Intended for computer applications, a UPS
allows an orderly shutdown in the event of a power outage. Furthermore, the isolation it
provides from the power line minimizes all forms of interference - spikes, noise, etc.
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Chapter 1
1.5 ABOUT AUDIO CABLES
The connections between the MasterLink and your studio are your music’s lifeline. Use only
high quality, low-capacitance, shielded cables with a stranded (not solid) internal conductor
and low-resistance shield. Although quality cables cost more, they make a difference. When
routing cables:
•
Do not bundle audio cables with AC power cords.
•
Avoid running audio cables near sources of electromagnetic interference such as
transformers, monitors, computers, etc.
•
Do not place cables where they can be stepped on. Stepping on a cable may not cause
immediate damage, but it can compress the insulation between the center conductor and
shield (degrading performance) or reduce the cable’s reliability.
•
Avoid twisting the cable or making sharp, right angle turns.
•
Never unplug a cable by pulling on the wire itself. Always unplug by firmly grasping the
plug’s body, and pulling directly outward.
•
Although Alesis does not endorse any specific product, chemicals such as Tweek and
Cramolin, when applied to electrical connectors, are claimed to improve the electrical
contact between connectors.
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
3
Chapter 2
ONCE AROUND THE
ML-9600
2.1 THE FRONT PANEL
Front Panel Feature
1. CD Drive Open/Close
2. CD Drive Tray
3. Vacuum Fluorescent Display
4. HD/CD Mode Button
5. Infrared Remote Receiver
6. Headphone Volume Control
7. Headphone _" Output Jack
8. Power Switch
9. CD Format Button
Chapter
7.1
7.1
2.3
3.1
Front Panel Feature
10. HD Recording Mode Buttons
11. Create CD Button
12. Cursor Buttons
13. Track DSP Button
14. Playlist Buttons
15. Utility Button
16. Time Display Button
17. Transport Buttons
Chapter
3.2
6.2
5
4
8
4.4c
6.1
2.2 THE REAR PANEL
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Analog Balanced Inputs (+4dBu nominal input, +19dBu max)
Analog Balanced Outputs (+4dBu nominal output, +19dBu max, 75ohm impedance)
Digital Balanced Input (AES/EBU)
Digital Balanced Output (AES/EBU)
Analog Unbalanced Inputs (-10dBV nominal input, +5dBV max)
Analog Unbalanced Outputs (-10dBV nominal output, +5dBV max, 150ohm impedance)
Digital Unbalanced Input (Coaxial)
Digital Unbalanced Output (Coaxial)
Universal Input Switching Power Supply (100-230Vac)
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
5
Chapter 2
2.3 THE FRONT PANEL DISPLAY
Shown below is a drawing of the front panel vacuum fluorescent display, with descriptions of
each portion of the display.
Figure 2.3.1
Vacuum Fluorescent Display
6
1.
Track Number Indicator – This indicates the number of the currently selected track.
2.
2X16 Alphanumeric Display – This displays track, playlist, and CD information.
3.
Hard Disk Free Space Indicator – Indicates hard disk free space in hours, minutes, or
seconds, based on currently selected sample rate and word length.
4.
Track Time Counter – This shows one of four times: elapsed track time, remaining track
time, elapsed total time, or remaining total time.
5.
Track Time Counter Mode – This indicates the current Track Time Counter mode.
6.
Track Sample Rate – Indicates the current track's sample rate.
7.
Track Word Length – Indicates the current track's word length.
8.
CD Format Indicator – Indicates the resolution of the CD currently in the CD drive.
9.
Stereo Level Meters.
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Chapter 3
HD MODE OPERATION
3.1 HD OR CD MODE?
Because the ML-9600 has both an internal hard disk and an internal CD-R drive, the ML-9600
has two fundamental modes of operation: HD mode and CD mode. The HD/CD button in the
upper right-hand corner of the unit toggles between those modes, and changes the functions
,
SCAN, and
SKIP, SKIP
of the transport control buttons (PLAY, REC, STOP,
).
SCAN
HD mode is used when recording to or playing back from the internal Hard Disk, and when
creating compact discs from audio recorded on the hard disk.
CD mode is used when playing back pre-recorded Compact Discs, or when you want to copy
tracks from a CD to the internal hard disk.
3.2 HD RECORDING SETTINGS
Before recording any audio to the hard disk, it is important to choose the desired input source,
sample rate, and word length for the recording. The ML-9600 offers great flexibility with
respect to these last two parameters, allowing a total of 12 different resolutions to be recorded.
3.2A INPUT SOURCE
Two input sources are possible: Analog or Digital. Pressing the INPUT SOURCE button on
the front panel will toggle between the two. Analog audio can either be input via the XLR or
RCA jacks. The XLR jacks are +4dBu nominal input level, while the RCA jacks are –10dBV
nominal input level. Both sets of inputs have 15dB of headroom from nominal input to
clipping, resulting in a maximum of +19dBu at the XLR inputs, and +5dBV at the RCA inputs.
Digital audio data is expected in IEC958 Type 1 format (professional) input either via the
balanced XLR inputs or via the unbalanced RCA inputs.
Important: The ML-9600 does not switch between its balanced and unbalanced digital
audio inputs. Both inputs are active simultaneously, and if digital audio
data is sent to both inputs simultaneously data corruption will occur.
When the input source is set to Digital, the system word clock rate is automatically set to the
rate of the incoming digital audio signal. This is true whether in playback or record, and in all
modes of operation. This allows the ML-9600 to operate as a clock slave in an all-digital setup.
Caution must be used, however, as all audio playback while in digital input mode will be at
the incoming clock rate, despite the rate at which the audio was recorded. For instance, if
audio is recorded at 96kHz to the hard drive, and then the unit is placed in digital input mode
with the incoming sample rate at 48kHz, that recorded audio will play at _ play speed.
NOTE: If the ML-9600 is in digital input mode and the incoming digital data is interrupted
(by removing the cable, for instance), the input source will switch automatically to Analog,
with the sample rate set to the last valid sample rate detected on the digital input, and with
the word length remaining the same as what it was set to in digital input mode.
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
7
Chapter 3
3.2B SAMPLE RATE
Four sample rates are available: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz. Pressing the SAMPLE
RATE button on the front panel will toggle between these four rates. Sample rates are not user
adjustable when in digital input mode; the sample rate will automatically be set to the rate of
the incoming digital data.
3.2C WORD LENGTH
Three word lengths are available: 16-bit, 20-bit, and 24-bit. Pressing the WORD LENGTH
button on the front panel will toggle between these three word lengths. Word lengths are userselectable when in digital input mode; note that it is therefore possible to select a shorter word
length than is being received at the digital input, resulting in truncated data.
8
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Chapter 4
WORKING WITH
PLAYLISTS
When you are in "HD" mode, you will be working with Playlists. Playlists are the basic
structures in which Tracks are organized before creating CDs, and are therefore one of the
most crucial parts of the operation of the ML-9600 to understand. Playlists are simple in
concept – they are lists of the songs that you want to have on your CD. Within a playlist, you
choose the order in which you want your songs to appear on the final CD, the amount of time
between songs, the relative volume of the songs, and the type of signal processing applied to
each song. You can think of a selected playlist as a "virtual CD"; that is, in playlist select mode
the playlist should act as a compact disc would, except that its data is coming off of the
internal hard disk.
4.1 SELECTING A PLAYLIST
The ML-9600 has sixteen independent playlists, each containing up to 99 Tracks. There is an
additional "special" playlist located after Playlist 16 that is reserved for rendered CD images;
see Chapter 6: Creating A CD for more information about this special playlist.
To select a playlist, press the PLAYLIST SELECT button on the front panel underneath the
main display. The words “Playlist XX” will be displayed on the first line of the display,
where "XX" will be a number between 01 and 16. The cursor will be under the “XX”, and
pressing the UP/YES button will increment through the playlists, while pressing DOWN/NO
will decrement through the playlists. Figure 4.1.1 shows a sample playlist select display.
Figure 4.1.1
Sample Playlist Select Display
This particular playlist is named "PList 01" (the default playlist name for Playlist 1), and has
only one Track in it, indicated by the "01 Tks" in the lower right hand side of the display.
4.2 NAMING A PLAYLIST
Once a playlist has been selected, you may wish to change its name. Pressing CURSOR
RIGHT will move the cursor to the first character of the name of the playlist. Once the cursor
is in the name field, pressing UP/YES or DOWN/NO will scroll though a set of alphanumeric
characters for each of the eight characters of the playlist’s name. Exit the name field by
pressing CURSOR LEFT until the cursor is once again under the playlist number.
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4.3 AUDITIONING A PLAYLIST
After a playlist has been selected, you may listen to part or all of that playlist by using the
,
SKIP, SKIP
transport buttons on the right side of the front panel (PLAY/PAUSE,
SCAN, and SCAN
). Pressing PLAY/PAUSE after a playlist is selected will play from
the beginning of the playlist, light the Track Number indicator, and begin displaying Track
Time in the Track Time Display (the format of which is determined by the TIME DISPLAY
will skip through the Tracks, while pressing
SKIP or SKIP
button). Pressing
SCAN or SCAN
will rewind or fast-forward through the Tracks while allowing you
to hear the audio.
Obviously, if there are no Tracks in a playlist, auditioning the playlist will not do anything.
4.4 EDITING A PLAYLIST
After selecting a playlist, you may edit that playlist by pressing the PLAYLIST EDIT button.
"Playlist Edit Mode" is where most of the work will be done when preparing a playlist for
eventual CD creation.
While in playlist edit mode, you may:
• Record new Tracks
• Play back previously recorded Tracks
• Delete Tracks
• Change Track order in playlist
• Change Track to Track spacing
• Adjust the volume of a Track
• Add DSP to a Track
• Apply fades to a Track
• Write protect a Track to prevent accidental erasure.
4.4A EMPTY PLAYLISTS
If the PLAYLIST EDIT button is pressed and there are no Tracks recorded in the playlist, the
screen will indicate that you have an "empty" playlist, as shown in Figure 4.4.1.
Figure 4.4.1
Playlist Edit Page – Empty Playlist.
Tracks can be added to an empty playlist in several ways:
• By using the NEW TRACK button and then recording using the analog or digital inputs
• By moving a pre-existing Audio File into a playlist (more about Audio Files in Chapter 4,
Page 9)
• By moving a Track from a Red Book or CD24 CD into a playlist (see Chapter 7: CD Mode
Operation for details.)
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4.4B RECORDING A TRACK
Before you can begin recording, you need to create a new Track by pressing the New Track
button. This will create an entry in the playlist that you can then record audio into. Figures
4.4.1 and 4.4.2 show what will be displayed after the New Track button is pressed.
Figure 4.4.1
New Track "Popup"
This will be displayed briefly while a new Track is being prepared. Figure 4.4.2 shows what
will be displayed after the "popup" goes away.
Figure 4.4.2
Empty Track
Pressing RECORD once will place the Track in “record ready” mode, with the sample rate,
word length, and input source determined by the state of the SAMPLE RATE, WORD
LENGTH, and INPUT SOURCE buttons. Additionally, the audio outputs will mirror the
audio inputs; i.e. the unit will be in “input” mode. After the unit is in record ready mode, a
single press of the PLAY button will begin recording to the Track. To terminate the recording ,
press STOP while the unit is recording. To pause the recording, press PLAY/PAUSE while the
unit is recording; press PLAY/PAUSE to resume recording.
In this scenario, the playlist now has one Track in it. Once the Track has been recorded to the
hard drive, the ML-9600 will treat it much as it would a CD Track; the SCAN, SKIP,
PLAY/PAUSE, and STOP buttons all function much as they would for a CD.
4.4C THE DISPLAY
In playlist edit mode, the first line of the 2X16 alphanumeric display always shows the current
Track name and Track gain expressed in dB. The Track gain is adjustable from –18dB to +18
dB in 0.1dB increments up to +/-10dB, after which it is adjusted in 1dB increments. To read
more about Track gain, see Chapter 5: Digital Signal Processing.
In Figure 4.4.2, the second line of the 2X16 display shows the Track’s Start Time in hours,
minutes, seconds, and hundredths of a second (sometimes referred to as ABS or absolute time),
and a write protect indication (either P for Protected or U for Unprotected). Moving the cursor
underneath the "St" field and using the UP/YES and DOWN/NO keys will change the second
line of the 2X16 display, indicating the Track’s End Time (relative to the beginning of the
playlist), the Track Length, and the Track Fade-in and Fade-out parameters. More on these
screens a little later.
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Moving the cursor under the "U" character and pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO will
change the "write protect" status of the Track; U stands for Unprotected, and P stands for
Protected. When a Track is write protected it may neither be recorded over nor cropped.
Also shown are the Track’s sample rate and word length. If you are creating a new Track and
have not recorded any audio yet, these icons will not be lit. Once audio has been recorded into
a Track, the sample rate and word length icons will reflect the recorded sample rate and word
length, which can vary from Track to Track in a playlist, based on the settings that have been
selected for sample rate and word length (see Chapter 3: HD Mode Operation).
The large 7-segment numbers on the left side of the display indicate the current Track
number. Pressing
will decrement or increment through all Tracks in a
SKIP or SKIP
playlist. These numbers have a different function in CD mode; see Chapter 7: CD Mode
Operation for details.
The numbers directly below the Track Number indicator are the Track Time display. These
numbers are displayed in one of four ways, dependent upon the Track Time Counter Mode.
To change modes, press the TIME DISPLAY button, which will toggle through Single, Single
Remaining, Total, and Total Remaining modes. Single mode reflects the elapsed time within a
single Track, while Single Remaining mode indicates remaining time within a Track. Total
mode reflects the elapsed time of the entire playlist, and Total Remaining mode indicates
remaining time in the playlist.
If there is a compact disc in the CD drive, the CD Format icons reflect the resolution of the CD
currently in the drive, either Red Book (RDBK) or CD24 (CD24). If the CD in the drive is a
blank CD-R disc, or if there is no CD in the drive, these icons will not be lit.
The HD Free Space counter indicates the amount of recording time left on the hard disk,
expressed in hours, minutes (if the time remaining is less than one hour), or seconds (if the
time remaining is less than one minute). This number will change based on the currently
selected sample rate and word lengths; i.e. shorter word lengths and lower sample rates allow
longer recording time. This number will also change during recording, as more space on the
disk is used for audio.
4.5 PLAYLIST EDIT MODE PAGES
There are five "pages" that can be accessed while in Playlist Edit mode; these playlists allow
you to edit a Track's Start Time, view a Track's End Time and Length, and edit a Track's Fade
In and Fade Out. These pages can be accessed by moving the cursor under the leftmost field
in the lower line of the alphanumeric display (the Playlist Edit Page Field)and using the
UP/YES and DOWN/NO keys to scroll through the pages, each of which are discussed in
detail below.
4.5A TRACK START TIME
A Track’s start time indicates where the Track begins relative to the start of the playlist. A Track’s
start time cannot be within another Track’s audio; i.e. Track 2 cannot begin at 00:30 if Track 1
begins at 00:00 and is 1 minute long.
To view a Track’s start time the playlist, move the cursor to the Playlist Edit Page Field and
press the UP/YES or DOWN/NO buttons until the characters "St" are displayed. Figure 4.5.1
illustrates how the display will look when indicating Track start time.
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Figure 4.5.1
Track Start Time Display
The ability to set Track start times in a playlist is very important because it allows you to
change the "gap" between songs on the CD. For instance, if Track 1 had a Start Time at
0:00:00.00 and its End Time at 0:03:30.00, Track 2 could have a Start Time as early as 0:03:30.00
(no gap between songs) or any time after that (0:03:32.00 would create a 2-second gap between
the songs).
TIP: Pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO simultaneously while in the Track start time field will
cause the length of the "gap" between Tracks to be set to zero.
4.5B TRACK END TIME
To view a Track’s end time in the playlist, move the cursor to the Playlist Edit Page Field and
press the UP/YES or DOWN/NO buttons until the characters "En" are displayed. Figure 4.5.2
illustrates how the display will look when indicating Track end time.
Figure 4.5.2
Track End Time Display.
A Track’s end time is not editable in this display. A Track’s end time is determined by three
factors: the Track’s start time, the Track’s sample rate, and the number of samples recorded.
End time of a Track will be affected by a Track Crop; see Section 4.8: Editing a Track for more
detail.
4.5C TRACK LENGTH
To view a Track’s length, move the cursor to the Playlist Edit Page Field and press the UP/YES
or DOWN/NO buttons until the characters "Ln" are displayed. Figure 4.5.3 illustrates how the
display will look when indicating Track length.
Figure 4.5.3
Track Length Display.
A Track’s length is not editable, and is a function of the Track’s sample rate and number of
samples recorded.
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4.5D TRACK FADES
The ML-9600 gives the user the ability to easily create fade-ins and fade-outs on Tracks. Both
functions are accessed by moving the cursor to the Playlist Edit Page Field and pressing the
UP/YES or DOWN/NO buttons until the characters "FdIn" or "Fout" are displayed. Figures
4.5.4 and 4.5.5 illustrate how the display will look when indicating Track fades.
Figure 4.5.4
Track Fade-In Display.
Figure 4.5.5
Track Fade-Out Display.
The "FdIn" or "FOut" in the display indicates that you are on either the Track fade-in or Track
fade-out page. To the right of "FdIn" or "FOut" is a number that indicates the length of the
fade, adjustable in 10mS increments. Moving the cursor under the "ones" place and pressing
the UP/YES or DOWN/NO will increment the value in 1 second increments, while moving the
cursor under the "hundredths" place and pressing the UP/YES or DOWN/NO will increment
the value in 10 millisecond increments.
TIP: Pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO simultaneously while in the fade length field will reset
the fade length to zero seconds.
A fade's maximum time is limited to the length of the Track, or to 99.99 seconds, whichever is
smaller. If both fade-in and fade are used on the same Track, the total fade time (fade-in +
fade- out) can not exceed the length of the Track. If, for instance, you have a Track that is 2
minutes long (120 seconds) and you have entered a fade-out time of 30 seconds, you can not
set your fade in time to any greater than 90 seconds.
To the right of the fade length value is the fade shape indicator. Changing this parameter will
affect the way that the fade sounds as it is being performed. This value can be changed
between LIN(linear fade), LG1(Normal Log), and LG2(inverse log). Figure 4.5.6 illustrates the
fade shapes.
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Figure 4.5.6
Fade Shapes
Performing a fade-in or fade-out on a Track is as simple as deciding on a length and shape for
the fade. For example, If Track 1 ends at 0:02:00.00 and you select a 10 second LINear fade-out,
Track 1 will begin to fade out at 0:01:50.00 and continue to fade linearly until 0:02:00.00, at
which point it will be completely faded out.
4.5E TRACK LEVEL ADJUSTMENT
In Playlist Edit mode, it is possible to change the gain of a Track once it has been recorded to
the hard disk. Gain adjustments are non-destructive edits and can be changed at any time.
To adjust the gain on a pre-recorded Track, press PLAYLIST SELECT to choose the
SKIP and
appropriate playlist, then press PLAYLIST EDIT to edit the playlist. Press
to choose the Track whose gain you wish to adjust. Move the cursor to the gain
SKIP
field, and press UP/YES or DOWN/NO to increment or decrement the gain of the Track.
Pressing DOWN/NO when the gain setting is already at 0.0dB will begin to attenuate the
Track, and a minus sign will be displayed before the gain digits. Track gain is adjustable in
0.1dB increments from –9.9dB to +9.9dB, after which it is adjustable in 1dB increments to +/18dB.
TIP: Pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO simultaneously while in the Track gain field will reset
the Track gain to 0dB.
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4.6 ADDITIONAL PLAYLIST EDIT FUNCTIONS
4.6A EDITING TRACK NAMES
Editing a Track’s name is similar to editing a Playlist’s name; move the cursor to the Track
Name field and use the UP/YES and DOWN/NO keys to scroll through the alphanumeric
character set for each of the Track name’s eight characters. The character set includes A-Z, a-z,
0-9, and <space>.
TIP: Pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO simultaneously while in the Track name field will
cause the currently edited character to become a <space>.
NOTE: When creating a CD24 disc, any lower-case letters will be automatically changed to
upper-case on the CD. This is due to a limitation of the ISO-9660 specification that the discs
adhere to. Similarly, spaces in names are automatically converted to underscores. For more
information on CD24, see Chapter 6: Creating A CD.
4.6B ADDING ADDITIONAL TRACKS
Additional Tracks can be added to the playlist by pressing the NEW TRACK button. Figure
4.6.1 shows the New Track display.
Figure 4.6.1
New Track Display.
As you can see, this display is exactly like the display shown when editing a new playlist;
only the default name of the Track and the Track Number have been changed. Each time a
new Track is created, the default name will be “Song XX”, where XX indicates the number of
the Track in the playlist.
4.6C DELETING TRACKS
To delete a Track from a playlist, you must currently have that Track selected in the display.
Pressing the DEL TRACK button will cause a confirm delete page to be displayed, as shown
in Figure 4.6.2:
Figure 4.6.2
Delete Track Confirmation
where "Song 01" is the name of the Track to be deleted. Pressing UP/YES will remove that
Track from the playlist, moving the next Track in the playlist in its place. Pressing
DOWN/NO will cancel the operation and return the unit to its previous state.
NOTE: Deleting a Track from a playlist does not delete the audio samples from the hard disk.
The audio remains on the disk in an "Audio File"; see section 4.7 for more details.
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4.6D CHANGING TRACK ORDER
Once multiple Tracks have been recorded into a playlist, it may be desirable to re-order the
Tracks. This is accomplished very easily by the use of the TRACK MOVE button. First, use
the SKIP buttons to select the Track you want to move. Pressing TRACK MOVE will bring
up the Track Move display, as illustrated in Figure 4.6.3.
Figure 4.6.3
Track Move Display
In this display, the second line of the 2X16 display changes to show "Move (source track)
> (destination track)". The cursor will be under the destination Track, and the source
Track will be the number of the Track you have currently selected. Pressing the UP/YES and
DOWN/NO keys will scroll through the possible destination Track numbers. Once the
destination Track number has been selected, pressing TRACK MOVE again will cause the
display to prompt "Are You Sure?". Pressing UP/YES will complete the move, while pressing
DOWN/NO will cancel the operation and return the unit to its previous state.
4.7 TRACKS VS. AUDIO FILES
The ML-9600 organizes audio data into two types: Tracks and Audio Files. An Audio File is
audio that has been recorded to the hard disk; it is stored as a unique "file" on the disk. A
Track is a "placeholder" in a playlist that "points" to an audio file. All Tracks have
corresponding Audio Files. All Audio Files do not necessarily have corresponding Tracks; it is
possible to have an Audio file on the hard disk but not have its audio incorporated by a Track
in a playlist. All audio recorded to the hard disk is initially recorded as a new Track in a
playlist, but may later be removed from the playlist and may only exist as a Audio File on the
hard disk.
Audio Files are listed at the "bottom" of every playlist, and are visually distinguished from
Tracks by the lack of a Track number, and by the words "audio file" in the second line of the
alphanumeric display. Audio Files do not have playlist Start or End times associated with
them.
Audio Files can only be accessed from within Playlist Edit mode. Audio Files are viewed by
button until the last Track in a playlist is reached. One more press of
pressing the SKIP
button will show the first Audio File, as illustrated in Figure 4.7.1.
the SKIP
Figure 4.7.1
Audio File Display
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The display shows the name of the Audio File and its length (in minutes and seconds) on the
first line of the 2X16 alphanumeric display. The words "(audio file)" and the write protect
status are indicated on the second line of the alphanumeric display.
The only editable parameters in this page are the Audio File name and the Audio File write
protect status. The cursor defaults to the first character of the name when this page is selected,
and using the UP/YES, DOWN/NO, CURSOR LEFT and CURSOR RIGHT keys you can
change the name of the Audio file, limited to 8 characters.
Moving the cursor under the "U" character and pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO will
change the "write protect" status of the Audio File; U stands for Unprotected, and P stands for
Protected. When an Audio File is write protected it may neither be recorded over nor cropped.
Changing this parameter in an Audio File will automatically update all Tracks that point to it.
4.7A AUDIO FILE NAMES
Track names are saved with the Audio File; you cannot have two Tracks with two different
names that point to the same Audio File. In addition, if you edit the name of a Track in one
playlist, any other instances of that Track in other playlists as well as the Audio File associated
with that Track will have their names changed to reflect the edit.
4.7B INSERTING AUDIO FILES INTO PLAYLISTS
Audio Files can be inserted into playlists using the TRACK MOVE button. First select the
playlist in which you want to insert the Audio File. Next, choose the Audio File you wish to
move into the playlist, and press TRACK MOVE. Figure 4.7.2 shows the Audio File move
screen.
Figure 4.7.2
Audio File Move Screen
Choose the destination Track and press TRACK MOVE causing the display to prompt "Are
You Sure?". Pressing UP/YES will complete the move, any other key will cancel the move.
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4.7C DELETING AUDIO FILES
To delete an Audio File from the hard drive, you must currently have that Audio File selected
until you are past the last Track in the playlist). Pressing the
in the display (press SKIP
DELETE TRACK button will force the unit to check all 16 playlists for instances of the current
Audio File. If the Audio File is used in any playlist, this error will be displayed temporarily:
Figure 4.7.3
Audio File In Use Warning
where, in this case, Playlist 01 is the first playlist to include the current Audio File. In order to
permanently delete an Audio file from the hard disk, there must be no playlists in which the
Audio File is used.
If there are no playlists using the current Audio File, this warning will be displayed:
Figure 4.7.4
Delete Audio File Confirmation
where Song 01 is the name of the Audio File to be deleted. Pressing DOWN/NO will cancel
the operation and return the unit to its previous state. Pressing UP/YES will cause a confirm
delete page to be displayed, as shown in Figure 4.7.5:
Figure 4.7.5
Delete Audio File Confirmation #2
Pressing UP/YES will delete the file from the hard disk. Pressing DOWN/NO will cancel the
operation and return the unit to its previous state.
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4.7D AUDIO FILE PARAMETERS VS. TRACK PARAMETERS
Certain parameters are unique to Audio files, others are unique to Tracks; however, all
parameters that apply to an Audio File also apply to a Track that "points" to it. Table 4.7.1 lists
all of the user parameters that are applied to audio in the ML-9600, and differentiates those
associated with Audio Files versus those associated only with Tracks.
Parameter
Sample Rate
Word Length
Track Name
Start Point
End Point
Write Protect Status
Track Number
Track Start Time
Track Level
Track Fades
Digital Signal Processing
Audio File
X
X
X
X
X
X
Track
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
X
X
X
X
X
Table 4.7.1
Audio File vs. Track Parameters
4.8 EDITING A TRACK
4.8A TRACK CROP FEATURE
Cropping is a term usually associated with pictures; a portion of a picture is selected to keep
and the rest of the picture is deleted, or "cropped". The process is much the same for audio on
the ML-9600, as you can crop the audio file you are working on to keep only the audio that is
desired and delete the rest, thereby freeing up disk space that would otherwise be wasted.
Cropping is usually used to remove unwanted noise from before the beginning of a song, and
after the end of a song. In the analog tape world, this is sometimes known as "head and tail"
editing.
NOTE: Cropping is a "destructive edit", and cannot be undone once completed.
Since cropping permanently affects the Audio File, all instances of a Track (and its
corresponding Audio File) that has been cropped will also reflect the edit; i.e. if the Audio File
is used in other playlists than the one in which it was cropped, those Tracks will also be
cropped. In addition, any fade-in or fade-out that has been applied to the Track will be reset to
0 seconds
Cropping on the ML-9600 is accomplished by first selecting the Track you are interested in.
Press PLAYLIST SELECT to choose the appropriate playlist, then press PLAYLIST EDIT to
to choose the Track you wish to crop.
SKIP and SKIP
edit the playlist. Press
4.8B TRACK START/TRACK END
Pressing TRACK START or TRACK END once will "pre-roll" the start or end of the selected
Track. When you press and release TRACK START, the Track will play from its beginning
and will play for five seconds, while pressing and releasing TRACK END will begin playing
five seconds before the end of the Track and will stop once the end of the Track is reached.
The reason this functionality is important is that you will be changing the "start pointer" and
"end pointer" of your song, and will want to preview those points before you crop.
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4.8C SCRUBBING THE HEAD AND TAIL
In order to move the "start pointer" and "end pointer", you must press and hold TRACK
SCAN and SCAN
buttons to "scrub" the audio
START or TRACK END and use the
back and forth. This process is much like "rocking the reels" on an analog tape machine; the
SCAN and SCAN
buttons,
difference here is that you are doing it digitally. Using the
SCAN or
move the "start pointer" or "end pointer" to the desired location, then release
SCAN
. Once you think you have the pointers in the correct position, you may preview
the points by pressing the TRACK START and TRACK END buttons (explained above).
4.8D THE CROP
NOTE: If the Track is write protected, cropping of the Track is not permitted.
When the start and end pointers have been set to your satisfaction, press both TRACK
START and TRACK END simultaneously to crop the Track. The display will prompt you
with the message:
Figure 4.8.1
Track Crop Confirmation
Pressing DOWN/NO will exit, display "Track crop canceled", and return to the Track
edit display; note that the start and end pointers will still be at their new positions. Pressing
UP/YES will complete the Track crop operation. The display will temporarily indicate:
Figure 4.8.3
Track Crop Complete Screen
and will then return to the Track edit display.
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Chapter 5
DIGITAL SIGNAL
PROCESSING
5.1 OVERVIEW
The ML-9600 has a very powerful built-in Digital Signal Processor that can, if desired, make
changes to your music after it has been recorded. These changes are usually made to balance
the frequency content (Equalization) of a song, or to "smooth out" very dynamic music
(Compression and Peak Limiting), or to maximize the signal so that it uses up all of the
dynamic range available (Normalizing). The ML-9600 can perform any or all of these signal
processing functions to your music.
The TRACK DSP button allows you to choose different processing algorithms for your music.
Pressing the TRACK DSP button cycles through the four algorithms listed below:
Screen Name
DSP1: Cmpress
DSP
Function
Compressor
DSP2:EQ
Parametric
Equalizer
DSP3: Limiter
Look-ahead
Peak Limiter
Normalizer
DSP4: Normliz
Comments
Single-band, threshold, ratio, makeup gain, attack,
release, key select, soft/hard knee, RMS or peak
detect
3-band, fully parametric EQ. +/-18dB boost/cut, 2020KHz frequency range, adjustable Q, high/low
shelving
Output level, Limit threshold, release.
Current gain multiplier
Table 5.1.1
DSP Overview Table
All DSP in the ML-9600 is applied in real-time, allowing you to make changes to the DSP
without affecting the original audio recorded to disk. DSP is applied when either a Red Book
or CD24 CD is created, so the resulting tracks on the CDs will have DSP permanently applied;
however, this will not change the Audio Files on the hard disk.
DSP is applied on a Track-by-Track basis. This means that you can have Tracks that point to
the same Audio File in multiple playlists (or multiple Tracks in the same playlist) and apply
different DSP to each Track. For instance, if you wanted to create a CD containing the same
song with three different types of equalization, you could accomplish that by creating three
Tracks that pointed to the same Audio File (by using Audio File move) and EQ them
differently.
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5.2 SIGNAL FLOW
It is important to understand how the audio signal path is routed in order to effectively use
the Digital Signal Processing power of the ML-9600. DSP is applied only to audio being
played back from the hard disk, and goes through six different DSP "blocks" before reaching
either the audio outputs (in the case of audio playback) or the CD drive (in the case of CD
creation). Figure 5.2.1 shows these DSP blocks and their order.
Figure 5.2.1
DSP Blocks
The first block is the Track Gain block. The amount of gain is adjusted in the top line of the
display in the Playlist Edit pages. This gain is applied immediately after data is read from the
hard disk. Although not strictly a DSP block, its position relative to the other blocks is
important because it sets the input gain for the other DSP modules, as this gain block can be
used to prevent clipping in subsequent DSP blocks.
The second block is the Compression block. Its parameters are adjusted from the Cmpress
pages under the Track DSP button.
The third block is the Parametric EQ block. Its parameters are adjusted from the EQ pages
under the Track DSP button.
The fourth block is the look-ahead Peak Limiter block. Its parameters are adjusted from the
Limiter pages under the Track DSP button.
The fifth block is the Track Fade block. Its parameters are adjusted using the FdIn and FOut
pages in Playlist Edit mode.
The sixth and final DSP block is the Normalizer block. Its parameters are adjusted from the
Normliz pages under the Track DSP button.
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Chapter 5
5.3 APPLYING DSP TO A TRACK
Signal processing functions are applied by first selecting a Track in a playlist that you wish to
modify. Using the PLAYLIST SELECT, PLAYLIST EDIT, and SKIP buttons, select the Track.
Pressing the TRACK DSP button will then bring up the last DSP screen that was selected.
Figure 5.3.1 shows a sample Track DSP page (in this case, the Compressor block's Threshold
page).
Figure 5.3.1
Track DSP Page
The first line of the display indicates the currently selected DSP block. To switch between
blocks, press the Track DSP button repeatedly until the desired block is displayed. Also
displayed in the first line of the display is the On/Off status of the block. Moving the cursor to
this field and using the UP/YES and DOWN/NO buttons will toggle the block on and off.
The second line of the display indicates the currently selected parameter and its value. Using
the CURSOR LEFT and CURSOR RIGHT buttons, you can select between the Parameter
field and the Value field. Pressing UP/YES or DOWN/NO while in the Parameter field will
change the currently selected parameter. Pressing UP/YES or DOWN/NO while in the Value
field will change the value of the parameter.
NOTE: Pressing UP/YES and DOWN/NO simultaneously while in the Value field of any DSP
parameter will restore the default value of that parameter.
5.4 DSP BLOCK DETAIL
5.4A DSP1:COMPRESSOR
The Compressor in the ML-9600 is a "single-band" compressor, meaning that all frequencies of
the audio are processed with the same parameters. This is in contrast to a "multi-band"
compressor, which processes different frequency bands with different parameters. A detailed
look at each of the parameters is presented below.
Threshold
The threshold control of the compressor determines at what level (relative to full-scale or
0dBFS) the compressor begins to affect the audio. Any audio that falls below the threshold is
not compressed; any audio whose level exceeds the threshold is compressed according to the
compressor's other parameters. The ML-9600 has a threshold range of 0dBFS to –65dBFS,
adjustable in 0.5dB increments.
Ratio
The ratio parameter determines the ratio of input level to output level of the compressed
audio. If the ratio is set to 20:1, a 20dB increase in input level to the compressor will result in
only a 1dB increase in output level. Typically, ratios under 10:1 are considered "compression"
style ratios, while ratios over 10:1 are considered "limiter" style thresholds. The ML-9600 has a
ratio range of 1.000:1 to 20.00:1.
Make-up Gain
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Chapter 5
Make-up gain is applied after the compressor to "make up" the level lost during the
compression process. The ML-9600 has a make-up gain range of 0.0dB to +65.0dB, adjustable
in 0.5dB increments.
Attack
The attack time of the compressor determines how long the compressor takes to begin to take
effect after audio rises above the threshold. Longer attack times allow for more of the audio's
natural attack envelope to be heard, and shorter attack times impose more of the compressor's
characteristics on the audio's attack envelope. The ML-9600 has an attack range of 0
microseconds to 9.9 seconds.
Release
The release time of the compressor determines how long the compressor takes to stop
compressing the audio after it has dropped below the threshold. Shorter release times cause
the compressor to try to follow the audio envelope closely, sometimes causing a "pumping" or
"breathing" effect. Longer release times tend to smooth out the compression effect. The ML9600 has a release range of 0 microseconds to 9.9 seconds.
Key
The key parameter controls what channel the compressor is using to control the compression
effect. Usually, for stereo music, this is a summation of both channels, but can be either left
only or right only.
Knee
The knee setting changes the way that the compression effect behaves around the threshold. A
"hard" knee begins to apply gain reduction (according to the ratio amount) at exactly the
threshold value. A "soft" knee begins to apply gain reduction before the threshold, but at a
very slight ratio value. As the input level increases, the ratio gets larger until, at some level
above the threshold, the applied ratio is equal to the ratio parameter. The ML-9600 has 5
different knee choices: Hard, Soft1, Soft2, Soft3 and Soft4. These knees are shown in Figure
5.4.1.
Figure 5.4.1
Compressor Knees (-30dB Threshold, 20:1 Ratio)
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Chapter 5
Detect
The detect parameter determines how the audio level is compared to the threshold level.
There are two choices, Peak and RMS. Peak detection looks at the peak level of the audio and
uses that value to compare to the threshold parameter, while RMS looks at the average level
of the audio.
Meter
The meter parameter selects how the meters will be displayed while in the compressor pages.
Normal shows the stereo level of the audio at the analog and digital audio outputs. Input
shows the stereo level at the input to the compressor block. Output shows the stereo level at
the output of the compressor block. Gain shows a mono level of the audio at the analog and
digital audio outputs on the left level display, and the amount of gain reduction being applied
on the right level display. Out/Gain shows a mono level at the output of the compressor block
on the left level display, and the amount of gain reduction being applied on the right level
display. In/Gain shows a mono level at the input of the compressor block on the left level
display, and the amount of gain reduction being applied on the right level display.
5.4B DSP2:PARAMETRIC EQ
The Parametric EQ in the ML-9600 is a three-band equalizer, which means that it can affect up
to three different frequency ranges simultaneously. Each band has adjustable Frequency,
Level, and Q parameters. A detailed look at each of the parameters is presented below.
Frequency
The Frequency parameter selects the center frequency that is to be affected. Since there are
three different bands, the frequency parameters are labeled Freq1, Freq2, and Freq3. Each of
these frequencies can be adjusted from 20.22Hz to 22.22kHz.
Level
The level parameter adjusts how much boost or attenuation of the desired frequency is to be
applied. The three different bands are labeled Level1, Level2, and Level3. This parameter is
adjustable from
–18dB to +18dB in 0.25dB steps.
Q
The Q or "Quality" parameter of the EQ defines how narrow or wide the filter will be; a high
Q filter only affects frequencies very close to the center frequency, while a low Q filter affects a
wide range of frequencies. The Q number is derived by dividing the center frequency by the
bandwidth affected (measured from the –3dB points on either side of the center frequency);
e.g. a filter with a center frequency of 10kHz with –3dB points at 5kHz and 15kHz would have
a Q of 1. A filter with the same center frequency but –3dB points at 9.5kHz and 10.5kHz
would have a Q of 10. The three different bands are labeled Q1, Q2, and Q3. The Q parameter
on the ML-9600 is adjustable from 0.10 to 18.
[editor's note: The astute reader will no doubt realize that these filter frequencies are
approximations; they are provided here for illustration and are in no way intended to confuse
or confound. The exact (to two decimal places) center frequencies of the above filters are, of
course, 8660.25 Hertz and 9987.49 Hertz respectively. We appreciate your indulgence in this
matter.]
An extra feature of the parametric EQ is shelving EQ, achieved by reducing the Q value all the
way to its minimum value, at which point the value changes from a numeric value to "HiShelf" and "Lo-Shelf". These shelves' corner frequencies are determined by their respective
Frequency parameters (20Hz to 20kHz), and their level by their respective Level parameters
(–18dB to +18dB).
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Chapter 5
5.4C DSP3:LOOK-AHEAD PEAK LIMITER
The Look-Ahead Peak Limiter is designed to give you the ability to limit the highest peaks in
a Track and simultaneously bring up the gain of the Track in order to maximize its level
before creating a CD. This allows you to "squeeze" that extra couple of decibels out of the
dynamic range, without squashing your audio by hard compression or traditional limiting.
The limiter in the ML-9600 is very different than a traditional limiter, which is typically
thought of as a compressor with a high ratio setting. By virtue of all-digital processing, the
limiter is able to "look ahead" in time to see audio level peaks. This allows the limiter to begin
smoothly reducing the gain of the audio so that when the peak does occur, it is limited to the
desired value. In essence, the limiter becomes a "perfect" limiter or one capable of attaining an
infinity-to-one gain reduction ratio.
Another difference from a traditional limiter is that the "make-up" gain is automatically
applied as a function of the threshold level. This allows the limiter to act as a "maximizer",
enabling you to bring your Tracks very close to the maximum level allowed without clipping.
The final difference in this limiter is that the final output level can be fixed as a function of
full-scale; i.e. the limiter has infinity-to-one compression ratio with an extra gain stage at its
output. This allows you to decide what the peak output value of the audio will be (-0.2dBFS,
for instance).
The Look-ahead peak limiter is perhaps best thought of as three discrete gain blocks:
• The first gain block is dynamically adjusted so that its output level never exceeds the
threshold level (the "perfect" limiter).
• The second gain block adds make-up gain to the signal equal and opposite to the
threshold value (a threshold value of –10dBFS would have 10dB of make-up gain
applied).
• The third gain block is a "scaling" gain block; it allows you to select the exact maximum
output level (as a function of full-scale). If this gain block were not there, the automatic
make-up gain would cause all signals that reached the threshold to equal 0dBFS.
There are only three parameters in the limiter DSP block, so it is extremely easy to set up and
use. A detailed look at each of the parameters follows.
Threshold
The Threshold parameter of the limiter sets the maximum output level from the first gain
stage. No gain reduction is applied as the signal level approaches the threshold, but once it
does, the limiter holds the output of that stage to the threshold value. Make-up gain is applied
to the audio after it has been limited to the threshold value, so if audio is playing while the
threshold parameter is adjusted downward, the output audio will appear to get louder. The
threshold parameter is adjustable from –0dBFS to –65dBFS in 0.5dB increments.
Output Level
The Output Level parameter sets the absolute maximum output level from the limiter, as a
function of full-scale. A value of –0.25dB will limit the output audio to no greater than
–0.25dBFS, regardless of input level or threshold setting. The output level parameter is
adjustable from 0dBFS to –65dBFS in 0.25dB increments.
Release
The release parameter functions exactly like its counterpart in the compressor; it controls how
long gain reduction is applied to the audio after the input signal drops below the threshold.
Release is adjustable from 0 microseconds to 9.9 seconds.
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Chapter 5
5.4D DSP4:NORMALIZER
A Normalizer's function is to scan a Track for the highest peak value, determine the ratio
between that peak value and full-scale, and multiply the Track by that ratio so that the
highest peak value of the Track is equal to full-scale.
The major improvement in this normalizer over others is that the gain multiplication is
performed in real time, instead of rendering the normalized file back to disk. This allows renormalizing if changes to the Track Gain, Compression, EQ, Limiting and Track Fade blocks
occur after the first pass of normalization.
The normalizer does not have any parameters per se, other than the current gain multiplier
(which is not user set, but is determined from the Track).
In order to normalize a Track, move the cursor under the "Current" field, and press the
UP/YES button. The screen will prompt "Calc Track? Y/N", and if you press the UP/YES
button again, the normalizer will scan through the Track, find the appropriate gain multiplier,
and set the current multiply value accordingly. The normalizer will also turn its On/Off
parameter to On, if it was not on previously. In order to disable the normalization, move the
cursor to the On/Off field and press the DOWN/NO button to turn the normalizer off.
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Chapter 6
CREATING A CD
6.1 CD RECORDING SETTINGS
Once a playlist has been assembled, creating a Compact Disc is a very simple operation. The
first step in the process is deciding on which format of disc to create. There are two types of
Compact Discs that the ML-9600 can create: Red Book CDs and CD24 CDs.
Red Book CDs (or CD-DA discs, as they are sometimes referred to) are audio Compact Discs
that conform to the Sony/Philips Red Book specification. Almost all commercial audio
Compact Discs available today are "Red Book" CDs, and every standard Compact Disc player
in the world will play Red Book-compliant CDs. Red Book CDs have a sample rate of 44.1kHz,
and word lengths of 16-bits. In order for the ML-9600 to create a Red Book-compliant CD, the
CD FORMAT switch (under the CD tray door) must be set to Red Book.
Because Red Book CDs are limited to 16-bit, 44.1kHz recording, and the ML-9600 allows up to
24-bit, 96kHz recording to the hard disk, Tracks with sample rates higher than 44.1kHz or
word lengths longer than 16-bits will be automatically sample-rate converted and/or noiseshaped down to 16-bit, 44.1kHz files when the CD is created. This will not affect data on the
hard disk, which will remain unchanged at its original sample rate and word length.
CD24™ CDs are special Compact Discs capable of containing and playing back audio files
that have resolutions greater than 16-bit, 44.1kHz. Alesis has combined two non-proprietary
standards – ISO-9660 CD-ROM disc format with AIFF sound files – with proprietary
information to create the CD24 standard. CD24 discs can be read by Windows™,
Macintosh™, and UNIX™ operating systems, and AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) files
are recognizable by nearly every audio editing program available on either platform. In
addition, the ML-9600 will recognize CD24 discs and play them as if they were standard CDs,
but at the audio files' original sample rate and word length.
6.1A ADVANTAGES OF CD24
•
•
•
Allows low-cost, random access storage, playback, and delivery of high-resolution audio
files.
Allows inexpensive backup of audio recorded to the internal hard disk.
Allows easy transfer of files to computer-based editing and mastering systems
In order for the ML-9600 to create a CD24 Compact Disc, the CD FORMAT switch (under the
CD tray door) must be set to CD24.
6.2 CREATING A CD
Once a playlist has been recorded and edited, creating a CD is a simple task. First, make sure
that you are in HD mode (using the HD/CD LEDs), and make sure the playlist you have
currently selected is the one from which you wish to create a CD. This can be checked by
pressing the PLAYLIST SELECT button and observing the playlist number and/or the
playlist name.
The next step to creating your CD is to choose which type of CD you wish to create; either Red
Book or CD24. This can be changed by pressing the CD FORMAT button.
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Chapter 6
Third, press the CREATE CD button. Several things happen at this time; the MasterLink
checks the playlist to insure that all Tracks are greater than 5 seconds in length (a Red Book
limitation), and that there are no "empty" Tracks (achieved by creating a new Track and not
recording audio into that Track). Depending on the type of CD you have chosen to create, the
display will then prompt with a "confirmation" page, shown in Figure 6.2.1 for a Red Book
creation.
Figure 6.2.1
Create CD Confirmation
Pressing DOWN/NO while this screen is displayed will cancel the operation and return you
to the previous mode of operation.
Pressing UP/YES while this screen is displayed will begin the CD creation process. If there is
no blank CD in the drive, the CD tray will eject and the display will prompt you to insert a
blank CD, as in Figure 6.2.2.
Figure 6.2.2
Insert Blank CD-R Screen
Once a blank CD is inserted into the drive and the tray is closed, the unit will scan the disc to
verify that a recordable disc is present. Once the disc has been verified as a recordable CD-R
and its length has been determined, the MasterLink will verify that the playlist will fit on the
CD-R that you have inserted. If the playlist is too large to fit on the CD, the display will
prompt with a "Playlist too large" message and abort the CD creation process. If the playlist
checks out, the recording process will begin.
6.3 THE RECORDING PROCESS
There are three stages of the CD recording process, which apply both to Red Book and CD24
creation: initialization, recording, and finalizing. An additional "rendering" stage may apply
to Red Book CD creation.
6.3A RENDERING
When a playlist has Tracks in it that require DSP during Red Book CD creation, it is first
necessary to "render" the playlist to the hard disk. This means that the DSP is applied and the
audio is re-recorded to a special area on the disk set aside for this process. This DSP can
include any or all of the user-adjustable DSP (fades, EQ, limiting, compression, etc.) or sample
rate conversion/noise shaping that automatically occurs when a Red Book CD is created from
a playlist that has Tracks at other than 44.1kHz/16-bit resolution. The amount of DSP applied
dictates how quickly a Track can be rendered; with the maximum amount of DSP applied,
Tracks are rendered in near real-time.
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Chapter 6
NOTE: If a playlist is composed entirely of 44.1Hz/16-bit audio, with no DSP (including
Track fades) applied other than Track gain, the CD creation process will bypass the rendering
stage.
Once the CD creation process is complete, the rendered image remains on the hard disk, and
can be used for subsequent CD burns without re-rendering. The rendered CD "image" can be
accessed via Playlist Select mode; pressing PLAYLIST SELECT and using the UP/YES button
to scroll through the sixteen playlists will bring you to the "seventeenth" playlist, labeled
"Rendered Image". This rendered playlist is not editable, but can be auditioned like a regular
playlist in Playlist Select mode. Additional CDs of the rendered image can be created by
selecting the rendered image playlist, and then pressing the CREATE CD button.
Once the playlist has been completely rendered, the CD creation process begins automatically.
6.3B INITIALIZING
The initializing stage is where the CD drive begins the process of recording, does selfcalibration, and processes the Table Of Contents information from the playlist. This
initialization process takes about one minute to complete.
6.3C RECORDING
After initializing, the unit begins the process of recording actual audio samples on the disc.
This is indicated in the display by the "In Progress" message. The time counter will still
function normally during the CD creation process, so it is possible to view elapsed or
remaining track time either for a single Track or for the entire disc. In addition, the Track
Number indicator will indicate the current Track being recorded to the CD.
Some Notes About CD Recording Speed:
You may have heard of a CD-ROM or CD-R drive described as a "2X" or "8X" or "24X"
speed; some discussion is necessary to avoid confusion over these speed descriptions.
The speed number (1X, etc.) is a description of how quickly the CD drive can either read
data from the disc, or how fast it will write data to the disc; sometimes the speeds are
specified separately (12X read/4Xwrite, for example) in the case of CD-R drives. "1X" means
153,600 bytes per second, the speed at which CD-ROM drives were originally designed.
Because CD-ROM technology is an offshoot of CD-Audio technology, this number is the rate
at which data can be read from a CD-ROM spinning at the same speed as a Red Book CD
playing in real time, or 1X. "2X", therefore, is 307,200 bytes per second, "4X" is 614,400 bytes
per second, and "8X" equates to 1,228,800 bytes per second. In the case of Red Book
recording or playback, these data rates are slightly higher, due to less error correction data
overhead.
The MasterLink records Red Book CDs at "4X" speed, which simply means that a full Red
Book CD can be recorded (after rendering, if necessary) in _ of the play time, or about 19
minutes. Less full discs take correspondingly less time to record.
CD24 discs are CD-ROM discs, so the data rates listed above apply. 44.1kHz/16-bit stereo
audio has a play speed data rate of 176,400 bytes per second, and because CD24 discs are
recorded at a "2X", or 307,200 bytes per second rate, the audio will be recorded to the CD at
about 1.75 times play speed (a five-minute song will be recorded to the CD in about 2
minutes, 51 seconds). This can be observed by watching the track time counter during the
CD recording process; the counter will increment faster than real time, because the counter
is based upon the number of samples processed.
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Chapter 6
Here's where it can become confusing: 96kHz/24-bit stereo audio has a play speed data rate
of 576,000 bytes per second, so, using the same "2X" data rate to the CD, you have audio
being recorded to the CD at about 0.53 times play speed (a five-minute song will be
recorded to the CD in about 9 minutes, 26 seconds). Observing the track time counter will
again confirm this measurement. Data is still being recorded at the same rate to the CD, but
there is a lot more data to record, and it appears slow based upon the time counter. 650MB
(74-minute) CD24 discs will hold a maximum of about 19 minutes of 96kHz/24-bit audio,
and if you divide 19 minutes by 0.53, you see that a full CD24 disc will record in about 36
minutes (which is about _ of 74 minutes, correct for a 2X record speed).
The upshot of all this is that a full CD24 disc will record in about 36 minutes, regardless of
the sample rates and/or word lengths of the audio being recorded. However, the higher the
resolution of the audio, the slower the counter will appear to count. Do not adjust your TV;
this is normal and expected.
Table 6.3.1 lists CD24 recording times versus audio resolution for a 650MB (74 minute) CD-R.
CD Type
Sample Rate
Word
Length
Red Book
CD24
44.1kHz
44.1kHz
16-bit
16-bit
20-bit
24-bit
16-bit
20-bit
24-bit
16-bit
20-bit
24-bit
16-bit
20-bit
24-bit
48.0 kHz
88.2kHz
96.0kHz
Record Time
74-minute
(650MB) CD
74 minutes
64.4 minutes
42.9 minutes
42.9 minutes
59.2 minutes
39.4 minutes
39.4 minutes
32.2 minutes
21.5 minutes
21.5 minutes
29.6 minutes
19.7 minutes
19.7 minutes
Record Time
80-minute
(700MB) CD
80 minutes
69.6 minutes
46.4 minutes
46.4 minutes
64.0 minutes
42.6 minutes
42.6 minutes
34.8 minutes
23.2 minutes
23.2 minutes
32.0 minutes
21.3 minutes
21.3 minutes
Table 6.3.1
CD24 Recording Times vs. Resolution
Note that at 44.1kHz/16-bit resolution, a CD24 holds 63 minutes of audio, instead of the
expected 74 minutes. The reason for this is that CD-ROM format discs (which CD24 discs are)
contain more error correction data than Red Book audio discs (because of the obvious need for
data integrity when storing computer data), and can therefore hold less audio data than a Red
Book disc. However, because of this extra error correction information, the audio data itself on
a CD24 is therefore more robust and is less likely to have errors in it due to disc scratches.
Also note that 20-bit and 24-bit audio have the same recording time available on CD24; this is
due to the AIFF file format specification. A 20-bit AIFF file actually orders its audio samples as
24-bit, and pads the last four bits with zeros. Thus 20- and 24-bit files end up being the same
size when saved in AIFF format. However, 20-bit files on the MasterLink's internal hard disk
are recorded in true 20-bit fashion, so 20-bit recording will give you longer recording time on
the hard disk as compared to 24-bit recording.
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Chapter 6
6.3D FINALIZING
The last stage is the finalizing stage, where the CD drive "closes" the disc and writes the final
Table Of Contents to the disc. This process takes about 30 seconds to complete. After this
finalization process, the disc will no longer be able to accept new data; it becomes a "readonly" disc.
Once the disc has successfully been finalized, the tray will eject and the display will indicate
"successful", as shown in Figure 6.3.1.
Figure 6.3.1
Successful Red Book Creation
6.4 CD24 DISC SPECIFICS
One of the advantages to creating a CD24 disc is that the Track names are preserved when the
disc is recorded, and displayed when a disc is inserted and played. However, due to the
limitations of the ISO-9660 disc format, Track names on a CD24 are always converted to
upper-case at recording time. This will not affect the names assigned to Tracks in the playlist.
If a playlist contains two or more Tracks that, after being converted to upper-case, end up
having the same name, the MasterLink will automatically change the names of the files being
recorded to the CD. The last two characters of the Track name will be replaced by 01, 02, 03
etc., depending on the order of the Track in the playlist.
For example, if the second, third, and seventh Tracks in a playlist are all named "Stairway",
they will end up on the CD24 as "STAIRWAY", "STAIRW01", and "STAIRW02".
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Chapter 7
CD MODE OPERATION
7.1 CD PLAYBACK
In addition to being a full-featured mastering hard-disk recorder and CD burner, the ML-9600
is of course also a great sounding Compact Disc playback machine. With the HD/CD switch
set to CD, the ML-9600 provides you with standard CD player controls, such as play/pause,
stop, forward and reverse scan, and forward and reverse skip.
7.1A PLAYING A RED BOOK CD
Press OPEN/CLOSE to eject the tray, and insert a disc. Push OPEN/CLOSE again to close the
tray, and the CD will be scanned for TOC information. Pressing the HD/CD button to select
CD will place the transport controls in control of the CD player, acting like a standard CD
player would.
7.1B PLAYING A CD24 CD
Press OPEN/CLOSE to eject the tray, and insert a disc. Push OPEN/CLOSE again to close the
tray, and the CD will be scanned. If the CD24 format is detected, the player will read the
information that lists sample rate, word length, and start times for each of the files on disc.
Pressing the HD/CD button to select CD will place the transport controls in control of the CD
player, acting like a standard CD player would.
7.2 COPYING TRACKS FROM CD TO HARD DRIVE
The MasterLink gives you the ability to move audio from either a Red Book or from a CD24
CD on to the hard drive into the currently selected Playlist. Press OPEN/CLOSE to eject the
tray, and insert the disc whose track you wish to copy. Make sure the HD/CD button is set to
CD, then select the CD track you want by using the SKIP buttons. After you have selected the
track you want, press the TRACK MOVE button, and you will see this message (assuming
you have selected CD track 01):
Figure 7.2.1
CD Track Move Display
In this display, the second line of the 2X16 display changes to show "Move (source
track)> destination track)". The cursor will be under the "destination track", and the
source track will be the number of the Track you have currently selected. Pressing the UP/YES
and DOWN/NO keys will scroll through the possible destination track numbers. Once the
destination track number has been selected, pressing TRACK MOVE again will complete the
move.
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37
Chapter 8
UTILITY FUNCTIONS
The UTILITY button gives you access to several functions of the ML-9600 that are important
to its operation, but are not as obviously related to the acquisition, editing, and delivery of
your music as most other features of the machine.
The utility functions in the ML-9600 are accessed by pressing the UTILITY button. The first
press of the UTILITY button will take you to the last selected utility function. Subsequent
presses of the UTILITY button will select different functions, which are numbered Util1,
Util2, etc.
8.1 UTIL1: METERMODE
The ML-9600 supports three different peak level metering modes: No Peak Hold, Momentary
Peak Hold, and Continuous Peak Hold. Figure 8.1.1 shows the level meter mode page.
Figure 8.1.1
Level Meter Mode Page
The only editable parameter in this page is the peak meter mode. Pressing UP/YES or
DOWN/NO will select between the three peak modes, described below.
No Peak Hold
This mode always displays the peak level of the audio.
Momentary Peak
This mode holds the peak value of the level meter for 1 second, or until the level exceeds the
previously held peak value, whichever is longer.
Continuous Peak
This mode holds the maximum peak meter value until either the machine is powered off, or
you press CURSOR LEFT and CURSOR RIGHT simultaneously. This double key press will
always clear the stored peaks, regardless of which mode the machine is in.
8.2 UTIL2: FILE SORT
This function allows you to alphabetically sort the Audio Files on the hard drive, which may
make it easier to find and manipulate a particular file. This operation can be performed as
often as you want, or never; it will not harm the machine or its operation if this function is
never used.
This page prompts you by asking "Sort AFiles? Y/N". Pressing UP/YES will sort the
audio files in alphabetical order, while pressing DOWN/NO will do nothing.
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Chapter 6
8.3 UTIL3: HD FORMAT
This operation allows you to completely re-format the file system that keeps track of all
Playlists, Tracks, Audio Files, and DSP settings on the hard drive. Effectively, this will erase
all of your saved playlist and audio data on the hard drive, and therefore should be used with
extreme caution. After a format operation, all 16 playlists will be empty, as if the unit were
brand new.
To begin a format operation, press the UTILITY button until the Format HD screen is
displayed. Pressing UP/YES while the screen displays "Format Disk? Y/N" will bring up a
confirmation screen which will prompt "Are You Sure?Y/N". Pressing UP/YES once more
will begin the formatting process. Progress is indicated by a row of dots on the second line of
the 2X16 display. Once the dots have proceeded all the way across the display (which should
be less than one minute) the display will briefly read "Complete" and return to Playlist Select
mode.
8.4 UTIL4: SOFTWARE VERSION
The software version page displays the current operating system version. This version
number will only change when a software upgrade is performed to the unit. If a problem is
encountered with the MasterLink during operation and it becomes necessary to call Alesis for
technical support, please have this software version number available as it will aid our ability
to help you.
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ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
Appendix A
SPECIFICATIONS
ADC
24-bit 128X oversampling
DAC
24-bit 128X oversampling
SAMPLE RATES SUPPORTED
44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz
WORD LENGTHS SUPPORTED
16-, 20-, and 24-bit
ANALOG I/O
44.1kHz/48kHz Sampling Frequencies:
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz +0dB, -0.3dB
THD+N : <0.002% @1kHz, -1dBFS
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 113dB, A-weighted
88.2kHz/96kHz Sampling Frequencies:
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40kHz +0dB, -0.5dB
THD+N : <0.002% @1kHz, -1dBFS
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 113dB, A-weighted
DIGITAL I/O
Supported protocols: IEC 958 Type I, Balanced (AES/EBU) and Coaxial
UNIT DIMENSIONS
Height
Width:
Depth
Weight:
3.5"/2U
88mm
17"
432mm
11"
279mm
13.55 lb.
6.2 kg
ALESIS ML-9600 REFERENCE MANUAL
41
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