Review: The Alesis MicLink

Could this be the simplest way to record your voice into your computer? -asks Chris Kennedy

Item:Alesis MicLink XLR to USB Cable

Price: US $31.99, UK £24.99

Mic Scale:

At a Glance: Part of Alesis’s AudioLink series, the MicLink is designed to connect any dynamic microphone to your computer without the need for any other equipment. It has an XLR connection for your microphone and a USB connection with built in audio interface for connecting to a computer. It is also plug-and-play compatible, so you should not need to install any drivers to get it working.

High Notes: The MicLink is an elegant and compact solution to connecting a microphone to a computer. Its design will no doubt appeal to vocalists who already have a preferred stage mic – and wish to use the same mic to record their voice into a computer (perhaps with software such as GarageBand). It could also be of use to touring musicians who want to record a quick vocal demo onto a laptop whilst on the road and do not want to have to take much extra equipment with them. The audio interface works at reasonably low latencies and is compatible with most popular DAWs. It can even be used with iPads, although an Apple USB adaptor is required.

Off Pitch: The MicLink only works with dynamic microphones, so you will need an external power supply to use any mic requiring phantom power. The recording interface only goes up to 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, which is lower quality than many people like to record at nowadays – although adequate for rough demos. Also, compared to a dedicated microphone pre-amp and audio interface (which admittedly costs a lot more) the recording quality of the MicLink is noticeably poorer.

A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The MicLink is a neat and inexpensive solution for inputting a microphone into a computer. It is however inherently limited in its functionality; especially considering that if you are prepared to spend as little as $20 more you can purchase an entry level audio interface (such as the Behringer Xenyx 302USB) which will give you many more connections and functions. It is perfectly possible to make good vocal recordings using the MicLink and a quality dynamic mic and it will no doubt appeal to singers on very limited budgets, however for any serious recordings it is definitely worth spending more money on your setup.

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