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ES-4 with macbook pro
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Expert Sleepers  
Author ES-4 with macbook pro
Drinky Crow
sorry for a silly question..

can I use ES-4 by using the sPDIF on my macbook pro even though I dont have an audio interface with sPDIF in/out? Or do I still need an audio interface with SPDIF in/out? I'm not understanding how to connect.

Currently I use Logic and set the audio tracks to the relevant outs on my audio interface when I need to record stuff. Will this change with the ES-4 if I can use SPDIF from my mac?

I do also have an edirol UA-20 but its old and would rather not use this. It has "Digital output (Optical Type , conforms to S/P DIF)" would this be better to use? Or do I need new audio interface?

thanks
os
You can use the Mac's S/PDIF output. You would use the Audio/MIDI Setup utility to create an Aggregate Device Driver, combining your current audio interface with the Mac's built-in output. Logic would then see this as a new driver with a larger output count - you then direct the ES-4 plug-in to the outputs that correspond to the built-in audio.
Drinky Crow
I was sure that I would need an audio interface with SPDIF to make this work, so that is great news.

Is it simple to set this Aggregate Device Driver up? I have not heard of this. I will search online

anyway, thanks Os!
os
You will also most likely need a TOSlink adaptor and an optical to coaxial converter, both of which are dirt cheap.
os
And here are the aggregate device instructions (for Snow Leopard - slightly different for older Mac OS X):

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3956
Drinky Crow
fantastic, thanks for the your help!
tompty
So for controlling with a Mac Pro - built in optical outputs, I would need to buy that convertor box? Is it not possible to use ( I'm not sure if these exist? ) a optical to coaxial cable?

Its not an issue of price, just running out of power sockets wink

Thanks
os
You need the converter.
tompty
thanks.
fate
Is there latency when doing this
dualmono
If I remember correctly you get only one stereo pair of channels out when using the on board toslinks on a Mac. At least that was the case on a late 09 Macbook Pro I once had.

I might be wrong about this though. Also I don't know if you get so called professional toslink out (more than 2 channels) from a Mac Pro.
fate
My imac has a 'mini' toslink, not s/pdif, couldn't I get the ES-3 And purchase a Mini Toslink to Optical toslink??


http://www.powermax.com/parts/show/serv-922-6540
dualmono
Sure!
But still you end up with 2 channels only ( iirc). Dont know whether thats enough for the ES and your application.
fate
Damn imac and damn apogee !
os
fate wrote:
Is there latency when doing this

Latency between what and what?

fate wrote:
My imac has a 'mini' toslink, not s/pdif, couldn't I get the ES-3 And purchase a Mini Toslink to Optical toslink??

Macs output S/PDIF on the mini toslink connector. The ES-3 takes an ADAT signal. Entirely different.
fate
So what would having only 1 pair of stereo outputs from my imac's s/pdif limit me to with the Es-4?
os
Nothing. The ES-4 is designed to accept a stereo S/PDIF connection. You can access all its features that way.
dualmono
Haha, tis a ballup. screaming goo yo screaming goo yo

SPDIF
is a standard of digital audio connection that transmits 2 channels of PCM or a multi channel compressed sound like DTS or Dolby Digital.

Toslink and Coaxial
are two methods of connecting two SPDIF equiped devices.
Additionally a Toslink cable is used to transmit:

ADAT Lightpipe
uses a Toslink cable, but is a protocol totally different and incompatible to SPDIF.


The ES-4 might be using the compressed multichannels of SPDIF to get more than 2 channels out of the SPDIF interface.
It isn't possible to buy the ES-3 and just hook up your on board Mac optical outs to it, for it isn't working with the SPDIF protocol, but with ADAT lightpipe standard.


So if you have an ES-4 and a Mac with mini Toslink output jacks you need 1 Toslink cable to connect the Mac to the a converter (make sure the converter supports the compressed multichannel signal from SPDIF) and an coaxial cable to connect the converter to the ES-4.

If you have more questions about this, you could hit Expert Sleepers with an email, I guess.

Good luck!
os
dualmono wrote:
The ES-4 might be using the compressed multichannels of SPDIF to get more than 2 channels out of the SPDIF interface.

It's not.

dualmono wrote:
make sure the converter supports the compressed multichannel signal from SPDIF

No need - see above.
dualmono
os wrote:
It's not.


Cool!
Is that because of it using the OSC protocol?
os
No.

Um.

Sorry, I don't know what else to say there.

What?
fate
where in the U.S. can this be purchased?? analog haven is tbd
fate
^^^
os
fate wrote:
where in the U.S. can this be purchased?? analog haven is tbd

They've had them for a couple of weeks, just not updated their website. I'm told it should show as in stock today - if not, email them.
os
In stock now:
http://www.analoguehaven.com/expertsleepers/es-4/
fate
I ordered last night, just curious but is a s/pdif cable supplied?
os
An S/PDIF cable is not included.
ultrashock
os
just a small clarification.
From your site I've read that ES-4 works on 192kHz frequency. So, the project in my DAW (logic, live or so) should be also in 192kHz?
Is there any chance to set up ES-4 working without one more audio interface? (keeping in mind that macbooks have stereopair of digital and stereopair of analogue outputs (only restriction that they are combined in a small 3.5" jack hole..) - If it is possible to do it for at least output the cv only (while not recording the audio stuff from the synths)
and one more question to all - have you checked that macbooks (pros and ordinary ones) support up to true 192kHz optical digital i\o? I had only up to 96kHz in audio/midi setup of my built-in audio (macbok 2008 - I know, time to upgrade but it works like new)

upd: just found:
While the ES-4 is specified to run at 192kHz, at the time of writing this has not been tested. Operation up to 96kHz however has been tested and verified.
so, everything should be okay!
os
The ES-4 may work at 192kHz. I've not been able to verify that yet.

The ES-4 would adopt whatever rate your audio outputs are set to, which would typically be the same as what the DAW is using (usually the DAW controls the hardware).

Yes, you can use the ES-4 with the Mac's built-in output. See
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=42449

I'd be very surprised if the Mac's built-in output supports 192kHz. My MacBook Pro's output only goes up to 96kHz.
ultrashock
o, yeah, now everything is clear!
ES-4 is a genious device!!!
p.s.: I just found that it's better to buy direct M-M: Toslink-to-Mini Toslink Cable
http://www.amazon.com/6ft-Toslink-Mini-Cable/dp/B000FMXKC8
instead of this one (M-F):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00016W67I/ref=oss_product
for use with optical to coaxial converter, right?
os
Yes, probably a more reliable connection without the adaptor.
chrisso
Loving this thread. Clearing up quite a few ES4 confusions for me.
My only question is about the older (2007) Intel iMac, combined audio and digital mini-jack output.
Can I use it (as aggregate device with Lynx Aurora Firewire), and do I use the same adapter cables discussed here, or a different one?
os
As far as I know the combined digital/analogue minijacks have always been the same.

If in doubt, plug a TOSlink cable into it (with a min-TOSlink adaptor) and route audio to the built-in output. If you see light coming out of the cable, you're in business.
chrisso
Confirming I have this correct then....
To use imac I need mini-toslink to toslink cable (linked earlier), Digital Optical TOSlink to SPDIF Coaxial Audio Converter (linked earlier) and spdif cable to link coaxial converter to ES4?
os
Not sure what you mean by "spdif cable to link coaxial converter". From the TOSlink-to-SPDIF converter you just connect to the ES-4 via a coaxial SPDIF cable.
chrisso
Maybe I'm confused then.
This.....
os wrote:
You will also most likely need a TOSlink adaptor and an optical to coaxial converter, both of which are dirt cheap.


So iMac > mini toslink to toslink cable > optical to coaxial converter > spdif cable > ES4.

That right?
os
Yes. Basically as in this video, but from the iMac rather than the Turtle Beach thing:
radiodread87
I am trying to get this to work with ableton on my macbook pro but not having much luck.

It will work at home on when running from an audio interface but I had wanted to use the built in macbook output so I could use my system live.

I connected the Mini toslink to toslink cable > to Toslink to Coaxial convertor > that is going via an RCA style cable to the ES4.

The red light on the ES4 wont light up.

Currently I have just the silent way stuff outputting, when the Toslink cable isnt connected to the mac there is a "popping" coming from the speakers in time with the silent way voice controller.

Is it a question of Routing? and if so how would one typically route the Audio from the Silent way LFO track or Voice controller track to the output of the ES4?

many thanks
os
If the only audio output you have active is the Mac's built-in output, there's no routing to be done, really.

Have you selected the Mac's built-in output as the output device in Live? As soon as you do that, the ES-4's sync light should light. If it doesn't, nothing will work, and in which case I would suspect the cables/adaptors.

If you leave the toslink cable plugged in to the Mac, but unplug the other end, you should see the red laser light shining out of it.
radiodread87
Hey OS

Yeah I actually just figured it all out, the adaptor box I got was not working. I will return it and get another one tomorrow. sorry for the drama.
xandersingh
Hey guys! will be picking up an ES-4 soon and using it through my macbook pro's headphone jack as an aggregate device alongside my Apogee Duet 2. Was wondering if the items in these links are what I need to get the job done. Also if there are better brands than these let me know. also on the other hand, if anyone knows of anything like a USB-S/PDIF interface for cheap let me know, thanks!

http://www.amazon.com/6ft-Toslink-Mini-Cable/dp/B000FMXKC8

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Optical-Toslink-Coaxial-Converter/dp/B00 0I98ZQY

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DRA501/
os
Those look fine.

Cheap USB-S/PDIF:
http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/sound-cards/audio-advantage-micro- ii.aspx
xandersingh
cool, im assuming the turtle beach thing just replaces the headphone jack and i still need everything else?
xandersingh
also would this work?

http://www.amazon.com/Musical-Fidelity-MFVLINK-V-Link/dp/B004PH03GU

this than, a spdif cable straight to the ES-4?
os
xandersingh wrote:
cool, im assuming the turtle beach thing just replaces the headphone jack and i still need everything else?

Yes. Be aware though that it's USB 1.1 class compliant, which means 16 bit audio, which means you lose channel 5 of the ES-4.

Quote:
also would this work?

http://www.amazon.com/Musical-Fidelity-MFVLINK-V-Link/dp/B004PH03GU

this than, a spdif cable straight to the ES-4?

Yes, probably. I'm always suspicious of audiophile gear like this though. Read the reviews - talking about the sound improving with a more expensive USB cable! If you get one I'd be interested to hear how it works out.
os
Found this too:

http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/M2-Tech-Hi-Face-USB-to-S/PDIF-Converter/p roduct_5350
xandersingh
ill likey get something like those. (I'm a stickler for cable clutter). Ill let you know how it works!
xandersingh
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-S-PDIF-Digital-audio-signal-converter-Hifi -/230639224710?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b32b4786#ht_6854wt_139 8

this also seems cheap enough to take a chance on :-)
os
Yes, worth a try! It will be USB 1.1 again though.
The Asterism
Can someone clarify something for me please:

- with the ES-4, there are the two pre-calibrated pitch CV outputs,
but can any of the other five be calibrated using Silent Way software so that they can also control pitch to create a polyphonic setup?
os
Yes, it will work, but due to the 8 bit resolution of the DACs the tuning from a software-calibrated output is not quite as accurate as you'd get from, say, an ES-3.

Just to avoid confusion: the tuning from the hardware-calibrated outputs (1 & 2) is entirely accurate.
The Asterism
Great, thanks for clarifying that OS, I think I'll have to pick up some kind of ADAT interface and go for ES3, as it's the polyphony that I'm after.

I've managed to get 3 oscs working (after a lot of fiddling about) via a borrowed MOTU 828, using the software, but ES3 and ADAT seems like a more elegant option.
os
os wrote:
Found this too:

http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/M2-Tech-Hi-Face-USB-to-S/PDIF-Converter/p roduct_5350

Just for kicks, I bought one of these & tried it out.

It works fine. I can't really recommend it for DAW use though, as the drivers seem to have an astounding amount of latency.

It did turn up one interesting fact though - the ES-4 does in fact work at 192kHz. I've always assumed that it would, but have never been able to test it before.
os
xandersingh wrote:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-S-PDIF-Digital-audio-signal-converter-Hifi -/230639224710?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b32b4786#ht_6854wt_139 8

this also seems cheap enough to take a chance on :-)

Got one of these too (eventually - delivery took an age). Works fine, and for $19.99 what's not to like (apart from the USB 1.1 restrictions).

s o l v e n t
I just wanted to add something to this thread, and by doing so I don't mean to offer this as anything conclusive, but something people may want to investigate/consider if they plan to use Expert Sleepers modules:

Personally, I had no luck getting my ES-4 to work reliably running from an aggregate device - I got all sorts of jitters, missed notes, and crashes.

Alternately, if I ran everything from 1 audio interface, everything was smooth. I had an ES-3 + ES-4 + 8 channels of audio running smoothly from a MOTU 828 as my sole sound card, for example.

But, as my main sound card is an Allen & Heath Zed R16, which does have ADAT out but no SPDIF, I've had to abandon the idea of running an ES-4 alongside my ES-3. I spent a lot of time troubleshooting with different aggregate soundcards (Motu 828, PreSonus Firebox, + Mac's built-in SPDIF with the appropriate convertor cables/boxes), different computers (an iMac + a MacBook - both running Snow Leopard), and different DAWs (Live, Logic, and Numerology). I also tried running the 828 as my main interface, with the Presonus as an aggregate, just to see if it was only Allen & Heath's drivers that were to blame. In all cases and configurations the ES modules did not output reliable signals when running off of an aggregate device.

Perhaps some more troubleshooting could've solved things but personally I had put too much time into it already and need to get on with making music.

I did post on this forum asking if anyone has successfully run ES modules from an aggregate device -- no one responded, so I'm not sure that anyone has managed to achieve contrary results to mine.

I understand that these things are not Expert Sleeper's issues - they are driver issues - or Mac issues - or something... whatever the issues are, I think people should be aware that running ES modules off of aggregate devices may be problematic.

Hope I'm wrong, as I would love to run more ES modules from my A&H sound card at some point!

Jason
MrBiggs
I'd like to know if by "aggregate" devices you mean a second interface/soundcard, like the setup you describe Jason, or a device like those described in the rest of the thread -- namely the cheap converters people are using to drive an ES4 from their Mac's digital/headphone outputs?

Furthermore, I'd also like to know from you folks who are using these little Toslink/SPDIF converters how it's working. I'm considering replacing my MOTU Ultralite with a Firewire mixer that does not have the multiple analog nor SPDIF digital out that the Ultralite has. This means if I want to use Silent Way I'll need to find another way. This thread has perked my interest. It would be fantastic to run a cable from my Mac to an Es-4.
One specific question is if I have a soundcard chosen as my output in, say, Ableton, how would one choose the ES4 or Mac's digital output on a channel? I'm fairly certain Ableton doesn't recognize more than one audio output at a time.
os
This is the purpose of Aggregate Devices. You set up an Aggregate containing multiple audio outputs (e.g. your firewire mixer and your Mac's built-in output), and then tell Live to use the Aggregate as its output. As far as Live's concerned, it's just one big audio output, and OS X figures out what goes where under the hood.

E.g. say your mixer has 8 channels, and the built-in output has 2, then in Live you just use outputs 1-8 for the mixer and 9-10 for the ES-4.
chrisso
So far I've had good results with an ES4 through an aggregate device (Lynx Aurora and iMac output), using Logic.
I copied the set up Os described with a little toslink
to spdif converter.
I haven't strained the set up with elaborate Silent Way duties, but to play synth lines in tune and perfectly in time, I've got to say I haven't had any issues at all.
I just bought Ableton and haven't tried the aggregate device trick yet though.

One question.....
For reasons I don't need to go into, I'm thinking of working with an RME Babyface.
The RME has two main outputs (effectively), but up to ten more outputs via digital (SPDIF).
I can't tell what cable I would need to come out of the digital side of the RME with SPDIF then go into the ES4 front panel.
Can you help? See pic:
http://www.rme-audio.de/images/products/rme_babyface_2b.jpg
os
The Babyface has a TOSlink output, so if using it in S/PDIF mode you'd use an optical-to-coaxial converter, same as from a Mac's output.

The Babyface's output can work in ADAT mode too though, so you could connect an ES-3 for eight extra channels of output. You only get two extra channels of S/PDIF.
chrisso
Great thanks.
CW
MrBiggs
os wrote:
This is the purpose of Aggregate Devices. You set up an Aggregate containing multiple audio outputs (e.g. your firewire mixer and your Mac's built-in output), and then tell Live to use the Aggregate as its output. As far as Live's concerned, it's just one big audio output, and OS X figures out what goes where under the hood.

E.g. say your mixer has 8 channels, and the built-in output has 2, then in Live you just use outputs 1-8 for the mixer and 9-10 for the ES-4.


Thanks os. AFter a few days of thinking and reading, I believe I'll be getting a regular mixer, keeping the Ultralite after all and doing the ES3.
LoveBot
I'm thinking about picking up a new Macbook Pro, the Apogee Uno for budget high quality audio I/O, and the aforementioned adapters to convert the Mac's onboard sound output to S/PDIF in order to connect to the ES-4. I plan to use Ableton Live 8 and Silent Way. Does this sound like it will work? Cheers!
os
Should work, yes.
LoveBot
wonderful, thanks!
takacspeter
If i have ADAT on UAD Apollo and macbook pro as well than which es is better?
os
I'd always go for the ES-3 if you have the option.
HowMuchYaBench
Thanks for all the info in this thread. Looking at an ES3/4, so this was quite helpful.
helder
Hi,

First post here, looking into setting up jitter-free MIDI with Ableton with the Expert Sleepers system.

It was mentioned that using the MacBook Pro digital output would work but if you also output the audio from the computer you'll need an aggregate device, and this created problems for someone. Is this always the case? Have others found the same problem? Is it true for any setup?

Thanks.
cheapmachines
Just FYI the Fostex COP-1 converter between a Macbook Pro's optical out and the ES-4 seems to work fine. Not sure if they still make them but they show up on eBay fairly frequently:

http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/archive_products/COP1_96k.shtm l

Mac > MiniToslink to Toslink cable > COP-1 > Coaxial S/PDIF cable > ES4

Question: Was curious to know if it's possible to use an ADC to take an analogue audio input and convert that into an S/PDIF signal that the ES4 understands. Picked up one of these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KNNSJ7K/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

But all it gives me is all the lights on the ES4/8CV pulsing very slightly. Anyone had any luck using an ADC like this?
os
That won't work. Why would you want to do that? Curious.
cheapmachines
I use a MOTU Microbook II interface when I'm doing live gigs.

http://klad.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/MOTU-MicroBook-II-4.jp eg

It has an S/PDIF output but it always mirrors the main output channels, which is a nuisance as I want to sent audio to the main jack outputs and not have the signal intended for the ES4 in with it.

You can send a separate mix to the 3.5mm outputs (Line Out 3-4), so just wanted to see if I could use that with an ADC as a dedicated channel for the ES-4.

I also have the Ultralite plumbed in at home which has a separate S/PDIF I/O which works fine, just trying to find a work around for the Microbook.

Seems like a different interface is called for, or send the audio to 3/4, not use the main jack outputs and use the S/PDIF for the ES-4.
os
Quote:
Seems like a different interface is called for, or send the audio to 3/4, not use the main jack outputs and use the S/PDIF for the ES-4.

That would be my suggestion.
Limbertimbre
Microbook II is working great here after figuring out the channels are not what they seem in the Cue-Mix software.

Today I built my first modular synth (yay!) consisting of a Makenoise DPO and a Blue Lantern mini cobalt smelting lab. Main mix SPDIF is controlling the ES-40/ESX-CV8. Out 3/4 is the new Ableton Live master channel.

os is doing a fantastic job. This level of control in a DAW is delightful. Silent Way is great so far. Let the fast crazy psychedelic trance music commence!

This is fun!
hpmk
I am using an ES-40 module in conjuction with the ESX-8MD to handle all the sync in my studio.

My sound card is a Midas Venice F32 mixing console, which I aggregated with my internal MBPro digital output in order to send the digital audio data to the ES-40 module.

Everything seems to work charm, but randomly, everything stops and I have to check/uncheck Drift Correction under Audio Devices OS X Preferences to recover the sync.

I've tried ticking Drift Correction in both Midas and Internal devices, only in one of them and also ticking none of them. None of the options manage to work.

Is anyone else suffering from this issue?

Using Yosemite 10.10.1
os
Which of the two is the master? Unless you can word clock them (which you can't, with the internal audio), you'd want the device driving the ES-4 to be master.
hpmk
Everything works now! Thanks smile
nnamesor
I've been following this thread and finally have an ES-40 that I'm trying to connect to my MacBook and/or iMac.

I see much discussion re: SPDIF output from the Mac via > Toslink > Converter > Coax, however is there any reason why a 3.5mm > RCA cable like this, directly from the Mac to the ES-40 wouldn't work?:


RCA to Mono 3.5mm Mini Plug S/PDIF Digital Audio Cable

http://www.ramelectronics.net/SPDIF.aspx

Is there any reason to deal w/ Toslink and a converter @ all, or am I missing something?

Thanks.
os
What an odd cable. I can't think of a single case where that would be useful.

You need a TOSlink converter. Whatever you can get out of a Mac on a 3.5mm jack is not digital audio.
nnamesor
Ah - i assumed it couldn't possibly be that simple . . .

Thanks very much for the prompt response.
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