ES-9 vs ES-8

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DavidB
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ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by DavidB » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:06 pm

I've been considering an ES-8 for integration with Ableton, VCV, etc. The ES-9 seems like it adds more inputs/outputs (potentially avoiding the need for expansion modules), adds headphone and monitor out jacks, and uses USB-C. Seems like that would justify the additional $$ depending on use case/existing modules, etc., but is there any additional functionality I'm missing? Does USB-C improve the functionality meaningfully vs. USB-B (both look to be using 2.0)? Thanks.

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os
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Post by os » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:00 am

The USB connection is just a different socket. It has no bearing on the functionality.

The ES-9 has
- more inputs
- balanced main outs & a headphone out
- a built-in mixer
- MIDI (via a breakout)

The ES-8 has ADAT, and is arguably more flexible if you're wanting to integrate it with an existing interface, but then there's also the ES-3/6 in that case.

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Re: ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by bhenry1790 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:41 am

I'm considering both too and the ES-9 looks amazing, but maybe ES-8 is better (for my needs) due to expansion with ES-3 / ES-6? My goal is to have a bunch of computer controlled modulation OUT of Ableton to my small modular. Inputs on the ES-9 are nice, but I would mainly use for audio (hardly ever CV)

I couldn't find anything on the Expert Sleepers site or ES-9 manual that addresses expansion with ES-3 / ES-6

Copied from Expert Sleepers site on ES-9:
For even more outputs (up to 48 more), the ES-9 can be expanded with the ES-5*. It also has a pair of S/PDIF sockets for connecting other digital audio gear.

The ES-9 also provides a pair of MIDI sockets (via a breakout).

* The ES-9 has a dedicated pair of audio channels for the ES-5. Unlike the ES-3 or ES-8, you don't lose audio outputs when using the ES-5.

I'm not sure how Ableton handles the special output requirements of the ES-5.
Unlike the ES-3 itself, the ES-5 requires particular software in order to generate meaningful output signals. Currently, the only such software is the 'ES-5 Controller' plug-in, part of Expert Sleepers Silent Way, and our Max/MSP external (see below).
Copied from Expert Sleepers site on ES-8 can be expanded to 16 out with ES-3 + 10 in with ES-6:
The ES-8 also has ADAT inputs & outputs. This could be used for example to expand the I/O count via an Expert Sleepers ES-3 and/or ES-6, or to connect a traditional audio interface to add, say, mic preamps or 1/4" line outputs (for example with the Behringer ADA8200).
EDIT: I think the ES9 could be a total game changer because of the ease routing CV/Audio to/from modular/computer. Eager to see the demos and uses
Last edited by bhenry1790 on Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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os
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Post by os » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:45 am

I couldn't find anything on the Expert Sleepers site or ES-9 manual that addresses expansion with ES-3 / ES-6
You can't. It doesn't have ADAT connections.
I'm not sure how Ableton handles the special output requirements.
It handles them fine.

If you're going with the ES-8, how are you connecting your speakers and/or headphones?

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Post by bhenry1790 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:40 am

os wrote:If you're going with the ES-8, how are you connecting your speakers and/or headphones?
Oh gotcha... Audio FROM the computer I hadn't considered. Ableton can only do 1 audio interface for output.

So looks like ES-9 or ES-3+ADAT interface are actually best options for me.

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Post by phutureboy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:19 pm

sorry for my ignorance but how is a S/PDIF input (TOSlink) different from an ADAT input ? The plugs look the same but the ADAT allows 8 digital channels when S/PDIF (TOSlink) is only 1 ?
FS: EXPERT SLEEPERS ES-5 | EMS Analyse Filterbank B1-II | EMS AKS | RSF Expander I & II | PEARL Syncussion SY-1

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os
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Post by os » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:34 am

S/PDIF is stereo, but works natively at all sample rates (whereas ADAT only goes up to 48kHz).

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Post by ronnieb » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:22 pm

os
Sorry to hijack the thread but feel like it's topic related.

Can the ESX-8CV mk2 expand the ES-9 or is it only compatible with the ES-8?

Amazing work btw, thank you
:guinness:

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Post by philip_morison » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:36 pm

If you connect the es-5 to to es-9 I assume you can connect the esx-8md to utilize the 8 midi outputs.

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os
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Post by os » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:19 am

The ES-9 can be expanded with the ES-5. From there you can add any of the ESX expanders.

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ES-9 standalone mode

Post by pashacamera » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:19 am

Hi! Got a question about standalone mode before purchasing ES-9. As I can understand, it works like a mixer when there is no laptop connected? So can I use all the 14 inputs and it will mix them to main output and headphones? Also if I use any stereo devices, is it possible to pair inputs to make them work in stereo mode? Thank you

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os
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Post by os » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:01 am

In the current firmware only 8 inputs can be mixed internally. That may change.

Inputs can work as stereo pairs.

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Post by ronnieb » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:47 pm

os
Everywhere seems to be waiting on stock of the es-9, musicstore.de now has an eta of 12.12. Is that a best-case or worst-case scenario?

I'm suuuper excited/desperate to get my hands on one. I've been scouring the interwebs so long for details, I thought I should just see if you have any insight?

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Post by os » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:31 am

There were in stock; they sold out.

We're expecting them again at the end of November. You can reserve one here:
https://www.signalsounds.com/expert-sle ... ace-module

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Post by ronnieb » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:34 pm

One popped back in stock and I managed to snag it :yay:
Cheers to the beginning of the end :guinness:

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Post by Wubz » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:37 pm

Hi, I'm hoping I can get some advice from you lovely people.
I have a clarett 8pre thunderbolt interface plugged into my mac mini 2018. I've been looking to get more audio inputs for my gear. This ES-9 has peaked my interest. I understand I could use it and the clarett 8pre at the same time as aggregate devices with my Mac. I've never actually tried this before) Would I be better to get an ES-8 and plug it into my clarett 8 pre via the ADAT connections, or get the ES-9 and use it in tandem with my carett 8 pre? I would be using it with Ableton predominantly.

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os
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Post by os » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:42 am

You would be better using an ES-3 (and possibly ES-6) over ADAT with the Focusrite.

Unless you usually work at 96kHz, in which case it's not so clear cut.

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Post by Wubz » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:16 pm

os wrote:You would be better using an ES-3 (and possibly ES-6) over ADAT with the Focusrite.

Unless you usually work at 96kHz, in which case it's not so clear cut.
Thanks for the advice. I'm looking to get audio from my modular TO my computer. I thought the ES3 sends signals the other direction?

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Post by Wubz » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:20 pm

os wrote:You would be better using an ES-3 (and possibly ES-6) over ADAT with the Focusrite.

Unless you usually work at 96kHz, in which case it's not so clear cut.
Is the ES8 not going to perform well as an aggregated device with my clarett 8pre?

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Post by os » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:55 am

Thanks for the advice. I'm looking to get audio from my modular TO my computer. I thought the ES3 sends signals the other direction?
Yes, hence my mention of the ES-6.
Is the ES8 not going to perform well as an aggregated device with my clarett 8pre?
It should. It's just more expensive and using an aggregate adds complexity.

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Re: ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by komyta » Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:36 am

Hello,

I'd like to give a try to these very interesting modules.

Basically my needs are as follows :
- 6 channels of CV from Eurorack to Ableton Live (to control a few Reaktor Blocks)
- 8 channels of audio from Ableton Live to external mixing desk

I wonder if I'd be better with an ES-9 (all-in-one solution) or an ES-8 + ES-6 combo (smaller footprint, lower current draw).

Could there be any difference between these two solutions in terms of latency ?

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os
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Re: ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by os » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:05 am

If you don't need the ES-9's 1/4" outputs you may as well stick with the ES-8.

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Re: ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by komyta » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:04 am

Thank you for your quick reply.

As you made no comment about latency, I guess there is no latency difference between these two solutions ( ES-9 or an ES-8 + ES-6 combo).
(I'm especially concerned about the latency of external CV -> ES-8 -> Ableton Live.)

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os
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Re: ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by os » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:07 am

No. They use the same drivers.

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Re: ES-9 vs ES-8

Post by komyta » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:13 am

All right, thank you Os.

If the latency is acceptable for my needs, this system will be a game changer for me !

I'll report about my user experience in a few days.

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