ES-8 and VCV Rack

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Franktree
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ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:19 pm

I just bought an ES-8 and I don't seem to be able to get it working. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm using the audio interface in VCV Rack, which is connected to the ES-8 (via USB). I can send cv or audio to VCV rack seemingly without a problem, but nothing seems to come through the outputs. So I can't get any signal to go from VCV Rack back to my modular. Whether I send cv or audio, nothing comes through. The jacks on the ES-8 don't light up and no signal is transmitted. I'm just testing with something as simple as sending a VCO output through, but nothing comes through. What could I be doing wrong?

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:47 am

Have you tried a regular DAW? Or just tried the ES-8 as your system output?

Mac or PC?

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:28 pm

I hadn't, but I just tried based on your suggestion, with the same outcome. No output, either through Pro Tools or just through the Mac system sound (using a Mac).

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:23 am

What does the mac's Audio MIDI Setup utility show for the ES-8?

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:51 pm

Sorry for the delay on this. I ended up returning the ES-8 and swapping it for an ES-9. I was having the same issue with the ES-9 at first. But I ended up trying the 9-16 outputs in VCV Rack, instead of the 1-8 outputs, and that worked. In other words, for whatever reason, the 1-8 outputs on the ES-9 are mapped to outputs 9-16 in VCV rack.

My sense is that doesn't matter--if I know that, I can just plug into 9-16 and be all set. But is there any reason why I'd want to somehow fix it so it's going through 1-8? And if so, is there a way to do that?

Thanks!

EDIT: Spending a little time with the module, now it seems like I'm having a different problem. The pitch tracking seems pretty wildly off. I changed the relevant outputs in the config tool to turn the DC blocking filters off. The pitch cv is transferring from my sequencer to VCV, but the pitch is off, and in inconsistent ways. So F4 is coming into VCV Rack as a flat G#6, C2 is coming in as a sharp D4, G2 is coming in as a sharp A4, and B3 is coming in as a flat D6. So obviously it's all over the place and in an inconsistent fashion. Any idea what could be going on?
Last edited by Franktree on Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:14 pm

Franktree wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:51 pm
In other words, for whatever reason, the 1-8 outputs on the ES-9 are mapped to outputs 9-16 in VCV rack.
Yes, as documented in the user manual.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:27 pm

os wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:14 pm
Franktree wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:51 pm
In other words, for whatever reason, the 1-8 outputs on the ES-9 are mapped to outputs 9-16 in VCV rack.
Yes, as documented in the user manual.
Ah, got it. Sorry I missed that. I just wanted to make sure you saw the edit to my post above about pitch inconsistency. Thanks!

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:22 am

The pitch tracking seems pretty wildly off.
There is no pitch tracking as such. The ES-9's inputs are not calibrated - you can't just input a 1V/octave pitch CV and expect it to arrive in VCV as the same. (Similarly on the outputs side, which is why https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/vcvra ... ntway.html exists.)

You would need to scale and offset the incoming signal to turn it back into an accurate pitch CV.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:33 pm

Thanks for the info. I didn’t realize that. It’s disappointing because passing pitch cv is such a big part of what I’d want to be able to do. Are there any expert sleepers modules that will allow that functionality (acknowledging silent way can do it going from computer to modular, but wanting to also go from modular to computer)?

And in terms or the scaling and offset you mentioned, is there would be no way to do that generally, right? You’d have to scale and offset as to each pitch?

Thanks again for your help.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:03 am

No Expert Sleepers module has calibrated inputs.

You need to figure out a scale and offset once per input of the ES-9 that you want to use as pitch. Once you've done that, you should be able to re-use it in every patch.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:03 am

os wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:03 am
You need to figure out a scale and offset once per input of the ES-9 that you want to use as pitch. Once you've done that, you should be able to re-use it in every patch.
This is really helpful. Apologies for all the questions. Just one more I think, to make sure I understand the above. So each ES-9 input would have a specific offset value that would work the same way every time I use it (after turning it on and off)? So I could basically determine, I need an offset that is 1.67v (or whatever) for this input, so that when I sent pitch CV of an A4, the computer receives an A4, make note of that specific voltage, and then just make that same adjustment each time? Would the outputs work the same way? Obviously that would be a little trickier on the outputs side, since I wouldn't necessarily be able to be as precise with voltage in the analog world as I can be in VCV, but it's still workable, if the principle is the same.

Thanks again.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:17 am

For the outputs, you can achieve precise calibration with https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/vcvra ... ntway.html
So each ES-9 input would have a specific offset value that would work the same way every time I use it (after turning it on and off)? So I could basically determine, I need an offset that is 1.67v (or whatever) for this input
Yes. The offsets are likely to be quite small, well under a volt. More important will be the scaling.

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by Franktree » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:25 am

os wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:17 am
For the outputs, you can achieve precise calibration with https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/vcvra ... ntway.html
So each ES-9 input would have a specific offset value that would work the same way every time I use it (after turning it on and off)? So I could basically determine, I need an offset that is 1.67v (or whatever) for this input
Yes. The offsets are likely to be quite small, well under a volt. More important will be the scaling.
Ah, I see. I realize I don’t really understand what scaling is then. What kind of module would you use for scaling?

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Re: ES-8 and VCV Rack

Post by os » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:34 am

Something like the VCV 8Vert, but ideally something that would go above 100%.

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