ES6 Audio Fidelity. revisiting the question.

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rutabaga40
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ES6 Audio Fidelity. revisiting the question.

Post by rutabaga40 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:05 pm

I'd like to get Os's take on this too...

So, the ES6 was reportedly developed to handle CV signals, more than audio itself.

However, I, and several others, have been using it as the primary means of getting audio back into the DAW. It's an elegant solution. I've done a few A-B's with various sources (even singing, via a Cwejman AP1) through the ES6 and my Apogee Ensemble, and the differences...if any...are just really hard to tease out. In short, the A to D quality seems entirely adequate.

I bring this up again, because I'm going to be getting a new audio interface soon (any favorites? looking at Apogee Symphony, Antelope Orion, Lynx Hilo, etc...), and it is an opportunity to take a fresh look at how I'm getting modular audio back into the computer. I did another A-B today, this time going through a Neve pre/Apogee vs the ES6, and again, me and my golden-eared colleague could not make out any discernible difference!

So Os, am I crazy to keep working this way? Should I have an inferiority complex; that I'm not running the most audiophile signal chain possible from my state-of-the-art [sic] modular? What can you tell us about the quality of the ADC's you used in the ES6. Would YOU use them for audio?

Thanks for any input you care to provide!

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os
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Post by os » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:25 pm

I would use them for audio, but I make no claim to 'golden ears'.

The ADCs in the ES-6 are good quality. They're not top of the range. They make no claim to be excellent. They're just perfectly good ADCs.

Since they ride off the ADAT clock, the performance will to some extent depend on the clock quality of the device sending the ADAT to the ES-3.

Also, consider - I can see the case for an awesome ADC when you're recording, say, a human voice, where there's a very clear comparison to be made between a good and a bad recording. But a modular synth output? Who's to say how that *should* sound? Beyond the consideration of noise floor, is there any meaning to the question of a good or bad recording of a wholly synthetic sound?

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rutabaga40
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Post by rutabaga40 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:18 pm

os wrote:Beyond the consideration of noise floor, is there any meaning to the question of a good or bad recording of a wholly synthetic sound?
Ah...'tis an interesting philosophical question, that. If a modular falls in the forest...

Well, as it is, I'm going to continue using the ES6 for audio, but also have the option to go straight into my interface all patched up.

Like I said, repeated testing shows that it works very well (clock is coming from the Apogee, so is probably better than average, to your point).

Thanks for chiming in!

Cheers.

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Post by pixelmechanic » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:01 pm

Just tried my ES-6 for the first time yesterday, despite having it for at least 6 months : /

Was quite surprised at DC level differences on some channels (showing very little on some and seemingly a lot on others running into FF400, need to patch it into max or stick a voltmeter on it), but in practice with audio and DC blocking plug in Ableton it sounded good. Not an exhaustive test by any means, but clean enough on the things I was listening to. Would be happy to gig with it that way...

Bought it primarily for CV ins into Max, but not really had/made any time for hybrid patching...

BTW at the moment it's in my beauty case running off a uZeus... will also try it in main suitcase to see if that has an impact on DC etc...

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Re: ES6 Audio Fidelity. revisiting the question.

Post by dysonant » Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:44 am

rutabaga40 wrote: So, the ES6 was reportedly developed to handle CV signals, more than audio itself.

However, I, and several others, have been using it as the primary means of getting audio back into the DAW. It's an elegant solution....
It has been months since you posted this. Wondering if you got a new interface as mentioned and if you are still satisfied with the audio quality coming from the ES6?

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Post by dysonant » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:23 pm

I did enough reading around and decided to get the ES3/ES6

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Post by neil_kerr » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:00 pm

Thought i'd give this a friendly bump to see if anyone else out there is using their ES modules for audio purposes?

I use my ES3 for a simple means of processing prerecorded audio through my modular or sending the signal to my guitar pedals via the Vermona TAI4 for some additional processing during the mixing stage. Have done quite a few listening tests and haven't been able to notice any drop in quality of my audio signals sent through the ES3. Such a handy module on so many levels, I'd be lost without it. Well, not actually lost, I'd still find my way home, I'd just be a lot less happy.

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Post by justin3am » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:30 pm

I frequently use my ES6 to bring sounds from my modular and other sources into my computer.

The sound quality is good and since the inputs will handle +/-10v, there is a ton of headroom. Most of my oscillators have a +/-5v range so there is a lot of room for amplification and feedback. That said it can also mean that the recording level seems low, for example if you connect a line level signal. In that case, you'll want to amplify the signal before it gets to the ES-6.
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Post by Jaypee » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:20 pm

I was in the same boat last year. Used a Lynx Aurora. But couldn't notice any difference with ES-6.
So, I sold my Aurora.
Now I moved into a better studio with proper acoustic room, I might hear a difference, who knows?
Anyone else can share their experience?
Cheers!
J.
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lionelfischer
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Post by lionelfischer » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:54 am

ive had nothing but good results (and times) with my es6. i agree with andrew about recording synths versus human voice. perhaps if you A/B tested the same juicey synth through es6 and some other interface you could pick out differences.

anyone have thoughts on sound devices 744 adc? thats what aphex recorded entire syro album with, which also 'surprised' me when i learned of it, although i dont know anything about adcs, but never heard sound devices mentioned in music studio context, usually just location work

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Post by Jaypee » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:18 am

rutabaga40, check your PM ;)
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