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ES-40 setup for 3 synths and a drum machine
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Expert Sleepers  
Author ES-40 setup for 3 synths and a drum machine
Smokey
Hello,
I'd like a way to improvise/compose in Ableton with these three synths and one drum machine:

Metasonix S-1000 (Hz/V & Trigger Ins)
Metasonix D-1000 (4 CV & 4 Triggers In)
SH-101 (CV & Gate Ins)
Knas Polygamist (CV & Gate Ins)

My audio interface has SPDIF Ins and Outs and I use a 2013 MacBook Pro with OS X 10.8.5.

Would the ES-40 + ESX-8GT + ESX-8CV + Silent Way be sufficient?

I've watched the videos and read the threads. I'm pretty sure that these three hardware items, plus the software suite, will be sufficient. I would just like some confirmation and input before I put my money where my mind is.

Thanks!
os
Should be fine.
Smokey
Thanks os.

I bought the ES-40, ESX-8CV, and ESX-8GT. I've watched all the applicable videos and read the portions of the manual dealing with the plug-ins I'm using so far.

My first experiment was to control one synth with just the Voice Controller and outputs 1 (pitch) and 2 (gate) coming from the EDX-8CV. I followed the "Silent Way Setup in Ableton Live" video with success.

My second experiment was to control one synth using the EDX-8CV output #1 for pitch and the EDX-8GT output #1 for the gate. I intend to connect a couple synths this way. I followed the "ES-40, EDX-8CV, EDX-8GT demo" video but for only one voice.

I have a Voice Controller on a MIDI track sending audio to an audio track that has an ESX-8CV combiner and an ES-4 Controller plug in. This audio track outputs to my S/PDIF. I followed the video and can get good pitch tracking from my external synth but the gate doesn't seem to close. The light for output #1 on the ESX-8GT is staying lit.

Before tackling my next step, controlling two synths with silent way, I'd like to figure out why the gate isn't closing. The gate would close fine in my first experiment.

Any help would be much appreciated! I'm determined to get my original "3 synths and a drum machine" set-up going.

Thanks
os
Could you post some screenshots, or a song file, or both?
Smokey
Here are the shots:



On the voice controller the hardware mode is off. Voice controller output section has pitch on 1, gate on 2.



I have a CV combiner and E-4 controller on the track that outputs to my S/PDIF. The track volume for that track always shows a constant signal as shown in the shot. I am also getting a continuous sound from my synth that doesn't close.

Also of interest, the first two numbers above the "don't panic" are always changing. Pressing "don't panic" on either the ES-4 Controller or the Voice Controller doesn't do anything.

I have my synth's gate connected to the ESX-8GT (header 2, output 1) and the pitch connected to the ESX-8CV (header 1, output 1). I intend to connect a few more synths this way, similar to your "ES-40, ESX-8CV, ESX-GT" demo video". When I tried to control one synth just through the ESX-CV and the Voice Controller, everything worked great.

Thanks os!
os
You seem to be using the ES-4 Controller's input 1/2 for both the Thru connection and the Inputs To Gate function.
Smokey
os wrote:
You seem to be using the ES-4 Controller's input 1/2 for both the Thru connection and the Inputs To Gate function.


Should the ES-4 Controller's Thru be set to off then? Switching it to off just sustains the current note. Also, changing the Input To Gate on input 1 to anything other than 2/1 stops the sound completely.

I feel there is probably a fundamental gap in my understanding about the routing right now. Thanks for helping me out with this.
os
You need Thru set to 1/2 to receive the signal from the ESX-8CV Combiner. So you need to use different inputs to the ES-4 Controller for your other signals.

You'll need to add another track, taking input from the Voice Controller, and outputting to the ES-4 Controller inputs 3/4, say. Then use those inputs for the Input To Gate.
Smokey


I've inserted a new audio track, taking input from the Voice Controller, and outputting to the ES-4 Controller inputs 3/4. I've then selected 2/1 on Input to Gate 3, and then tried Input to Gate 4, but I get no sound. Should the inputs 3 or 4 from the input section be switch to something other than off? It didn't seem to do anything.

Thanks for the help. I feel I'm getting close but somethings are still flying over my head.
Smokey
EDIT: I've figured it out! I watched the ES-40/ESX-8CV/ESX-8GT demo video more closely and followed your advice on adding another audio track to route back to the ES-4 control plug in.

It seems I had the outputs incorrect in the Voice Control plug in.

nanners

It's slowly coming together for me. Next step, I'll try adding the SH-101 into the equation and try to get two synths going at once. I'll let you know if I run into any difficulties.

Thanks again for your help os.
os
w00t
Smokey
I now have three synths going. All synth voice controller tracks are routed to a track with the CV combiner and the ES-4 Controller, then out to the ES-40, ESX-8CV, and ESX-8GT modules.

Polygamist Voice Controller Outputs: 1 pitch, 3 gate
SH-101 Voice Controller Outputs: 2 pitch, 4 gate
Wretch Voice Controller Outputs: 5 pitch, 6 gate

Here are some screen shots, the second has the the voice controller open to show the routing:




I'm now trying to add the D-1000 drum machine into the Live Set and can't quite figure it out. The D-1000 has a trigger in for each of the four voices and likes "0-5v pulses". I'm not sure what plug-ins I should use in order to send trigger signals out of the ESX-8GT outputs 4-7. I tried following the Ableton drum rack tutorials but couldn't get anything going. I've also tried using the sync and trigger plug-ins but I'm not sure exactly how to use and route them.

Any advice on how to add the D-1000's 4 trigger outs to the above set-up?
I've also bought the ESX-8MD module. Would I be able to add 2 more MIDI synths to the above Live set by utilizing that module?

Thanks again
os
The easiest way to get gates out would be to use the Gates section of the ES-4 Controller to directly output gates in response to MIDI.

You can use the ESX-8MD to send MIDI in addition to everything else, yes. Again, use the ES-4 Controller.
Smokey
Great! I have achieved the goal set out in my thread title and have 3 synths and a drum machine all playing nicely in one Ableton Live set.

Now I'm adding some other MIDI devices to the set by using the ESX-8MD expander. I have a MIDI piano hooked up to the 8MD and everything seems to be working fine until I play MIDI notes 57 through 63. When playing my MIDI controller, notes 57-64 light up ESX-8GT outputs in succession.

In my drum machine MIDI clip I have notes 60-63 sequenced to play the four drum machine triggers. In the gates section of ES-4 controller plugin I have to set 2 Chan to 1 and 2 Base to 57 to get the notes to trigger the drum machine. I have the drum triggers being sent from outs 4-7 on the ESX-8GT.

Any ideas on why I'm unintentionally triggering the gate expander when trying to use the MIDI expander? And to why the gate setting seem to be three notes down from what I'm sequencing in the MIDI clip?

Thanks again for helping me out with all of this. we're not worthy

Another screenshot after adding the D-1000 drum machine and piano into the equation:

os
Indeed, you're using MIDI channel 1 for both the gate outputs and for the MIDI output. You probably want to change the MIDI channel you're using for one of those.

If you do that, you can't send the MIDI in Live to the track input - you have to use the MIDI destination drop-down to select the specific MIDI channel on the plug-in directly.
Smokey
os wrote:
Indeed, you're using MIDI channel 1 for both the gate outputs and for the MIDI output. You probably want to change the MIDI channel you're using for one of those.


Ahhh yes, I see that having the gate outputs and the MIDI output both using MIDI channel 1 is the issue.

os wrote:

If you do that, you can't send the MIDI in Live to the track input - you have to use the MIDI destination drop-down to select the specific MIDI channel on the plug-in directly.


Could you elaborate on this please? I don't quite follow.

I know Ableton has that issue with outputting everything on MIDI channel 1 but it looks like in your ESX-8MD demo you are sequencing two external synths via midi and in the ES-4 controller both have the MIDI outs set to channel 1.

I tried stacking the ES-4 controller in my "ES-40" track also but couldn't get that to work. MIDI notes 57-63 are still triggering synths/drum triggers that I'm not intending them to.

thanks again.
os
On a MIDI track, in the 'MIDI To' drop down, you should see a bunch of entries for each MIDI channel for each plug-in on a track.

Smokey
os wrote:
Indeed, you're using MIDI channel 1 for both the gate outputs and for the MIDI output. You probably want to change the MIDI channel you're using for one of those.

If you do that, you can't send the MIDI in Live to the track input - you have to use the MIDI destination drop-down to select the specific MIDI channel on the plug-in directly.


On the voice controller I've set the MIDI out to 2 so that gates outputs wouldn't be conflicting with the MIDI output. To get things to work (each track being able to be played from my MIDI controller without double triggering another tracks instrument) I've had to set it up slightly different than what makes sense to me right now…

When choosing the "MIDI to" from the PIANO track I have to choose channel 1 instead of what I think should be MIDI channel 2 (as 2 selected in the Voice Controller plug-in). When I choose MIDI to channel 2, it plays a different instrument sound from the PIANO. The piano in question is a Casio Privia which has very limited MIDI so it may be a quirk of the Casio.
I'm not sure why that is, and if I am actually setting up the routing correctly, especially for the D-1000 track and the PIANO track. The other tracks have Voice Controller plugins which make the most sense to me right now, as far as the routing is concerned.



I'd like to connect a few more MIDI instruments to the ESX-8MD to finalize this set-up. If you could spot out any flaws in my routing or give any advice, it would be much appreciated!

Thanks again for all the help thus far!

applause

EDIT: I was able to add a Mirage sampler and Pigtronix Inifinity Looper into the set.

For the Mirage: I added a new MIDI track for the Mirage and an ES-4 Controller to the ES-40 track, selecting the MIDI out to channel 1 and setting the gate out to the corresponding ESX-8MD out.

For the looper: I added another ES-4 Controller to the ES-40 track, selecting the MIDI out to channel 1, turning the clock on, and setting the gate out to the corresponding ESX-8MD out.

Is the reason I'm able to use MIDI out channel 1 on both of these because there are separate ES-4 Controllers stacked on the ES-40 track? They also seem to work fine with any other MIDI out channel selected.

Sorry for the lengthy posts and all the questions, I'm just trying to wrap my mind around how this is working. seriously, i just don't get it
But it seems to be working! thumbs up
os
Quote:
When I choose MIDI to channel 2, it plays a different instrument sound from the PIANO.

Remember that changing the MIDI channel going into the plug-in also changes the MIDI channel going *out* of the plug-in, unless you use the Channelise option.
Smokey
Not being very MIDI, CV, or computer savvy, I was able to realize my initial Silent Way goals in about two weeks. It would have taken much longer without the simple and effective help from Os. I was actually expecting the learning curve to be a bit longer...

Now I have three mono synths, a drum machine, digital piano, and sampler all talking nicely with my DAW via the modules and plugins! I was able to recreate the track set-up in Ableton with no issues. I think I got a good enough grasp on it to keep busy for a long while.

Anyone contemplating the Expert Sleepers modules should definately try them out.

What now?
Make some music! Rockin' Banana!

Thanks Os.
os
w00t
Holiday
I'm actually working to build a similar set up. What I'm wondering is can you add a CV input module to the ES-40 along with everything else. The reason I ask is I'm trying to see if I can do a complete hybrid set up between hardware modular and VCV racks. Patching back and forth. I know something like that can be done with the ES-8 but as I have the ES-40 (and ESX-8MD with ESX-8GT + ESX-8CV on order) all I need is the CV input but it doesn't appear I can connect a CV input.
os
The ES-7 provides a CV input for the ES-40.
Holiday
os wrote:
The ES-7 provides a CV input for the ES-40.


Ah thanks. Only two inputs but I guess that'll do.
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