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Expert Sleepers ES3 vs ES8
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Expert Sleepers ES3 vs ES8
echopraxia
Looking to purchase one of these as my final solution for very solid DAW synchronizing. Here's what I'm trying to get out of it:

Pitch/Gate for multiple midi channels
Super tight clocking for my ADE32 and URA
Flexibility to configure the following types of outs in various ways to be more conducive to melody/polyphony/rhythm

I know there's many other things you can do with these modules. What I'm trying to figure out is exactly how much more capable the ES8 is. I understand some of the basics but what is the full range of advantages the USB connectivity provides?

And if one of them is more functional without the use of silentway, that would be a plus.
echopraxia
btw, im using cubase 9 so the more functionality with that, the better
xthrasherx
well to start, the ES-8 is an audio interface (can send audio back to your computer via USB, like many consumer level audio interfaces), while the ES-3 can only output signal to your modular from your DAW. To get similar functionality out of the ES-3, you'd have to add the ES-6.

So basically you need to ask yourself how you want to get audio (or cv) back into your DAW. If you already have enough inputs available in either your regular audio interface or an outboard mixer, the ES-8 would likely be redundant.
echopraxia
xthrasherx wrote:
well to start, the ES-8 is an audio interface (can send audio back to your computer via USB, like many consumer level audio interfaces), while the ES-3 can only output signal to your modular from your DAW. To get similar functionality out of the ES-3, you'd have to add the ES-6.

So basically you need to ask yourself how you want to get audio (or cv) back into your DAW. If you already have enough inputs available in either your regular audio interface or an outboard mixer, the ES-8 would likely be redundant.


great info. makes me lean towards es3, but is there functionality the USB provides that is advantageous to the adat?
The Illuminaire
echopraxia wrote:
great info. makes me lean towards es3, but is there functionality the USB provides that is advantageous to the adat?

Hopefully no one wants to contest this, but the answer is no.
Dragonaut
The only reason USB would be advantageous is if you went the es-3/es-6 route your ADAT connection would be eaten up by the two. Depending on how much outboard gear you have (and whether you want to record to VHS) this could be an issue for you.
Jamnuska
So then if one didn't have a lot of outboard gear and just wanted to go from Reaktor Blocks to Euro and back via Daw one would be better off with the cheaper combo ES3 and ES6?
noeticsound
Jamnuska wrote:
So then if one didn't have a lot of outboard gear and just wanted to go from Reaktor Blocks to Euro and back via Daw one would be better off with the cheaper combo ES3 and ES6?


Do you already have an interface with ADAT IO? If not, you'll need one to connect your ES-3 and ES-6 to the computer. I have an ES-3/6 combo routed via lightpipe to my RME Fireface 802, which connects to my computer with USB.

My computer (MacBook Air) doesn't have onboard ADAT digital audio. If I didn't have the interface, the ES-3/6 wouldn't do anything for me, whereas the ES-8 could connect via USB directly to the computer and provide full functionality.
nihilicious
Something to keep in mind.. if you run your DAW at 96 KHz, you'll lose half the ES3 ports due to the limitations of ADAT. There is a workaround, but it's a headache.

ES8 would let you avoid ADAT limitations by using USB, but (in OS X anyway) I believe you need to create an aggregate audio device if you want to use it alongside another primary audio interface, which can negatively impact your audio latency.

Won't be an issue if you run at 44.1/48.

echopraxia wrote:
Looking to purchase one of these as my final solution for very solid DAW synchronizing. Here's what I'm trying to get out of it:

Pitch/Gate for multiple midi channels
Super tight clocking for my ADE32 and URA
Flexibility to configure the following types of outs in various ways to be more conducive to melody/polyphony/rhythm

I know there's many other things you can do with these modules. What I'm trying to figure out is exactly how much more capable the ES8 is. I understand some of the basics but what is the full range of advantages the USB connectivity provides?

And if one of them is more functional without the use of silentway, that would be a plus.
BasariStudios
Have the ES-3 for my Modular and i love it but i have some high end Audio Cards and over 60 I/Os on them.
Jamnuska
noeticsound wrote:
Jamnuska wrote:
So then if one didn't have a lot of outboard gear and just wanted to go from Reaktor Blocks to Euro and back via Daw one would be better off with the cheaper combo ES3 and ES6?


Do you already have an interface with ADAT IO? If not, you'll need one to connect your ES-3 and ES-6 to the computer. I have an ES-3/6 combo routed via lightpipe to my RME Fireface 802, which connects to my computer with USB.

My computer (MacBook Air) doesn't have onboard ADAT digital audio. If I didn't have the interface, the ES-3/6 wouldn't do anything for me, whereas the ES-8 could connect via USB directly to the computer and provide full functionality.



Thanks. I think I finally get it (the ES site could use some better vids). I guess I need to buy the ES8.
esotericmetal
I was wondering the same thing. I have a UA Apollo quad and twin that I use cascaded as my audio interface. The ADAT input on my Twin is unused so that would be perfect to use with the es-6 and the adat outs on the main Apollo quad doesn't get much use so that would work for the es-3. That would make 8 channels of I/O as opposed to only 4 ins and 8 outs with the es-8.

The one reason I'm still considering the es-8 is that you can use it with an iPad and Audulus recently added an update where it's supposed to work nicely with the es-8. Still haven't really clicked with Audulus but I'm definitely impressed with how it's been developing.
killkrt
A little necropost, but I don't want to create another new post on the same topic.

At the moment I don't have a ADAT audio card.

I was wondering if it makes sense to spend about 80€ more on ES-8 over ES-3+ES-6 and having two inputs less, but avoiding to buy an ADAT audio interface.

One important question: using only USB, could I send 8 CV/audio and receive 4 CV/audio (from/to my PC) simultaneously? Could I also continue to use my audio card (Scarlett 2i2) without any issue (OS X 10.12)? I mean that in my DAW (Logic X and Studio One 3) I can send/receive signals from my rack (via ES-X) and still record/play audio through my 2i2.

At the moment I am evaluating buying a 18i8+ES-3+ES-6 or just ES-8.
I know that 18i8 offers lot of stuff, but I think I'll just use multiple outputs (to control two pairs of speaker, and I could buy a Mackie Big Knob for that) and 2 or 3 inputs to record audio coming from modules (saving some inputs from the ES).

Thank you.
Sebastian Cain
The es8 is a fully functional usb interface w/ ADAT ports so you get 8 out 4 in simultaneous IO that you can expand with other expert sleepers modules ( or other adat converters) - add an es6 and a es3 ( connected to the es8 adat ports) and now you have 16 outputs and 10 inputs that you can “aggregate device” with your existing 2i2.
rklem
On OS X all I/Os of the ES-8 are working without any issues. On iOs I'm having problems though. I connected the ES-8 to my iPad (original Apple Camera Connection Kit), the USB LED on the ES-8 indicates a connection (good) and the iPad's speaker is muted (good).
But in iOS Audiobus 3 I only see the "System Audio I/O", so I guess that means that not all IOs of the ES-8 are recognized and only IOs 1/2 would be used. When I select "System Audio" in Audiobus, I can send audio from the ES-8 to iOS (the Audiobus mixer shows the signal). But I can't send any audio from iOS to the ES-8 – not matter if a try it in Audiobus or other apps. Did anybody experience similar issues – or what am I doing wrong? (iOS 11.1.2, Audiobus 3)
CopperHydra
You can always ask round the Expert Sleepers part of the forum for help and expect to get your problems sorted out.

Here: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=35
rklem
Quote:
You can always ask round the Expert Sleepers part of the forum for help and expect to get your problems sorted out.


Thanks, I just started a new thread there.
tibbon
I've got an ES-3 and find Silentway to be a pain in the ass to use. I wish Ableton had something built-in that did that type of functionality and wasn't so... quirky? The calibration process for a VCO is really annoying and the interface is bad.

but the ES-3 itself it great.
jzwoopwoop
tibbon wrote:
I've got an ES-3 and find Silentway to be a pain in the ass to use. I wish Ableton had something built-in that did that type of functionality and wasn't so... quirky? The calibration process for a VCO is really annoying and the interface is bad.

but the ES-3 itself it great.


You should give CV Toolkit a shot. It’s not without some small quirks of its own, but I find it to be way more straight forward than SW. Cheaper, too.
BasariStudios
tibbon wrote:
I've got an ES-3 and find Silentway to be a pain in the ass to use. I wish Ableton had something built-in that did that type of functionality and wasn't so... quirky? The calibration process for a VCO is really annoying and the interface is bad.

but the ES-3 itself it great.


Just got my second ES-3 now, love them with ES-3 and Reaktor,
Once you get the hang of it its really easy.
DoubleStop
jzwoopwoop wrote:
tibbon wrote:
I've got an ES-3 and find Silentway to be a pain in the ass to use. I wish Ableton had something built-in that did that type of functionality and wasn't so... quirky? The calibration process for a VCO is really annoying and the interface is bad.

but the ES-3 itself it great.


You should give CV Toolkit a shot. It’s not without some small quirks of its own, but I find it to be way more straight forward than SW. Cheaper, too.


I was under the impression that there is a MAX for Live solution for this as well. Am I wrong? sad banana

Jeff
Dogma
DoubleStop wrote:
jzwoopwoop wrote:
tibbon wrote:
I've got an ES-3 and find Silentway to be a pain in the ass to use. I wish Ableton had something built-in that did that type of functionality and wasn't so... quirky? The calibration process for a VCO is really annoying and the interface is bad.

but the ES-3 itself it great.


You should give CV Toolkit a shot. It’s not without some small quirks of its own, but I find it to be way more straight forward than SW. Cheaper, too.


I was under the impression that there is a MAX for Live solution for this as well. Am I wrong? sad banana

Jeff


Yeah I think there is....

I've been rocking bigwig - can't recommend it enough
charley2020
I´ll get the ES-3 & ES-6 Combo.

I have an RME Raydat in my Studio and a few ADAT I/Os. So this is a no-brainer.

For my Laptop i have an RME Babyface and also 1 ADAT in and 1 OUT.

Don´t see much sense in getting an ES-8 in my Case. This is just a perfect Modular <-> DAW Setup. Don´t know if there is even something comparable?
orbita
Would there be any issues using the ES-8 outputs as main outputs in a live context?

I am thinking of a small setup of laptop and modular and would like to avoid a separate audio interface.

I'd like to pass audio from the modular into the laptop, process and send back out mixer with other tracks from the laptop.
Joey P.
Anyone have I/O latency numbers for ES-8 USB in Ableton?

Thinking of adding the EX-8 to my ES-3 and expanders and free up my main audio interface ADATs.

Thanks
orbita
Are you planning on using the ES8 at the same time as your main audio interface via aggregate device?

If so, I believe you need to sync the clock between them which may require you to connect them via ADAT anyway.
Joey P.
orbita wrote:
Are you planning on using the ES8 at the same time as your main audio interface via aggregate device?



No...Ableton will run on the ES-8 USB and Protools will run on my Apollos. No digital connection between them. Also debating moving Ableton and ES-8 to a separate laptop.
flipper16
tibbon wrote:
I've got an ES-3 and find Silentway to be a pain in the ass to use. I wish Ableton had something built-in that did that type of functionality and wasn't so... quirky? The calibration process for a VCO is really annoying and the interface is bad.

but the ES-3 itself it great.


WISH GRANTED! Om

johny_gtr
I hope after Ableton (and Bitwig) support of CV/GATE outputs, RME will create audio interface with reliable Windows drivers and support of dc outputs.

Idea of ES8 is interesting but I don't think that their AD have the same quality as RME
modul8tr
Perhaps, I’ve never used RME but know that people love the sound. For an interface primarily created to send cv/modulation I was actually quite pleased with the quality. My main interface is an Apollo 8p.
ckwjr
I'm excited about digging into the Ableton CV tools. I think the beta version is available now?
Joey P.
ckwjr wrote:
I'm excited about digging into the Ableton CV tools. I think the beta version is available now?


I have Live 10 but haven't delved in to the CV control. I'd imagine ES expanders will still require SW to access multiplexing? Honestly with full automation of SW plugins in Ableton, I'm actually very happy with SW and the ES modules.
modul8tr
I had it all going in minutes when I set it up two nights ago. Great experience so far. My ES-3 did not require the SW SMUX plugin with the ES-8. I’ve never needed his software at all. When I asked Andrew how I was getting 8 channels of 24/96 with the ES-3 attached he sent me this:


“The ADAT protocol intrinsically only supports operation at 44.1 or 48kHz. Most audio interfaces that run at double sample rates (88.1/96kHz) use two ADAT ports and a variant of ADAT known as 'SMUX' to support this.

The ES-8 takes a different approach. At 88.1/96kHz, every other audio sample on the ADAT outputs is thrown away, reducing the signal to 44.1/48khz. Thus, the full channel count on an attached ES-3 (for example) is maintained even at 96kHz. Similarly, every audio sample arriving on the ADAT input is doubled up”


I think this is what you’re referring to.
Joey P.
modul8tr wrote:
I had it all going in minutes when I set it up two nights ago. Great experience so far. My ES-3 did not require the SW SMUX plugin with the ES-8. I’ve never needed his software at all.


I think this is what you’re referring to.


I am thinking about the expansion modules....ES-5, ESX-8CV, ESC-8GT, etc. They require software to multiplex off of a stereo pair from the ES-3. These are accessed using SW ES-5 controller and ES-8CV combiner. For me this is the strength of the ES modules. I have 24 gates and 14 CV outputs over a single ADAT connection using ES SW software. I don't suppose Live supports those modules.
noeticsound
Joey P. wrote:
I am thinking about the expansion modules....ES-5, ESX-8CV, ESC-8GT, etc. They require software to multiplex off of a stereo pair from the ES-3. These are accessed using SW ES-5 controller and ES-8CV combiner. For me this is the strength of the ES modules. I have 24 gates and 14 CV outputs over a single ADAT connection using ES SW software. I don't suppose Live supports those modules.


I suspect that CV Tools don't convert to ES-5 and the other expanders natively. But Expert Sleepers released some Max externals that address those modules, so a bit of M4L hacking could bridge the gap.

This should be fun. Is the Live update out already?
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