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ES-8 Output Issue
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Expert Sleepers  
Author ES-8 Output Issue
I recently purchased an ES-8 and ES-5 combo and have been playing around with connecting to Ableton and controlling using Max. I've created a patch for sending pitch information and another one for triggers using the es5encoder max external.

It was all working great and then just the other day I plugged it in and the output totally changed. What used to be an octave output for pitch is now more like a tritone and all the triggers on the ES-5 have changed.

Now in max if I send a value of 2 to the es5encoder then trigger 1 is activated, input of 4 = trigger 2, input of 8 = trigger 3, ... , input of 64 = trigger 6, but an input of 128 = both triggers 7 and 8. This is different than how it was working before where an input of 1 = trigger 1, 2 = trigger 2, 4 = trigger 3, ..., etc.

I'm trying to figure out what would've changed: I recently upgraded to Ableton 10 and Max8. And I've also been experimenting with connecting es8 to an ipad using zMors.

Is there any way for me to determine if the output I'm getting from ES-8 is correct? Or is it possible that something has broken which is resulting in such a difference in output?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
It sounds to me like the level has dropped 6dB somewhere in the chain.
os wrote:
It sounds to me like the level has dropped 6dB somewhere in the chain.

Right, makes sense! Weird since nothing has changed, but I will take a step back and see if this is happening any where in my Max setup.

Thank you.
I'm having issues with an ES-8/ES-5 and multiple ESX-8CV combo, with both the SilentWay plugins and the Max externals. On a Mac running High Sierra.

If I'm using the ES-8 as a USB audio interface, everything works fine. But if I'm running it in standalone mode via ADAT from my MOTU 1248 interface, something is "off". It takes a value of 2, not 1, to open the first gate on the ES-5, and the ESX-8CVs, set to 0 values from the plugins and externals, are showing different values via the LEDs. 255 seems to be ok on the ES-5, but not on the ESX-8CVs. It's like the scaling or calibration is off.

When I tested standalone ADAT via an RME Babyface Pro, everything works ok again.

The only difference I can find between the Expert Sleepers and RME Core Audio drivers and the MOTU are that ES and RME allow the selection of various bit depths at different sample rates, but the MOTU shows up as 32 bit float only.

Any thoughts anyone? I'm pretty invested in MOTU AVB interfaces and infrastructure and would very much like to use MOTU ADAT with my ES hardware.
It takes a value of 2, not 1, to open the first gate on the ES-5

What about values 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, which should light LEDs 3-8 on the ES-5 in turn?

Normally this would be a gain thing - a 6dB loss somewhere. Also possibly a stereo channel being summed to mono or vice versa, or panned incorrectly. Does the MOTU ADAT output go though any kind of virtual mixer?

Many thanks for chiming in here. I'm hoping that a few pictures will help explain the situation.

First, using ADAT from an RME interface, where I get what I expect. I've got a Max patch set up to send the spectrum of -2048 to +2047 values across the ESX-8CVs, and I'm sending a 16 to the ES-5, with the 5th LED lighting up as expected. With the RME ADAT, values 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 light up the ES-5 LEDs in turn, and the ESX-8CV LEDs remain constant.

Next, the same Max patch and the same value of 16 sent to the ES-5, but using the ADAT from a MOTU 1248. LED 5 is lit, but the first four LEDs are partly lit, and the ESX-8CV LEDs are a bit of a mess, despite being sent the same information as previously. There is no internal mixing happening with the MOTU drivers; the computer output channels are routed directly to the ADAT outs.

And just to get an idea of what happens at the ends of the value spectrum sent to the ES-5, here's the picture with 0 sent to the ES-5 from the MOTU interface

and 255 sent to the ES-5:

I'll note that these MOTU ADAT issues are not device-specific. I tried ADAT from both a MOTU 1248 and 16A, connected via AVB network and connected to my MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt, as well as a MOTU UltraLite AVB connected via USB, and got the same results as above for each value sent to the ES-5, from each of the different MOTU interfaces. I did note, though, that for any given value sent to the ES-5, changing the sampling rate from 48k to 44.1k changed the outcome in the downstream ESX-8CVs.

Any guesses as to what might be going on here would be most welcome, thanks.
Have you messed around with the 'interface category' stuff in the ES-5 Controller?
Thanks again, Os. The examples above were done entirely in Max with the externals, and I don't know how to do any interface category tweaks with those.

But I've just set up something in Live with the ES-5 Controller and four ESX-8CV combiners feeding it. I have Max for Live patches with constant signals feeding the ESX-8CV inputs, so I can see those LEDs light up and how they behave.

Switching all of those plugins to Cat B for the interface category helps things a lot -- the ES-5 LEDs work as expected for all values 0-255, and the ESX-8CVs on channels 2, 4 and 5 work as expected, but changing the ES-5 values "infects" the LEDs on the ESX-8CV on channel 3. I.e. every change in the value sent to the ES-5/channel 1 changes LEDs on channel 3.

A couple of questions:
- would moving the channel 3 ESX-8CV to unused channel 6 be expected to help, if everything else works ok/as expected?
- is there any way to access some of the Silent Way tweaks (interface category, adaptive mode, smux proof) in the Max externals? If so, how?

Answering my first question above, moving the channel 3 ESX-8CV to channel 6 mainly seems to show that whatever's happening on channel 4 seems to affect the LEDs on channel 6, just like channel 1 did to channel 3 earlier. This is all with the MOTU ADAT and all interface options set to Cat B.
And now I've found the Interface Categories page on the ES website, , which says that for Category B interfaces and the ES-5,

- Do not use channels 3 & 6, or
- Use channels 1 and 4 for gates (the ES-5's own outputs on channel 1, ESX-8GT on channel 4) only, and avoid gate output 8 on each

Still, I'm running the freshest MOTU firmware, so shouldn't that get me back into Category A? Or maybe they broke something with newer driver versions?
They seem to oscillate between categories, so it's entirely possible it's changed again.
os wrote:
Also possibly a stereo channel being summed to mono or vice versa

This solved my issue! Had audio sending out to ES-8 in Ableton via ext. out from the channel. was sending to only output 1 as opposed to 1/2 which caused the stereo channel in ableton to get summed and decrease by -6dB. didn't realize it was summing.

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