ES-1: Where am I going wrong?

Discussion and support for Expert Sleepers' Silent Way software and hardware.

Moderators: Kent, os

Post Reply
User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

ES-1: Where am I going wrong?

Post by bil_g » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:28 pm

First,let me say that I am a novice diy'er and don't have a modular - just monosynths. Feel free to question any findings.

So, I've only put a couple of hours into figuring this out but I think I have run out of basic solutions. I'm getting shaky/unstable voltages on all outs of the ES-1. My normal setup is:

VC or DC plugin(followed by AC, set to bipolar) -> Fireface ADAT out -> ADA8000 -> ES-1(alone in a Doepfer minicase)

I recorded an example( WAV / MP3 ) with three parts. The first is 10 C's(C0-C9) using SW VC plugin using the DC-coupled headphone outs(7/8) on the Fireface400, which work flawlessly. The second is the same but using the ES-1 connected to the ADA8000, and the third is the ES-1 with the DC plugin moving from 0-5v using the mouse. All are the same Patch-Panel SEM and the same input(FF400)/output(SEM Pulse out) for calibration.

I've calibrated the ES-1 for bipolar and tried voltages from max to min and nothing has had an effect. It is less evident in the lower frequencies but...if you tune the oscillators to higher frequencies, thinking you can use the unusable higher octaves in the seemingly usable lower octaves, you just notice how unstable the lower octaves really are. In other words, while it may sound like it's only an issue in the higher frequencies, it's not.

Other things I've tried:

ES-1 Ground lift
Messing w/ Fireface/ADA8000 output levels
1/4" DB25 going directly to the Fireface inputs 3-6 instead of the XLR DB25 and ADA8000
Different cables and power sources(meaning different Furmans)

None of these made a difference in the fluctuations.

Other things I noticed:

Measuring at the ES-1 outs, the ADA8000 shows a range of -3.64 to 3.36v and the AC outs on the Fireface show -1.8 to 2.4v. As I increase the voltages on the ES-1, those offsets increase(of course). So, if the Fireface AC outs are set to +10v, they'll only go to -8v. The ADA isn't as extreme. It's usually within 1v.

It's nearly impossible to get the voltages coming from the ES-1 to sit still. There is usually movement of +/-0.01v. It doesn't seem like alot but compared the the DC outs on the FireFace it is. The headphone outs hardly ever move. More like +/-0.001v variance, if any.

The Fireface400 is new and my second one. The DC outs show +/-9.84v. When I calibrate the SEM using VC, I get -2v to 8v with a negligable variance between octave measurements. With the ES-1 and ADA8000, the measurements are never 1v/oct and VC usually can't grab the lowest and highest octaves, even with +/-10v at the ES-1 outputs.

Just for the sake of full disclosure:

Using the headphone outs on the Fireface I have gotten the following -
PP SEM(x2) - 9 octaves
Two-Voice(stock CV) - 8 octaves, the keyboard electronics keep me from that 9th but if you turn the pitch-bend knob all the way down...
Pro-One - 9 octaves
Source - 9 octaves, but I can't get re-trigger. No prob on the CS-15(or others)... :despair:
CS-15 -7 octaves - I got 8, once, but didn't save it :doh: . I haven't tried the CS-10, yet.

That's all I can think of, right now. I haven't gone snooping on the ES-1 board other than the normal calibration readings. So, does anyone have a suggestion where to check next?

Thanks,

Bill

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:07 am

Thanks for the detailed post.

There is some residual high-frequency information on the ES-1's outputs, which is why it may not appear entirely steady when measured with a voltmeter. I've not heard of this being a problem before, but it's possible that the SEM is unusually sensitive to it.

What results do you get with the ES-1 and the other synths?

User avatar
numbertalk
Hunnert Buck
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:57 am

Post by numbertalk » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:52 am

os wrote:Thanks for the detailed post.

There is some residual high-frequency information on the ES-1's outputs, which is why it may not appear entirely steady when measured with a voltmeter. I've not heard of this being a problem before, but it's possible that the SEM is unusually sensitive to it.

What results do you get with the ES-1 and the other synths?
I had noticed and discussed seeing this on my scope with Os as well. Os, do you think adding a ceramic cap to the feedback path of IC{2,4,5,6}{A,D} would help? I didn't adjust the gain trimmers on mine, so it should be unity gain and I would think ok, but is that possibly where this is coming from?

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:10 am

No, I don't think so.

Last mail I had from you said your problem went away when using a bench power supply. Is that still right?

I think your issue and bil_g's are different (unless you think otherwise, having heard his sample above).

User avatar
numbertalk
Hunnert Buck
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:57 am

Post by numbertalk » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:14 am

Ah, I was referring to when I very first hooked up and saw that the output of the ES-1 was blurry and asked if that were normal. Sorry for the confusion - yes my other problem with the wavering output seems related to my power supply. I just saw your reply about the HF interference on the ES-1 output and replied based on that :doh:

User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

Post by bil_g » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:47 pm

Os,

It's the same on any synth. I just used the SEM since it's only a year old, rock solid, and easy to tap an oscillator for calibration.

I doubt this has any relevance:
So, I ran a basic loopback test using a sine wave to make sure everything was clear enough on the ADA/Fireface outputs. Granted it's AC, but I hadn't really checked the ADA's outs. I did find that the ADA was about 2.5db louder than the Fireface outs. This is when I started messing with the output levels from the Fireface. Once I matched the level between the ADA and Fireface, the only major change(after re-calibrating) was the offset switched sides - more positive voltage than negative. Oh, and I was able to get that lowest octave at -2v.

Here's a pic of the loopback analysis after matching levels. Purple=ADA8000 Blue=Fireface Dark Blue= Source(sine created in SoundForge)
Image

Relevance? Probably none, but what the hell, I like pictures and graphs :hihi: .

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:05 am

I have no idea what that's supposed to be telling me :)

One thing you could try, for comparison - drive the ES-1 from the Fireface directly, still using the AC Encoder. And/or change the jumpers and make sure the ES-1 is working properly in DC-coupled mode, which is a much simpler test.

User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

Post by bil_g » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:17 am

os wrote:I have no idea what that's supposed to be telling me :)
:lol: Nothing, really. Just trying to make sure there wasn't anything noticeably wrong with the outs going to the ES-1.

I've tried driving the ES-1 w/ the AC outs on the Fireface. Same result. I haven't tried the DC outs into the ES-1 in DC mode, though. I'll try that.

Thanks.

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:55 am

OK, keep me posted.

User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

Post by bil_g » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:18 am

OK, using the DC outs on the Fireface, the ES-1 works fine in DC mode. I kept it at x1.0 and my calibration file(in VC) worked fine. Ok, it was a hair flat but it still tracked. Everything was also steady using the DC plug-in. I spent the afternoon messing around with a sequence where the second oscillator(2 octaves above osc. 1) went as high as 8khz and had no issues. :tu:

Any ideas where or what to check next? :despair:

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:09 am

This might sound odd, but how about mailing me a photo of the ES-1? It's possible I might be able to spot if something has been fitted incorrectly etc.

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:58 am

Random thought - what sample rate are you running your system at?

User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

Post by bil_g » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:53 pm

Os,

44.1khz(24bit)

A pic sounds like a great idea. I'll get that done here in a few minutes. If it's fine by you, I can just post it here and put a link for a big version(if necessary). I'll post a couple if I don't like just one.

back in a few...thanks, again.

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:02 pm

Yes, post here.

I just spent a while trying to repro the problem, without success.

One unknown here is the Doepfer beauty case. I don't suppose you have access to anything else that would power the ES-1?

User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

Post by bil_g » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:25 pm

Unfortunately, I don't have any other power sources or even other modules to test. All the spaces are allocated for Expert Sleepers hardware :twisted: .

...and my crappy Sony camera is not working too well :bang: . This is the best so far and it sucks. Outs 3 and 4 were still set to DC when I took it. In a few hrs, I'm going over to a friend's who has a decent camera. I'll take it w/ me and get some decent shots.


back in a while...

User avatar
bil_g
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:17 pm
Location: WV

Post by bil_g » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:35 pm

OK, finally back w/ the pics. Here's the first:

Image

...and the rest I will link since they are large.

Pic1 - original of first pic
Pic2
Pic3 - out of focus in front
Pic4

This may be a stupid question, but does the ability to use the Fireface DC outs with the ES-1 in DC mode not really help eliminate the Doepfer? Since I didn't use the voltage multiplier, I figured I might not have been pushing it enough...but I thought I should ask.

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 13593
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by os » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:46 am

It looks fine. A shot of the underside might be useful, to check for bad soldering, but I'd be very surprised if it's that, especially if all 8 channels behave the same (they do, right?).

I'm at a loss to explain your problem. I'll PM you about return/refund options.

Post Reply

Return to “Expert Sleepers”