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noob question. is Silent Way better than a midi/cv module?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Expert Sleepers  
Author noob question. is Silent Way better than a midi/cv module?
my dotcom system is on its way, and I've soldered the appropriate cables to (hopefully) turn my M-Audio Fast Track Ultra into a cv source. this is my first foray into modular and there's still a ton I haven't learned yet. but could someone tell me why running Silent Way in Logic is better than running midi commands in Logic into a Dotcom Q104 midi/cv interface?

I assume that it will give me more control, but I don't understand exactly why.

thanks in advance!
- Timing. Silent Way is directly output from your audio interface so is not subject to congestion, jitter and timing issues like MIDI.
- Flexibility. Hardware MIDI/CV interfaces generally have dedicated outputs for CV, gate, and aux (control) signals. With Silent Way you can re-configure the outputs any way you like.
- Accuracy. MIDI/CV interfaces have varying levels of accuracy, some use only 8 bits of data to encode some CV's.
- Control. Silent Way has a complete suite of programs that provide many different functions and these can be directly controlled by DAW or MIDI automation.
- Compatibility. Silent Way can control both V/Oct and Hz/V synths, provide different levels/inverted triggers/gates. etc.
- Tuning. Although some MIDI/CV units will allow adjustment of scale/offset, Silent Way will detect and tune automatically even if your synth or VCO is out of tune!
- Functionality. Silent Way can do some things that MIDI/CV cannot, eg. recording input CV's (with the appropriate hardware), generating Din Sync directly, and even jitter-free MIDI with the ES-4. Silent Way can generate LFO's, envelopes, will work in similar fashion to an analog sequencer etc etc etc...

- Complexity. Learning curve is steeper than dedicated MIDI/CV interface.
- Resources. Silent Way uses channels of your audio interface which you may require for audio playback. You may need a patchbay or other solution to allow you to switch functions. Using ES-3 or ES-4 may alleviate these issues.
- Hardware. You require a compatible sound card or additional hardware to use Silent Way or perform some of the additional functions mentioned. Then again, a MIDI/CV interface is hardware you need to purchase as well! hihi


EDIT: Cons - you can become so overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities that Silent Way offers that you spend all your time just playing with it and never get any music recorded... lol
What he said.
There's another similar thread here:
ringstone wrote:
- Timing. Silent Way is directly output....

EDIT: Cons - you can become so overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities that Silent Way offers that you spend all your time just playing with it and never get any music recorded... lol

this was exactly the advice I was looking for. thanks!

well, the pros certainly outweigh the cons, though I am certainly worried about the last con you listed. but, seeing as how I can do it with the hardware that I currently have, I'm going to give Silent Way a shot before I pay for a midi/cv module.

big thanks.
I had Doepfer MCV24 and from my expierence ES-3 with Silent Way is superior to MCV24. No more menus and tedious settings, I can now do everything via computer screen... Automatic oscillator calibration is amazing, LFOs at higher rates, faster envelopes, much more flexible routing etc... And most importantly no more MIDI jitter. Maybe I miss few gate outputs but ES gate expander will take care of that.

I would definitely recommend Silent Way over the midi to cv converter...
Hi, this thread has helped me decide to make the plunge. I am still a little confused about the differences between the various modules though. I am definitely new to all this and

I have a Mac that I think comes with the the digital output (S/PDIF I think). I have Ableton Live. I need 6 or more 1v/oct cvs, and as many lower resolution cvs and gates as possible. It would be nice not to need special cables. I have a MOTU 828 MKII interface, but realize it my take more - or does the S/PDIF output mean I don't need an interface, or... Well, you can see I'm still pretty shaky about this whole thing. seriously, i just don't get it

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give me on the optimal set up. I also wonder how I will need to set up LIVE help

I suggest you download the Silent Way demo, and get it up and running using the 828's own outputs. Then decide if you want to invest further in hardware.
does Silent Way work with the RME FireFace UFX ?
Thanks for this thread, I'm hoping to start investigating Silent Way next week. I'm hoping my Lenovo S10-3t touchscreen will work with a Motu Microbook and give me a tablet like touchscreen to be able to work with.
ZenMusic wrote:
does Silent Way work with the RME FireFace UFX ?

It will work with an ES-3 (over ADAT). The UFX's own analog outputs aren't DC-coupled though as far as I know.
UFX ... the two headphone outputs are DC-coupled ... would that work?
If true, then yes.
xclark wrote:
is Silent Way better than a midi/cv module?

Answer: Way.

Incredible power. So worth it.
The number one reason for me that silent way is better than a midi to cv converter is that it doesn't matter how well the VCO or other module is calibrated to 1 volt per octave. This is especially noticeable when it comes to self-oscillating filters. None of my filters are calibrated to work 1 volt per octave, but they work great with silent way. The same goes for my CGS slope generators and MFB vclfos
I'm definitely having trouble with it out of the box, but troubleshooting it isn't all that bad.
The only con I would consider is that Silent Way needs a computer whereas a MIDI>CV converter can run of any stand-alone device that puts out MIDI (via 5-pin Din). I often directly connect to the MIDI>CV converters in my rig with no computer in-between.

I though don't worry much about MIDI timing as the latency has to be pretty high to match the latency between members of a typical live band on stage. My music just doesn't require that level of precision.
if u r going to be out LIVE i would recommend the kenton as an option and a great too for plug & play ... in the studio DAW based environment expert sleepers is solid
What's the cheapest connection unit(s) I can buy to enable me to use Silent Way / Ableton with Microbrute, 0-Coast, etc.?

I'm a complete beginner in this area, so apologies in advance for not knowing enough to know what I don't know smile
Depends on what audio interface you already use with your computer, if any.
Thanks! All I've got is a Scarlett 2i2. No midi box.

I'm quite new to digital music-making, and ready to try more than just line in. I was looking at eurorack, but that's a couple of thousand pounds away...

Edit: I think I understand...I need a DC coupled audio interface.
To use Silent Way you need one of
- a DC coupled interface, or
- an interface with digital outs to connect an ES-3 or ES-40, or
- an ES-8.
Thank you!

This has given me the slightest excuse to revive the eurorack plan.
I guess the answer is - maybe. Depends upon what your criteria is. I upgraded to ES3 from an old Doepfer module. It is easier to handle, but now there are newer better midi-cv modules that are easier to handle so if you want something that is easy and plug n play a new midi-cv module with USB might be the way to go IF you want to use midi-cc to control your synths, cause as it is now ES does not convert CCs straight away. But it that is not a thing and you don't mind spending a few hours to understand how to set ES stuff up it is better in timing and you can get a lot och channnels and the stepped LFO plugin is really nice.
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