Looking for some feedback on the Expert Sleepers ES-8 vs. ES-9

My 'hybrid' setup will only ever be as big as the RackBrute 6U...I know, thats what everyone always says when they get into modular :) I have Ableton Live 11 Suite and want to make use of CV Tools to integrate my modular setup with Ableton and I've heard the Expert Sleepers module(s) are a must have for this. I'm just wondering what I would be missing if I went with just the ES-8 vs ES-9...Since the RackBrute 6U is as big as I'll ever get, I obviously want to conserve space for adding cool modules so am looking at the ES-8 for that reason alone, but wondering if I'd be missing out on any thing big if I didn't go ES-9.

One other item of note regarding my setup...I also have a Hydrasynth desktop which I've already been playing around with using the first module in my RackBrute (the Make Noise Maths)...so ES-8 vs ES-9 with that in mind also comes into play. I currently have a Focusrite 8i6 audio interface, Push2 and LaunchKey49

Thanks for any suggestions/feedback!

JB


For that size, probably the ES-8 would make the most sense...IF you opted to go with a module as a solution. However, CV Tools and so forth can ALSO use any DC-coupled audio interface to do the same thing. Not only is this way cheaper, it's also just as expandable since you can chain up more I/O via the ADAT Lightpipe interface. I currently use a MOTU 828 mkii for this, works just great. But here's the real point: you can get these older "obsolete" interfaces for dirt-cheap. Right now, the original 828s go for around $75 on Reverb, with the mkii coming in only a bit higher, and either are just fine for this purpose. So if you felt you needed 16 channels of CV/gate/trig/clock send, you can get there this way for $300 LESS than the ES-8...and also wind up with more outputs than the ES-9!


@Lugia - So if I got the ES-8, would I be able to use my Focusrite to record into Ableton? I guess that is my biggest confusion point with building out this 'hybrid' system any further right now. Have been reading that you have to have a DC coupled audio interface to use CV tools. I want to be able to continue building out my Rackbrute 6U so I can integrate it with my Hydrasynth desktop (which I'm already messing around with using Maths)...but also want to use Ableton CV tools to control things as needed/wanted and then record back through my Focusrite into Ableton.

Do I need to incorporate something like the Intelijel Audio Interface II as well so I can go out from my Hydrasynth into my modular and then back out from that to my Focusrite to record in Ableton? or I could bypass anything in the modular if I wanted and go straight thru the Intelijel straight to Ableton, etc. So many routing considerations...lol

JB


@jb61264 so you have a mac or windows computer

if you are using a mac you can set up an aggregate device in macOS and then use that as the i/o for your DAW

if you are using a PC there is something called ASIO (I think) that may do similar,, but I'm sure I've heard it's not as good as the Mac

NB botht he ES8 and ES9 can be used as audio interfaces as well as for cv/gate/modulation

with both the ES8 and ES9 you can go direct into and out of them at modular levels - so there is no need for an output module

if you live in a country with balanced power you may want an output module to go to the 8i6 and an input module to raise the volume to modular levels (something like veils will do the job perfectly well - check maximum gain of exact module before buying)

although an attenuator may also do the job perfectly well if needed as an output module

my general advice is to start with nothing, if you get clipping try an attenuator in front - they are inexpensive and useful - if you still find it too noisy try an output module - but unless your outputs are balanced and your inputs are balanced then I'm not convinced it will make any difference


I am using Windows PC and it does use ASIO. I specify ASIO driver in Ableton and then Focusrite USB ASIO as the 'audio device' in Ableton. I live in the US (not sure if that means I have balanced power or not though)

So in this rack: ModularGrid Rack

On the right top and bottom would the Ciao! and A-520 4ch(in) line preamp be what you're referring to as input and output?
Would I still need to make room for the ES-8 to use CV Tools with the system then as well?

JB


as the 8i6 is not DC-couplped then yes you would need something else to use CVTools

USA= unbalanced power - if the 8i6 has balanced inputs (check manual) then the general consensus is to use balanced outputs too - should = better recordings with less noise

re ciao and a-520 would be the i/o modules


@JimHowell1970 - thanks for all your replies, really appreciate your helping me along with my confusion on all this :)

If I get the ES-8...thats all I need in order to us CV Tools in Ableton Live to send/receive CV? Is it doing that via the USB?
Then for recording stuff coming from my modular/Hydrasynth, I could use the combination of the ciao and a-520 to route audio to my Focusrite?...do i have all of that right?

If I substitue the Ciao! with the Intellijel Audio Interface II, would that allow me to route audio into the modular setup from my Hydrasynth for any processing and then back out to my Focusrite?

According to their website all Focusrite ¼ inch (6.35mm) jack inputs and outputs are mono balanced.

JB


@JimHowell1970 - thanks for all your replies, really appreciate your helping me along with my confusion on all this :)

If I get the ES-8...thats all I need in order to us CV Tools in Ableton Live to send/receive CV? Is it doing that via the USB?

correct

Then for recording stuff coming from my modular/Hydrasynth, I could use the combination of the ciao and a-520 to route audio to my Focusrite?...do i have all of that right?

yes if you can get both interfaces to work simultaneously - do a search on asio4all and working with multiple audio interfaces - I'm not an expert - especially as I use a Mac - where aggregate devices work quite well

If I substitue the Ciao! with the Intellijel Audio Interface II, would that allow me to route audio into the modular setup from my Hydrasynth for any processing and then back out to my Focusrite?

yes potentially - there are many other ways to do this though - personally I'd start with veils and some attenuators

According to their website all Focusrite ¼ inch (6.35mm) jack inputs and outputs are mono balanced.
-- jb61264

In which case a balanced output module sounds like a good idea - most probably aren't balanced - Happy Nerding do a reasonably priced unbalanced to balanced converter module called the isolator - if you find you need it


ES8 is good choice but you may find the 4 inputs a bit limiting especially if you like processing and effecting drum voices separately in your DAW. For this reason I paired mine with an es-6 so that may be an option later down the road and the combined size is still 4 hp smaller than the es9 albeit with less functionality. I personally thought that was a better option although I also considered Lugia's setup at the time but connecting firewire to tb3 was expensive as I needed 3 dongles in the end that were about £80 if I recall, but if you have the dongles already this would be a great option and I still think some of these older devices still look great in the rack with their LED displays.

8 outputs are more than enough for me on the ES8 for modulation as I only use these when I run out of modulation sources in my rack or from my 2 neutrons

Why do you need your cosmix, Intellijel audio I/O and the fx aid xl as you could effect and mix in Ableton using your es8 inputs.


ES8 is good choice but you may find the 4 inputs a bit limiting especially if you like processing and effecting drum voices separately in your DAW. For this reason I paired mine with an es-6 so that may be an option later down the road and the combined size is still 4 hp smaller than the es9 albeit with less functionality. I personally thought that was a better option although I also considered Lugia's setup at the time but connecting firewire to tb3 was expensive as I needed 3 dongles in the end that were about £80 if I recall, but if you have the dongles already this would be a great option and I still think some of these older devices still look great in the rack with their LED displays.

Hey, thanks for the feedback. The rack is really a recommended build based on my goals of being able to interface with my Hydrasynth desktop and having as much flexibility/options that you could in a Rackbrute 6U. To date I only have the Maths and having been playing around a little bit with that connected up to my Hydrasynth. I think my next investment is going to be the ES8 so I can start playing around with CV Tools as well. Definitely open to suggestions if you have any based on my goal of using what I already have (Hydrasynth, Focusrite 8i6, Ableton, Push2 and Launchkey 49)

8 outputs are more than enough for me on the ES8 for modulation as I only use these when I run out of modulation sources in my rack or from my 2 neutrons

Confused me on this one...did you say above you also have an ES6 that you use with ES8 because you felt a bit limited?...but then you are saying 8 outputs are more than enough...sorry, maybe i'm completely misunderstanding your point, I'm really new to thd modular world.

Why do you need your cosmix, Intellijel audio I/O and the fx aid xl as you could effect and mix in Ableton using your es8 inputs.

This build was really a recommendation for something to consider based on wanting to integrate my Hydrasynth with whatever I build (I forgot to mention above I also have a Minibrute 2 that I may want to plug in as well)...but ultimately looking to run audio back into Ableton using my Focusrite 8i6. Definitely open to module suggestions as I'm limiting myself to the Rackbrute 6U for a variety of reasons...so want to pack as much flexibility into it as possible.

I thought adding the Intellijel audio I/O would allso me to run the audio out of my Hydrasynth through my modular for fun and then the outs from it to the input on my Focusrite? maybe i'm not thinking it through correctly...

JB


es6 adds 6 inputs

es7 adds outputs