Silent Way

This information is correct to the best of our current knowledge. We simply don't have every audio interface in the world to test ourselves. If you believe you've found an exception to the rules below, please let us know. Up-to-the minute news may be found on the forum.

Interface Categories

The algorithms that drive the Expert Sleepers ES-4 and ES-5 modules operate outside of the normal sphere of digital audio, and this unfortunately exposes some differences in DAWs and audio drivers that are otherwise not usually of concern.

At this time, we have identified two categories of audio interfaces that need to be handled differently in the software:

  • Category A - everything not in Category B
  • Category B - MOTU interfaces running Mac OS X drivers from version 1.6.54199 to 1.6.57985 inclusive. 1.6.59644 may also have been Category B, but we didn't get a chance to test them, and they are no longer current. (1.6.64254 is current at the time of writing.)
Note that MOTU interfaces running older or newer drivers, and MOTU interfaces running under Windows, are in Category A.

Note 2: we have one report that the Steinberg MR816 CSX with driver version 1.10 is also in Category B, but this has not been verified by Expert Sleepers.

We have also identified three categories of DAW that need to be handled differently:

  • Category 1 - everything not in Categories 2 or 3
  • Category 2 - Apple Logic Pro
  • Category 3 - Avid Pro Tools
Happily, Silent Way is able to detect which DAW is using it and automatically adapt its behaviour accordingly. However, it cannot know what audio interface its output is being sent to, so every plug-in that potentially drives an ES-4 or ES-5 has an 'Interface Category' setting. This must be set correctly for the hardware to be properly controlled.

Note that Silent Way has a Preferences setting to change the default value of the Interface Category, so new plug-in instances will be created with the category you choose.

Limitations

Unfortunately at the time of writing certain software/hardware combinations are not fully functional. Refer to the table below.
Category ACategory B
Category 1Fully functionalSome limitations
Category 2Fully functionalSome limitations
Category 3Fully functionalFully functional

Category 1/B limitations

To use this combination successfully, the following rules are a simple guide:
  • ES-4
    • Do not use channel 5, or
    • Use channels 1 and 3 for gates (i.e. ESX-8GT) only, and avoid gate output 8 on each
  • 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
ES-5 users who have no other ESX-series expansion modules connected therefore need not worry.

Category 2/B limitations

The following only applies if Logic's pan law is set to "-3dB Compensated" and "Apply Compensation" is enabled (see below):
  • ES-4 : No limitations
  • ES-5 : Do not use gate outputs 3/1 or 6/1; do not connect an ESX-4CV to ES-5 channels 3 or 6.

Logic's Pan Law

Logic has project settings for 'Pan Law' and 'Apply Pan Law Compensation to Stereo Balancers':

If 'Apply...' is on, Silent Way needs to know about these settings so it can adjust its output accordingly in plug-ins that control ES-4 & ES-5s. For this purposes, Silent Way has a 'Silent Way Logic Project' plug-in. This is an AU Generator and so needs to be loaded on a software instrument track in Logic. The pan law settings from Logic should be replicated in the SW Logic Project plug-in's GUI.