All have been updated with self-illuminated jack sockets (as seen on the disting and ES-8), and are in general less deep. Otherwise functionality, and price, remains the same as the previous versions.
All are expected to be available February 2017.
We’re delighted that the Expert Sleepers ES-3 Lightpipe/CV Interface has been awarded an Electronic Musician Editor’s Choice 2014 award. They said “Whether you use Max/MSP, NI Reaktor, or the company’s own Silent Way plug-in, the ES-3 Mk3 is an essential tool for any serious modular-synth user.” Read the full text, and find out about the rest of the winners, here.
We videoed it, but sadly this is a single static camera pointed at the presenter - no close-up view of the modular or screencast from the laptop. Still, if you want a general spoken overview of the Expert Sleepers software and hardware, as a change from reading specs or reviews, you could do worse than watch some of this.
Part 1 covers most aspects of the Silent Way software that do not specifically require Expert Sleepers hardware. A MOTU Ultralite audio interface is used to drive the modular for all the demos in this video.
Part 2 moves on to cover the Expert Sleepers hardware.
The ES-3 is now at mk3. Functionally equivalent to the ES-3 mk2, the mk3 adds these improvements:
* Higher spec DACs and lower noise circuitry
* Easier access to the expansion headers
* More robust ADAT port
* More visible LEDs
Pricing is unchanged.
We videoed it, but sadly this is a single static camera pointed at the presenter - no view of the modular or screencast from the laptop. Still, if you want a general spoken overview of the Expert Sleepers software and hardware, as a change from reading specs or reviews, you could do worse than watch some of this.
Part 1. Subjects covered include:
- Basic software usage with a DC-coupled interface.
- Use of the ES-3 for audio.
- Use of the Voice Controller plug-in with the ES-3 module.
- Silent Way LFO and Step LFO plug-ins.
- Silent Way Quantizer & calibration files.
Part 2. Subjects covered include:
- The expander modules (ES-5, ESX-8GT, ESX-4CV).
- Using the expanders to trigger drum modules.
- Silent Way Sync.
- The input modules (ES-6 & 7).
- Recording and processing CVs in the computer.
- Max/MSP externals.
Computer Music magazine (issue CM186) gave Silent Way five out of five stars in their review:
It takes a lot to blow our minds, but Expert Sleepers has done it again. If you own a modular hardware synth and you don't have Silent Way, you simply aren't getting the most out of your hardware. It's one of the most spectacularly useful pieces of music software ever made.
Sound On Sound have published a very thorough review in their January 2013 issue:
The control voltages generated by the software are, however, sample-accurate, and I found the sense of ‘connection’ with my old synths tangibly better when playing them in real time using Silent Way, as opposed to through my MIDI interface and a MIDI-to-CV converter. A few recordings proved that the synths were much quicker to respond and more consistent in timing. I typically have to audio-quantise analogue bass sequences to get them as tight as I like, but those generated by Silent Way needed no quantisation to feel solidly nailed to the beat.
It piggybacks on one of the ES-3's stereo channels to provide eight gate/clock/sync/MIDI outputs on the ES-5 itself, plus further expansion headers to connect up to five ES-4 Gate Expanders.
Expected to be available late March 2012.
The ES-3 mk2 is identical in every way to the original ES-3, except for the addition of a couple of expansion headers on one of the PCBs. What will these connect to? Expect some announcements soon.
The ES-3 mk2 will be available from all the usual sources just as soon as we can ship them out, with a choice of black aluminium or black acrylic panels.
“Incredible options for controlling modular synths”
“Silent Way is a no-brainer”
“Silent Way opens up sound design options that'd be expensive, difficult or impossible any other way. It's a fantastic new approach to controlling analogue Control Voltage hardware.”
“... one of the most friendly plug-and-play pieces of hardware you'll ever have the pleasure to use.”
sonicstate.com did a very nice video interview with me, in which I explain the ES-3, Silent Way, and show the ES-2-2 in action, which is not something you often see - if you’re still unclear on what this module does, this video should help. You can watch it here.
This is a little video tour of the Schneidersbuero booth, starting from the Expert Sleepers area:
And here are a few photos:
Modular audio processing with Expert Sleepers Silent Way and ES-3 on Vimeo.
A real-time demo of processing audio samples using Expert Sleepers Silent Way and a modular synth, connected via the Expert Sleepers ES-3 Lightpipe/CV interface.
A drum loop is processed first with a phase shifter controlled by Silent Way LFO, and then with a VCF controlled by Silent Way Step LFO.
Modular patching with Expert Sleepers Silent Way and ES-3 on Vimeo.
A real-time demo of using Expert Sleepers Silent Way and a modular synth, connected via the Expert Sleepers ES-3 Lightpipe/CV interface.
First the oscillator is connected and calibrated using the Silent Way Voice Controller plug-in. Then a simple patch is made using a VCA and an envelope generator, triggered by a gate signal from Silent Way.
Other modulation options are then explored, using another envelope from the Voice Controller, the Silent Way Step LFO plug-in, and the Silent Way LFO plug-in.
This release adds a new plug-in: Silent Way SMUX.
Silent Way SMUX provides a hack to workaround the reduction in channel count over ADAT connections when running the audio system at 88.1/96kHz.
When using an audio interface to produce your CVs that is connected via ADAT (for example, the Expert Sleepers ES-3 Lightpipe/CV Interface), and when the audio system is being run at a ‘double speed’ rate (typically 96kHz), the number of audio channels that can be sent down the ADAT connection is reduced from the usual 8 down to 4. The 4 double-speed channels are multiplexed onto the 8 ADAT channels - this system is usually referred to as ‘S/MUX’, or sample multiplexing.
The Silent Way SMUX plug-in gets around this reduction in channel count by providing a complementary multiplexing scheme, which takes 4 channels of CVs and combines them onto 2 channels of the double-speed audio stream. When the ADAT output is then decoded by a normal-speed interface (such as the ES-3 mentioned above), the channels are demultiplexed, and so you get your 4 channels of CV back again.
Download now from the downloads page.
The ES-3 is a Eurorack format module which converts eight channels of ADAT Lightpipe input to DC coupled outputs on 3.5mm jacks, for the ultimate convenience in connection of a DAW directly to analogue synthesizers.
The outputs can be used as control voltages (CVs), for example with software such as Expert Sleepers Silent Way, and can also be used as audio outputs at high, modular synth-compatible levels.
With the ES-3, a single optical cable is all that is need to bring direct CV control from your DAW right into the heart of a modular system.
The ES-3 is expected to be available from February 2011. Pricing TBD.