Expert Sleepers has announced that they are releasing the ES-9 new and expanded USB Audio Interface at Synthfest in October. It will run 16 channels of either audio or CV to and from your computer and Eurorack.
ES-9 USB Audio Interface
In order to get control voltage into and out of a DAW you need to have an audio interface with DC-coupled inputs and outputs. Otherwise, low-frequency CV signals such as gates, LFOs, envelopes and pitch will get filtered out by the rumble removing high-pass filter present in most interfaces. Expert Sleepers ES-8 was the first dedicated Eurorack module that presented you with a DC-coupled audio interface with CV inputs and outputs ready to go. The ES-9 is the sequel, the follow-up, the same but better.
The ES-9 has 14 analogue inputs which can be used for both audio and CV. So, on the audio side, you can use it for multi-tracking audio from your Eurorack into your DAW for mixing and processing. You’re not having to run long patch cables out to a desktop mixer or through a separate audio interface; the connection is right there in your rack. For CV you can send modulation sources from your rack into your computer for controlling software that understands it, like CV Tools in Ableton Live and Bitwig Studio. Going the other way the 8 analogue outputs are ideal for bringing software modulations created in CV Tools, Bitwig or plug-ins like Silent Way into your modular. You can write your tracks in Bitwig Studio and run it through your modular, or you can combine analogue sequencing with some modulation from your laptop. It’s the perfect solution for bringing together the two worlds of the DAW and hardware modular synthesis.
Also on the ES-9 is a main output of 1/4″ balanced jacks and a headphone socket with a volume knob. Both of these features were missing on the ES-8 and makes the ES-9 a much more rounded and complete audio interface. Rounding things off is S/PDIF in/out and a pair of MIDI sockets via a breakout.
If you need more outputs you can add the ES-5 expansion for up to 48 which would make for an extraordinary amount of CV moving between devices or audio to be processed.
The ES-9 is the perfect solution for this level of integration. At £499 it seems expensive but actually, for a 16 in/out audio interface, especially now it has the main outputs and headphones, is not that bad.
- Expert Sleepers ES-9 page.