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ES-4 SPDIF/CV Interface (black aluminium)

The ES-4 is a Eurorack format module which converts a standard S/PDIF input to five channels of control voltage.

Two of the five channels are calibrated to provide over 5 octaves of 1V/octave pitch CV. The remaining three channels are general purpose outputs (for use as e.g. gates, envelopes, LFOs) and each have a nominal range of 0-10V or ±5V (user selectable).

Since S/PDIF is a stereo-only format, the encoding of the five channels on to two is handled by software provided as part of Expert Sleepers Silent Way.

The ES-4 will connect to any audio device using the S/PDIF standard. This includes the digital audio output provided as standard on all recent Macs.

Specification:-

  • Panel width: 8HP
  • Module depth: 51mm
  • Digital input: coaxial S/PDIF, standard rates up to 192kHz (*)
  • Digital output: coaxial S/PDIF
  • Analogue outputs: 5x 3.5mm jacks, DC-coupled
  • Output voltages
    • Channels 1-2: 0-5.3V (when trimmed for 1V/octave response)
    • Channels 3-5: 0-10V or ±5V (jumper selectable per channel)
  • D/A conversion: 8 bit, using high precision Analog Devices DACs
  • Indicators: LED for S/PDIF sync lock; 2 LEDs per channel on channels 3-5 indicate output voltage (+ve/-ve)
  • Expansion
    • 5 headers for connecting ES-4 Gate Expander modules (see ESX-4CV Expander)
    • Digital audio I/O header (I2S format) for future expansion

(*) While the ES-4 is specified to run at 192kHz, at the time of writing this has not been tested. Operation up to 96kHz however has been tested and verified.

The front panel is drilled for both Doepfer and Analogue Systems mounting holes (using a ‘slot’ rather than a single round hole). The power connector is a Doepfer standard 16 way IDC, with -12V furthest from the top of the board.

For more detail, please see the user manual.

Software Requirements

Unlike the ES-3, the ES-4 requires particular software in order to generate meaningful output signals. Currently, the only such software is the ‘ES-4 Controller’ plug-in, part of Expert Sleepers Silent Way.

Silent Way is available in AudioUnit and VST formats for Mac OS X and Windows. Use of Silent Way therefore requires a compatible host application (DAW). For Pro Tools users, Silent Way is known to work with the FXpansion VST-RTAS wrapper.

A Silent Way licence is not included with the ES-4 – however, the ES-4 Controller plug-in functions in a licence-free mode, so ES-4 users are not forced to buy Silent Way. Such users can than evaluate the rest of the Silent Way suite in demo mode.

Other modules by Expert Sleepers | ES-1 (Jack) | ES-1 (DB25) | ES-2-2 | ES-3 mk4 Lightpipe/CV Interface | ESX-8GT Gate Expander for ES-4/ES-5 | ES-40 SPDIF Interface | ESX-4CV CV Expander | ES-5: expander for ES-3 | ESX-8GT Gate Expander mk3 | ES-6 mk2 CV/Lightpipe Interface | DJ-1000 MIDI/3.5mm Jack | ESX-8CV CV Expander | ES-7 CV Input Expander | DJ-1200 DINsync/3.5mm Jack | ES-5 mk3 | Floating Ring Cables | ESX-8MD mk2 | Disting mk4 | FH-1 (USB MIDI Host) | FHX-1 (expander for FH-1) | ES-8 USB Audio Interface