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ES-40 SPDIF Interface

The ES-40 is a Eurorack format module which converts a standard S/PDIF input to five channels of expansion headers, which are used in conjunction with the Expert Sleepers ESX range of expanders (currently including the ESX-8GT, the ESX-4CV, the ESX-8CV and the ESX-8MD).

The ES-40 will connect to any audio device using the S/PDIF standard. This includes the digital audio output provided as standard on many recent Macs (more info here on the Mac connection).

The ES-40 also includes an S/PDIF output for sending data back to the computer. This output is used by expansion modules connected to the ES-40; currenty, the only such module is the ES-7 CV Input Expander.

The ES-40 is essentially an ES-4 with the DACs and CV outputs removed. Much of what has been written about the ES-4, and many tutorial videos etc., still apply to the ES-40.

Suggested combinations

The ES-40 does nothing by itself, but forms the basis of a very configurable system. Simply add the expansion modules you need. Here are some ideas:

  • 8 general purpose CVs – an ES-40 plus an ESX-8CV gives you a flexible, general purpose modular controller.
  • 8 CV/gate pairs – an ES-40, an ESX-8CV and an ESX-8GT gives you enough outputs for 8 classic monosynths – or to realise that 8 voice polyphonic modular you’ve been dreaming of.
  • 8 drum triggers – an ES-40 and an ESX-8GT gives you 8 triggers for your rack of drum modules, for the ultimate in sample-accurate rhythm. Add up to four more ESX-8GTs for up to 40 triggers/gates/clocks!
  • MIDI & DINsync – an ES-40 and an ESX-8MD form a sample-accurate, jitter-free, multi-port MIDI interface.
  • digital audio – an ES-40 and an ES-7 gives you two channels of 24 bit analogue-to-digital conversion to get your modular audio into your DAW.

Specifications

The ES-40’s specifications are as follows:

  • Panel width: 6HP
  • Module depth: 51mm
  • Digital input: coaxial S/PDIF, standard rates up to 192kHz
  • Digital output: coaxial S/PDIF
  • Indicators: LED for S/PDIF sync lock
  • Expansion
    • 5 headers for connecting ESX series modules
    • Digital audio I/O header (I2S format) for input expansion (e.g. ES-7)
  • Current draw: 26mA on the +12V rail only (rises with sample rate; 26mA at 48kHz, 32mA at 96kHz etc.)

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-40 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, and our Max/MSP external (see below). Note that the ES-40 works with all software written for the (previously available) ES-4 – software-wise, the two are interchangable.

Silent Way is available in AudioUnit, VST & AAX formats for Mac OS X and Windows. Use of Silent Way therefore requires a compatible host application (DAW).

A Silent Way licence is not included with the ES-40 – however, the ES-4 Controller plug-in functions in a licence-free mode, so ES-40 users are not forced to buy Silent Way. Such users can than evaluate the rest of the Silent Way suite in demo mode.

See the tutorials page for a selection of videos that illustrate the software side of the ES-4.

Max/MSP External

We provide an ‘external’ for Max/MSP to enable users of Max to easily integrate the ES-40 into their patchers. This can be downloaded from the downloads page.

Expert Sleepers es4encoder~ Max/MSP external on Vimeo.

Other modules by Expert Sleepers | ES-1 (Jack) | ES-1 (DB25) | ES-2-2 | ES-3 mk4 Lightpipe/CV Interface | ES-4 SPDIF/CV Interface (black aluminium) | ESX-8GT Gate Expander for ES-4/ES-5 | 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