Expert Sleepers ES-8 + MAX


i love my max/reaktor + es8 setup, and wish to play with it again soon. it definitely slows down the process and makes it much more about max but the potential is incredible.

i’ll try and drop a patch idea i’m working on later, but a note: latency is definitely present when you pass signal in to max for processing. if i want to keep things in sync i pass the rest of the audio into the interface as well (and pipe it back out). i try to avoid processing modular audio on the computer if i can and stick to generating control signals, but that’s just my preference!


Yeah, I’m still figuring out if the latency is a notable issue and how to find the right buffering/vector size for the job. I think you’re right that keeping it to control is a more effective use (which was, thankfully, my original intent until I went down this spectral wormhole :slight_smile: )

Still loving it though.


My $0.02 is that latency is less of an issue if the computer is your ultimate destination for audio.


to ES-8/OSX users: are you using it as an aggregated device? or are you using just that interface? always wondered about this…

Approach for combining Max + Modular

Latency is an issue in certain scenarios, though you can compensate for it in a number of ways.

The other night, I was generating a sequence in Reaktor for a hardware oscillator to A/B it against a Block. I then brought the oscillator back into the computer to treat with Reaktor’s LPG. The LPG was plucked by the Reaktor sequencer’s gate.

Because of the latency, the note changes on the oscillator were late compared to the LPG’s pluck. I compensated for this by inserting a Gate Delay Block between the sequencer and LPG. After that, it worked perfectly.

It’s not an ideal fix, although my patch was an unusual use case for sure. If I sent the sequence AND gate out of Reaktor and used it to trigger an external LPG, there wouldn’t have been any issues. Generally, if you’re just going in one direction (modular controlling Reaktor or Reaktor controlling modular) you won’t have an issue.


While not an ES-8, my ES-3/ES-6/USBStreamer combo amounts to the same thing. I use it as part of an aggregate device along with my Focusrite Scarlett 18i8.


oh wow cool, thanks! so I guess that setup works well without weirdness?
not sure where this exactly originated from, but I avoided aggregated devices for quite some time now. good to know that’s an option…


It’s working perfectly for me without weirdness. Maybe I just haven’t run into the weirdness yet, but I’ve had it set up this way for a few weeks now.


Me too. I’ve avoided aggregate devices since I had some early mixed results. Good to hear things have improved in the last 10 years!

Cheers @jasonw22. Keep us posted!


absolutely! it’s only really if you want to process something on the CPU and then on the modular. i generally have no issues with it, but felt like sharing a bit of the process :slight_smile:


totally. i love it as a source for modulation and sequencing.


Sorry for hijacking ghe tgread but plenty of keywords here touches on what I’m looking to solve (not Max related)

As far as getting the modular tracked into Ableton those four ES-8 tracks seem like too few for my needs. For general recording currently looking at:

  • keep mixing drums x 1 mic preamp, all the rest x 1 mic preamp
  • getting an ES-8 - sold my ES-3 for this reason but never got around to getting the ES-8.
  • getting a Behringer 8000 which I can get used for cheap
  • ER-301 for recording to SD card - is this cool or too limiting?

Really not looking to send anything but clock from my computer, which I am looking to solve in a different way altogether. My soundcard only has adat in/outs so other output modules might have too pro means of connecting to pro soundcards.


Why don’t you just get some random audio interface? You can get more ins/outs and send a MIDI clock or audio pulse out of your interface. Unless there’s a reason you ‘need’ it to be a module???


I’m really having a tough time figuring out a suitable vector size. I’m not sure what the issue but my spectral filter patch degrades pretty quickly. I have a 2012 Macbook Pro. I’m not sure if it’s the patch, my computer, or just a limitation of the module.

Seems it may be the patch, as I reduced the amount of bands in the filter by half and it’s much happier. Anyway, the whole vector thing in MAX continues to puzzle me. I’d love to hear where others have sorted out a happy balance.


You can actually expand the ES-8 with an ES-6. That will add 6 more inputs for you.


That’s the Behringer 8000 idea I was shooting for.


I’d still just leave so much of the ES-8 unused and then add more. Will have a think. So much sequencing and control in rack already.


Yeah, I’d go with that route unless you really are fixated on the module element. For me, I already have an audio interface, so the ES-8 is about smooth integration of interfacing MAX and the modular in an (eventually) live setup. If I’m just trying to track the modular, I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t just use my audio interface.


So, I’ve had some weird issues with my ES-8 doing audio processing. I THINK it is my computer or ancient OS, but curious if anyone else has had issues. We plugged into my buddy’s computer and it sounded flawless with even smaller vector sizes. Hoping an update in OS will help my causes.

Anyone else experiencing anything unusual?


Sorted the noise out and back to work. I’m finally wrapping my head around some of the ways I can interface this with MAX in a more confident way. Here’s my little very much in-progress patch. Running my Ultra Random Analog into the ES-8 to control the rate of some pulses and LFOs (eventually) and that’s controlling the plinking of some signals on my modular. I’m then running those back into the ES-8 for some spectral filtering. :slight_smile: