Expert Sleepers ES-8 + MAX


What kind of USB port do you have it on? Is it sharing a port? Is it an ATMEL or Intel USB port? What DAW are you using? What kind of computer and CPU are using? What operating system are you using? Have you updated the ES-8 drivers to 1.10? Are you using ASIO? Which drivers from Expert Sleepers are you using?


I have it plugged directly into my 2013 Macbook Pro (2.4 GHz Intel Core i7) Running High Sierra 10.13.6
No driver is required for macOS.

I tried both USB ports on my laptop, 2 USB cables, and 2 ribbon cables for power.

It’s not a power issue either. It worked fine for a while after getting it back and new problems kept popping up as time went on. All of my other modules work fine on the same power.


How are you using it in terms of in/out in your daw. Just I’ve had issues as an aggregate device in osx.


I use mine in Windows 10 using ASIO4ALL as the aggregating device with an Apollo Twin Duo handling audio interface duties to my monitors. I use Bitwig 2.4 to map the ES-8, ES-3, and ES-6 ins and outs between the DAW and my rack. I’ve only had problems with dropouts, pops, and glitches when using certain drivers from ES in combination with an older release of Bitwig and on those occasions when I connect to particular USB ports that my devices don’t like. So, that’s my experience. Don’t think it’s going to help either of you.


Well, perhaps not directly, but it’s aggregate device + pops and clicks that’s my problem too. So helpful in a way. For me it creeps in over 10+ minutes of use - just a few clicks here and there. That’s Max outputting to the modular through ES8, then back to Max for more processing and finally out of my Macbook output.

Perhaps some clocking problem?

I’m hoping that when I finally update OSX and go to Max 8 it might just disappear…


Are your buffers sized right? Usually that’s the culprit with USB audio clicks and dropouts.


Oh no… I’ve had that problem before. This is extreme… the sound totally deteriorates and then one channel drops out entirely. It’s crashing Ableton and when I do get Ableton to recognize it I will sometimes have no sound in or out at all. I’m 99% sure this thing is completely broken.

I basically just wanted to know how many other people are having big problems with these modules because I would love to just buy another one but I’ll have to explore other options if there is a good chance I’ll just get another dud.


Thought I’d mention this, but I plugged my ES8 in wrong in my new case, plugged in the USB cable to my keyboard (it has a ‘hub’ of sorts too) and it fried my keyboard. :confused:

Thankfully no modules were harmed, but dang that was a real bummer. First time I’ve ever felt the repercussions of inattentiveness…thankfully I don’t do a lot of moving things around.

I had some issues with crackles when I first got my ES8 and tried different USB cables. Eventually I found one that solved the issue. Not sure the tech aspects of different USB, but it may be worth really going through a variety. It was stunning that that was the difference, but thankfully I haven’t had a problem since.


Well fwiw, mine is solid so far. I use it both directly as a USB device with my Surface and as an ADAT device hooked to a different USB audio interface that talks ADAT. If you have or can borrow an interface that talks ADAT I’d be curious if it behaves better.


Yep I have mine hooked up to a Behringer ADA8200… that is also unresponsive.


Ugh. I’ve rarely had lemon problems but the one time I did it was majorly frustrating. New and expensive drum machine that wasn’t working right from day one. Rather than return or replace they wanted to repair and sat on the repair for like three months before I blew a gasket and demanded a refund or a new unit.


Chiming in just to say that I haven’t had too much trouble with mine… I’m very happy with it! My only complaint is that the I/O sockets can be a bit wiggly, and cause some noise. I like the color coded visual feedback when there’s signal going in or out, but it would be an improvement if they were more styret IMO.


That was my problem from the beginning too… if I brushed up against the cables ever so slightly they would crackle. Then I got mine repaired and when it came back the crackling didn’t happen any more. But now I have much worse problems on my hands. It’s too bad. I consider the ES8 to be one of my most important modules. Love everything about it when it works.


I just got my es-8 and have been messing around this week. It’s an amazing module for me as I really want to keep a small 84hp rack so as to keep my setup minimal. I’ve been using it with audulus 3 and vcv rack and its worked perfectly. I use samplr on iOS for my live sets so using audulus 3 to recall patches for live performance with the Es-8 is a no brainer for me. I’d be interested to hear peoples experiences with an Es-8 and max / audulus / vcv rack. How do they compare?


Picked up an ES-8 today, and a rack to put it in.

For lack of much else to do at this point, I ran a patch cable from one of the outputs into one of the inputs, and sent myself a signal.

It’s interesting. I can watch the voltage drop between point A and point B.

Like, I send 1v to input 1, I get 0.946v on the other side. And -1v gets me -0.958v. These numbers are consistent between those two ports. But if I switch ports, I get a different range.

And it’s like “oh, right. I’m dealing with the physical universe now.”

Anyway, I’ll report in when I’ve done something more interesting.


I’ve not been using my ES-8 for controlling pitch, so this has not been an issue. But I’m assuming you could get a volmeter and calibrate in Max using +~ or -~?


On the one hand, I probably don’t need a meter for that.

Like, if I just test the voltages from outlet 1 into inlets 1-4, I can see the offsets needed for 1 and -1, and I can use a [scale~] to correct the whole range in between.

Then, I can check the other outlets, and [scale~] back their ranges to ensure that they match.

I’d still have to calibrate against anything other than itself I might plug into (if those connections are pitch based), but I’d be more confident that any port I reach for will behave identically.

That all’s easy enough.

I guess the concerns are:

  • These offsets won’t match anyone else’s ES-8, so anything I build around that is only usable by me. (does this matter?)

  • If everything else I connect to isn’t calibrated to each other, does it matter if the ports behave identically?

  • We’re bridging the gap between a world of perfect precision and a world of happy accidents. Is colonizing that world even desirable?

Like, if you built a portal to a magical forest, maybe your first move isn’t to cut down all the trees and pave it over.

…but maybe it is. I don’t know.

My post was more an observation than a judgement.

Like, if polyphonic synth patches are the goal, pitch over CV is probably the wrong protocol to begin with. But I needed to examine these numbers to internalize that.

Or something.


That said, I’m pretty sure I’m misreading how “off” they are.

It’s not 1v or -1v I’m sending. It’s 1 or -1, on a scale of -1 to 1. Whatever the full range of values is. -10v to 10v, I think?

That’d be 10x less consistent, let’s say.

The whole philosophical discussion above still applies, though.


Are each of the outputs not supposed to be individually calibrated like the ES3 ?

That’s my understanding

I use a bunch of the expert sleepers modules (but not the ES8)



I mean, they don’t use the words “calibrate” or “calibration” in the ES-8’s product page or manual, and they’re not in the equivalent ES-3 pages, either.

So… maybe?

Where does one obtain such knowledge?