Interfacing ARP2600/DFAM via CV

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orangefunk
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Joined: 24 Oct 2017

Post 17 Oct 2020

Hi,

Was wondering what the best options are here. I love Reason and want to interface it with my DFAM and ARP2600.

I am told that Expert-Sleepers provide modules but I am not sure which one to get.

My needs are simply to interface one way. I do not need to modulate Reason modules via my external gear.

I can imagine the following...
1. Play my ARP2600 via MIDI (via Reason sequencer/player/arpeg) for notes
2. Modulate the ARP filter using some kind of CV modulation module in Reason e.g. Synchronous
3. Clock the DFAM somehow (via clock advance?)
4. modulate the DFAM paramters via Synchronous
5. Record the results back into Reason (I'm using Tascam Model 12 interface).

Which CV hardware module do I need from Expert-Sleepers? Which software extension do I need?

Any help appreciated!

BR

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Faastwalker
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Post 17 Oct 2020

What audio interface do you have? Does it have ADAT output? I use an Expert Sleepers ES-3 to send CV / audio from Reason to external CV gear (including a DFAM). The important part of the chain that makes the whole thing possible is this RE from RoboticBean;

https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... -to-audio/

orangefunk
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Joined: 24 Oct 2017

Post 17 Oct 2020

Thanks for the answer. I have a Tascam Model 12 and a Presonus AudioHub and I don't see ADAT on there.

I saw a ES-8 and that seemed to connect with regular USB. I'm not sure what I really need here.

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Faastwalker
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Post 17 Oct 2020

I looked at the ES-8. Concern for me was that it needed to be setup as a second audio device / interface in your system. Expert Sleepers provide no drivers / support for this so you had to rely on a 3rd party driver such as ASIO4ALL. That’s on a Windows machine. On MacOSX you can setup up as an aggregate device. I believe this works better. A simpler, and more affordable option, would be a MIDI to CV converter such as the Hex Inverter Mutant Brain;

http://www.hexinverter.net/mutant-brain

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Faastwalker
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Post 17 Oct 2020

.... discussion I had previously on MuffWiggler regarding the ES-8;

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... 5&t=216189

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selig
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Post 17 Oct 2020

Faastwalker wrote:
17 Oct 2020
I looked at the ES-8. Concern for me was that it needed to be setup as a second audio device / interface in your system. Expert Sleepers provide no drivers / support for this so you had to rely on a 3rd party driver such as ASIO4ALL. That’s on a Windows machine. On MacOSX you can setup up as an aggregate device. I believe this works better. A simpler, and more affordable option, would be a MIDI to CV converter such as the Hex Inverter Mutant Brain;

http://www.hexinverter.net/mutant-brain
Note that MIDI is likely to be lower resolution than CV which is lower resolution than audio.

If using something like the Expert Sleepers devices, I would simply take Pulsar's audio output to the interface and get full resolution (and audio rate modulation if wanted). You can also use a synth like Thor, which can use its main oscillators as LFOs by using the mod matrix to lower the frequency to a useful rate. And Thor's Envelopes can also be sent to audio outputs allowing a lot of modulation possibilities with just the default modules.
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Faastwalker
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Post 18 Oct 2020

selig wrote:
17 Oct 2020
Note that MIDI is likely to be lower resolution than CV which is lower resolution than audio.
That’s why I went with the ES-3 over the MIDI to CV options. I think the MIDI to CV would be fine for most things. But for (for example) slow, filter sweeps. It’s not going to cut it. Very happy with the ES-3. Amazing to have control over my small modular set-up from Reason.

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buddard
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Post 18 Oct 2020

I don't have an ADAT out on my audio interface (Focusrite Pro 24), so I got the ES-8 and use them as an aggregate device on macOS.
I also expanded it with an ES-3 and an ES-6 to get a total of 16 outputs and 10 inputs.

To control pitch/gate CV I use Expert Sleepers' own Silent Way Voice controller RE, which automatically calibrates itself to the VCO it controls if you connect an audio loopback to it.

For modulation signals there wasn't really any good solution. Sure, you can use Thor to convert between audio and CV, but it's a bit messy to set up, and it's hard to keep track of what is what afterwards.
That's why we developed the CV-I and CV-O REs, which only have straight Audio-->CV and CV-->Audio connections that you can label.

In your case, if you're only interested in CV outs from Reason, and if you're on macOS, I'd recommend that you get an ES-8 and aggregate it with your existing audio interface. You can expand from 8 to 16 CV outs by adding an ES-3.
Then you should really get the Silent Way Voice Controller, and if you want to send out a lot of modulation and separate triggers from Reason to your analog gear I also recommend that you get CV-O.

orangefunk
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Joined: 24 Oct 2017

Post 18 Oct 2020

buddard wrote:
18 Oct 2020

In your case, if you're only interested in CV outs from Reason, and if you're on macOS, I'd recommend that you get an ES-8 and aggregate it with your existing audio interface. You can expand from 8 to 16 CV outs by adding an ES-3.
Then you should really get the Silent Way Voice Controller, and if you want to send out a lot of modulation and separate triggers from Reason to your analog gear I also recommend that you get CV-O.
Many thanks! What about the ES9 would that be even better?

Yes I am on Mac OS so will follow your advice.

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selig
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Post 18 Oct 2020

buddard wrote:
18 Oct 2020
For modulation signals there wasn't really any good solution. Sure, you can use Thor to convert between audio and CV, but it's a bit messy to set up, and it's hard to keep track of what is what afterwards.
That's why we developed the CV-I and CV-O REs, which only have straight Audio-->CV and CV-->Audio connections that you can label.
I would still use native audio rate devices because they are available and easier to use - not to mention the extra 64x resolution over CV sources. Meaning, converting CV to audio still uses CV rate for the signals, right?

Here are three examples, the first is LFO 2 from Thor's audio output, the second is LFO 2 out to CV and back in using Thor to convert CV to audio, and the third is Pulsar's audio output. As you can see, the second has greatly reduced resolution in both the vertical and horizontal axis, which is what you get when you convert CV to audio.

So that's why I suggest using LFOs/Envelopes/Sequence data from Thor or Pulsar where you can easily get full resolution and don't need any conversion. BUT, having said that I'd still stick to MIDI for note/gate conversion if possible since I find it quick and easy for getting note data from Reason to Eurorack. I use my Novation SL Mk III for MIDI to CV conversion, and it's great for notes but lacks resolution for CV. Will be adding an ES8 to my setup once I get another rack (already filled the first 6U!),

Here's a screen shot showing the difference between using CV vs Audio rate outputs, both from Thor and Pulsar (I didn't show Pulsar CV out because it looks just like Thor's CV out). [if you can't read, the first is Thor audio out of LFO2, the second is Thor CV out LFO2 using Thor as CV to audio conversion, the third is Pulsar Audio out. All LFOs running around 8.18 Hz (the default Pulsar "free" rate).

Image
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Faastwalker
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Post 18 Oct 2020

orangefunk wrote:
18 Oct 2020
What about the ES9 would that be even better?
Definitely. Fantastic bit of kit but it's costly. If you can afford the ES-9 and have the rack space I'd go with this :thumbs_up:

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buddard
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Post 19 Oct 2020

orangefunk wrote:
18 Oct 2020
buddard wrote:
18 Oct 2020

In your case, if you're only interested in CV outs from Reason, and if you're on macOS, I'd recommend that you get an ES-8 and aggregate it with your existing audio interface. You can expand from 8 to 16 CV outs by adding an ES-3.
Then you should really get the Silent Way Voice Controller, and if you want to send out a lot of modulation and separate triggers from Reason to your analog gear I also recommend that you get CV-O.
Many thanks! What about the ES9 would that be even better?

Yes I am on Mac OS so will follow your advice.
The ES-9 hadn't yet come out when I bought my ES-8.
I think that ES-9 is better when you don't have (or don't want to use) another sound card, since it has its own "main outputs" and headphone jacks.
So in my situation I would probably still choose the ES-8, because it's cheaper, uses less HP, and is easy to expand inputs and outputs separately according to your needs.

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buddard
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Post 19 Oct 2020

selig wrote:
18 Oct 2020
buddard wrote:
18 Oct 2020
For modulation signals there wasn't really any good solution. Sure, you can use Thor to convert between audio and CV, but it's a bit messy to set up, and it's hard to keep track of what is what afterwards.
That's why we developed the CV-I and CV-O REs, which only have straight Audio-->CV and CV-->Audio connections that you can label.
I would still use native audio rate devices because they are available and easier to use - not to mention the extra 64x resolution over CV sources. Meaning, converting CV to audio still uses CV rate for the signals, right?
Yes, native audio rate is of course better, but then you're limited to LFOs and envelopes, and in a modular system I guess you tend to have plenty of those?
Tempo synced LFO's are a strong use case, of course. That's what I mostly use Pulsar for.
But personally I tend to make more use of "sequenced" CV sources such as the curve CV outs on Sequences or Matrix, or triggers from Euclid, Elementary or Redrum. And for those kind of things you don't notice that the rate is lower, of course.

But even for LFOs, I haven't heard much of a quantization effect, since samplerate/64 is still pretty fast. I think it's more when you use high frequency stuff (for FM/AM) that I think it becomes noticeable, and in that case you definitely want run at audio rate all the way through anyway.

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selig
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Post 19 Oct 2020

buddard wrote:
19 Oct 2020
Yes, native audio rate is of course better, but then you're limited to LFOs and envelopes, and in a modular system I guess you tend to have plenty of those?
That's why I said: "So that's why I suggest using LFOs/Envelopes/Sequence data from Thor or Pulsar where you can easily get full resolution and don't need any conversion". ;)
buddard wrote:
19 Oct 2020
Tempo synced LFO's are a strong use case, of course. That's what I mostly use Pulsar for.
But personally I tend to make more use of "sequenced" CV sources such as the curve CV outs on Sequences or Matrix, or triggers from Euclid, Elementary or Redrum. And for those kind of things you don't notice that the rate is lower, of course.
Agreed: "BUT, having said that I'd still stick to MIDI for note/gate conversion if possible since I find it quick and easy for getting note data from Reason to Eurorack."
buddard wrote:
19 Oct 2020
But even for LFOs, I haven't heard much of a quantization effect, since samplerate/64 is still pretty fast. I think it's more when you use high frequency stuff (for FM/AM) that I think it becomes noticeable, and in that case you definitely want run at audio rate all the way through anyway.
I heard it on an LFO when using USB/MIDI via the MIDI Out Device to SL mkIII and sending on to Eurorack. This is "worst case" (using MIDI for CV, as I previously mentioned) so I would agree that with typical CV to audio conversion you may not hear the steps unless you're using them for pitch/frequency modulation or using them at higher rates.

My studio is currently running @ 50% (working out of our dining room!) while waiting for construction of the new space, so I can't test my Eurorack connect for another few weeks…
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