The ES-3 is a Eurorack format module which converts eight channels of ADAT Lightpipe input to DC coupled outputs on 3.5mm jacks, for the ultimate convenience in connection of a DAW directly to analogue synthesizers.
The outputs can be used as control voltages (CVs), for example with software such as Expert Sleepers Silent Way, and can also be used as audio outputs at high, modular synth-compatible levels.
With the ES-3, a single optical cable is all that is need to bring direct CV control from your DAW right into the heart of a modular system.
The ES-3’s specifications are as follows:
- Panel width: 8HP
- Module depth: 50mm
- Input connection: optical, ADAT Lightpipe standard
- D/A conversion: 24 bit, 113dB SNR typical
- Output connections: 8x 3.5mm jacks, DC-coupled
- Maximum output voltage: approximately ±10V DC
- Indicators: LED for ADAT clock sync; illuminated sockets indicate output voltage (+ve/-ve)
- Current draw: 148mA on the +12V rail, 18mA on the -12V rail
- 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.
- February 2017 sees the launch of the “ES-3 mk4”. Functionally equivalent to the ES-3 mk3, the mk4 adds these improvements:
- Illuminated jack sockets
- Less deep
- September 2013 sees the launch of the “ES-3 mk3”. Functionally equivalent to the ES-3 mk2, the mk3 adds these improvements:
- Higher spec DACs and lower noise circuitry
- Easier access to the expansion headers
- More robust ADAT port
- More visible LEDs
From January 2012 to August 2013, ES-3s were shipped marked “ES-3 mk2”. These units had an identical specification to the orignal ES-3, but also included a couple of expansion headers. The first expansion module to make use of these was the ES-5.
The ES-3 produces 8 outputs as normal when the ADAT interface is operated at 44.1/48kHz. In double speed mode (88.2/96kHz), the ES-3 outputs 4 channels, duplicated across pairs of outputs (ES-3 outputs 1/2 carry ADAT channel 1, outputs 3/4 carry ADAT channel 2 etc.).
However, users of Silent Way can take advantage of the Silent Way SMUX plug-in to interleave CVs on the 96kHz stream, restoring the number of usable CV outputs to 8.