Expert sleepers

Please excuse my ignorance but I see a lot of people referring to Expert Sleepers modules as a link between VCV Rack and hardware but I don’t really understand what they do (there are a lot of ES modules about) and how they work. I have scoured this forum and web to find to most basic information but nothing I have found really explains the fundamental. If anyone could point me to an introductory video or web page I would be very grateful.




Maybe this :

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That is great. Thank you. Really helpful

Not sure how you connect an adat lead to my system as I have never even seen one.

I am wondering if the use of ES is for precision. At the moment I use CV-midi modules in VCV to send to my outboard synths and have a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 interface which allows me to input the outboard synths back to VCV via a 16in/6out mixer.

If you already have an audio interface with Adat then it’s the ES-8 for you, otherwise ES-9, which a lot of people are craving right now.

If you only need MIDI out from your computer, and audio in to the computer, then you don’t really need Expert Sleepers. What the ES-* modules allow is to send both audio and CV, both from computer to hardware and from hardware to computer. This allows for building an extremely flexible and cost-effective hybrid software+hardware system, plus a DC coupled audio interface (like the ES-8/9) is by far the superior way to sync sequencers and clocks between computer and hardware, if you need that. Watch that Loopop video above, that should give you a good eyeopener on this subject.


Great. Thank you Lars. Really helpful

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Actually this is wrong. ES-8 is a USB audio interface like the ES-9

If you already have an audio interface with Adat then you want the ES-3 for outputs and the ES-6 for inputs (which both connect via ADAT)

If you want an interface that handles everything (including main outputs and headphone outs) all in the rack then the ES-9 is ideal.

If you want to maximise your CV ins and outs then get the ES-8, and add an ES-3 and ES-6 to it as expanders for 16 CV outs and 10 ins. ES-9 has 16 outs too but only 8 of them are CV capable. The other 8 are made up of 2 for headphones, 2 for main outs, 2 for spdif and 2 for the ES-5 gate/clock/trigger expander.

If you already have an interface that you like for monitoring etc, then when Rack V2 comes out (which allows use of multiple interfaces) you can use an ES-8 alongside it.

I actually prefer the ES-8 to the ES-9 as have another interface (Audient ID22) that I really like for monitoring and recording. Eventual setup when Rack 2 comes out will be Audient with ES-3, plus an ES-8 with an ES-3 and an ES-6 which will give me 24 CV capable outs and 10 CV ins and another 10 line/mic pre ins plus separate main and headphone outs.


I’ll have a video about the ES-9 and expanders soon, just finishing off the edit.


This is the very informative video that Paul just made, about VCV Rack + ES-9 + expanders:


Great video, Thank you Paul

I’m glad you liked it David