Earthsea - Opinions

Hello - I hear a lot about ansible (I have one) and the White Whale, but I hardly hear about experiences with Earthsea. Can anyone share their experiences? It seems like it would suit me better than a WW because I generally don’t like step sequencing. I usually like to play things out and loop them. I use an MPC as my sequencer.

1 Like

i LOVE mine its like arpeggio on steroids and awesomeness, so far my 3rd favorite


I love earthsea! I really favor playing the notes live rather than punching them into a sequencer so earthsea is perfect for that. It gives you the immediacy of a keyboard with the abilities of a looper on top of being able to transpose your sequences anywhere on the grid. It is fantastic

1 Like

That’s the answer I was looking for! I have an ansible and can use the sequencer on that if I ever want to. But there is something about the idea of playing notes out on the grid that’s super attractive.

1 Like

totally. it makes it feel even more like an instrument.

Arps and realtime playing and unquantized sequencing are big wins- but it’s the shape memory system that takea this module over the top IMO. It’s pressure points, brains, 3 slews, preset memory, etc. I could go on… :smile:


I would love to see the cv shape function expanded upon. Having a mode where 4 cvs per step could be saved triggered by the 16 buttons on the bottom row would be lush. Being able to record the transposition into a mlr type buffer to trigger and chop would also rock.

1 Like

great ideas!

i would love to be able to cut around a loop buffer mlr style by pressing along the top row and be able to press two positions in the top row to set new loop boundaries. i’ve also mentioned on here before an idea for a “record overdub” function that allows you to insert more notes to a sequence while it’s playing back.


just had an idea for a teletype command:

ES.POS (1-16)

so while ES.POS 0 would effectively be the same as ES.RESET, ES.POS 8 would start playback from the buffer’s midpoint, 12 from the 3/4 mark, etc.
16 cut points might be too low res. could be 0-127.


Yeah. I was thinking of teletype position triggering too! In the example I mention above the 16 buttons containing “shape” data could be sequenced via teletype. I think the whale would also excel with a mlr style sequence chop recorder.
Another idea I had was having a 4 track recorder looper. 1 for each cv out. Different shapes could remix the sequences. One shape to reverse. One for pendulum, etc. So many possibilities with these. Too bad my programs sauce is weak.

1 Like

I’m imagining this with a four track sampler–same idea right?

I’m waiting for the Rossum Assimil8or, and am keen to see how capable that will be. I’m getting all kinds of ideas relative to what you’re suggesting in relation to a sampler/recorder.

The O/D device is a bit on my radar too, but I’ve spent so many years depending on Emu that I can’t help but think Rossum will be very good.

Question regarding Earthsea module: there is no header/ribbon extended functionality with Ansible, correct? Only with Teletype?

Since I’m using an Ansible, I’d simply buy an Earthsea, and swap USB lead from Ansible to Earthsea, correct?

Or will we be seeing an expansion of Earthsea programming in to Ansible, and I should wait?

The Rossum should be amazing. Waiting right now for control forge and Morpheus. Really love what they’re bringing to the table. Should integrate well with teletype and ansible. The sound computer looks lavish. Waiting for the story on that one to unfold.

1 Like

Morpheus is a must-buy for me. Sight unseen. Z-plane filters! Those were my life. No demos or beta feedback required.

I tried the Evolution a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed. I will buy one one day, but there are more important things right now.

Control Forge looks fascinating too, and yeah, I’ve been imagining some pretty great possibilities with CF and Ansible/Grid. Haven’t cracked Teletype yet. Next step here is Earthsea. Still hoping someone can address my previous questions about it.

It’s longer term, but Assimil8or is actually the Rossum module I’m most interested in, but I’m glad to wait. Much to chew on right now in the Monome family.

By “sound computer” do you mean the Assimil8or, or is there something else I’m unaware of?

1 Like

One thing to note with Earthsea is that there is no clock or reset input. If you have teletype, you can send a reset command which is great, but otherwise, you will have to retrigger it manually. This is just one small thing, but personally it was a dealbreaker for me.

I really enjoyed ES while I had it, and I really miss the things it could do (still have no replacement) but I found it required too much focus (resetting the loop to be in time) when I already have so many things to focus on when playing my modular.

PSound computer is the o/d device. Nothing is really known except for an epic box and a massive knob.

Teletype should be able to also clock earthsea step by step. It’s just not working reliable with both of mine since it skips steps every now and then.


To clarify, it sounds like this is only an issue for you if you’re running a complex patch with hard sync points, no? Say, when composing a piece with distinct parts?

What appeals to me about it–based on what I see in the videos–is its ability to use the grid as a kind of keyboard, to simply play notes, small motifs, etc. I think I’d like that, as I don’t have a piano-style keyboard connected. I do have Rene and Pressure Points. Seems it will do that…no?

Michael, thanks. I forgot that that was called a Sound Computer. I was only thinking of it as the ER-301.

I’m curious to see how that specs out, but even if on paper it somehow exceeds the Rossum, I have to say I’d be strongly biased towards the Rossum, given that it’s Dave Rossum/Emu, and especially given that it will be easily available at any respected retailer, with solid factory support. Not knocking the O/D stuff at all, but I’m not the biggest fan of the ‘pre-order/order subculture,’ and lack of local support is a concern. I may make an exception for a Mordax Data though.

I enjoy my ES a lot exactly because not being hard synced to a clock and love to use the loop and arp functions in a loosely way.

That being said, there absolutely should be the option to sync it. Haven’t tested enough to make a statement about that.

@Larrea Its a fantastic module of course, but regardless of patch complexity, I mostly wanted to use it as an unquantized melodic sequencer, recording freely played phrases over 4 bars or so, and I really missed the ability restart the phrase in time with the beat.

This pretty much sums it up:

Thanks, both of you. Understood about the sync issue.

To my other question: anyone know if the ES app will eventually find itself adapted to Ansible as well, or should I just go ahead and add the actual ES module to my future expansion plans?

AFAIK there are no official plans to port ES to Ansible. But that is not to say some enterprising individual(s) won’t do so.

As for how to manage without a clock, I plan to connect the ES to an Antimatter Brain Seed, which serves as the 1v/octave input point for my small rack and which itself is clocked by a Batumi. This should let me improvise via ES over the top of a clocked melody (or whatever I load the Brain Seed with).