ER-301 Sound Computer


er-301 users, as someone thinking about taking the plunge, how are you feeling about yours? any totally awesome surprises? any unforeseen limitations/issues? is it a love story?


I got one used during the production lull and love it.

The big surprise for me is the 6-track recorder. I can record inputs, outputs, whatever I want. I was using the Bitbox for that, but this is more flexible and lets me free up the Bitbox for what it does best (one shots). I can simultaneously record an input and multiple effect chain variations. It’s nuts.

I sold my Nord Drum 2 after getting the Bitbox, as the Bitbox has more sample slots and is totally integrated with my modular (yes, the ND2 does synthesis, but it’s so fiddly that it made more sense to make the sounds on my computer and just load them onto the SD card). I’m also considering selling the Folktek Matter, as it is starting to feel like a preset box with a fiddly interface. I feel like for traditional one-shots, the Bitbox is a good stopping point. The only thing on that design that I would want is more modulation.

The ER-301 is a different beast to me. I sold off my Dervish (multi-FX processor), Echophon, and a few others (Probably the O’Tool soon). The sampler is amazing, but the eye opener has been just how damn good it is for being the center of the system. It has 16 DC-coupled full-range and high sampling rate inputs, four gate inputs, and 4 AC-coupled outputs. So far, I’ve built wild pitch-shifting delay patches (where the pitch-shifting can happen either in the delay or by manipulating some samples), multi voice additive synths, and more. I’ve used it as a mixer, an FX box, a generator, a recorder, sometimes a few of those things simultaneously.

I’m thinking of building a matrix mixer and keeping that as a quicksave slot (on the forum, he announced he’s quadrupling that quicksave slots from 6 to 24). I have some sampler patches on a quicksave, along with some crazy additive stuff.

I can’t wait for the SDK. I’ll definitely write some stuff for it once that’s available (unless it absolutely requires Assembly >_<)


it’s basically a modular-in-a-box. it seems to me to be the audio equivalent of teletype. it can indeed be the heart of a whole system dedicated just to it. teletype is designed to generate and respond to all sorts of wild CV, while the 301 does the same for processing audio.

on the tech side, lua was mentioned earlier as the scripting framework, though i don’t know if that will extend to writing full plugins, renoise-style.

i just ordered a 301, because aside from built-in i2c support to talk to monome modules, this looks like everything i wanted in hardware to integrate grid/arc/modular with the rest of my instruments and effects. to finally get more of an end-to-end experimenting & recording process away from the daw, with the immediacy that i need for improvisation. will see how that works out. now i need to figure out what to put my 301 in, as my isms is completely full…


It’s honestly the best module ever, with teletype of course.


I’m so tempted. But I feel like I still haven’t fully explored what I have, and I’m not totally sure about all that complexity in a single module. But you all sure seem to love it.

How complex is the logic you can program into it? Are there conditionals?


It’s not really a logic box or sequencer. Think of it like an effect and generator. For sequencing and logic, that’s Teletype’s game.

EDIT: It’s worth noting that the ER-301 hasn’t crashed on me yet, despite doing some pretty absurd things with it.


…and if the roadmap can be believed (and I’ve no reason to not believe it) we can expect a great many more wonders from this item down the road.


Another reason he hasn’t added these type of features to ER-301 is the existence of the ER-101 and ER-102.


The ER-301 also has AC-coupled outputs. Even once the SDK is up and we can start developing units for it, the 301 will never be able to generate CVs for output. It will still be able to modulate itself internally, but then the question will be how much you will want to do in one box.

Teletype + Ornaments & Crimes + ER-301 is one hell of a polyphonic system. It’s going to be especially cool when the 301 has a dedicated wavetable mode.


In this capacity, is it via DSP (i.e., AD/DA stages) or analogue through?


alright, trigger pulled! thank you everyone, that made it much easier to make up my mind



Pretty sure everything is going through DACs to provide the degree of flexibility that ER-301 provides.


Well, I watched way too many of the demos and went ahead with an order. The CV controlled sampling and sample manipulation looks way too good to pass up. I will likely have to sell some stuff, but that seems like a good idea anyway.


This is a dangerous thread to have laying around and popping up to the top of the forum from time to time. Should come with some sort of warning. Now I’ve got one of these damn things on order.

Thanks, everyone. :wink:


In fear of wading in to something out of which there’s no easy path, were there any that were particularly helpful?

Months on, and I still find OR’s site fairly unhelpful in understanding the feature sets…and still no manual. I understand why, but some kind of documentation at this point would be appreciated, especially for a $900 module with a two month order lead time, shipped from Japan.


I found the CV control of sample slicing and pitch really intriguing and I could immediately see how I would want to use it for what I’m doing… It felt like the final missing piece to get me away from the computer as a performance tool (which is part of my personal goals at the moment).


Cut him some slack, it’s still “pioneer” days. The manual is waiting for things to be in a more finished state, and there is a very long long way to go. For one thing, the plugin framework that is going to make it possible for all of us to add new units for our own forms of DSP torture. If things are looking too rough right now, I’d suggest waiting.

That being said, Neil Parfitt’s videos, while informal, are extremely helpful:


Those videos lay it all out. It’s a modular module. The basics are just that. How you use them is up to you. Brian has been very clear as to the star of the module, development, and its roadmap. It’s amazing as it is, and will only get better.


well he couldnt be more open about the current state - even to admit if your looking for a complete, mature product this aint it - Kudos really…and the timeline is helpful to see where its headed…

Once i first saw the demo i was pretty flored but i wanted to know on what it was built so I went and checked out the code base and its extremely impressive. lightweight, powerful
Hes even allowed for socket ted changing of the ax ARM chips for futureing (i made up a word:)

With TT, grid, ER301 and my rig I wont need to touch a computer much!!