301 prepurchase question: realtime recording and slicing equal lengths?

Hi folks,
I have watched a few 301 videos and I love the format and layout. I checked out the Wiki, but I see some of the recording stuff ins’t populated yet, and I have some specific questions:

I want to use an ES-8 to send a stereo signal from my DAW in to the 301. I’m using ableton and I’d also send a clock over the ES-8 in to the 301. What I want to do is be DJing and playing a song in ableton and have the 301 be loop recording 8 bars and then just be constantly recording over the 8 bar buffer. I’d like to be able to on the fly decide to keep the 8 bars that are being recorded and then quickly (like with the push of a button) slice the 8 bars in to 16 equal slices that can then be played back with my external midi controller.

My question: Is it currently possible to be recording 8 bars based on an incoming clock and have it loop record over itself constantly?
Is it possible to trigger this loop so that it will then slice in to 16 equal divisions?

I’m also happy having it just constantly slice itself every time it is recorded and then push some button that will just stop the loop recording. I’ll be using an external mixer to move back and forth between the DJ set in the DAW and the slicing set on the 301. Thanks!


I think what you want to do is possible on ER-301 with some smoke and mirrors. You’d actually want to keep two 8-bar loopers running (ie two sample buffers [and yes, you can preslice them]). One would be your “chosen” loop with zero overdub. The second looper would be your “live” looper with 100% overdub. You additionally would need two player units behind a crossfader-type setup on the output. A raw player would be simplest but you could use any type that accepts a buffer. Then a toggle button for “I liked the last 8 bars” would swap the overdub and output values of the loopers and players.

You would have your slice addressed by CV input + gate input for reset playback. Playback length set to 1 slice, or whatever you’d want.

Do you have a MIDI-to-CV converter? There’s no direct MIDI input to the ER-301. [EDIT: Looks like the ES-8 can handle CV signals.]

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Thanks for the reply. I’m not sure that I understand the reason for needing the two players (my apologies-I don’t actually own a 301 yet). My hope is that the “raw” playback will still just happen within my DAW and when I want to hear the looped playback I will just use my crossfader to only hear the output of the 301. I think you are saying having two players so that one would always just be loop recording the input from the DAW and then I could switch the output to the chopped output? If that’s the case, I guess I can still use the two playback devices in 301 but just have a single output. I am however hoping to still have use of the other two mono channels of the 301 for other “outboard” effects, so if I can avoid a second playback I prefer that.

yes, you can preslice them

Any chance you know where I can learn more about this feature?

Think of it as writer and readers. The loopers are writing to a given buffer (of your choosing) while the raw players are reading from a given buffer (of your choosing). Also, functionality is packaged in “units” so while some player units can use slice data, others cannot such as the looper.

Just to be clear, the term “raw” in the context of the ER-301 is meant to refer to the Raw Player unit which is a type of CPU-efficient sample player that does no sample rate interpolation but rather just plays the samples as-is, i.e raw.

Yes. The looper units can be controlled by a clock signal (via their reset inputs). However, the slicing of a buffer currently does not utilize any clock-based info because it is ultimately a manual process. In other words, there is a slicing UI on the ER-301 but it is not under remote-control. So if your tempo changes then you will need to re-slice (manually).

There is a little bit here to give you a taste what the v0.3 firmware offered:


but as of the current v0.4 firmware, there are additional features such auto-slicing (slice to onset, division, and period) and loop points. These additional features are not documented yet.

There are mixer units and VCA units that can be used to combine signals and turn them on/off via external control. So you should have all the flexibility you need to mix everything down in the ER-301 to your desired number of outputs.

This is really the crux. If you go into the ER-301 with some flexibility towards your goals then you will most likely be a happy camper. However, if there is something very very specific that you need done in a certain way and that is the only reason for the purchase then I would definitely hold off for now.

Thanks for the response, Brian. Let me try and be a bit more detailed just to see if maybe what I’m wanting to do is possible:

I’d be feeding a stereo signal in to the 301. That would be set up as a loop and I could send a gate to trigger to loop start to be set to 2 measures. Let’s not worry about BPM changes as I’d assume I’d need to rerecord regardless if I start changing the tempo.

My thought is that even while that buffer is being written and overwritten constantly, the audience will be listening to the output of my DAW. Then if something interesting happens in my DAW that I’d like to play back the last two measures, I could push some trigger to stop the loop recording and then start playback of the buffer (is this possible?).

I’d switch my crossfader so that now people are listening to those two measures on the 301 and they are looping.

Now that the loop is playing, can I do essentially a “clock multiplier” of that incoming gate and multiply it x16 so that the two measure loop has 16 slices?

Then I’d trigger those slices with a MIDI->cv drum pad thing…

Then when I’m done, I’d crossfade back to the DAW and restart the loop recording in the 301.

Is this possible?

It seems like doing it that way, I wouldn’t need to worry about having a separate record and playback? On maybe they would be two units within the same stereo pair? in any case, it’s a very exciting module. I have a friend that has one, but I have never played with it. I got on the list so hopefully I can get in on the next batch.

If you do not need to change the tempo, then yes I believe this can all be done under remote control. You will still need at least a Looper unit to handle recording (and regular non-sliced playback) and a Player unit to handle the sliced playback, both of these units will be sharing the same (pre-sliced) audio buffer.

This part is a bit different. When you want to start doing sliced playback, you would mute the Looper unit (which is continue to play normally) and unmute the Player unit (using internal VCA units) and start triggering it via CV/gate. Recall that the Looper unit and Player unit are both sharing the same audio buffer, so whatever was recently recorded by the Looper is what the Player unit will be playing. Also, keep in mind that a slice is not a cue point (which are not implemented yet). So sliced playback begins at the start of selected slice and ends at end of the selected slice.

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What a fascinating subject!

@mbirame has cross faded one world into another

As a DJ, he wants to use the 301 like some kind of window. He does his thang! On the decks, shimmy this, shimmy that… and then, suddenly, puts a telescope on some kinda of jive… not something he expected(sounds familiar) but like iron man, has the power to pin it down for a RINSE…

Forgive me for speaking out of turn! Is this not the first example of when a pioneer takes something made for something and uses it for something else, entirely different! And he ain’t even got one yet.

Ron the pioneer dj, turned everything upside down…

Thanks for the kind words folks. I found a user er-301 and it’ll be here in a couple days. Can’t wait!


I don’t get the concept. If you’re using Ableton Live, why not use M4L instead of an ER-301 ?
Seems like an unnecessary device to add to the setup.

Without going in to too many unnecessary details, I do these sets live on the spot and the music can’t stop. I am also recording the set in to arrangement view at the same time and using a really large template. So the reasons are a combination of wanting to offload CPU (the reason for putting my effect sends on to the 301), some limitations in Ableton’s LOM API when trying to adjust the playhead of a recorded clip for slicing (works fine if you can stop the music to set up, but not for seamless work), and most importantly because it will be fun. I’m already incorporating modular in to the set so it will be easy to put in. Here’s a pic of my live setup for the solo shows.


Fair enough, looks like fun indeed !

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That’s a smart setup. Are those bass note pedals on the floor? Is that a xylophone, Glock or vibes in the back. Would like to hear your vibe if that’s poss👍


Thanks for the kind words. I did a couple of walk through videos on FB a few weeks ago that gives a lot of details. Pt 1: https://www.facebook.com/joel.laviolette.7/videos/10217538965802281/
Pt 2:

I stream live on my FB once or twice a week if you’re wanting to hear what this setup is. It’s all composed on the spot, so every livestream is really different. Here was last night livestream:

The instrument is a marimba. I run a school where I teach traditional Zimbabwean marimba music. You can learn more about that and listen to all my released music, etc, on my website joellaviolette.com

ok-I’m feeling like a commercial, so I’m going to stop now-lol

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Hi Brian-I just got my 301. Wow! It’s beautiful. Already having a blast with the delays and reverb. This unit comes with the latest stable release 0.3.25 (48k).

Are the features that you are discussing above available on this version or should I update? Thank you!