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Curious if the ER 301 makes sense in my setup

Hi there, I’m thinking about getting an ER301 after making some changes to my current rack. The biggest difference is that I’m moving towards multitracking and mixing ITB (Ableton). So this frees up things like mixers and reverbs…

I was thinking that the 301 could be useful in my setup because I want to add sampling and granular, and a whole hostof other 301 benefits (like VCAs, ADSR, making a drum kit, EQ, probably missing others).

But now that I’ve thought about it quite a bit, I’m starting to think that I could really do almost all of that ITB (sampling, EQ, reverb/delay/effects, drum kit, Mixing).

I think I would enjoy having the ER 301 in the rack, but as I’m trying to produce music semiprofessionally, it seems like I would probably have more flexibility (and DSP) using Ableton for a lot of these things, especially since I can/will be just multitracking my modular voices to my computer…

Would love any thoughts or responses to my jumbled post.

Thanks

My rack primarily consists of: Whimsical Raps Mangrove and Three Sisters, Verbos Complex Oscillator, Birdkids Bataleur, with VCAs/LPG for all 3. That’s it right now. Been thinking about adding sampling capabilities which is what brought me to the ER 301. but then there’s the whole ITB thinking that’s making me feel like its a waste… For example, I think ITB mixing makes a lot of sense for multitracking and reverb type stuff (because you have so much control over EQ etc and making it fit clean in general)

So I’m curious what the other benefits to the ER 301 are… I’m thinking of using it as a Mixer in my setup that then the 4 outputs are multitracked to my audio interface, that can affect each of the 3 voices + sampling and then send those to my mixer (side note, thinking about sending these to a QMMF and then out to the interface, but that’s another conversation).

I feel like I’m talking myself out of a 301 but I really don’t want to use the computer… So please talk me into getting an ER 301. THANK YOU.

I primarily use mine as a mixer and effects hub. I am in a very different situation from you, as I have no professional ambitions making music and I pretty much never use the computer or multitrack recordings. I think what the ER-301 really excels at is that you can treat it’s channels sort of like individual modules. Like making a delay feedback patch with your analog filters or distortion.

I think the primary thing you should think about when making your choice is about how you enjoy interacting with your music making process. I think we get caught up thinking about all the capabilities certain gear has (ER-301 has a lot) and think less about how we feel when using it. The ER-301 is great if you like building sonic structures from first principles. It is hugely powerful but not immediate. If you like getting into the weeds with synthesis and sampling it is great. Also because you can make quicksaves you can spend a long time creating a specific structure and then get it back whenever you need, so you don’t always have to dive in deep to use it. Most of the time I keep relatively the same settings on the same channels, but I also feel like I don’t get nearly what is capable out of it. That also has to do with the fact that I never really figured out how to do samples or granular in a way I really liked. One of the aspects of modular I find challenging is figuring out and generating the different modulations that sound good for different sources/sound generation techniques, and I think that can often lead me to the well trod paths I know, which leads me to using the ER-301 in less creative ways.

I would say that the things it really excels at (at least in my use) is acting as a hub for your modular (all the a-d jacks can be audio inputs, with caveats, as well as CV), And routing all that to different places while being able to affect those connections.

A) Well, then just ditch it all together! (For music production that is)
B) ut, I’d say you keep it for multitracking and post production
C) think about an akai product (force or mpc)

Having said that…

We can’t stress this point enough. Just watch some of those videos from @NeilParfitt, @Joe or this one from @stolmine. And think about whether you’d be enjoying the kind of creative process that the er301 is demanding for. Would you prefer it over the Workflows in the computer or the mpc derivatives?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URWXhUicFi8

If you’re enjoying the complexity and the hands on experience from the eurorack you already have, then chances are that you’ll love to pet an er301, too. It sounds amazing and it’s getting better by the hour.

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You have a great point, but at the same time, there is no hardware on the planet that is going to compete with a DAW when it comes to mixing and fx. I agree with mopoco, you need to really look at the workflow and decide if that is something that seems inspiring. The biggest strength of the ER-301 beyond everything it does in the box is that it can interact with your system, but then again a DAW can do that too with a DC interface, but it’s a completely different workflow.

For me, I have two modes of operation: live and studio. For live the ER-301 is essential. For studio? Honestly I don’t need it at all as I have an ES-9 and Live but I still find myself doing all of my creative sampling work on the 301 - granular or traditional because it’s just easier and faster for me. The DAW is pretty much just a post production / mixing tool now, and I prefer that. It’s hard to completely change paradigms back and forth and ER-301 is like it’s own damn thing - somewhere in the middle - but definitely built with and for eurorack.

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All good points, I’ll just add my .05: I’m finally slowly getting into a tighter integration between the teletype and the 301, which is something I can’t see being done with anything euro, I guess you’d have to go ableton + max for something similar. Over i2c you’ll get 100 triggers and 100 cv, everything from phrasing, gate lengths, routing, pitch, ratchets to the direct control over the most intricate parameters in you sound generation. And the power of the teletype means all this is under extreme algorithmic control. After 2 years with this combo, it still blows my mind!

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Really appreciate the comments. Agreed on all fronts. I was probably having a minor crisis yesterday, but thanks for reminding me that we’re here to NOT be sitting in a DAW at all times lol…

Just trying to figure out the best way to work things out re: sampling and multitracking… which ER301 could be a part of the solution for both!

Thanks yall.

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