Dear Time-crunched Musician


I think you hit the nail on the head. Your job is not to cater to the individual that doesn’t want to put the time into using a product. If they don’t have the time, etc. then the product is not right for them. End of the story.

Show me anything that is powerful and allows for expressive play that doesn’t require time and dedication to master? This is simply not how the human condition works. Effort is crucial to mastery. There are no shortcuts.


I just got back to 301 after a pandmic hiatus and it took me quite a while to figure out how to get a bespoke unit onto my device.

The patching is very straight forward and easy to do. So I don’t think a “manual” is needed for single units. But a quick start guide for the basic (or some of the new hidden features I have not discovered yet) might be a nice gesture.

Having a clear vision of ones design and following it is a good thing. Diluting the clear vision by pleasing others often not so much. It depends on the personal goal I guess. One could always consider feedback and critique and then decide not to follow it.


Don’t change your ways @odevices !!

We live in an instant gratification / minimal effort / preset driven culture.

Your offerings have always been a sandbox of exploration and we’ve all had a unique experience starting from a pre v1 state.

People’s brains either jive with operating a thing or they don’t. That’s not on you.

The 301 has always made sense to me as it’s a tactile visual thing and I’m a visual learner, (and in the nutty time crunched musician zone). I’d probably have a harder time if I was more on the academic/procedural side as there was little documentation when the 301 journey began.


Is there anything that would change your mind about that? I’ve always found trying to make a tool that is both powerful and appealing to less experienced users a great design challenge.

I enjoy designing for less experienced users already. I don’t enjoy designing for the time-crunched case though, even if they are highly experienced :joy:


Are they not generally one and the same? It takes time to build experience, after all. Perhaps the way to talk about this is in terms of discoverability. The casual user wants something discoverable, but it’s also appreciated by more advanced users. I don’t think there’s a dichotomy between designing for casual users and more advanced users (if you assume that), but it is harder than simply ignoring one class of users.

I’m not saying the design problem is not important. I’m just saying that I’m not motivated to sacrifice time that could be spent thinking about other areas, areas that happened to be behind steep learning curves it seems.

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Fwiw, I think the 301 is a very discoverable module. The units have clear and meaningful names. The UI indicates clearly what can be done. OK, there are some things that are not immediately obvious (like collapsing a unit), but those are generally not needed to start patching in depth.

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If the 301 is discoverable, what’s the problem? Why are people finding it difficult?

I only have the ER-101. And I would say it’s not discoverable, but I like it for other reasons :slight_smile:

it takes time to discover it (incl. reading/researching).
the people you mentioned don’t invest that time.

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Discoverability means the ease of finding all the features. If you have to read a long manual or do other research, then the interface isn’t very discoverable. (see What is discoverability (in UX design)? - Definition from

oh ok didn’t know that term has such clear definition. thank god i’m not a designer:)


It seems to me that you are judging from too far away.

IMO the ER301 is very easy to use. That is, to navigate, patch etc. is very quickly learned.

The hard part is, as with any widely open system, to have some imagination and endurance and make something playable out of the things in the toolbox.


I’m not judging the 301 at all, since I don’t have one. I’m making general claims about design, and referring to definitions. (I only have a 101)

I feel that audio signal path & processing along with general modular concepts (even generic subtractive) are really important elements to understand. Without this, the cause and effect nature of the 301 with CV control and how things move around would be confusing. So, imho that’s not really something @odevices can circumvent for a new user… and it’s not a instant-gratification box unless you have a general idea/plan of what you’re after and would it would require to make it.


A pearl of wisdom

I don’t believe you should allow a comment like that in any way effect your vision. Every instrument I ever ‘learnt’ to play was driven by a marriage of enthusiasm and instinct. Are there many other devices in modular that are referred to as an ‘ecosystem’ a few maybe!

Waste time! Nonsense. A person’s inability is their shortcoming, full stop.