ER-301 starter questions

Hi all,

I have some super-basic questions and I’m just going to drop them here for anyone who cares to enlighten me. I know this information is hidden somewhere in the massive YouTube effort of Neil Parfitt (for which all of us are eternally grateful), but I can’t watch them all again to find the details I’m looking for… unfortunatly, my time is pretty limited these days. Hope you don’t mind!

Custom units
Where can I assign controls to a custom unit? I can add a chain and assign literal controls, but somewhere in Neil’s videos I saw how you can program some sort of control “variables”? I’m trying to set up a few building blocks like synth voice and so forth to use in bigger chains.

Mixer units
Is there some sort of normalling system between mixer units? I tried to make a sort of para-phonic patch and ran into the following problem: three mixer units next to each other with sine waves, each with different 1V/oct, but the same gate. The levels have to be low when they play together in order to avoid clipping, but when they play separately thy are too low on their own (for example when I switch to arpegiate instead of para-phonic). How is that generally handled?

I’m looking for some information about how to control the levels of the audio in general, and how to control it in the ER-301. What to look out for, when distrotion starts to happen, clipping, etc. The limited time I have played with the unit revealed to me that it is a very powerful tool, but because of that also pretty unpolished. I think I will have to learn a lot more about how audio really works if I want to get a handle on the ER-301! Which is a good thing.

I didn’t immediately figure out how to load samples in a project, but yeah, I will rewatch the relevant Parfitt-video on that topic. Should be easy to find.

Thanks for reading, who knows even answering! I may actually be inclined to add the info I gather here to the wiki if I figure out how to do that.


P.s. @odevices is this a support topic? Not sure how to use the tags yet

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Your Custom unit and Samples question seems to imply that you have not found the unit menu yet. Each unit has a menu which can be accessed by “focus pressing” the unit’s header. Focus pressing means pressing the soft button underneath the unit’s header when it is already focused.

In the Custom unit’s menu you will find a menu item called “Edit Controls”. This will take you to a screen where you can add/delete/rename/move controls.

In the Sample Player’s menu you will find a menu item called “Assign Sample”. This will take you to the Sample Pool (also accessible from the admin menu). The Sample Pool shows what samples are currently loaded into RAM. If you have already loaded the desired sample into RAM then you can just select it from here. If not, then you will first need to load into RAM by pressing the “Load Sample(s)” (S1) button and selecting the desired sample from your card’s file system. Now you can select the sample from the Sample Pool to assign to your Sample Player.

Your Mixer units and General question are confusing me a bit. You seem to imply that the ER-301 should be doing some kind of smart mixing or automatic gain control? :thinking: Putting aside for a moment what smart mixing would actually mean, it would be just as unwelcome if a signal got louder just because another signal was not being mixed with it. So, in summary, Mixer units are just mixers. They are not aware of voice allocation like, for example, the output stage in a polyphonic synth. Here is a previous thread where we talk about playing chords by mixing multiple oscillators together (and the pitfalls you should be aware of):

Yes, I am assuming that users know the basics of mixing. :wink: Judicious use of the Limiter unit can prevent most clipping but distortion-free signal flow requires thinking about the amplitude of your signals at each place where you sum two or more signals in your patch. The signal scopes and level meters scattered about will hopefully help you with this. I hope you weren’t expecting some kind of fixed architecture synthesizer when you bought the ER-301. :laughing:

Thank you for the offer! Unfortunately, firmware is still quite volatile so any documentation made now has a high risk of becoming obsolete and confusing people even more.

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That’s great info, Brian, thanks for taking the time. And what you say about the gain control etc. gives me enough clues to know what I need to look into further. To avoid further confusion, please forget the specifics of my question :slight_smile:

And I did indeed miss the unit menu entirely! Cool

I’d have to respectfully disagree here. I feel the problem your encountering is a matter of proper gain-staging, which is important regardless of the modules used, but even more critical in the digital realm as clipping is very unforgiving. If I’m building a polyphionic synth sound, I tend to start my mixers around -12db. Otherwise, full scale + full scale + full scale = instant digital overs.


Yeah, I’d have to likewise offer respectful disagreement. Whilst I’ve publicly struggled to find words to describe the ER-301, “unpolished” is definitely NOT a word I would use to describe it! :wink:

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I’d like to chime in here and say I find the choice in characterization to be poorly chosen.

i love lamp.



I actually didn’t mean to use the word unpolished as criticism at all, I guess because English is not my native language I didn’t realize the strong connotation. The feeling I tried to convey was something like “raw power”, which I think is more accurate?

As a late starter in sound design and audio technology these kind of pointers are essential for getting a handle on something like the ER-301, so thanks @NeilParfitt !

I had some time to figure out all the menus yesterday and man it’s a lot of fun :rainbow: Love it to bits already. Anyway, hope I didn’t spoil it with you guys, would actually love to stick around for a while… And I will probably have more questions along the road too :thinking:



what a nice frickin guy!
i wish everyone was as nice as this forum.
only one douche in like a year. (not you, i forgot who it is. a real psycho tho)


No spoilage here :grin: from my perspective non native English observed and taken into consideration. I’m a non native speaker myself, Strine being my native tongue. North Americans are misunderstanding me constantly! :grinning:


That’s pretty funny. Happy I’m not the douche haha
But yeah there is this new trend of nice forums and groups, it’s a new thing!

No spoilage! :slight_smile: Please stick around. It’s a great group of people!


Awesome @Bparticle…RAW POWER and fun is what’s driving so many of us who are amazed at how these O|D tools evolve. Great that you are on board with such enthusiasm.

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I’m going to use this thread for its nice title :slight_smile: hopefully nobody minds…

I’m trying to figure put ways to get random triggers so that I can control the density. Regular triggers are easy, just put an oscillator in a trig input, but how about random?

Have you checked out @Patatelemage’s random gate patch? Guessing it would get you almost all the way there.

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Thanks @Joe - will have to check it! :slight_smile:

…would white noise& bump scanner… i’ll have to try it

Velvet Noise works really well for random triggers.

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Could you expand on that a bit? :slight_smile: