Global Chains

I’ve tried understanding what Brian has written about Global Chains and the conversation that followed with @NeilParfitt after they were added to the firmware, but I’m not following. I know this will be a topic in the Wiki someday but I’d like to know more sooner than that.

So I’m either hoping that @NeilParfitt could make a tutorial video outlining them or that somebody could ELI5.

Think of it as a global source that any chain in the system can grab a signal from. Almost like feeding a chain an CV source from ABCD G or ins. But, instead of external signals - it’s an internal generated CV or sound in a chain such as an oscillator, sample player, or whatever you want.

Almost comparable to the way local controls are available anywhere within a custom unit, except this time it’s available anywhere in the entire module. Aka… “Global” chain.

Once you choose Local or Global is it an either/or situation or can both be active?

Is there a graphical representation of what the difference between Global and Local look like in the menu?

I’ve been reluctant to play with these parameters as I have not understood what they will impact or how I can back out of the choices.

video uploading right now :slight_smile:


They don’t look any different, to all intents and purposes they are identical, you just have a separate chain that can be routed as though it’s an external input :slight_smile:

There are no ‘changes’ you can’t back out of - the global chains works in the same way as any of the other chains, they are just global, i.e. not assigned to one of the physical outputs.

1 Like

Locals sources are signals from any custom controls that you make within a custom unit. These signal sources will be available only within the custom unit… aka… “local” to the custom unit.

Globals are completely independent of this -it’s a signal chains you can grab and use anywhere in the entire ER-301 system.


Hope this is OK, I did it pretty quick!


Super helpful everyone - THANKS!!! :thumbsup:


Another great video, @NeilParfitt!

I usually think about using a global chain when I want to use the exact same signal more than once, either because

a) I want it to be perfectly in sync/in phase everywhere
b) I want to reduce CPU

1 Like

absolutely, I’ll add another:

c) frees up a Channel. Prior to global chains you could allocate a channel to twol (i.e.: ch4/out4) to accomplish the same result. Now, you can have any many as you need (up to realistic CPU load limits)


The way I’m interpreting locals vs. globals is that the ability to use both creates a hierarchy of organization for signal distribution throughout the 301. So technically, global chains also satisfy the function of local chains (right?). Am I missing any other distinct differences between locals and global that would make using a local chain preferable to using a global chain in any given situation?

Awesome video @NeilParfitt!

Edit: I suppose (and as development continues//the SDK is implemented) globals become necessary for sharing entire patches, and local chains become necessary for sharing custom units.

1 Like

When you say local chains do you mean channel chains or custom units?

A reason not to use a global (if you don’t need it) is portability and ease of organization. Since a global chain is not tied to any physical OUTs, it’s not much good without at least one channel chain. So you’re looking at a quicksave (of which there are only 24) or loading 2+ chains (a global and 1+ channels) to restore something you built. If it can all be contained in a channel chain or custom unit then it’s all kind of stored as one thing without using up a QS slot.

At least that’s the main reason I can think of. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I haven’t used global chains much at all actually, but the most immediate use I can think of is a clock generated internally that you want to use in different places. You could also use an internally generated sine wave as an LFO to modulate different chains. This is particularly handy if you don’t have an lfo or trigger to feed into a physical input.

I’m not so sure they are a necessity for sharing entire patches, as that sounds more like a quicksave to me.


Ahh - yeah, I need to refresh my terminology here. I’m talking about custom controls that are created//accessible within custom units.

This brings up a question on my end as I’m not at my rack at the moment: where are global chains saved?

1 Like

I’d also like to know if Global Chains are saved on the SD card for use across all future patches or if they are specific to particular Custom Units?

Global chains are independent, saved wherever you save them to, can be reloaded for use in any patch but are saved as part of the quick saves.

I think I got that right :joy:

edit: nope, you save all the chains together!

Actually that’s a development request, individual saving of an individual global chain please :smiley:

So they are only accessible after reloading a Quick Save and are not universal after creating them?

I’m not sure I understand, they are always universal and available the moment you create them!

When you said they are saved as part of the Quick Saves then I associate them with individual Quick Save slots. As such, when I return to my rig tomorrow after powering it up, those Global Chains are then part of a particular Quick Save slot and are not necessarily already loaded up for access as a kind of default set of Global Chains?

Oh I see… no each set of global chains is unique to each quick save!

1 Like