Is it true the ER-301 outputs aren't DC coupled?

I was getting pretty hyped about this module, but then I ran across one of Neil Parfitt’s videos where he mentioned that the outputs aren’t DC coupled. Is this true? You can’t use the ER-301 to generate control voltage for other modules? That seems like an oversight. Bummer if it’s true. I was hoping to have this thing generate lots of rhythmic trigs. Any workarounds?

you are correct.

It’s not an oversight, it was an intentional design decision. The work around is to buy the ER-101 and ER-102 for your rhythmic triggers. Or maybe get a Teletype and work the i2c method, but you have choices.

Just curious, why would this be? What design benefit does this provide? Surely it’s better to have the flexibility. Any DC offset problems could be mitigated in software (“DC offset removal” unit) or external modules.

I cannot speak for Brian but in previous posts he’s more or less stated he didn’t want the ER-301 to be a do everything module that was all things to all people. That is certainly a loose paraphrasing. Your question kind of feels like someone asking Xaoc why the Batumi LFO isn’t a sequencer, answer: because there’s other modules that do that. I’m hesitant to answer as I don’t want to come across snarky, but it does sound like there’s a bit of snark; no ill intent meant.

Thanks for clarifying and I can tolerate a little snark, but I don’t agree with your analogy. The ER-301 literally has ADSR envelope and LFO units as part of the design. So it’s more like asking Xaoc why a hypothetical Batumi can LFO modulate its own pretty lights, but not any external modules.

I realize I’m acting like a noob barging in here and telling everyone why they’re wrong, but I hope that my first impressions are at least worth making a note of.

This is discussed every now and then and I think that at least gate or trigger outputs connecting/feeding back ER-301 events to the outer world like end of slice would make sense and I miss them a bit - CV out from envelopes and LFOs not so much though. There I go with the paradigm that the ER-301 should not be a jack of all trades…

as i understood from previous posts, dc coupling would compromise the high end audio outputs. that’s the reason.

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You can actually swing getting low frequency content out of the ER-301 by “encoding” the low frequency signal onto an audio rate signal and using an envelope follower to “decode” it. I made a tutorial about it using an Expert Sleepers Disting as the decoder. Granted, this is sort of a “hack”, and your mileage may vary - I have not tried much more with it than what I did in the video. But there is some possibility there.'s_Tutorials_and_Patches#Getting_CV_Out_of_the_ER-301

EDIT: I would add that while in theory, having the ability to output CV directly sounds awesome, in practice, it doesn’t really feel like the ER-301 somehow lacking, for me anyway.


Maybe it’s just not what you thought it was.

You’re probably better off with something like the Percussa SSP if outputting cv is super important to you. The ER-301’s main focus is generation, manipulation, and recording of sound. With that said, yes, there are internal ways to modulate that.

i might be wrong but if the thing you were thinking the most is trigs then i think that using audio clicks will be more than enough for most modules! i mean, i have no problem syncing my eurorack to the octatrack’s internal metronome, for example…

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You can definitely get triggers out of the 4 outputs

Yeah you can definitely use the outputs as a trigger if you use ie: a blippy square wave or something similar that can work as an output trifgger in the modular realm (you may have to shape it with an envelope follower ((some have trigger outs as well)), but when it comes to precision output CV, you wont get anything reliable because of the lac of DC coupling.

That is correct. The ER-301 outputs are not DC-coupled. It is VERY much an intentional design decision. This fact is printed on the panel.

I have my reasons. They are hard to articulate but nonetheless very important to me. I see a modular case as actually a kind of miniature ecosystem whose balance can be upset negatively by a module which can do everything (even if only theoretically). So when the time came to evaluate various audio DACs, I was actually very much relieved to find that the DAC I chose based on listening tests turned out to be AC-coupled. The possibility that this decision will look stupid to some users is fine with me. I don’t think it was and I’m still glad the ER-301 outputs are not DC-coupled.


Yes, you can use the outputs for trigger signals. Just that the ER-301 doe snot generate trigger or gate signals at interesting points. If it would you could even use them internally, for example to generate a random value when a slice ends to select the next slice or play something on another sample player everytime a slice ends.

To me the ER-301 is very much about samples and slices and I would love to have a way to handle/use the circumstance that they often are of individual length when recombining audio…

Maybe use the envelope follower unit to extract some “triggers” from the samples?
Just thinking, that with some clever manipulation one can still use it in that way. Have not tried to trigger anything from signals generated by er-301, but it might be worth trying just to see if/how that would work. And with what modules…

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I do feel that the 301 probably benefits from a clear focus on audio as opposed to CV, now that I think of it. Before getting one, I was kind of worried it’ll be a jack of all trades, master of none type of thing. I’ve found that’s not true, and one reason might be this.

Is it possible to replace them with some DC coupled alternatives? I get the intended use is something else but for me the beauty if the 301 is that is the swiss knife of my rack and i always think “oh yeah i dont need more s&h i got my 301” then i remember I cannot use it like that…

Brian this entire thread: I never wanted the 301 to become people’s swiss army knife
You: the 301 is my swiss army knife

I have two viewpoints on this. One is that you should definitely expand your horizons because there are much funner & easier to use (& thus perform with) interfaces to sequence with than the 301’s single encoder & 5 buttons.

The other viewpoint is for Brian. Inevitably, the 301 does become some people’s swiss army knife. I believe that the takeaway is that instead of strictly choosing to say “they are not supported”, maybe it would be cool to (remotely) consider potential expandability into that realm when/if the hardware upgrade occurs…?

FYI, the upgrade-able part does not include the ADC/DAC circuitry. Only the CPU and RAM is on the daughter board.