Patching Between Channels

Hey Brian. Thanks!

Since you are here, what are your thoughts on the main topic- the ability to cross patch between channels (locally or Jacks) and to play with other modules? Seems like it was designed to be a receiver only module and not participate in a patch, unless last, which can not change without hardware redesign. But what about allowing internally to cross patch between channels using Locals? Is that a software thing that can be implemented?

I believe it has been brought before. Personally, I very much like the way it is because I like having the extra imposed structure and it is especially convenient for simplifying the UI and implementation of presets (unit presets vs chain presets vs quicksaves). In general, I’m not very much into making the design process a slave to the quest for ultimate power. I’m weird like that and I’m totally ok with something coming across as bizarre as a result. :wink:

I try to be responsive to most feature requests but this is one area where I have been known to be pretty stubborn. However, I can sleep at night because at least I know that if one of my users really wants unrestricted patching description power, then they can always delve into the middle layer with lua as the language.

Edit: Oh yeah. The firmware is open source. So if someone was REALLY desperate, I guess they could fork and implement this but at that point it would probably be more productive to just design a new module. :rofl:

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Totally agree on limitations and restrictions. In everything.

However even that must have a vision and philosophy. What did you envision when restricting the ability to send CV/Gate and to not support communication between channels?

What kind if workflow? Mostly programming? What are you stubborn about in this aspect?

My apologies but I’ve said what I want to say on the abstract matters.

At this point, the most productive avenue is to make a feature request with a specific example that illustrates something that you want to do but cannot. If I decide that the problem is significant then I will definitely try to do something about it but in my own way. :bowing_man: I ask for your patience here.

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Absolutely Brian, Thanks for taking the time! Is there a dedicated Request Thread? Cheers and thanks for all the great work.

As a continuation to my last thread, As advised, im making a request here for implementing the ability to patch locally between channels.

Super simple case Example:

I have a sampler on Channel 1, with other devices.
I have a Synth voice, incl an LFO, other modulators, Filter Etc. On Ch. 2.

While building a patch and performing in real time i want to grab some of the modulators that are already at work in Ch2 and send them to Ch1 to modulate event there, Basic practice in Modular performance.

If i have to pre plan everything in advance then its not enabling some of the more exciting aspects of Modular patching.

If there could be a Global pool for “Local” Patching, that includes all channels’ devices, the whole 301 would behave as 4 modules that can cross patch, as typical to Modular Synthesis.
It feels too “Closed” right now, where there is no JACK (due to outputs not being DC Coupled, and only 1 per ch), and no LOCAL way to transmit any CV/Gate data out of a channel. Its all “Locked” Inside the Channel.

Also, that will enable to build 4 Machines, without too much clutter of endless sub chains, that can actually communicate between them. Total game changer in my opinion.

Appreciate your consideration.

I think one way to support this workflow would be an automated “Promote to Global” (ala Copy to Mixer) function for sub-chains. If the sub-chain has a non-global input then well… idk just fail :slight_smile:

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Local patching is something that would make my sessions easier too. While in the flow of building a patch, I find it ‘disturbing’ (too big of a word this one) to have to think about workarounds (i.e. moving something to global, dropping mixers…) to just use something in another chain…

Moved this here for continuity. Feature requests can be posted anywhere.

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Love love love this idea

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Or even, 2 options; “Move to Global” and “Alias in Global”, so you don’t lose the function as appears in the original location as you might want it there for other reasons., It just give is it an “Address” in Global.And you save the oh so precious CPU.

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would also love to see such a feature.
although there are only rare instances where i would still start patching things in an output chain.
and if i do i usually end up cutting and pasting them on a global chain.
most of the time i just put (almost) everything (audio inputs, complete synth and sampler voices, sometimes even the envelope that is supposed to mod the vca of a voice…) in a dedicated global chain and use the output channels for mixing purposes only (1/2 as main out and 3+4 as sends to external modules).

i’ve been a big fan of the ‘anything goes’ approach (i.e. universal patchability) in the past and i wished others could come up with tons of pressing use cases :rofl:

this might be the discussion to which @odevices was referring? it contains some more good reasons/insights why things are how they are…

by putting everything that could be potentially usefull all over the place onto the global level the global level of my er-301 now becomes my modular system that is similar to my external modular system. each global chain acting like a dedicated module with inputs and outputs.
(the rest of the er-301 unfortunately gets ‘diminished’ to a versatile mixing system.)
i’d like to create feedback paths within a global chain and also inbetween units that are sitting in different global chains but unfortunately we still can’t use the scope mode for global chains. the only way is to tear a global chain into pieces (e.g. put all parts of a voice into dedicated global chains). this can easily be done inside of an output chain via the scope mode. but then you can’t use those signals freely in the rest of the er-301.

but in defense of the current state of the art i’d like to point out one particular explanation that @odevices gave us in that other discussion. one that might be still relevant for this discussion:

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I think that there is Philosophy and there is Practice. They aren’t always “In Concert”…
Part of creation, to me, has to do with flow and a threshold above which things move in a creative direction and not slowed down for the purpose of planning.

In other words, things that have to be thought out before hand or during the flow often times just don’t make the cut and don’t get realized.

From my personal experience, and i can speak only for myself here, the creative and interesting moments in the Modular realm come from intuitively and quickly patching things that come to my mind to choice destinations. If i have to think too much and do too much copy paste and diving im off to another thing, the juices dry out for me at that point.

So for me, emphasis on ‘me’, id like to be able to connect anything to anything at any given time, and most importantly – QUICKLY. Coming from playing instruments all my life, the immediacy is a factor that i can not give up as part of my process. Im not interested in programming per se, though i do enjoy that too, within context and as a thinking exercise.

Now, keep in mind that the 301 was not designed to play with others since there are no DC Coupled outs- its a closed system in that regard, So asking for more routing possibilities within the 301 is not far fetched.

So for me it would be a game changer to just reach to anything in the Locals and patch it on the spot, no matter what channel its in. I build my patches from nothing to something and i can’t pre plan. Its not my thing.

If this Device is based on a different Practice, that is totally cool and each to his own. We all see life differently and thats absolutely cool. God knows there are a few other modules out there…:wink:

However, your concept of building everything in the Global Chains to begin with is interesting, but, as you mentioned, there are several disadvantages. Scope view being one of them, but certainly not the only one. The Hierarchy is also problematic for patching single devices from one point to another. So its not the definitive solution to my personal need.

This thread is exciting. Another use can be as a stereo cue send where the 2nd chain serves as a copy of the first and you can mute from the first one as you work on patches while performing.

From studying this module for years (not owning it) and my own experience with eurorack, I can say for sure that the 301 is not an immediate module, and the only immediacy you’ll get from it is from setting up a preset signal flow and keeping it that way.

I feel that any other use of the 301, that requires setup, should be classified as a sound design session and not a music session, just because it’s healthier that way. combining sound design and composition in the same sitting never lets either shine IMO.

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My advise, for what’s it’s worth is to wait till you have the module and then work out what you want to achieve and what you think are it’s deficiencies.

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I agree. kosher salt everything I say about it to taste, until then.

I’ll politely disagree here for some cases, as if im setting up a few oscillators, VCA, FX and related controls, once you get the hang of the GUI, it’s about the same time as physically patching and tweaking the real equivalents to taste. It’s VERY quick.

What does take time is complex audio mangling with granular and files… but again, the same thing is going to happen with physical modules and patching… and yes… for these use cases you’re going goign to want to have these saved in advance if it’s for a live situation or something you’re using frequently. The cool thing here is, you can save ie: the whole thing in a mixer or container and load that preset into existing setups very easily. This isn’t stuff that’s going to stall you for hours. Maybe a minute?

Considering how long I’m on the modular system for… that’s barely .01% in my overall ‘zoning out’ quota! :slight_smile:

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Well, its true in the sense that a computer is as fast to mix on as a mixing board… thats if you don’t rely on multiple realtime controllers. In a “Typical”, discreet modular setup, each module has a set number of physical controllers, each, mostly, dedicated to one thing. So, other than taking up a lot of space, the interface is, indeed , more intuitive and immediate. For live patch building or for improvisation that require you to never stop for programming indeed, the typical modular setup is much faster and intuitive.

The benefit of 301 is it is SMALL and it can do a lot of stuff. But from a human GUI POV, its much less playable and much more dependent on programming satisfaction, which is not a bad thing, as long as thats what you enjoy doing,

Indeed you can create a device, connect controllers to it via CV and go to town, but then we are not talking about the 301 alone.

I agree with what you say but again some people just dislike the so called “menu-dive” and just want things to flow. Sometimes you can really drown in just the 301 and that’s what I meant.