Quad panning


Brian, wanted to stop by and ask if quad panning was possibly still in the 301’s future for units such as the sampler or just a mixer. I have been having a wonderful time playing with a quadraphonic speaker set up and I Am still dreaming of the 301 natively supporting such a thing. Anyways, thanks again for such a wonderful device and checking back in to say cheers!

With four outputs and the flexibility inherent to the ER-301 you could probably build something.

Quad panning is possible right now. The only minor difficulty is that there aren’t any 4-band containers or quad-linking of channels, so you’ll have to roll your own setup. For a start, I would recommend mapping your output levels using four bump scanners. Then switch to sample scanners with custom pan curves if you want to get fancy.

It’s definitely buildable - one patch would take up the whole of the unit and would need @40 vca units. A user has built a beta version based on the Buchla 227e but it hasn’t been shared here. If I get a copy I will ask permission to share it.

Here’s user Hovercraft at muffwiggler forum :

It would be great if something like this patch could be selected as a unit in the middle layer.


Hmm. I’m not sure creating quadrophonic versions of every unit is worth it though. Isn’t patching the most expedient way to get this functionality in the end? I think the way Hovercraft went about solving his problem is pretty good.

No I don’t mean for every unit. I just mean that patch above, as 1 middle layer unit, as an effect. Then you can patch whatever you like into it, like you would with a Buchla 227e.

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This quadrophonic unit would have to be inserted into a quadrophonic chain, right?

yes, but I would want the quadrophonic unit to create the quadrophonic chain when first inserted, not the other way round. I see what you are getting at and maybe that can’t be done as a single unit insert. An alternative could be to have a Quad system setting that creates that patch? The other reason to do this in the middle layer, is primarily to get the CPU down as I believe it uses a lot of resources.


The order of unit insertion and chain creation is not what I’m referring to. A quadrophonic (4ch) unit needs a quadrophonic chain (i.e. OUT1-4 all linked together) to live in. So we know that this 4ch chain has at least one 4ch unit in the library that can be used, Quad Panner. What about the others? I’m worried that I (and any other unit creators) now will be expected to create and maintain 4ch versions of all the current mono/stereo units. Of course, technically there is no problem. It can be done. However, are we weighing down the entire ecology for one narrow application? That is the question I’m looking to answer.

So, yes this the other option, where you have a single 4ch output chain but the only 2 units that can be inserted is a Quad Panning Mono Mixer and a Quad Panning Stereo Mixer which have mono and stereo child input chains, respectively. In these child chains at least you would have access to the full unit library.

So the final consideration is development time. This would be a rather large undertaking. I estimate I would have to dedicate a whole minor version number to it because the mono/stereo assumption permeates the entire code base. So a few months doing only this. Is this worth it to people over other things? Where does it stand in your priorities?

Yes, this makes the more sense and is what I would prefer.

I see quad mostly being used in live performance and i would love to play a proper quad show without having to buy extra gear. I would say for me personally, it shouldn’t be given high priority over other er301 development, but it would be very welcome addition down the line. It’s been brought up a few times over the years. At the end of the day you can load in that custom unit by Hovercraft above with the CPU overheads or spend €800 on additional modules. So there are workarounds.

I do think quad is one of those things were you don’t know how good it is, until you try it, and many people haven’t tried it in modular, because of the costs involved and the limited options. A proper quad panning eurorack module like Koma Poltergeist is almost the cost of an er301 alone. I think for people playing live, they want a small compact system and many people perform live with an er301 already in their rigs and don’t want to carry extra gear.

There’s an interesting talk here with Suzanne Ciani discussing her quad live setup.

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also something to consider is the planar 2. it has quad panning capabilities that are cv controllable/recordable


This is something I was just about to ask. Ive just got myself 4 of the same monitors and I want to try out some quad panning/mixing. Ive been trying to figure out the best way to go dawless for live performances. Looking at whats currently available and “coming soon” it will be an expensive and long wait to get anything worth while. Im not looking to have a full quad mixer set up but more of a few sound sources that can be moved around the space while the rest could be a mono or stereo summed to all four speakers. If the 301 had a panning/routing module that could be cv’ed to send the sounds to either of the 4 outs or all together that would be amazing. Is there something that could already do this?
Also I was thinking maybe some loopers recording cv motion would be fun to control the panning of sounds too. Is that possible?
Anyway, Im excited to enter the world of quad sound and hopefully we can have some dedicated units soon. Until then, I have lots of learning and experiments to undertake.
Happy Days!

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For the past year I have been using Poltergeist and a Planar2 for my quad distribution modules. I have recently started experimenting with using an ES-8 + MaxMsp for spatialization.
The Poltergeist only has circular panning and the Planar2 can do XY panning. Poltergeist is quite feature rich and reacts quite well to fast modulation despite its limited movement.

As for the features of a potential ER301 module, would be amazing to have a Mixer that can do XY in a quad linked configuration.
Having the standard sample player distribute the samples when they are triggered around the field would be amazing. Its something that can be done with the above mixer, but would be really cool if it could generate a sound somewhere in the XY field and keep it there even while the next sample is triggered.

Having this functionality in the ER-301 would be really neat to have it all in one place, but if it does not end up making it way in, I highly recommend looking into “Spat5” from IRcam for MaxMSP for anyone looking to get into spatialization. It really multiplies the amount of gear you will be carry around… but wow is it worth it.


Yes, that would be something else. Great idea.