Random Custom Unit Naming

I agree. This would be a good option.

I think my brain is mature enough to realise the randomness of the names and at the same time, to find humour in all it’s doing. It’s a very enjoyable element even as the names are usually so silly and occasionally a little bit naughty. This world is getting way too wrapped in cotton wool already. Please let me enjoy a bit of silly or even (randomly generated) wrong humour . We really are a niche collective so the chance of someone from the outside who may also find offence in something such as this is so minimal but this simple option will fix that.

Also, I’m glad we’re a good bunch here so this thread hasn’t deteriorated into shameless virtue signalling and all out PC gone mad flame wars.


Synchronicitously this “news” story was present in yesterday morning’s output from the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

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I’m for random naming, it feels like modular grid when I create a rack. Add these…


And then “Unit”

another fun and innocent piece of software gets toned down by a poor, misdirected attempt at political correctness. damn.

I think you could run the entire history of er-301 use, an infinity of times, and you still wouldn’t have an instance of someone complaining about the offensive character of random adj+noun pairings. only a bitter rat would complain about this (I didn’t come up with this expression, my er301 did)

and regarding instances of other people looking at your er301 screen - then you should uninstall your web browser because there is some probability that any given webpage will display offensive language or worse, images.

I don’t want to come off as too harsh here, but this seems like attention to detail pushed beyond reason.


There’s nothing stopping anyone from editing the lists to revert to previous behaviour - just as there is now the option of adding new fun (as offensive as you want) words to the mix. What’s wrong with more options?


Our ability to find elegance in our actions and words are a poignant reflection of the better characteristics of being human. Vulgarity and violence are a natural part of our evolution, but they shouldn’t dictate what we bring to the forefront of our cultural progress. I find that the ER series is an expression of the intricacy and beauty that is able to be brought to bear in an industrial design that must function for the creative expression of musical intention.

While those of us in positions to proffer opinions of mature taste may be prevalent on forum discussions, I’m well aware of people like 13 or 14 year old Caitlin with her “Mad Music Machine” using Eurorack to make music. I can respect that a parent who might be affording their child these tools are trying to teach their offspring that civil discourse doesn’t have to be littered with colloquialisms and vulgarity in order to bring color and intensity of meaning to the conversation.

I want to emphasize that I appreciate Brian’s dedication to integrity of design and operation while looking after the tiniest of details that reflect upon his aesthetic sensibilities to create holistic objects that are are artworks in their own right.


Brian says, “help me ensure this function isn’t unintentionally offensive”
the function is not meant to be offensive
if the function gives offense, it is not working as designed.

Now a user has specifically reached out to Brian regarding the function being offensive.
@naturarerum, your narrative is based on a false presumption.

represents the efforts of the developer to make his product function as intended.
A simple response of, “please leave all the words, I like them,” would be more powerful than this neoliberal fantasy of being oppressed by a minority of the overly-sensitive.
Go ahead and say “snowflake” if you’d like.

EDIT: I am a bit grouchy today. So if this is way off the mark, please let me know.


It’s fine dude, you’re not off the mark. Your comment makes sense. Nowhere did I subscribe to a “neoliberal fantasy” though, and I think you’re mistakenly putting me in the wrong box.

My overall message is that it’s not a good idea to try and sanitize every last part of our environment. Offensive language is a part of life, and it’s also a part of growing up as a kid - they learn slurs one way or another. So what if my custom unit is called White Power? I think that’s hilarious, since it’s pure random. Going down the path of sanitization is also problematic because it’s all or nothing: if ‘White power’ is not allowed, then what about ‘Black power’, ‘Red power’, and so on? You can always find someone who finds something offensive. And you end up removing pairings like ‘bad apple’ because that guy over there interprets it as an insult. This is why I used the word misdirected: you start with good intentions, and end up restricting language in a way that sounds almost totalitarian.

If any of this sounds strange to you, I’m all ears.


I trust Brian to do what is right, and part of that trust comes from how he engages his community as an integral part of his decision process. Design is the fixed result of a series of choices and compromises, and when done right, is invisible.

The slippery slope argument only works if you presume a need to sanitize all possible offense. You’re completely ignoring the weight of context in this balancing act.

Our context, as informed users of the device, is “randomly generated noise maker names”. Certain phrases, e.g. “white power”, can carry historic baggage heavy enough to outweigh this context. “Red power,” not so much, yeah?

The remainder of the conversation seems to be about culling potentially embarrassing phrases. The context for a casual observer is different than an informed user. “Black boy” is not an offense phrase, neither is “sexy mom”. But I would not like a casual observer to think it was my choice to name my noise maker “sexy mom”.

The goal is for this feature to be fun. I’d understand if you only think it’s fun if it could spit out something unintentionally obscene. But the device is not marketed as a funny name generator; that feature is completely incidental to its function. Why, from Brian’s perspective, risk the appeal of the device on a nigh-pointless feature?


I also abhor censorship. That is why I am only asking for input on the default contents of the 3 lists. Then by making these lists user-editable, the user (re)gains full control over the actual contents and therefore the final behavior. It is not a perfect solution of course. More like a stop-gap with a backdoor. :laughing:


Have you seen the Australian government’s rushed and cobbled together backdoor to the whole internets?!?

I’d tell you what we call 'em 'round these parts but I’m almost certain it would cause offence :wink:

I haven’t but is this one of those “let’s pass a law with really vague language and then fix it later as we go” deals? I can’t say Australia has a monopoly on those! :blush: Ahem!

No perhaps not, and in fact I’d say they probably did it at the behest of their Yankee masters, but this one is spectacular in its reach. It requires backdoors to be written into encryption software with 10 million dollar fines for the Googles et. al of the world if they don’t participate. It basically breaks encryption for everyone…and indeed they did say:

“yeah, nah, it’s got a lot of problems, but we need to get it up before the Christmas break, so we’ll fix it next year…promise!”


Unless anyone strenuously objects, this is what will happen in the next release…

ENHANCED: Container Unit Name Generation > 3 modes: poet, robot, and off.

The ‘robot’ and ‘off’ modes are completely generic while the ‘poet’ mode uses an internal list of English adjectives and nouns to generate a (nonsense) name. Users can override either or both internal lists by creating and populating ‘ER-301/namegen/adjectives.txt’ and/or ‘ER-301/namegen/nouns.txt’. You can also provide a list of names to suppress by creating ‘ER-301/namegen/suppress.txt’.


Some custom units created with name generation set to poet, robot, and off, respectively.


The above applies to all container units which means Custom units and Multi-band units at the moment. I will not publish the final version of the internal lists but they do incorporate 90% of your suggestions.


That’s a nice solution. I will happily provide custom ahem lists to those that happen to like them :heart_eyes:

(I hope @Unity2k will provide us with some Finnegans Wake lists :smiley: )


As ever Brian, an elegant solution to a perceived problem.


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I’ve got to chime in that the solution is perfect.

Simple and Beautiful! Thank you :slight_smile:

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