Softkeys as Modulation sources aka ‘Performance mode’

Hey everyone,

Today I was daydreaming about what it would be like if we could somehow enter a mode on the 301 that lets us use its soft keys as assignable gate/trigger buttons similar to how the single button works when you select a gate/trig button on a unit. But for all of the buttons. This would make it possible to ‘play’ the ER301 on its own. I know that Brian’s intention is for it to be used with external controller modules but it would maybe be a nice addition especially when space is limited (e.g. in a live case).

2 ways how this could be implemented:

  1. Similar to the extra pages on units built in the middle layer there would be a page with the gate/trig buttons of the unit which you could then trig by the individual soft keys. Or even better you could also set 2 values for a gain/bias control’s bias and toggle between the two via pressing a soft key

  2. The soft keys could be available as sources for chains and therefore be mapped to all parameters as you which.

2b. the buttons could be set on a global page in the global menu and then assigned to units in the chains as needed. By entering the ‘performace’ Mode one could use them to ‘play’ the 301 and if one wants to go back to the standard functionality one could exit the ‘performance’ mode with the home button.

Another idea would be, to disable the button for control selection when editing a unit if the respective softkey is assigned to a toggle/gate control in the ‘performance’ mode.

I know it is probably a bit of a greedy request and Brian will probably be super busy as always but I just had to mention the idea since I think it might really help make the 301 an even better instrument than it already is.
What do you guys think?


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The idea has merit but I would be wary of over use, especially when performing; when everything gets a little exciting. It’s probably best to keep performance control outside in order to protect the button mechanism that are your gateway to the complex sound computer.

Have you tried hold mode? This sounds like one of the things that it does.

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I will try this evening, but from the way I understand hold mode it is more of a way to morph between two different states of the 301. I think you can only move one pin control at the same time right? I am imagining the softkeys as Modulation sources thing more as a way to for example trigger multiple samples manually when you made a simple drumrack for instance. Or for a physical way to interact with your ‘patch’ on the 301 without an external module. Does that make sense somehow?

Morphing is one aspect of Hold Mode. But try the trig/gates aspect of it, which behave a bit differently than the faders. I think it will do exactly what you want. You can have trig/gate controls side by side, and each fires a different trig/gate in the chain immediately when you press it. Pretty sure you can press more than one at the same time You can also group them in a way that you have a master trigger that fires multiple gate/triggers at the same time if you want.

Watch the videos I made in the thread linked above, and read Brian’s tips, if you want a guided tour. I think the part 2 video gets more into the gate/trigger stuff.

Hey thanks again for the tips @Joe turns out you were right!
It is indeed possible to play multiple gate buttons via the soft keys at once via hold mode!
That moment when you realise your module can already do the feature you dreamed up for it. :):blush:Extremely gratifying!


This is why I love reading forums…

Totally missed the ability to use triggers in hold mode and also assumed it was more about morphing between “presets”. I think this is going to be really fun to experiment with.

@trigonometrie that’s happened to me a couple of times with the 301, I love it when you discover more cool things the longer you spend with the module. Let’s face it, the 301 is basically a modular inside the modular, so no surprise there is plenty of flexibility there.

Thanks @Joe once again for the great examples!