While learning the basics of this insanely powerful module, I have to admit that it can be a bit overwhelming. Not by the structure, but by all the possibilites. So I wanted to ask, if you could maybe share some of the typical things you tend to do your RE-301.
Of course, one of the aspects of this modules is that it can be something completely different everytime you use it. But maybe there are some chains, unit combinations or even setups for playing live that you keep coming back to.
So I hope to find some inspiration for things I will try to program myself and and to also steal all your wonderful ideas
This is like the forum question, “What’s your favorite “x” module?”
If 100 people answer you, you will have 100 different answers. Sometimes I use mine for end of chain effects, quite often I’m using it as a looper or sample playback, though I find great fun in making synth voices. Then there’s the custom units.
Spend some time with your ER-301 and you will find what you gravitate towards and will probably explore a lot functionality over the course of practicing with it.
So what’s your favorite module?
You’re right of course and I will. I’m mainly interested in loopers and the manipulation of samples, so there is a lot to explore. I was nust hoping for good ideas to focus my trials.
Don’t see any harm in discussing ways to use the 301…
One thing I love is assigning a longer sample to a manual grains. Then, a few offsets to control things like:
- Triggering frequency
- Start point
- Start point randomization
- Other, maybe timbral factors
There is no cure for that I’m afraid, and it only gets worse with every firmware update. No mercy for the confused and overwhelmed around here! I can say however that you get used to the fact you will never reach the end of the possibilities I will celebrate one year of ER-301 soon and I haven’t tried all the built in units yet. For me personally, it makes me focus more on the music I want to make instead of wanting to get to the bottom of it, cause it’s just a very long fall
The main things I use my ER-301 for are
- Multi-OP FM. This is incredibly hard to do (and get right) in a modular synth and very easy with the ER-301. It’s light on the CPU and I personally find it easier to set up than on nearly any fm synth. Plus you can build much more interesting modulation sources to modulate fm amounts in your modular synth than in most fm synths.
- Granular synthesis: Particularly with longer sample material I record myself. I really like that I have full control over triggering each grain with the manual grains unit. I usually spend a lot of time building trigger sources for the grains and then sequence the start position and playback length from the ER-101 to get very fine and exact control over timbre.
- Delay-Effects (phaser, chorus, comb-filtering). Also very hard to get right in a modular synth unless you have specific phaser modules and relatively easy to realize in the ER-301. One channel of my ER-301 nearly always is phaser mode (set to stun of course).
Thanks a lot for the comments. I already spend some time with the grain units in the last days and will definitely try out your suggestions later today. Much appreciated.
That multi OP FM sounds pretty interesting as well.
It might be worth in the wiki that explains each unit to have a couple of patch examples of typical uses similar to what Doepfer, Intellijel or Makenoise do with their modules just to highlight the basic uses. A quick picture type overview.
Care to share some phaser tip?
It’s my drum machine, sampler (and sample mangler), looper, effects unit (on a send from my mixer), standard monosynth… Usually more than one at a time.
In an effort to not get too bogged down trying to remember what external control goes to what control on the 301, I try to limit the number of different functions per 301.
So on the left 301, i’ll run an effects box with delay and a filter in stereo on 1&2 out. Then 2 separate loopers (with maybe one or 2 other units to eq or filter) on mono 3&4.
On the right 301, I’ll run a drum kit using several samplers on stereo 1&2 out. 3 & 4 are in flux, but they’re currently setup as a stereo reverb (+ couple of other units) on a send from my mixer.
I just got a very tiny case to throw one 301 and a few modules in to make a little portable drum machine/ groovebox. If that works well, planning to do same thing with other 301, but will be looper setup.
sometimes my 301 resorts to way more mundane tasks. i’ve just performed live with it mixing / routing / panning / VCAing 3 stereopairs from my modular and one from my friend’s Monomachine, whilst at the same time playing randomly selected and panned spoken word one shot samples. basic stuff but super useful, allowed me to ditch the bulky outboard mixer and all in all worked a treat.
In studio: many many different things,often complex chains involving looping,buffer sharing with or without granulization. Other times i focus on mangling a sample and do rich spatialization modulating levels,panning,reverb and or delay amount and time… Some times it turns into a lab for developing ideas for instruments (custom units etc…)
Live: usually drums (real time synthesized,sampled from other modules,resampled internally…),chopped breakbeats with optional random on slices. Stereo channel with textures,speech,field recordings,tonal stuff,all processed at least thru a filter. Some resampling/looping/granular action on external or internal sources. Some complex echo unit hooked to aux send/return on the main mixer…