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User Replaceable CPU - THE DEFINITE THREAD - Which one? When? How? Etc


so ball park figure for this new CPU - $100?


My word, when folk get upset over a mere statement of fact then it’s time to make a sharp exit. I help out here of my own free will and give over a lot of time to helping you guys out. If this is the response then I am done!

I will say it again though - the notion presented was completely and utterly wrong - I see absolutely no problem at all with that statement it was as short and succinct as I could make it and only did so because all the previous attempts to make this clear failed.

Thanks for the first few months here, it has been awesome and I really appreciate all the brilliant people who made it so - I notice most of them have become rather inactive lately too and I can only put this down to the fact that this is obviously going the way of all forums and maybe it’s time I hang up my hat in that regard because quite frankly I don’t have the time or energy for it at the moment. So, you win… I give up!

Good luck… I am in leech / lurk / silent mode form now on :slight_smile:


I might be a bit sensitive but I indeed perceive it as hostile to suggest that I am just an alias of a formerly banned forum member when you find it annoying that I ask questions. Trying to stop a discussion might only be on the borderline to hostility though.

I reread all of my posts and I honestly cannot see where I have acted aggressive. Also I did not foist anyone working with planned obsolescence as it was malevolently stated above. But I would consider a melodramatic departure, leaving people in compunction as passive-aggressive. It is absolute unnecessary and no good style. Especially when you have worked with misinformation (unintentional of course). This is not about winning or loosing - good lord, I honestly cannot see how I have hurt anyones feeling that hard! I feel like I have to apologize for something and don’t know why, which feels a bit disturbing.

Although I still do not understand why it is so perturbing to everyone to discuss these points as it seems that there has been a lot of misconception regarding what the CPU upgrade will be I highly appreciate Brians openness for discussion so that everyone can make an informed decision.

So there will be an upgrade CPU on some point that will be mandatory for everyone (who wants to follow the firmware development) from a certain point on as there will be no compatibility between both firmware branches and it is expected to be around € 110,- to € 150,- plus shipping and VAT/tax (for some countries) - I would expect this to be between € 150,- and € 200,- for Germany. It’s surly not the end of the world but it is something I would have to think about and it helps to know that the MKI version will be mature then and further supported with bug fixes beyond that point.

Those last two points (firmware being mature and future support for MK1) are very important to me as I have seen modules disappear and being replaced with new versions before the firmware was finished (as in: working as advertised in the manual when selling them) and did not get support anymore. And while I would never say that anyone had planned it like that to make more money I just don’t want to get into such a position anymore.

Also CV/gate outputs would be great. And maybe a nifty ER-101 support via the rear connector.

As it is at least 6 months away and I trust Brians honesty, competence and devotion to designing and supporting great firmware I will probably not refrain from ordering now but as there are quite a few threads at the moment where CPU workload is an issue I am still a bit uncertain. On the other hand I am excited too and the 8 weeks lead time are nearly over now…I just wanted to know what I am getting into.



Since some of those posts may have been from me, just wanted to add that I’m often pushing the ER-301 to do strange things - maybe things O|D hadn’t even intended in some cases.

I guess in a way, that’s how I participate in the firmware testing. There are tons of things a person can do with an ER-301 that no other module (that I’m aware of) can do that fit easily within the current CPU cycles.


Thanks for outlining some of my concerns too. I reckoned on about £150-180 for the upgrade, all things considered. I also expect it to be August at the earliest. I am due to receive a 301 mid-February, so that works out at around £25/month I could save by waiting until version 2.

This does give me pause for thought as the ER-301 took many months of saving and trading to save up for.

My main concern, which I hope @odevices can reassure me on - is that the version 2 will not differ in any other way than the replacement board. If it turns out that it will have extra inputs or outputs or any other change that cannot be made to the version 1 hardware, I would rather cancel my order and wait.

I share the concern that there have been several posts featuring very complex patches that use all the available CPU. I hope that these are just the result of people exploring the limits of the hardware and not necessarily optimal use-cases. Personally, I want to use the ER-301 as a ‘programmable’ sampler - and not a step sequencer or some other role which is more suited to a different module (I have a 101/102 combo already).

EDIT: I see @Joe has addressed this point above, just as I posted.


From memory, I think a sample player unit uses like 3-4% of the CPU in the 48k version of the firmware. Using it this way does not tax the CPU at all.


Just to be clear, I didn’t find your questions annoying. I’m not sure anyone else did either. No one came right out and said that, and so I don’t jump to those conclusions. But like they say perception is nine-tenths of the law.

I also don’t label things hostile simply because someone disagrees with me.

I think what @rikrak is saying goes nicely with your concerns though and I personally find that discussion very productive.

PS: Kommt schon mein Deutsch war ok, oder?


The kinds of behavior people are able to coerce from the current selection of units can be fairly impressive, but I wouldn’t take them as necessarily representative of what to expect from the mature firmware. Once the 3-layer abstraction that @odevices has previously discussed is in place, functional gaps that currently require heroic efforts to bridge (both in terms of patch complexity and CPU usage) will hopefully be crossed much more easily and efficiently.


Thanks - I hadn’t seen that thread.


I will also offer up an apology to @odevices if any of my posts/custom units/videos have portrayed the ER-301 as some sort of CPU-starved device. It is not.

Sometimes I forget that the audience for these things may be potential or pipeline customers who are trying to learn about it’s capabilities, and not always people who already own one and understand the ER-301 well. I’ll be mindful of that now, and if there anything you’d like me to remove, just let me know!


Do they say that? I thought it was posession? :grin:

I’m one of those people I think, but as I said in an exchange with Joe recently I’m interested in seeing where the edges lie in order to understand what the “safe” operating limits are. In the instances of pushing the CPU to cracks and pops, I’m running effectively a software simulation of Clouds, a number of step sequencers, an oscillator, a sampler and using the ER-301 as a mixer and a number of VCAs as well.

I have certainly on occasions wished for more CPU power, but what is there has provided me with a crazy array of possibilities.

Edit: I can see that Joe has articulated more or less the same thing whilst I’ve been replying. I second this. I certainly don’t want people to think that there is an inherent weakness of the ER-301. On the contrary it’s incredibly powerful.


I found the tbecker remark pretty hostile but I don’t think we should follow that route any further - it just leads to resentment. So let’s forget about it and keep track on the CPU discussion. I would love to hear more about how narrow the boundaries of the actual CPU really are?

(But yes, your deutsch was real ok!) :grinning:


…and to add to the above.

When I first purchased the ER-301 I was struck by a particular design aesthetic and resulting quality. I kept using the word “elegant” to describe the module, but was conscious of it potentially sounding a little…obsequious…with continued usage. That didnt diminish the reality of it’s appropriateness of usage.

Recently I have been considering an ER-101, mainly on the basis of my appreciation for the ER-301 and the design, work and customer service ethos I’ve seen on this forum of Brian. I’m not sure it’s a perfect fit for my style of working, but I’m sufficiently impressed by the above to be having that consideration. Whilst doing some research about workflow I came across this expression from another.

It’s cynical, but I’ve never been able to shake the suspicion that loads of of Euro seems purposefully obfuscated (even if it’s just panel labels) just to make the user feel intellectually superior once they master usage, or to make an otherwise vanilla module seem more deep or mysterious than it actually is. I generally find myself reaching for modules that sound amazing or perform well without a lot of thinking/planning/interpreting.

This whole preamble is to make the point that I’m probably the last person you’d think would like something as obfuscated- and complex-looking as the ER-101. It looks like something the NTSB would find on a mountainside after a plane crash. But I think the ER-101 is just a work of art.

It’s so elegant. There is a short, moderately steep learning curve and then you’re off.

So I saw I was not the only person having these thoughts.

In light of all that, I find the notion of a kind of cynical development/upgrade cycle as business plan on Brian’s part wildly inaccurate from what I have seen myself. It strikes me, and of course I may be incorrect, that this is a place where art has found a market rather than the other way around, and I applaud that in the world wherever it arises.


There is a lot of CPU to work with, @leverkusen. Just like with any digital module, it has limits on what the processor can handle. It may be less apparent with other digital modules because they have a fixed set of functions they perform that are hard-coded into them. Because of the ER-301’s open architecture where the end user can effectively build any crazy complex thing they want to, some of us, of course, push the limits.

The ER-301 is hands down the most clever, creative, fun, module in my system. If mine got hit by lightning today I would not wait 6+ months for the upgraded CPU to replace it. I would replace it now.

If you look at one of the mad scientist experiments I was working on recently, there were two custom units I was working with. A custom built 8 step sequencer and an am/fm phase modulating wave shaping oscillator. I haven’t actually counted but between them I bet there were 100 factory units involved, including VCAs, mixers, envelopes, oscillators, mapping units, quantizers, bump scanners - all kinds of stuff, not to mention all the custom controls. CPU was kind of high, sure, but it was WORKING and very usable! And I still wasn’t totally maxed out.


With the current batch sold out and orders re-opening in March, would that mean that the next batch would have the new CPU (and be sent in May)? Or would it be included in units released later in 2018?


No CPU upgrade or ER-301’s with an upgraded CPU will be available for at least 6 months. (Hmm, is this what being a lawyer feels like? :thinking:)

An ER-301 with an upgraded CPU will obviously cost more than the current ER-301. So maybe both will be offered?


Thanks for the clarification!


After reading these responses, I’m definitely a lot less sure that this upgrade is a good idea. :exploding_head: Hardware upgrades project a message of obsolescence just as powerful as their ability to protect from it. It’s particularly amusing because I distinctly remember being quite proud of myself for designing the ER-301 hardware around an upgrade-able CPU. Live and learn I guess. :man_teacher:


it sounds like a nice option if the support for the original CPU continues. the idea that the old CPU will no longer receive firmware updates to me is a bit disheartening. even more so because of the promise of the opening up of the SDK… seems like it would lead to a really unfortunate fracturing where those with the old CPU don’t get to enjoy the cool creations of user-created units because there is a subset of newer firmware-based units that are only for the newest firmware.


The message that I’m getting is that since the firmware is not in a mature state, it is actually too soon to be talking about a CPU upgrade. That is my mistake.

I’m going to redact the 6 months estimate to a CPU upgrade and revisit this when the firmware has reached v1.0.