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Orthogonal Devices ER-301
Old 15th February 2019
  #1
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Orthogonal Devices ER-301

There’s been a lot of scattered discussion about this over the years, but no dedicated thread for this deep module, so I figure it’s about time to talk about it in depth.

I got a 301 a few months ago. I really like it for the potential it holds, but I’ve been slow to get into it. It’s a blank slate which I love, but it also means I’m often not using it when I have limited time and just want to patch. Furthermore, as it is in constant development, older tutorials can be a bit hard to apply 1:1...not insurmountable, but I definitely find it turns me off following an out of date tutorial after a long work day.

I’ve not given up on it yet (it’s me, not the module), but I’d be quite interested in seeing/hearing how others are applying it. I’m especially interested in deconstructing some patches others have made for it, if you’re willing to share. Personally, I’m especially interested in trying to make a performance oriented sampler for it (a la The Octatrack), and a 4 voice FM synth (still thinking about how I’d approach the former to my tastes, but I’ve got a rough version of the latter I’m tweaking).

Please share your tips/tricks/techniques, or just anything cool you’ve done with the 301. Excited to see what the GS hive mind has going on with this beasty.
Old 15th February 2019
  #2
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ModularOverkill's Avatar
 

The Muff's thread and OR boards are a much better resource for deep information on this.

At a high level I'll say this -- it's a module that requires serious time investment. If you can't devote a huge amount of time with it you will be repeatedly frustrated learning all of its ins and outs repeatedly. I hvae two of them and I keep debating if I want to keep them -- they're powerful, but I never use them because I just don't have the time in the week to sit and really work with one.
Old 16th February 2019
  #3
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void23's Avatar
Some tips --

Just like an old school sampler, spend a weekend building out some patches and save them as custom units. I took my favorites from the Emax library (available on the web somewhere), converted them to .wav files, and put them in a simple, subtractive wrapper, i.e. sample, filter, eg, vca. Load them up and tweak to your liking.

Use quicksaves. Something like output 1 as a simple VCO, output 2 as a clocked sample loop player, output 3 as a reverb, output 4 as a clocked delay. It'll ask if you want to load your last quicksave on power-up.

If the updates are too fast, just like all other software, stick with last major version bump unless there's something you absolutely want in the development version. As for the videos, as long as you learn how to use mixers properly, and how to nest units, the rest is pretty self explanatory. I've found the updates just continue to improve usability, especially the "bird eye view" type addition. Nesting could get a bit crazy, just flip the switch and you can see every layer of your patch.

There are so few, real EQs in euro. You have up to 16 of them if you want. Even better, it's almost like having VCV in your rack. Out of dedicated filters, no problem. Need another noise source, its just a few clicks to dial one in. Once you get in the habit of using it that way, you'll find that unlike Derp , you have your GAS under control, spending money only on truly amazing modules instead of bread and butter stuff. Why would I ever want a sample based percussion module like a Tip Top One if I have an ER-301.

There are some amazing custom units on the ER-301 forum and they're well organized under the label "custom unit". Extremely deep and powerful and way more complicated than I could ever program. I love Piano 88 or whatever it's called.

Not using it in a patch? Use it as a 6 track recorder to record all your other toys.

As a challenge before writing this post, I did a whole percussion patch on it influenced by some Download stuff I was listening to today, sounds amazing.
Old 20th February 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
Some tips --

Just like an old school sampler, spend a weekend building out some patches and save them as custom units. I took my favorites from the Emax library (available on the web somewhere), converted them to .wav files, and put them in a simple, subtractive wrapper, i.e. sample, filter, eg, vca. Load them up and tweak to your liking.

Use quicksaves. Something like output 1 as a simple VCO, output 2 as a clocked sample loop player, output 3 as a reverb, output 4 as a clocked delay. It'll ask if you want to load your last quicksave on power-up.

If the updates are too fast, just like all other software, stick with last major version bump unless there's something you absolutely want in the development version. As for the videos, as long as you learn how to use mixers properly, and how to nest units, the rest is pretty self explanatory. I've found the updates just continue to improve usability, especially the "bird eye view" type addition. Nesting could get a bit crazy, just flip the switch and you can see every layer of your patch.

There are so few, real EQs in euro. You have up to 16 of them if you want. Even better, it's almost like having VCV in your rack. Out of dedicated filters, no problem. Need another noise source, its just a few clicks to dial one in. Once you get in the habit of using it that way, you'll find that unlike Derp , you have your GAS under control, spending money only on truly amazing modules instead of bread and butter stuff. Why would I ever want a sample based percussion module like a Tip Top One if I have an ER-301.

There are some amazing custom units on the ER-301 forum and they're well organized under the label "custom unit". Extremely deep and powerful and way more complicated than I could ever program. I love Piano 88 or whatever it's called.

Not using it in a patch? Use it as a 6 track recorder to record all your other toys.

As a challenge before writing this post, I did a whole percussion patch on it influenced by some Download stuff I was listening to today, sounds amazing.
Excellent ideas. I think I just need to mess around with building some custom sample units and get into it. I have ideas on what I want from a bigger, Octatrack inspired device on the 301, but I should probably mess around with some less ambitious ideas first and build up.

As fas as updates...I’ve primarily been following Neil Parfitt’s excellent videos, but the module has evolved a lot from his first videos to now, so trying to follow 1:1 can be tricky. I’m currently just staying on the most recent stable 0.3.xx, but I might give the 0.4 firmware a go since it seems to improve the experience more. Still doesn’t eliminate the guesswork entirely from earlier tutorials tho.

I’d really love to hear that Download inspired patch if you feel like sharing. Would definitely be some good inspiration for me.
Old 21st February 2019
  #5
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void23's Avatar
Unfortunately. the weather out in SF last week decided it didn't like the patch and I lost it in a power outage.

Simple break down was 808 and 909 samples being trigger by Grids, and then a clocked drum loop with a controllable wet / dry mix running though a HPF with some resonance with a clocked S/H routed to the filter cutoff. Add in some noise loops trigger by the Octocontroller's S/H gates and an E352 drone going through the Rossum Evolution and that's the patch.
Old 6th March 2019
  #6
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One stupidly simple thing I started messing with the other day that thrills me is selecting a bunch of samples for the sample pool on the 301 and making them into a chain. Tried it the other day with 8 sliced breakbeats, and it’s like instant breakcore: Lou Cypher on Instagram: “Running a chain of 8 sliced breakbeats on the 301, triggered by the Varigate 8+ and Voltages block. Changing gate probability on the VG8+…”

Just had a quick mess around tonight loading over 200 breaks into a chain and slicing them, and that’s some serious madness. I’m definitely going to explore this more and see how I can refine it, but there’s lots of potential for me with this.
Old 23rd April 2019
  #7
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Head
The good thing, as of .4 OS, is things are pretty solidified with operational flow. Anything that’s been added lately is a New unit or functions (ie: hold mode) vs changing around the workflow of existing offerings.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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void23's Avatar
Here's another cool Custom Unit ...

Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
Looks sexy, but that price though!
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