Orthogonal Devices ER-301 Sound Computer Now Available

orthogonal-devices-er-301Orthogonal Devices has announced the availability of the ER-301 Sound Computer – a new Eurorack module that they describe as ‘a voltage-controllable canvas for digital signal processing algorithms’.

Here’s what they have to say about the new module:

One of the many characteristics that attracted me to modular synthesizers is that they enabled me to make the kind of music that I love away from the computer.

However, not all digital audio tools can be elegantly and efficiently realized in a dedicated hardware form. So, I either had to deny myself those tools, or, go to the computer.

The ER-301 is the culmination of 2 years of sweat and tears spent creating a third option.

Orthogonal Devices ER-301 Sound Computer Architecture

er-301-hardware-arch

The ER-301 has 20 inputs that can be use for audio or control voltages and four audio outputs.

Here’s a video intro:

The developer notes that the ER-301 hardware is mature, but the software is still under developments and may contain bugs. They recommend that if you are thinking about purchasing the ER-301 but do not have the patience for an occasional bug and some half-implemented features, wait about 3-4 months before purchasing.

Pricing and Availability

The Orthogonal Devices ER-301 Sound Computer is available now for US $875.

24 thoughts on “Orthogonal Devices ER-301 Sound Computer Now Available

    1. i totally agree , but this menu diving dosen’t look to extreme for the quality of the that module at least from first look . but less menu diving the better . and this module looks insanely cool either way.

  1. For a great many modular users any menu diving at all is an instance fail, this may have its uses but I think that people would rather have 10 modules doing 1 thing rather than 1 module doing 10 things via menus.

    1. I gotta agree here. I took a few seconds to scan through the video and quickly realized this is not a module I’ll be getting. I’m sure there are people that are anxious to take advantage of the things this module has to offer, but I’m already *this* close to dumping my Mutable Instruments Rings & Clouds because I have to consult a damn manual every time I want to use one of them. – not why I got into hardware.

      1. I am right there with you, even down to the *this close* to dumping rings and clouds! glad to know i’m not alone – as others have stated, modular for me is at it’s best with specific and well-defined functions; the “patch-programability” of the serge is as far as i care to go. no ill will to those who find this module exciting…

  2. the joys of modular is that we all want different things and there all actually available for the individual to configure.. something other areas in life could take a lesson from

  3. This thing is basically a tablet processor with CV input and an audio DAC for output.

    A far smarter product would be a USB-enabled box with a bunch of configurable CV and gate inputs and outputs. It would let you plug your modular gear into your computer and leverage the power of a much more powerful processor for computation, while being able to generate CV/gate signals to integrate your modular gear.

    1. Holy crap, someone else on my wavelength! I don’t understand why in the hell any euro-rack gear does ANY on board processing if it requires a menu, programming, etc.. stupid! Just create a robust midi/USB interface with a shit load of assignable cv’s, gates, etc. then interface it with an iPad, iPhone, laptop, etc.

      If it’s got “computer” in its name, that’s kind of a give away.

      1. It looks mighty powerful… And it looks mighty annoying to use. It’s trying to do so much! I’m sure it’s great for Programmers but I’m not sure it’ll be great for Performers.

  4. I believe his reasoning is strong, it’s either this, no sampling or relying on a computer which does not save you from any menus really. Plus the whole demonizing of menus is ridiculous, we live in an age where you need to pass thru a couple of ‘layers’ just to answer your phone…The question for me is whether he managed to make this intuitive or not. It is of course easy for a manufacturer to just avoid the question so i believe this is a brave effort. Whether it is successful its left to be seen. It is obvious though from the video you can make or get a couple of templates and just use them so perhaps it can be used with no hassle.

    1. ^this… I would argue real estate is more valuable than avoiding menus. At any rate, I’ve been following the development of this module for almost a year and have already pre-ordered one. It looks pretty straightforward to me.

  5. This idea of “Extreme menu diving” to this high school dropout is one of the appeals of exploring an even greater depth of complexity and hence why I bought this and why I install every/any firmware that comes along – just love the Parasites on Mutable. Because no one is letting me play with their quantum computer or is willing to lend me a Qiagen QIAsymphony DNA prep system so I can explore my genetic makeup, I’ll just keep making do with these modular synths for my evening hobby while I spend the better part of my day running a virtual reality venture. As an adult I find it profoundly rewarding that we humans have this ability to tackle the tough shit.

  6. I have been looking for a flexible sampler & sample player for eurorack and this is really interesting. And flexible device for much more.

    Yes, there is quite much menu diving, but I feel that they have implemented quite intuitive system there, nonetheless.

  7. I’m really interested in this module, it bring a lots of functionality. Having bought Orthogonal Devices ER-101 and ER-102 modules, i can tell that their modules are of top notch quality. The panel finish is perfect, the machining on the metal knobs is perfect, the few bugs are fixed fast.
    They really think about ergonomy too. Look up the ER-102 manual to see a bit about that. Their sequencer modules are, i think, amongst the best sequencers on the market. I spent a few hours learning them and got productive but i know there is more to explore. No doubt i will be buying this module.

    I really like the fact it is self-contained, no need to fiddle with external phone/tablet/computer. I’m going to use mine for decades!

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