Orthogonal Devices ER-301 eurorack sampler, or as they call it – the sound computer, is available and shipping now.  It looks good so far. Despite my hesitance with Eurorack samplers I have to admit that the video below may have done a good job at making me a believer.

Take look at the video and judge for yourself.

In the world of Eurorack and Modular Synths sampling has yet to mature as much as other modular categories. That is not to say that there hasn’t been a few very good sampler modules out there. But if you come from an MPC background or any sort of sampling groove box background, sampling in eurorack may not have the ease of use that you may be use to.

I’m sure that there a re a few “samplers” that come to mind for many in terms of eurorack. I’m also sure that a good deal of them are sample players. That’s not to say there there arent good options like Phongene available. In fact, I know that a few modular hiphop heads have had great success using Phonogene. Even other eurorack samplers and sample players have been put to good use in modular beats reminiscent of MPC style hiphop. 

So all that was said just to say this… I am not really ready for samplers in eurorack if it comes with a gang of menu diving. Also, if the workflow is very different from how I’d typically work with samples, I’m just not too interested. I’d just as soon continue to use any number of groove boxes or Ableton’s sampling workflow until eurorack sampling matures.

Still I think its very interesting to watch samplers come along like Rossum’s Assimil8tor and Orthogonal Devices’ ER-301. These two promise to bring a deep sample workflow with loads of control, bells and whistles. I have to admit, in this video there looks like a good deal of menu diving and the workflow is a bit different but the essential handling of the sample is familiar. There may be some promise in this eurorack sampler situation.


A little bit about the ER-301 from it’s product page, “The ER-301 is a voltage-controllable canvas for digital signal processing algorithms.  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.”

Take a look at the initial offerings in this hand drawn outline of features.

ER-301 seems to come with a good deal of effects and tools to make sampling with it a load of fun. Question is… Are you ready to spend nearly $900 for it?


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