OTTO: The Open-Source Hardware Synth Inspired By the OP-1

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Making electronic music is awesome! But for most of us, it requires a lot of setup, a lot of moving a mouse around on a laptop that’s probably not quite equipped to handle realtime audio processing. Don’t you wish you had one single device, which was built to do it all for you, easily and on the fly?

Introducing the OTTO!

The OTTO is a complete hardware and software solution, with synths, a sampler, effects, sequencers, and studio modules. The interface is modal, easy to use, simple, but most of all, it encourages experimentation. The graphics are quirky, and the workflow is minimal.

The OTTO is heavily inspired by the OP-1, but it is not an OP-1 clone. If you want an OP-1 you can get it you will need to buy one!

Different Hardware Than The OP-1

Comparing the hardware architecture of both, you will notice something. OTTO has a different design and is powered by a Rasperry Pi3 with a minimal Linux system on it. The interface includes a 320×240 RGB screen (preferable AMOLED), 30 hardware buttons for every feature and 4 colour coded rotary encoders (taken from the OP-1 design).

Not A Commercial Product!

The developer has said, “At this point it might be important to mention that the OTTO is not, and will never be, a commercially aimed product. It is open source by nature, in both hardware and software. If you want an OTTO, you’re going to get your hands dirty, if not with the code, at least with the hardware”

Future Features

The developers plan to introduce several new features in the future. These sounds very similar to the Teenage Engineering OP-1:

  • A mobile app to run the graphics and serve as the screen, since good screens are hard to come by, and you probably already have a great one in your pocket.
  • Support for optional hardware, like an FM radio, Bluetooth speakers, a joystick

Of course, OTTO will include MIDI support for external controllers with sync and control signals.

OTTO: The Open-Source Hardware Synth Inspired By the OP-1Support The Team With Your Knowledge In The Realization

To keep the project going, the small developer team are looking for fellow players in all sort of areas to finish the projects:

  • Software testing
  • Writing documentation
  • Hardware design / testing
  • UI design
  • Creating default samples & settings and of course, the coding itself, with areas like
  • Synth/Effect design
  • General backend design
  • Hardware bridging
  • Distro setup (a custom linux distro for the Pi would be optimal)

Since this is not a commercial product, there is no information on price or availability. Looking forward to see a final version of this open-source Synthesizer project.

More information here: OTTO 

Noisegate is an Australian based collective of working musicians, producers, DJ’s, and live audio professionals.

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