Critter & Guitari Organelle

a quick video I did on the Organelle-M


The Organelle definitely needed a refresh with more memory and processing speed, which is fantastic!

However, everything else about this turns me off. I don’t want a bigger unit. When I want a speaker I can add a much better one. When I want battery power I can add a pack. That’s the benefit of having a multi-purpose audio computing device, after all. You start with a core that you can customise.

What I most want is an Organelle Pro without the toy keyboard but with a bigger screen.

The answer might be Norns, which is why I am here. :slight_smile:

  • It sounds like the 3.0 software update will get a lot closer to being that.

  • Raspberry Pi w/ PiSound, Orac, and a cheap tablet is closer still.

  • It’s not a toy keyboard. It’s a minimalist set of buttons that every developer can count on you having. A standardized interface defines any platform.



I think @greaterthanzero points to it here

But basically yes, the standardized interface defines the platform and it seems like you’re asking Organelle to be Norns ? Organelle, if you look at it from a design perspective, has always been more clearly “self contained” oriented than norns (more buttons, more knobs, slightly bigger footprint), and so it only makes sense after all that it’s trying to be even more standalone (no additionnal speaker to add, longer battery life etc.)

Norns can be considered self contained as well actually (I use it without grid a lot more than I thought I would) but it’s clearly more the way you describe it, the brain for a multi-device approach that fits your need, with a bigger clearer screen.

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The fact that I don’t completely known what you mean by this suggests that I might not be suited to making it work, but I always fancied playing with the things that Organelle worked on but couldn’t manage to justify buying one. I always thought they ran PureData programmes but, aside from being aware that there were PD apps for my iOS devices, I don’t know a lot more about any of it

So maybe my Fates project running Orac2* might fit the bill for you if you’re into a slightly more DIY approach?

*Orac2 support/integration coming soonish I hope. I’m sending a board to @TheTechnobear today :slight_smile:

Organelle runs PureData patches. Orac gives you a “modular” implementation of PD patches and it can run on Organelle or Raspberry Pi. Thus you can get a similar Organelle experience using just a RasPi + sound-card/DAC


Ah, then I wasn’t all that far away with my naive assumptions!

Thanks for pointing this out! I suck at hardware DIY but I totally support makers like yourself. In fact I am having a mixer made as we speak. Next up is a portable zither. :slight_smile:

I am familiar with Orac and love what it can do. I am all in favour of modular standardised interfaces because they can lead to just such powerful and flexible software.

Right now my music system is based around Reaktor and Max on a laptop. I find pd quite limiting compared with these. And I find most hardware very restrictive compared with a computer. Nonetheless the RaspPi cores that devices like Norns are based on have immense potential. I keep waiting for something compelling enough to justify the cost.

I’m interested in a customisable stand-alone sequencer. And maybe one of these host-based systems would get me there.

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theres quite a few different ways to get there - frankly its not that hard to do it these days with a rPI … no harder than say building your own PC (which is also easy :wink: )
the likes of Blokas are making it much easier, with things like PatchboxOS and PiSound.

Im really excited by what @okyeron is doing , as its a great all in one solution :slight_smile:

(we should mention Zynthian here also for completeness - as they are doing similar, and have a lot of fans too)

DIY is fun, not that hard… and its great to be creating your own instrument.

the only issue is, building a community around it… if everyone has something different its difficult to build something that works ‘out of the box’ - and before you know its, it becomes difficult to setup due to massive amounts of configuration due to variations and options.

this is where the simplicity of the Organelle is fantastic , as others have pointed it, its a UI that is complete… so a community (and CG) can gather around it.
this was why i release Orac initially on the Organelle, not because of technical reasons … but because i knew the experience every user would get, and i knew there was a community there to (hopefully) appreciate it.

as for the keyboard, i think its actually a very important part of the UI…
I only tend to use it in a portable scenario (and its quirky-ness is fun) , when im at home I connect a proper keyboard or my expressive controllers
BUT the ‘control UI’ is still primarily done using the Organelle keys/pots/encoder… even though things like Orac support Midi learn - most of the time its just more immediate to use the organelle directly.

I think CG and the community has really been pretty creative using this UI, but the 24 buttons are important , without them… it would be terribly menu-divey as you’d have no ways to add shortcuts.

but hey, not only do I enjoy my Organelle,
i also have rPIs and Belas , and I enjoy them as well, its fun to create your own instruments :slight_smile:
we are lucky to be in a time when there are so many great choices.


if this is your main aim… keep an eye out for composer pro by dada machines :slight_smile:

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I got one of the new organelles last week.

To be honest i was a little bit upset at the start, since i had the feeling it was the kind of device i was not going to get well along with.

After a few days, and started tinkering with pure data (which remind me of max a lot) i have gotten more in depth with it and getting cool patches using Automatonism.

Things i need to learn eventually:

*Generate midi clock from ableton link to slave usb midi devices connected to organelle.(untz)

*Get rid of the wifi nub and use ethernet trough a usb hub and ethernet usb connector. So link sync can be tighter. Also i could maybe send midi clock to norns without a computer?

*Figure out how to change incoming midi cc mesages by pressing the aux button. So i can use a 16n faderbank and switch cc messages like with the bome midi translator, wonder if this could be done inside linux or inside pd.

Anyways im getting ahead of myself as usual, just wanted to share some thoughts i have had with the organelle in the last week. I think its a keeper :slight_smile:

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There’s a simple reason for that. Max was initially created by Miller Puckette who later created Pd. Many concepts you might know from Max hence can be found in Pd as well.


The metronome sub patch already abstracts to either an internal clock, midi clock or ableton link - depending on what is being received by the organelle
By default it will transmit that clock as a midi clock.
( link too, as that’s peer to peer anyway)

Just watch for a midi clock loop , in Orac I’ve actually got a parameter in clock, to say if midi clock is transmitted or not - to deal with this case.

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Thanks for the info. I was looking into it yesterday and i obviously completely missed it.
I tried multiplying every beat by 24 and hitting a bang that is triggering a 248 midi message to the midi out but failed badly.
Im going to look into it again!
Thanks :slight_smile:

Thats is great news! How did you patch the audio outs to the es8? Puredata?
Could this be used as a way of interacting automatonism with the es8? I wonder if the audio signals need to be somewhat modified to be compatible between puredata and the es8.

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yes just patch directly in pure data as audio inputs/outputs. I mentioned it on the C&G forum here

sure… my target is Orac integration, but no reason it wouldn’t work with anything else.

audio signals are fine, but when you want to send ‘CV’ signals you will need to scale.

example: (not automatism, as i dont know/use it)
lets say you have a (float) parameter that varies from 0…127, then to send out as an audio signal you need to convert to -1 to 1 (assuming you want bipolar)
so out = ((in / 127) * 2 ) - 1 … so we now get -1 to 1 ,which will give us +/-10v

however, reality is, you might not want a full voltage swing on this… so you might want to scale it back.

of course, pitch we need to be a bit more careful with … since we want v/oct,
given we have -10v to +10v from the ES-8, and its -1 to 1 in PD.
we can see that 1 in PD = 10v , so 0.1 in PD =1v … or 1 octave
so we get something like out = (in / 12 ) / 10

in practice we might want to offset this, depending upon our needs
e.g. mutable instruments plaits v/oct range is -3v to +7v, so it makes sense to offset the voltage by 3v (or 0.3 in PD)

its an interesting area, and actually one Im going to be doing some work on in Orac in next few days, as I want to setup an Organelle-M as a bridge for my Expressive Controllers (soundplane/eigenharp) to Eurorack…

so far, Ive done the low level stuff for the soundpland/eigenharps, and Ive done the proof of concept for the ES8/PD/Orac , just now need to code up the Orac modules for it… and resolve any oddities I find along the way.

note: in my use case, I will be using the ES8 as the only audio interface, I dont need to use the existing organelle-m audio interface… but that should be possible as well, just not tested by me as yet.


@TheTechnobear thanks a lot for taking the time to explain in depth.
Its great for the community to have people sharing their knowledge like you, thumbs up gracias!

Im going to try with the es8 and the organelle. I have been looking at your mentioned post on the critter & guitarri forum and (think) i have a few ideas on how to get me start.

Thanks again!


so loopop has an organelle-m , will he like it ?


Would some lovely soul recommend a generative sequencer for Organelle? Something resembling Marbles or Turing Machine would be fabulous.


come to mind; the latter is sample based. have fun!

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