Orac : open source instrument thing ;)

Really curious as to if Norns’ processor could handle multimbrality. I guess I also wondered the same about the Organelle and you surprised me @TheTechnobear!

For anyone who doesn’t know, with Orac, you could do something like this:

Mlr could be synced with Awake and capturing loops which in turn could be processed with Easygrain.

Foulplay could be sending midi info for each track to a different patch inside Norns like Molly the Polly, or any engine that could have a midi channel. Or anything at the end of your usb->midi cable.

Etc…It’s powerful and modular in nature, just limited by system resources (cpu/ram). Hoping Norns starts allowing us to access our usb drives soon for kits and that would really help with Orac resources.

But/// YAY. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Not sure what route this is going, but I would even be thrilled with Norns simply running the exact same Orac 2.0 that Organelle gets, with all the existing PD modules ready to go. That in itself would be an incredibly powerful application (and with less CPU limitations than Organelle).

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@naxuu Organelle runs on PD, but Norns runs on SC/Lua so I doubt that will ever happen.

Thanks @Jonny for the clarification! Didn’t know that was possible. my bad!

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Supercollider is just the engine. They have structured the Norns software/firmware in a way that PD could be used down the road.


In a general manner of speaking I seem to remember that for various reasons @TheTechnobear wasn’t going to invest himself much in the norns ecosystem and Orac in particular seems to me like quite a huge task to adapt to the norns platform so I doubt any of all these options will happen in the near future. Let’s be happy with what we have and the way the ecosystem is built now and let’s… Love the organelle also for what it does and how it does it :slight_smile:


While I’m definitely excited about orac developments wherever @TheTechnobear chooses to bring them, I thought it might also be useful for folks to be aware of @jah’s R engine for norns.


very nearly there, here is a little taster of what you can expect …

here is the plan…

Tomorrow :

  • Orac 2.0 new features / walkthru video (relevant to all platforms)
  • Orac 2.0 Remote Clients (relevant to all platforms)
  • Orac 2.0 Organelle video
  • Orac 2.0 Organelle beta release

Thursday :

  • Orac 2.0 Raspberry PI video
  • Orac 2.0 Raspberry PI beta release


  • Orac 2.0 Eurorack video
  • Orac 2.0 QuBit Nebulae & Bela Salt beta release

As its just me, Im needing to spread things out a bit to ease my workload, and let me finish off a few things in the background.


who knows what the future will bring… last week, I didn’t even know I was releasing Orac on the Nebulae … but when I see a technical challenge, sometimes I cannot resist :wink:

that said…why not get a Raspberry PI3 to run Orac 2.0 ?
its 40$, add a soundcard (I highly recommend the Blokas PiSound), and your ready to go… (*)

the thing is, the rPI3 is great, but it’s still fairly limited in power compared to a desktop/laptop,
so it actually is useful to have multiple boxes - also gives you things like separate outputs, and additional midi IO, which is always handy.

(wait till you see the Raspberry PI Orac video, I hope you will be really surprised how easy its going to be to get up n’ running , even for non-techies!)

or there’s the Organelle, or Eurorack - thats partly the reason Im going down this route, one box how ever great rarely fits all use-cases or budgets - so choice/variety is good :slight_smile:

(*) Im pretty sure you can interface the monome grid/arc to the rPI, if you want.


Awesome! :heart:
Since I have a PiSound Raspi I can’t be happier! Say, what kind of screen would you recommend for a Pisound/Raspi/Orac setup?

Thanks, can’t wait!

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In my experience, running a GUI in addition to audio pushes the RPi3+ a little beyond its capacity. That’s probably why @TheTechnobear is planning to tell us about “remote clients” as the reveal continues.

But if someone has a great configuration that works, I’d love to hear about it! I have an official Raspberry Pi touch display and it’s a very nice screen. Would love to take it out of the drawer and use it.


I was thinking about a little guiless screen like the O_c one, a bit like in the Organelle or in Norns. That might be interesting :slight_smile:

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Oh, yes, I agree! …

I’ve finally managed to watch the video and probably a screen isn’t that necessary :slight_smile:


I hope not :slight_smile:
the idea is the remote interface can be used to setup and configure your racks,
but then I hope, users will use midi (and cv) to map parameters so that you can then step away from the screen - and just play !

tommorow, you’ll see a video for the Organelle which shows that even with it, I like to map it to a keyboard … this feels more natural to me, when you have a limited UI space like the Organelle.
(though its handy on the Organelle when your away from a big keyboard/controller)

on Thursday, when the PI version is released, theres a video that shows you how to do this, I think its very quick :slight_smile:


FWIW - I have a DAC board in development for RasPi 3b+ that could be used for Orac or other projects. It’s currently built around the norns 3-encoder/3-buttons/oled-display (ssd1322) concept, but could be used without those things.

I will try to get my write-up/post on this board together over the weekend. It will eventually be a DIY thing, but documentation takes me a long time so I can’t say when. :slight_smile:


this would be very cool…

any chance of an extra one or two encoders?
the Organelle has 4 parameters on screen at any one time, so it be a very natural fit, if your board had 4 encoders for values :slight_smile:
(5 is a bonus, as the Organelle has an encoder for the menu, but this could be ‘doubled up’ with on of the others, using shortcut button)


anything is possible :grin: (but obvs would need a pcb redesign)

I’ll maybe send you a PM and see what sort of layout might make sense. Also curious how organelle does screen stuff


Great stuff! Working on something with a similar DNA. Happy to have a chat if you want!?
Also happy to send you one of the dev boards i recently released: http://cdm.link/2019/03/dadamachines-doppler-fpga-open-music-hardware/


couple more videos :slight_smile:

New features and overview of Orac 2.0

Orac 2.0 for the Organelle

download links Orac 2.0 for Organelle in video descriptions
tommorow will be PI day, and friday eurorack day :slight_smile:


I am very excited about this and cant wait to dig in. Thank you so much for all of your hard work!!

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