Critter & Guitari Organelle, A Mobile Pure Data Synth, Now Available


Critter & Guitari has announced that their Organelle synthesizer – a portable synth with a robust Pure Data sound engine – is now available.

The Organelle has the same general physical design as C&G’s Pocket Pianos. But the Organelle’s ability to load Pure Data applications means that you load patches that let you use it as a drum machine, synthesizer, sampler or effects processor, and you can create your own custom patches, too.

Here’s the official video intro:

At the heart of the Organelle’s sound engine is a robust computer that runs patches. A patch allows the instrument to take on different forms. Onboard hardware for sound input and output and mappable knobs, keys and buttons enable patches to synthesize, sample, effect, etc.

The Organelle runs patches created in the powerful computer music programming environment Pure Data.

The Organelle ships with a set of common default patches, and new patches may be loaded from a USB drive. Patches may be created and/or edited directly on the device as well as on a personal computer. Plug in a keyboard, mouse and monitor and begin customizing.

The Organelle is built with community interaction in mind. The entire system runs open source software and may be customized at every level. C&G have created an Organelle Patch Repository, so that use can find and download new patches. And there’s a Forum for sharing ideas and questions with other Organelle users.



Audio Specifications:

  • Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz; 16-bit (In & Out)
  • 2x ¼” Mono Sound Output Jacks (L & R channels)
  • ¼” Stereo Sound Input Jack
  • ?” Stereo Headphone output Jack
  • ¼” Footswitch Jack


  • High-Contrast OLED Display Screen
  • Four Parameter Knobs
  • Rotary Selection knob with Push Button Select
  • Volume Knob
  • 25x Maple Key

Processor Specifications:

  • 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 with 512 MB RAM
  • Linux Operating System
  • Boot time: ~12 seconds


  • 4GB USB Drive included; Patches and any required files (audio samples, etc.) stored here

Additional Connections:

  • 2x USB Port (2.0 standard-A type connector). USB Host for: MIDI over USB & Serial over USB
  • HDMI output port

Power Requirement:

  • 9VDC, 1.0 Amp (Power Supply included)

Physical Characteristics:

  • Size: 10.5″ x 3.25″ x 2.125″
  • Enclosure: Anodized Aluminum top, ABS Plastic bottom, rubber foot pads
  • Availability

The Organelle is available now, priced at US $495.

24 thoughts on “Critter & Guitari Organelle, A Mobile Pure Data Synth, Now Available

  1. To be honest, despite all the fuss around the new Kylie Minogue, Yammy Fromage and Arthur Mega-Brutes launched at NAMM 2016, this is the little synth I’ve been waiting for with the most anticipation.

    Why? Because it can hugely expand the types of sound you can make: any type of synthesis, virtual analogue, granular, FM, physical modelling, external audio FX processing, wave-tables or wave-shaping… it’s like a hardware Reaktor limited only by the DSP capability of 1 GHz ARM chip can develop. But once I’ve built my presets, I can take it on the road, play wherever I like without lugging my laptop around at the same time. Whilst in my studio it’s small and I can play it like a sound module via an external full-sized keyboard.

    So I vote this the coolest new sound generator at NAMM 2016.

    1. Sent from an Iphone:) Auto-Correct is awesome sometimes.
      Anyways, I agree. I’m rooting for all the small companies creating innovative devices for music production. We have enough DAW’s to make music until the Earth collapses, same goes for Keyboard synths, workstations and all those other devices that look the same if you squint and sound the same if your listening to the track through an average sound system.
      These companies are like the underground hip hop artist, overlooked because of the swarm of commercial artist plaguing the itunes store.

    1. Or quicker :
      Someone is going to install pure data on a raspberry pi, plug in a battery and an usb midi keyboard and take it on the road 😉

        1. Hi folk, I looked into this very same option over the weekend: it doesn’t quite work for a number of reasons, not least the quality (or lack) of the sound card on standard Raspberry Pi boards, audio latency is bad, and the default D/A converter is 11 bit. Hence people selling separate audio cards for Raspberry Pis. You might also want MIDI jacks, knobs for real-time editing, a keyboard for playing on (even if it’s little wooden buttons) and… whoops the Organelle does all of that! 🙂

          TBH, if you just want PureData use your laptop.

          1. Yep but if you solder a decent dac, and midi input, you’re good to go ! For at least 300 euros less. Otherwise the axioloti is the cheapest alternative.

  2. my pocketpiano has been one of the most used and fun tools i had in my studio, loads of other gear went, this stayed…absolutely worth every penny. if you dont like it just because it seems expensive, try it, i´m sure you´ll change your mind.

  3. For real. Everybody is always whining about price. A bunch of penny pinching babies, sure you could do a Pi, But will it have sick wooden buttons/keys or a rad aluminum case? Not unless you make it and since you cry about the cost of everything you probably don’t have a proper fabrication facility in home. Five hundy? Thats a pittance, thats like dinning out every day of the week for a family of 4. Stop eating out buy the Organelle, or don’t.

  4. The possibilities are indeed endless, but not limitless.

    It does look like a clever and versatile product. But it does seem like what you are paying for is the extra portability.

  5. Interesting. However, most of my unwanted gear in the closet produces sounds this bad. A few make sounds infinitely worse.

  6. Until I met one in person I didn’t fully appreciate how good critter and critari stuff sounds and feels.

    I particularly love that organelle is a usb host so I can use a full size keyboard on it. And also that I can load sound off the internet making it an endless library. Without ever having to fuss much.

    The fact that if I wanted to I could learn pure data and get even more out of it is pretty incredible.

    I’m sure that tiny menu could be very irritating though.

    I wonder how this would compete with a beat step pro as sequencer?

  7. The fact that this can run pure data programs makes this the greatest synth ever. Way better than Moog, an Arp, or a Yamaha synth. Why? Because it can store pure data patches into the synth and create any thing I want. I could make a vocoder with a reverb, chorus and delay all in, and arpeggiate it inside the synth. I could assign the synth to control a sequence a light pattern during a performance , or create a complex modular synth with tons of ocsilators lfos, and filters. Pure data is amazing, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

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