Critter & Guitari Organelle & The Beauty Of Open Source Music Software

This video, via loopop, is an overview and demo of the Critter & Guitari Organelle, a unique portable synth with a programmable Pure Data sound engine.

The Organelle has the same general physical design as C&G’s ‘Pocket Piano’ line, but features a much more robust sound engine, which lets you load patches that can turn it into a drum machine, synthesizer, sampler, effects processor and more.

The video takes a look at the Organelle OS v3.0, which intros some major new capabilities, and its open source engine and the advantages that it brings. 

Video Summary:

The new OS v3.0 even further expands on the Organelle’s capabilities, including WIFI (and Ableton Link), opening up OLED graphics and support for non-Pure Data patches, like those written with SuperCollider.

Slightly over 2 years after its release Organelle now comes with over 60 factory instruments (“patches”) and dozens of additional ones created by the Organelle user community, including ports of the popular Mutable Instruments Eurorack modules.

In this clip I explain what the Organelle is, what’s new and why it’s important as an open source instrument. I’ll show what Pure Data is and how one patch made it’s way through four different developers that over time all contributed (without knowing each other, or that it will end up on Organelle) by “standing on each others’ shoulders” via open source to bring Mutable Instruments Grids (“Take the user interface of an euclidean sequencer, a healthy dose of machine learning and graph algorithms, megabytes of drum loops, hours of intensive computations and you’ve got a drum pattern generator like no other”) to the Organelle, wirelessly synchronized to an iOS device via Ableton Link.

Building An Organelle-Compatible System

Note, because the Organelle is based on open software, it’s possible to build compatible setups. Here’s an example of an Organelle compatible ‘clone’ made with Purr Data L2Ork running in a Raspberry Pi 3. Organelle is one of the best synths nowadays, and as it uses Pure Data it’s insanely limitless.

The video is via Severed.Garden, who notes, “With a RPi3 and PD, you can enjoy the sound and patches of this amazing synth till you can afford one. If you want to use Organelle patches that make use of audio input, you just need to connect a USB audio card to your RPi.”

Equipment used: Raspberry Pi 3, Official RPi 7″ display, Akai MPK mini mk2, Limited Edition Sony a5100

Details on the Organelle are available at the Critter & Guitari site.

One thought on “Critter & Guitari Organelle & The Beauty Of Open Source Music Software

  1. Thanks for sharing!
    Been thinking about the Organelle quite a bit but the price is a bit steep and the keyboard doesn’t feel particularly enjoyable. So, creating a custom version has been among my (many) projects. The build might help me get there. Come to think of it, probably got all the ingredients, at this point. Including the pisound HAT (low-latency audio and MIDI I/O). Even got a bit of Pd knowledge.

    Became a big fan of the Raspberry Pi, two years ago. Pi-based projects really add a lot to the scene because of the community around the platform.

    Hope Synthtopia can post more Raspberry Pi projects.

Leave a Reply