OTTO-Open Source Synth/Sampler

heard about it some years ago and today i‘ve Seen this:

sheeesh. :innocent:


daaaaaamn…bye bye OP-1

…yeah and the guys from ELZ 1 are non existing when this one drops

Yup…I feel sorry for him. For all I know the synth engines sound very nice, but the lack of sequencer and sampler is a really bad idea.

I like the hint of playful and intuitive UI on the screen, the form factor and the fact that it’s open source, which should mean good support and lots of firmware updates.

I think they could improve the layout, to me it feels very chaotic in this iteration. Also, I’d love to see photos of an actual build and recorded demos of the UI & sound!

They started as an OP-1 clone, but recently started going more towards the synth / sequencer aspect. I think tape and mixer have been removed. I’m ok with this; the fact that it’s open source means that with time more features could be added. Obviously this is all very theoretical, I haven’t seen any photos of an actual device yet.



a plaits in this form factor would be cool regardless of micro freak

I say keep the tape!

Either way, this thing looks awesomeness. I love the aesthetic, under open source element absolutely seals the deal to make me a supporter for this.


the beauty of it being open source, is someone could fork it to add a tape. I agree with their reasoning. Not to make a copy, but something that is inspired by the op-1. If tape is included it should be different from the tape the op-1 has. Like a tape delay/wobble as one of the FX buses.


Why should it be different?

I’ve found a description of this change in the project’s forum, with the following reasoning:

v0.0.1 removes quite a few nice features of the OTTO [Tapedeck, simple-drums, drum-sampler, metronome, mixer and more]. This is because those features are too similar to the OP-1, dont really work, and will be replaced by other and better concepts in the future.


Looks like making a 100% clone of OP-1 is just too difficult at this point. I don’t know why exactly but there could be many reasons for that. Lack of time, differences in hardware, legal worries, maybe something else.

Maybe these features will get added back in the future. Hard to say at this point. We’ll see!

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Original OTTO creator here!

This has absolutely nothing to do with it being difficult. Yeah, that would probably be difficult, but we are just not interested in making an OP-1 clone. The OP-1 is great, but already exists. Its a lot more fun to create something new, than spending hundreds upon hundreds of hours recreating something someone has already built.

Thats one reason why we wont have the tape for example. It’s been done, and we’re going for a different, more grooveboxy workflow. Just because we want to design something new ourselves.


Maybe you could take some ideas from the OP-Z, like the step components… :wink:

Thanks for sharing that!

Reminds me that I’ve actually read that before.

Yeah, it’s a bit vague hey. sounds like it was a combination of those reasons / thoughts. Which is totally fair enough, I just think the tape and sampler combo are super powerful. The mention of “better” concepts is promising and exciting though. makes me think that perhaps they needed to distance themselves from the op1 in the short-term, so that they could bring in equally effective sampling and recording ideas, a tape or some tape-like function + a sampler that isn’t called a drum sampler. Legally, that puts them in a match more distant region I guess. Although is open source software included in that kind of copyright?

Oh hi there! Thanks so much for chiming in, I really love what you’re doing! I can totally understand that you don’t want to clone something that already exists.

How do you feel about expanding on and even improving or augmenting some existing concepts that are inspired by the op1? In my honest opinion, has someone who absolutely loves the op1, there are concepts and workflows that the op1 does that no one else really does at the moment, at least within that kind of small form factor. And these concepts could be expanded upon. I guess what I’m saying is that I am less interested in and Op1 clone then I am in an op1 evolution. Or even more of a side grade than an upgrade. Which I guess is kind of what you’re implying by saying more of a groove box etc. But the thing is that I think there is something magical about the tape and the sampling that could be done in very different and non copycat kind of ways.

Of course this is your project, and I hope you do whatever your bliss takes you to. I’m just chiming in as an enthusiast, who can’t code.

Another thing worth mentioning no, is that at some point we will see and Op1 Armageddon. And at that point, the existence of an op1 “clone” would be super super super great IMHO. That’s just me looking out for future me.


I agree that we need more “tape machines”. Grooveboxes are a dime a dozen, but analog/digital tape hybrids, not so much. I’m imagining an OP-1-like tape that could be sequenced itself – e.g. tempo changes, reverses, EQ, send levels. Octatrack-style, but with a hands-on UI like the OP-1 has. Well, I can dream…


I would be so interested if something like this existed

@vehka and @ludicrouSpeed Nothing is stopping you from designing something like that. The beauty of open source is you can fork the project and add your own ideas. Even if you can’t code there are other ways you could lead or contribute to the project that are way more helpful than day dreaming about features here. Jump in the OTTO discord and share your ideas there! The people making it are definitely hanging out there. Who knows if they are reading this. Who knows if @topisani even saw your reply here.

Also, @vehka. What makes the op-1 not a groovebox? There are tons of old multi track tape recorders, and multi track field recorders out there. And can you tell me how the octatrack, or any other groove box is not a hands on UI? Did you know you can sequence the tape on the op-z? What are you using to press buttons if not your hands? Maybe I don’t want to know…

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