If you wanted to make electronic music 30 years ago, it meant owning a lot of equipment. You might have a synthesizer, a drum machine, a sampler, and much more — all as separate devices. These days those can all run as software on a single computer, but that doesn’t mean your laptop is ideal for the job. There are a few reasons for that, but the most important is that a keyboard and mouse just aren’t optimal for controlling music. That’s why the Organelle music computer was developed back in 2016, and now it has been redesigned with a ton of new features.
The original Organelle was popular, and used a Solid Run i.MX6 SoM (System on Module) with an Arm Cortex-A9 single-core processor running at 1.0GHz. It had 512MB of RAM, no onboard WiFi, and only supported MIDI connections through USB. But it was still a very capable instrument, and could utilize a variety of patches to act as synthesizer, drum machine, sampler, and so on. Many of those patches were created by the developers, Critter & Guitari, but the community also made lots of their own patches.
Those patches are all compatible with the newly-redesigned Organelle. The new version uses a more powerful Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+, which has a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 running at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, and built-in WiFi. It also has dedicated 1/8″ TRS MIDI input and ouput jacks, an onboard 3 watt 3″ speaker, an Electret microphone, and can run on four AA batteries. That dramatically expands what the Organelle is capable of, and makes it practical to use it as a true instrument on stage. If you want the new Organelle, it costs $595.00 through the Critter & Guitari store.