Almost across the Fence!

Hello C&G community!

I’ve been lurking on the forums and researching the organelle recently, and I’ve grown quite excited about this little box. I am SO CLOSE to buying it, but I wanted to ask some questions related to its capabilities/merits:

  1. How have guitarists benefited from the organelle? Is it possible with Orac to simultaneously affect a guitar while another person plays a synth patch on the organelle?

  2. Is it currently possible for the Organelle to convert audio to midi (polyphonically)? I’ve seen a guy on reddit achieve success with audio to midi via pd and python, but to my understanding the Organelle only uses pd?

  3. I understand orac is a relatively new and exciting development for the organelle. Are there any limitations with the Organelle’s hardware and how it applies to orac? Do most patches convert easily/simply to orac modules?

  4. Are Orac presets possible? Or do I have to program the modules in every time I use it?

  5. How has the Organelle affected your compositional approach?

  6. Can it quantize a real time audio loop? (to fit nicely inside a tempo, per say, for use with other time based effects)

  7. What are your personal gripes with the Organelle?

I’m drawn to the Organelle as an instrument that can grow with me. I’d like it to be a big part of my pedalboard setup. I understand a knowledge of pure data is required to get the most out of the little machine, and I am both excited to learn but a little weary of the learning curve, too.

I’ll try to answer a few of these from my experiences.

1: I’ve run my guitar with the Organelle and with ORAC and got good results. Most effect patches work well with guitar input (I usually run through an amp simulator first but plugging straight in can also work). The guitar synthesizer patch is really nice.

2: There are puredata objects that theoretically can do polyphonic pitch tracking, but in my experience the resultsa are not very usable.
Monophonic pitch tracking works well though.
I think python is installed on the Organelle so it might be possible to use it in a patch, but would likely be quite a bit of work (and might consume a lot of processing power).
I’d be interested in seeing what the guy on reddit is doing, I haven’t seen much DIY/open source polyhponic pitch tracking software.

3: It really depends on the patch in terms of conversion effort, some are very simple, others require a fair amount of work.
4: Orac presets are possible.

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Thanks for your input!

The user on reddit - mediasavage - has some pretty in depth explanations on what’s going on, but most of it is beyond me at this moment.

Here are some links if anyone is interested in his work:

I think theres many different ways to use something like Organelle…
and often the ways you imagine using it, are not the ways you find yourself using it

afaik, polyphonic tracking even on a desktop, is ‘hard’ (as in many manufactures have been trying for years!) and rather variable in performance… so I suspect trying to do on an Organelle, rPI etc is likely to yield ‘disappointing results’

is qhat they post said viable on an Organelle? - sure, theoretically it can run both PD and python simultaneously , and if as he says the python cpu resources are low, who knows might work. (but there are no numbers on computation intensity)

but its inefficient to do what he is suggesting, transferring to another process (be it python or a.n.other) via osc, then potentially have to send the midi back to a pd synth.
so, if the algo was viable , id simply do the same work in a pure data external (c++),
so raises questions, id say this was a quick try/demo, rather than something id ‘bet on’.
(also given its not had any dev for 18 months, thats never a great sign :wink: )

just my opinion… perhaps it’ll do what you want, in which case id recommend testing it on your PC/Mac first to find out.

sorry, don’t mean to be negative, but if this is critical to you - I think probably more research is required (organelle or not)

Completely agree, this is important.

My primary use case for getting an organelle never came to fruition and now I very happily use it for all sorts of unexpected things.

No need to apologize! I appreciate your thoughts on this matter. It’s certainly not a deal breaker at all, rather, I’m just trying to reign in my expectations, as many have called the organelle “limitless” and similar grand things.

From my viewpoint, it seems like an extremely capable electroacoustic instrument and synthesizer, all of which i’m interested in – but I’m particularly just trying to imagine how it can fit with guitarists, and if it is a viable alternative to buying many, many pedals (Which i wish I could afford haha).

And with the advent of ORAC, it seems to be possible theoretically to set up virtual pedalboards, but I just haven’t seen/heard many examples of this and guitar.

With that said, I love the idea of it surprising me, it’s just somewhat comforting to know i can use it at least partially for what I plan.

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I think probably there are more good fx than there are synths (oddly) in the Organelle.
Orac allows you to chain these easily ( subject to cpu constraints, nothing is limitless !)

Of course organelle is limited to one stereo input and output.
In Orac 1.1 (not yet released) I’ve implemented panning, that would allow these to be treated as 2 mono channels instead.
( or 2 mono ins, to a stereo output)
Orac 1.1 also adds modulation options which I think are useful for fx.

… and Orac 1.0 also allows you to midi learn parameters, so this can use useful for midi foot controllers ( to go beyond the one expression pedal input)

So many options really, ranging from fairly conventional to ‘out there’ :slight_smile:

I am a guitarist (although I’m more focused on keyboard based instruments right now) and I have a lot of effects option. For delay options as an example, I have a digital delay pedal, analog delay pedal, an eventide H9 and the organelle.

Each of those has its strengths - the organelle really shines on sort of weird granular freezing in that context.

I haven’t spent a ton of time using it exclusively as a pedalboard, but is definitely capable. Orac will do some of that as is, there are some guitar/multi effect patches already on patchstorage, and if you want to dig in to PureData you can do just about anything you can imagine. Even if you just copy/paste some other patches and combine them for your own use, it works pretty well.

I also have MIDI fishman triple play for the guitar. That is probably about as good as guitar based midi gets and it is still pretty limited for my usage so the audio based methods will probably be disappointing for anything besides experimental noises.

Thank you both for the info, it’s a great help! :slight_smile:

I’m happy to hear that you both have positive outlooks on the effects capabilities! And I’m very excited about Orac for these uses, and glad that there are panning and modulation options on the way!

I’m currently exploring pd on my computer before i take the plunge with the organelle. So far it’s a very foreign thing for me, but sort of exciting, too.

As a pure data/Orac question, is it possible to split an input frequency and send it to different signal paths in Orac/use different effects for the 2 bands?

hmm, not out of the box…

but ‘routers’ are also just pure data patches, so you can modify them to create your own.
this is going to be easier in Orac 1.1, as Ive tried to make the router modules a bit more obvious/transparent in how they work as patches (less black magic :slight_smile: )

I think custom router modules are the ‘next level’ of orac customisation, and I hope taking some of the mystic out of them, might encourage this.

that said, Im not likely to ship a router module with freq splits, just because its quite a specific case, and also the FFT required to spilt the signal is quite cpu intensive, and there are many trade-offs when you do it, e.g. bin size/cpu/response.
… but definitely a good idea for a module, to be discussed/shared.