DIY Raspberry Pi organelle

I love the versatility of the organelle, yet I am a broke college student who can’t afford one. however, I do have a raspberry pi and a bit of time on my hands. I see that the organelle MCU and UI are open source, I was wondering if it is at all possible to incorporate those into the raspberry pi to make my own Organelle. Has anyone had success doing this? I’ve seen a few videos of people emulating the organelle with pure data on a raspberry pi but I like the compact nature of the organelle with their OLED screen. My main goal is just to make a small box some potentiometers and an OLED screen along with midi support for a small controller as well as audio inputs so I could also use it as a guitar effects box. Kind of like an all in one synth/guitar pedal. I know this is all possible with the organelle, but unfortunately, I simply can’t afford one. one day I will, but until then, my only option is to build my own.

This doesn’t really answer the question. But have you considered going through affirm on That’s what I did. Only paid around $45 a month. Super simple and easy.

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I was thinking about doing the same thing and end up buying the Organelle. I did a lot of research and found out, that the hardest thing would be programming it all (RPi + sound card + knobs etc. - it’s not just simple copying the code). But if you have knowledge and skills - go for it. I’ll be happy to hear any news about your progress, because the more I knew about building and programming process, the less I wanted to start building.

i’d imagine programming the razpi for what you’d want it to do would be about as hard as writing pure data patches as is.
but the plus is that the organelle allows you to mooch great patches for free and not have to be all programmer about it.
i would never suggest you get a credit line ever to get something as silly as the organelle. (not that i haven’t purchased an sp1200 on my discover card).

@nortonw3 the obvious answer is yes this can be done … how easy it is depends on your skill set, time you have, willingness to learn etc.

What I’d recommend is to take ‘inspiration’ from the Organelle, but not force yourself into a replication which will tend to create complication - where as being simply inspired will free up other options.

Next, you should look at the various platforms there are to build solutions.

If you want something small/simple,
take a look at Axoloti . it has its own patcher, rather than Pd but has a great community, cheap and great for experimenting.

Rpi , look at something like the PiSound to get you midi din and audio interface, you can also connect pots and displays directly, you won’t need an MCU.

Bela , based on beaglebone , is also a great option as it’s low latency, and already has easy analog and digital in and out.
The new pocket variant is smaller but only features input but may be all you need.

All are valid, and have pros and cons, personally I’d go for Bela or Axoloti … for a larger or smaller solution respectively.
But the PI can work, just harder in IO, but bit easier for display.

Anyway once you choose your platform, that will help you frame your ideas, and potential compromises and enhancements, and more importantly lead you to a community who hopefully help you realize your dream.

(Also more appropriate/respectful, imho, discussing ‘cloning’ elsewhere , rather than the manufactures forum :wink: )

But recognize one thing, this will take you time and patience - instant pleasure is one of the things you pay for when buying an Organelle.


Quick one Mark (and sorry to go off topic slightly), can the Organelle control the Axoloti via USB MIDI? Can it then utilise the Axoloti as a MIDI I/O interface? Thinking this could be an amazing set-up.

Yup, also powers the Axoloti too. ( even multiple axis :slight_smile: )
@keymanpal recently did a performance with such a setup, he might have pictures and details.


I have just noticed the AxoControl is back at Thonk too. Combined with the Axoloti would give a similar interface to the Organelle. Might be worth considering @nortonw3? And then when you’ve saved your pennies you can pair it with the Organelle! :smiley:

I might have to nab one myself…

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One more recommendation for Axoloti. If you really want a screen, take a look at this:

I blame you entirely @thetechnobear, had no intention of buying the Axoloti until your post, now ordered. :stuck_out_tongue:


Interesting topic!

Stay tuned next week:


“Experience Critter & Guitari’s new rainbow light-up synthesizer, the latest in a series of instruments that combine music and programming, allowing artists to create unique musical experiences in real time, and learn the ins and outs of creating custom patches for this device.”
What have we here?
Extremely curious!

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@oweno I was just going to start a thread about Moogfest! I’m playing a couple ambient sets at Global Breath studio as part of the daytime festivities and wanted to cruise on by the C&G booth to see what’s new. I’ve also been stumped more than a couple times trying to figure out how to program my Organelle, so I’ll try to check out the coding workshop. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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