Is there a good quality DAC in the Organelle?

Edit: I purchased a Organelle and ran a few basic audio tests. Only a rather crude subjective test (comparing with my ears), though it satisfied me that Organelle’s audio signal path (Processing>DAC> output) was NOT adding any significant distortion or significantly attenuating (removing/changing) the sound (frequency) .I played several samples ( sine,square waves,percussion) in the Polybeats DRG32V (sampler Patch) and compared this to the same sounds ( WAV samples) being played on my PC using Foobar to a external Moto audio interface. Thus for anyone thinking of buying the Organelle to be used as an audio sampler they shouldn’t be concerned about audio quality (tested with 44.1 kHz 16bit wave file). And if your looking to use the organelle as a synthesizers and/or FX module then your free to design a Pure Data patch to your own standards (though you may need to learn how to produce those standards within Pure data).

To a degree, the quality of what is heard from the Organelle is dependent on the quality of the patches (software) and any samples that are used in those patches.

End of Edit:


I really like the innovative ideas of the Organelle. However, I’ve read a few posts on the internet that are giving me second thoughts whether to get one or not.e.g " sounds pretty lackluster"

“Sound quality is terrible”

Are these issues that have since been addressed?. Also what DAC does the Organelle use? I assume, due to it’s price the organelle should use some good quality internal components?. Also if (due to whatever reasons) , the organelle’s audio output isn’t comparably that clear, can the Organelles DAC be easily bypassed so that I could used a good quality external DAC?.

Apologies for the critical questions. Though this unit has so much potential, it would be a shame if that potential for good quality music production is being limited by a comparably poor DAC etc .

p.s - great name for the product :-).

Not sure about the DAC. Sound quality is fine for me, but most of my music is samples of shortwave radio static…

This review compares it to OP-1 which it is not like in any way at all.

If the sound quality complaints are similar to the sound quality complaints of justin bieber then that seems like just a few patches that don’t end / start sounds on zero crossings and ends up causing popping sounds.

You could also just plug in your own USB Audio Interface and program / modify some custom patches to be able to use it. Seems kind of unnecessary unless you want way more inputs, though.

Hi and thanks for the reply,

“If the sound quality complaints are similar to the sound quality complaints of justin bieber then that seems like just a few patches”

That’s what I’ve been trying to find out. If it’s a software issue, e.g. The patch, then that’s more easily remedied . Or if it’s some intrinsic issue with the Organelle hardware. I can find no information on the products pages website about the Organelles internal circuitry ( DAC etc) ,so all I can go by are subjective reviews. If I knew the Organelle had at good digital to analog convertor then that would be indicative of a overall high quality audio product.

That review is weird, I almost find it hard to believe the person worked with it for 6 months.

I’m more than satisfied with the organelles sound.

I’d just try one somewhere and find out if you’re into it if possible.

No complaint about sound here, so nothing that needs addressed.

tech specs on dac, check here, 68 page datasheet - but really I suspect it wont help much, though summary gives you noise floor info.

at the price point, the sound quality is absolutely fine,

‘terrible’ - I suspect something wrong either with the patches being used, or how you have it connected…(e.g. bad gain staging on input if sampling)

“lackluster” - this is much more subjective, sounds more like the patches, someone not enjoying the patches much, which of course fine, it might not meet expectations…
(of course this is no analogue synth, so its not going to add a lot of character, outside what is coded in the patch.)

“midi implementation” is technically inaccurate, they should have come here to find out whats wrong :wink:

“homage op-1” that’s a red-herring, its a completely different focus…
there are some posts on this forum comparing the OP-1 to Organelle, definitely worth reading, they are quite a good way of working out what Organelle is about, which really isn’t as easy as it might seem. (and I suspect a source of disappointment for some)

anyway, I think sound quality is unlikely to be the determining factor for if you enjoy the Organelle or not. what will is understanding what it really is, and isn’t…

I think the top review at amazon, is pretty balanced:

(*) i will say there are more patches around now, and C&G are pushing things (e.g. 1008) , so perhaps days of ‘without patching skills’ you cannot explore the Organelle, are becoming less true now.

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Definitely, the combo patches allow a lot of experimentation without any patching effort.

Thanks for the info on the DAC :-).

"anyway, I think sound quality is unlikely to be the determining factor for if you enjoy the Organelle or not. "

The Sound quality is certainly a determining factor for me, especially within the domain of electronically produced music, as dodgy electronics can add unneeded distortions and or have other unwanted electro-magnetic effects. Would you prefer a black and white TV with a fuzzy picture screen or a full colour TV with a clear picture? ( I’m hoping this is a rhetorical question for most) . Or clear eye sight V … you get the idea.

Of course the “quality” or interest of what is being shown on that screen is another issue and more to do with our subjective preference rather than the physics of what determines objective quality.
I would want to use the Organelle predominantly as a synth and effects box (some of which I may design myself with PD) for layering sounds. Thus Audio quality is very significant.

“what will, is understanding what it really is, and isn’t…”

It is a metal box ( with wood keys synthesized by photosynthesis.i.e. trees ) encasing electronics, including a computer chip (processor) that can run Pure Data programs, a digital program designed by evolved humans, some of which find it difficult to perceive of the mainly non random ( besides the initial mutation) accumulative process termed natural selection. Which is a shame because I’d like to hear more evolving music that reflects the natural world and less subjective narratives that reflects our social lives.

What it isn’t is biological. The Organelle product that is, not the organelles that reside inside cells as they are biological. Some biologists term them as parts of a Biological machine ;-).

maybe the problem is attempting to split the natural world from subjective narratives of our lives? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It is a computer so just about no matter what, your choices in patches / programs you write will have the biggest effect on sound quality. DAC is probably set to 44.1khz and if you are real into it, it looks like the datasheet says 96khz?

The Scientific method :slight_smile:

Thanks again. 16Bit at 44.1 kHz will be fine. I shall purchase one :slight_smile:

In my opinion pure data is what you make it and if you ended up with lackluster or shitty sound i would refer to the person programming it. 6 months of what? Playing patches you found or learning pd? That’s scratching the surface = one class on pd. I really detest those types of snarky one line reviews. It makes me wonder WHAT they ended up using. If you want an op-1 get one but comparing Pure Data and the organelle to it is poor We are making a system for electro-acoustic composition/DJ Effects, Now visual and including Supercollider, in the NEw Year Csound and RTCmix and we have everything from AM/FM to Spectral synthesis working well and this week Gendy~ by Iannis Xenakis will be released for me at least culminating 14 years of research.

Lackluster my ass cheeks.

not that my ass cheeks are lackluster of course, that came out wrong. I am happy with my ass cheeks, seriously. I need an aspirin.


There are the obvious superficial/performance/spec similarities to op1 - Patches using 4 knobs for expression/dialling. Small footprint. 2 octaves of keys. Digital. Has sampling inputs…The comparison goes out the window once you start digging in to organelle patches though. Op1 for me excels as a fast tool for putting together potentially complete ideas that appear out of nothing. Organelle can kind of do that too depending on the patch, but also often feels more like a sound design/sequencing playground and synth/pedal store. There are crossover between devices tho. Both spit inspiration back at you with little effort, etc… I guess perceptions of organelle are gonna be different for everyone as so many patches out there and people probably focusing on different tools/uses.

Sound wise, in terms of quality, I’ve never thought about it really… Which I guess means it’s fine :wink:

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I agree. I was initially interested in the op-1. Though ,as far as I understand the software of op-1, it has some major limitations. For example, you couldn’t put together your own subtractive synth patch on the op-1, by starting with, for an example, a few sawtooth Oscillators.

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hehe :slight_smile: :wink:

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I changed my audio output to 48khz - any downside to this besides some CPU usage? I didn’t do it for any particular reason other than just fiddling around with some settings but this post reminded me that I forgot to change it back.

I’m new to the Organelle but I think pairing it with the OP-1 makes an excellent, portable combo. They complement each other nicely.


Agreed, Op1 doesnt really seem intended for deep sound design etc. That’s kind of its strength tho…

Op1 = fast/fluid workflow + linear 4-track recorder + layering different patches together (on the tape) + intuitive sample/patch saving etc and stuff like universal monitor/metronome level and visual ref when slicing samples etc.

Organelle = a TON of depth/choice. But no way of bringing patches together inside the unit (not a flaw… Just a different beast :wink: and can feel kind of disjointed/frustrating for non-pd guys with stuff like sampling from inputs/monitor level etc being randomly left out on some patches. The sheer amount of inspiration it throws out and some of the incredible patches make it 100% worth owning tho. Took me a minute to fully appreciate it but then I was hooked…

I love both of em :slight_smile:

Good to know thanks. I can’t afford both at the moment, so I will get the Organelle first and learn more about Pure Data visual programming language and sound synthesis in general,

Yup, op1 + organelle rules!
Op1 sequencers into organelle.
Organelle audio on to op1 tape tracks.
Both units through each others fx/samplers.

Killer little setup. Endless explorations :slight_smile:

See, i think when we look at things as a BOTH situation instead of a tiresome
something vs. something scarcity model we move into design strategies, which are ultimately more rewarding

for me anyways

i woudl like to fool with an op-1, sure but i don’t have 800$ right now to slap down. honestly the only thing i really want is the fm radio doo-hickey but i went and got a 9$ radio from radio shack and i was considering a shortwave too so i can process insane transmissions into pd


That sounds like a really awesome setup. I use my Organelle mainly with my electribe 2 sampler. Half the time the e2s just ends up as an FX box with maybe one sequenced part.

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