OTC - ETC on Organelle

ETC video synthesiser for Organelle

Use Organelle to produce graphics for your music… after installing OTC, just run OTC_Mother and your on you way.
note: due the intensive cpu load required, you can only run OTC or a PD patch, not both at the same time.

Important note

I really want to thank C&G for making their source code open source, their openness is makes this possible.
However, I must stress this is not supported by C&G , this includes installation or modes not running correctly - if you want support on an ETC, go get an ETC :slight_smile:
(please lets respect this, C&G have given us a huge amount, lets not bite the hand the feeds us )

current key layout:

OTC_Mother Update Log

  • 1.0 - 11/Nov/2017 - Initial release
  • 1.1 - 13/Nov/2017 - Organelle OLED: knobs names and values, log file (/usbdrive/otc_mother.log)
  • 1.2 - 1/Dec/2017 - improved performance, midi keys, midi_new_notes, levels,
    more details here
  • 1.3 11/Dec/2017 - new installer
  • 1.4 18/Dec/2017- new zop install file , requires OS 3.0

OTC_Installer Update Log

  • 1.0 - 11/Nov/2017 - Initial release
  • 1.1 - updated for OTC_Web
  • 1.2 - force update, check sha for corrupt files
  • 1.3 11/Dec/2017 new installer
  • 1.4 18/Dec/2017, new zop install file , requires OS 3.0


  • 1.0 initial release
  • 1.1 11/Dec/2017 central ‘web server’ , new installer ,
  • 1.2 18/Dec/2017, new zop install file , requires OS 3.0


when using HDMI, as when using OTC, always plug HDMI cable in and turn on tv/project before powering up the Organelle. i.e. the display device should be ready and available before Organelle is powered up

**Pre-requisites : **

  • Organelle running OS 3.0
  • Display device with HDMI , supporting 1280x720 (aka 720p)

please use a decent usb stick, or one that has been recently formatted
there have been numerous reports on this forum with installation problem caused by faulty usb sticks being used - and I don’t want to spend time chasing my tail due to these issue. so if you have a problem, please format your usb-stick and try again, before posting an issue.

Installation is in two parts, the first is the ‘installer’ which updates your Organelle with the software required to run OTC/ETC… basically python/pygame and other dependancies

NOTE: you must be running OS 3.0 , otherwise you will not see the Install option!

OTC Installer

download from here : https://patchstorage.com/otc-etc-for-organelle-installer/
version 1.3

place ZOP file into patches directory and run patch.

only run this ONCE… even if otc_mother does not appear to work, do NOT run it again!

if when you mount the usb drive in organelle you dont see it, you’ve put it in the wrong place :wink:

if you see it , run it… the screen will update as install progresses (though some stages take a while),
this takes around 6-8 minutes to run, and will reboot at the end of it.

if you have a problem , the installation creates a file on your usbdrive called otc_install.txt, this will be needed to track down any issues… so post it here.

OTC Mother

version 1.3

place ZOP file into patches directory (or sub directory) and run patch.

this is the application, its called mother, as its the equivalent to the Organelle mother in the ETC world.

before you run it, you will also need to install MODES onto your usbstick , these modes are like patches to ETC.
these can be downloaded from the C&G web site here
these need to be in a directly called Modes on your USBStick

once you have done that, you are ready to start OTC_Mother… just by clicking on OTC_Mother in System (once!)

you will see a brief message on the oled saying OTC is running, then the oled will go blank, then finally the loaded parameters values, and mode name will show up on the oled (since v1.1)

Most of the ETC manual](http://etctv.io/index.html) applies, so read it to get an understanding of the concepts ETC, and how it uses Modes/Scenes etc.
(and see the above picture for how Ive mapped the keys for Organelle)

note: it may take a little longer for OTC to start the first time, just wait for it … do not try to run it again.

if OTC does not start, i.e. stays on the ETC splash screen
check for a message at the bottom, if its says it cant find modes, check you installed them correctly on your usb stick.
if there is no message and its still stuck on the ETC screen for more than a minute or two.

copy the otc_install.log and otc_mother.log from your usbdrive, and then copy to a share site (e.g. dropbox) and link to it here
do not run the installer again, before you have done this … this initial copy of the log is the most useful for debugging purposes, and you will lose it if you run the installer again.


download from here : https://patchstorage.com/otc-web-etc-for-organalle/
version 1.1

place ZOP file into patches directory and run patch.

note after install you will not see OTC_Web, it is available thru the central webserver
you can start this from
Wifi Setup->Start WebServer
then go to

Web editor for modes for OTC.
access with your browser with : http://ipaddress:8080/static

details in the ETC manual

Troubleshooting - part 1

Make sure you are running OS 3. 0

if you have any problems when you first install OTC, and it gets stuck at the ETC screen, please:

  • do NOT run otc_install again… its unnecessary, and renders the install log useless to me
  • recheck your modes are in the right place
  • retrieve the otc_mother.log and otc_install.log on the usb drive, and host them on dropbox, and post a link here

Troubleshooting - part 2

ok, so you can take a look at the otc_mother.log file in a text editor , what you should see is something like:

start otc mother
init fb0
shared memfd open() failed: Function not implemented
MIDI ch file I/O error(2): No such file or directory
set MIDI to ch 1
 0: interface :ALSA:, name :Virus TI MIDI:, opened :0:  (output)
 1: interface :ALSA:, name :Virus TI MIDI:, opened :0:  (input)
 2: interface :ALSA:, name :Virus TI Synth:, opened :0:  (output)
 3: interface :ALSA:, name :Virus TI Synth:, opened :0:  (input)
using input_id :1:
opening frame buffer...
<Surface(1280x720x32 SW)> <Surface(1280x720x32 SW)>
loading modes...
/usbdrive/Modes/0 - Sound & MIDI Evaluation/main.py
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Aquarium/main.py
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Bits Horizontal/main.py
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Bits Vertical/main.py

... blah blah...

running setup...

Loading 0 - Sound & MIDI Evaluation
/usbdrive/Modes/0 - Sound & MIDI Evaluation/
Loading S - Aquarium
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Aquarium/
Loading S - Bits Horizontal
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Bits Horizontal/
Loading S - Bits Vertical
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Bits Vertical/

loading recent grabs...
loading grab: 0.jpg
loaded scenes: [['S - Movie', 0.9335288367546432, 0.43304007820136853, 0.48289345063538613, 0.5190615835777126, 0.6392961876832844, True]]

... when you do shutdown, something like

Exception Exception: Exception("PortMidi: `Bad pointer'",) in <pypm.Input object at 0x75361548> ignored

ok, so a few notes here
you can safely ignore the errors

  • shared memfd open() failed: Function not implemented
  • Exception Exception: Exception(“PortMidi: `Bad pointer’”,) in <pypm.Input object at 0x75361548> ignored

these are ‘red herrings’ :wink:

if you see the error:

  • server error 9904: cannot find free port

then this means you have either;

  • a PD patch running
  • OTC mother running

shutdown the organelle and try again

the startup is important…since you can see it loading modes
<Surface(1280x720x32 SW)> <Surface(1280x720x32 SW)>
loading modes…
/usbdrive/Modes/0 - Sound & MIDI Evaluation/main.py
/usbdrive/Modes/S - Aquarium/main.py

so if you dont see this, its likely it cannot find the modes ( log files, says something like no modes found)

original post

here are a few more details of ETC running on the Organelle, which Im called OTC :slight_smile:

a quick (shaky) demo video showing ETC running on the Organelle:

ok so on to some details, on what you can expect:

  • Obviously the real ETC has a dedicated hardware interface, and also a MIDI DIN… and ETC is honed/refined for this, so the experience cannot be the identical. Technically (as far as i know) the processing (cpu/gpu/memory) is identical to performance should be similar.

  • all my tests for far show everything working fine, but please bare in mind I dont have an ETC to compare against, or check software versions, so there may be some minor differences.

  • Installing will simply be running a ‘system patch’ from the USB card… then run OTC_Mother (the thing thats runs ETC modes) can just be run like any patch.
    The changes will not affect the normal running of Organelle at all, its completely different software in use.

  • important note: you can only run OTC OR Organelle pure data patches, the Organelle does not have the power to run both at the same time, and I have zero intention of implementing this… so if you need both you will need another Organelle or an ETC :slight_smile:

  • Organelle when used with a TV defaults to 1080p , however ETC used 720p, so if you install this your HDMI connection will be 720p… its not a big deal, and can be reverted, but important to know :wink:
    (I dont think ETC/Organelle has the cpu/gpu to operate at 1080p)

  • ETC_Web works with OTC , though I need to create an installer for it.

generally I think the interface has adapted quite well, Ive used the black keys, so there is some nice grouping for all the buttons, and then the main 4 knobs are the mode controls, and volume is background… as these form the main workflow of ETC… the one thing I’m missing at present is input gain.
(ETC has 6 pots, and from the software I believe the input gain is actually hardwired)

(USB midi should work, but Ive not tested yet)

thats where I am now, but this is only a ‘test’ version, proof of concept, and also to help me sort out the installer!

Ive a few plans for making OTC_Mother support Organelle hardware more ‘naturally’ including:

  • the Organelle has a screen… so I plan to use this to have a menu structure, similar to multi page synths, one page will be the primary patch adjustments ( and so the page you will normally be on), the other will allow other aspects to be altered, like input gain.
  • I think I will make the white keys fire midi notes , which can be used by the ETC mode.
  • Aux button… I think this will be a toggle from ‘control mode, as shown in picture’ and keys mode (i.e midi)

Actually getting ETC working on my development Organelle probably took less than an hour, but Ive spent a huge amount of time today (probably 6-8 hours!) creating an installer so that it should install on a ‘vanilla’ Organelle.
I think its now done, though I really need to create burn another fresh Organelle SD card, and try again to make sure, final quirks are done.

Once the installer is ok, I’ll release this pre-release version… as updating OTC_Mother is simply a matter of copying the new version to a USB Stick (in a similar way to a patch)

anyway, it probably wont be today… I really need a break from Organelle/ETC and coding … need a beer and some music making - it will likely be tomorrow, depending on other ‘life events’

EDIT: ok, I deferred my beer, and instead got this ready for you all to play with

please read the instructions below carefully, to help minimise the effort I need to support!
and again, this is NOT supported by C&G, so dont start asking them question


Wow. ETC go-ahead/announcement and Infinite Jets in the same week. C&G and this community are next level. Good times :slight_smile:

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ok, Ive tested on a ‘fresh out of the box’ 2.1 Organelle, and it works fine, so Ive released on PatchStorage.
I’ll update the original post with Installation instruction… please read carefully!


Amazing, well done @thetechnobear and C&G are awesome! Always wanted to get an ETC and going to treat this as a free trial of sorts. :grinning:


Bloody hell! Ok. Well this is something cool. Big thanks @thetechnobear and major thanks @critter too. Coolest instrument Co. I know of.
This place has brought me a lot of happiness this year - gift that keeps giving. :heart:


Quick jam, this is brilliant (not the jam, that’s mediocre at best), the ETC is rather wonderful. :heart_eyes:

(and @thetechnobear, I can confirm that your instructions were spot on - and again a big thank you)


excellent, great to hear you got it working without any trouble… and fantastic to see it in use, thanks for sharing :+1:

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Fantastic @thetechnobear !!

Congrats and thanks also for @critter for everything :wink:

Friday night 3am, toke the red pill… (last time saying, promise) now lets go into the rabbit hole.

Feeling lucky I went straight using your 2.2TBb15 and all good, works fine I guess.
-MIDI in is ok

  • can stop OTC_Mother by loading it again and this goes back to “normal” Organelle (in this case 720p)

New Worlds to the World @thetechnobear

1 Like

This is amazing! Great work @thetechnobear!

Tested out and all works well!

Also big thanks to C&G for allowing this. After trying OTC it has only made want the ETC more :grinning:

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Yep! Absolutely spot on; just waiting for the right opportunitie/use case.

OTC Web for editing modes now on patchstorage
(see ETC manual for details)

OTC_Installer has been updated to support this, so you will need to run again.
(takes a little less time, if its run again)

1 Like

This is fucking cool.


Yes, this is definitely super cool. I can’t wait to try it.
Sadly, it looks like I’m the first person to have some troubles getting it working. I ran the installer and downloaded all the patches and put them in the Modes folder and when i run otc mother, it just stays on the ETC screen and never progresses from that point. I’ve tried using the factory usb stick and a higher quality one as well, but had the same problem both times.
any ideas what I’m doing wrong?


@finallaptwin what version of the organelle OS are you using? (it must be at least 2.1)

when you reply, can you attach the otc_install.log file to the post (you might need to rename it .txt for this forum, not sure)

thanks for the quick reply : )
I’m using OS 2.1

i tried uploading the .log file as a zip file because the forum doesn’t allow .log or .txt files… but i’m a new user, so i guess it won’t allow me to upload anything yet (not sure how many posts i have to make before i can upload anything). i’ll look into it and see how many posts i need. or maybe i can email you the file.

sure, or add it to dropbox or something, and post a link

here’s the link
thanks again!

hmm, looks ok…
(btw: I assume when you say ETC comes on the screen , there is no message at the bottom of the screen)

ok, can you replace the run.sh in OTC_Install with this one.

then run otc_install again,
then try running OTC_Mother.

and then post the otc_install.log again (it will be replaced, when you run the installer again) even if OTC_Mother works, I want to see if this change is working as expected, so I can update OTC_Installer on patchstorage if necessary.

edit: to others reading this… the current OTC_Installer is fine for all clean installs Ive tried, you do NOT need this file, this was merely for testing purposes… it will not fix any issues you may have.

Yes, when ETC comes on the screen, there is no message at the bottom.
i replaced run.sh in otc_install and ran the install again. i still had the same results as before.
here is the link to the new install log.

one other thing i noticed (not sure if it means anything) is that i have to select OTC_Mother twice for the ETC screen to show up. the first time i selected it, the screen stays black. then i turn the encoder and select it again and it goes to ETC, but nothing happens after that.