MATRIXSYNTH: OTTO Synth Project Suspended

Sunday, May 22, 2022

OTTO Synth Project Suspended

You might remember the OTTO Raspberry PI based synth inspired by the Teenage Engineering OP-1 posted back in 2018.

Frank Reggiani wrote in to let us know the project has been suspended. Details from the OTTO Patreon page:

"OTTO Update, May 2022

In February, this project rounded 5 years. When we started, neither of us had worked on a real codebase before, and never even read the datasheet for an electronics component. Over the years, the project has gone through quite a few changes, in scope, structure and ambition. In 2020 we launched Bitfield Audio, rented a small office space, and started working on the project with a goal of commercialization. In 2021 we both got full time jobs, and Bitfield Audio and OTTO had to take a back seat.

At this point, we have decided to stop OTTO development, at least for the time being. This has been a very hard decision for us, as we have worked on this for five years, but we simply do not have the resources it would take to finish the project.

From a hardware-perspective, the global chip shortage hit the project hard - forcing us to rework hardware parts several times because of out-of-stock components, etc. Also, on both the software-side and more broadly in terms of features and design, OTTO still builds on a foundation that was laid 5 years ago, when we didn't know what we were doing, and the past year has been spent fighting these fundamental issues.

Also, since we started, the groovebox space has been expanding, and in 2022 the OTTO lacks the defining feature that would make it worth the wait. OTTO seems to be in an inbetween-space where it is too complex for us to finish alone, but where the complexity has not translated into the 'killer features' that would make the complexity worth it.

We would like to release everything we have to the open source community, and hope to find the time and energy to polish up the existing parts at some point. If any of you have ideas where all the stuff developed for OTTO could be of use, please let us know and we can focus on the parts that can do some good.

Also, this is not the end of Bitfield Audio. We are exploring other projects that could be a better fit for the time and resources we have available.

Finally, we would like to give our deepest gratitude to everyone who has helped and supported us over the years. This includes all open source contributors, especially Bastian (Spatz), Thibault (Nebular Noise), Albert, Stephen (adorbs), and everyone who contributed UI, samples and code. We also want to thank the people who supported us on Patreon - You made it possible for us to put a lot of hours into OTTO while studying, and funded our prototype parts and board iterations.

We hope for your understanding


Tobias and Jonatan, aka Bitfield Audio"

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