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Ototo: Make Music from Anything

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Ototo is an all-in-one musical invention kit which allows you to make an instrument any way you want.

Ototo has got everything you need to make sound interactive: it’s a synthesiser, it’s got 12 onboard touch sensitive inputs and a range of different sensors which can be connected to 4 sensor inputs.

You can make sounds straight out of the box by touching the keys to trigger notes. By connecting conductive materials or objects to the keys on Ototo you can make them react to touch; turning anything you can imagine into an instrument. The keys on the Ototo are arranged like one octave of a musical keyboard. When you connect an object to a key using crocodile clips, you can trigger that note on your object.

There are four sensor inputs which control the different elements of the sound, one each for pitch and loudness and two that control the texture of the sound. Connect a light sensor to control the pitch or create a sound that reacts to your breath - it’s up to you!

Combine to make musical inventions

Combining these inputs allows you control over all elements of the sound: the loudness, pitch and the texture of the sound (timbre). Whether you’re prototyping a controller idea, learning electronics, creating an interactive sound installation or just having fun Ototo can get you making with no coding or computer required.

Inbuilt synthesizer

Ototo has two sound generating modes: a synthesiser and a sampler. It’s monophonic with an amplitude envelope, a modulation envelope, a LFO and a low pass filter. The sampler plays back short samples such as drum sounds from the flash memory with the ability to change the pitch of samples. The presets for the synthesisers are stored on the Ototo which you can cycle through by pressing the buttons. There will be regular software updates so expect more features to be added as the product develops.

Control MIDI

Once connected via USB Ototo can act as a MIDI controller. This allows you to use the instruments and synthesisers on the computer using the touch keys as note inputs and the sensors as control messages. This means you can keep the flexibility of building with Ototo but expand your range of sounds by playing instruments in Ableton Live, Apple Garageband and many more. The best of both worlds!


12 key capacitive touch keyboard (1 octave) with connectors

4 sensor inputs, 5V analog input

Onboard speaker and 3.5mm headphone output

Powered by 2 x AA batteries or micro USB

No coding required

128 Mbit Flash memory


We're producing 7 different sensors which we think are great for music making. You connect the sensors to the Ototo using the sensor cable provided.


This is a potentiometer - you turn it to change the sound. Perhaps you use it as part of the control panel of a cardboard synthesiser.


This is a light dependent resistor which changes the sound according to the amount of light it receives. Cover it up or point it directly at the light.


This is another potentiometer; this time you slide it to change the sound. It’s great for making trombones!

Touch Strip

This is a thin touch strip that changes the sound when you slide your finger along it. It's great for precise control, especially for pitch bend.


This sensor changes the sound depending on how hard you press it. You could put it in a shoe and make music while you dance.


The harder you blow into this sensor the bigger the change in sound. With the breath sensor you can make a drainpipe saxophone.


The joystick sensor is just like the analog stick on a gamepad. Move it around to control two sounds at once — with extra precision.

How does the touch sensing work?

It's using a technology called 'capacitive sensing'. The Ototo is measuring the capacitance of the objects attached to it, once you touch the object it can sense the additional capacitance added from the human body which then triggers the note. It's a simpler version of what's happening on laptop trackpads and smartphones.

Ototo will work with any conductive material, for example aluminium foil, water, plants, fruit and veg, conductive fabrics, conductive threads, conductive paint and ink, pencil drawings, any metal objects and more!

Open Source

Ototo is built on open source software and we will release the Ototo source code once we start shipping. By making the firmware open source we're able to give you complete control how your synthesiser works. We also hope to inspire community firmwares for the Ototo for even greater sound possibilities.

Why we created Ototo

In our careers working in interaction design and electronic music, we’ve seen that many people would like to create new ways of interacting with sound yet find it a struggle. There’s a steep learning curve in both electronics and software programming before even getting to the sounds and the interaction that you would like to make. We wanted something that could be more hands on and experimental, that you could have an idea and just try it out really quickly.

We want to empower people to create, whether that’s a kid playing with electronics for the first time or a musician who wants more control how they perform or create sounds. We believe when you have this power then you can see the potential in things - like as a child imagining all of the different things a cardboard box can be.

Technical Specifications
Type: Digital
Synthesis: ROM, Subtractive
Oscillators: 1
Waveforms: ROM, Wave Table
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Input, LFO, Ribbon
Envelopes: 1
Filters: 1
LFO: 1
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 12
Timbrality: 2
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Polyphonic
Storage: Internal, USB
Case: Desktop
Case Details: 12 Keys
Keyboard: Touch Plates, Metal
Controls: Knobs, Switches, Modulation - Audio Input
Display Type: LED
Audio Output Connections: 1/8" Phone Jack, Mono Out
Audio Output Count: 1
MIDI Ports: IN
Power: 2 x AA batteries
Year Released: 2014

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] www.kickstarter.com
MSRP List Price: 60 - 160 GPB - convert
Retail Street Price: $75 - convert
References & Sources

  Report Synthesizer

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