Otto, touching sound samples


Luca De Rosso offers to all those who have dreamed of manipulating a digital sample by literally touching it with their hands, a way to turn their dreams into reality. “Otto”, the name of this small device designed and built by the Italian designer, is not a simple controller: it is a component integrating hardware and software (Arduino and Max/MSP were used for implementation). It is also an object that does nothing to hide its seductive forms. Connected (via USB) to a computer, it allows you to select one of the audio samples in the unit, thanks to some ad-hoc software. Once the sample is loaded, Otto automatically generates a schematic representation divided into eight segments, one for each of the segments that make up the round interface of the device. Each slice contains, under its transparent surface, a series of lights that can display the sound wave of an audio sample in an original way: a circle instead of the usual grid. Users can manipulate the sound samples easily and in real time: just by touching the interface they activate the buttons hidden within each segment. Ultimately, Otto is not only an original visual metaphor, but also allows for an absolutely intuitive and tactile approach to real-time audio performances and, in particular, to the technique of beat slicing.

Vito Campanelli