How does Ototo work?

Ototo uses 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 trackpads and smartphones. Which also means touching connected objects through other conductive materials will have the same affect. For example, playing a pot and pan drum kit with metal drumsticks would have the same affect as using your hands.

is it safe?

Absolutely! There is no current being passed through your body so you can use Ototo safely and fearlessly. It even works with water!

 

What materials can i use?

Anything that's conductive works, that is anything that will allow the movement of electrical charge. There are hundreds of objects and materials that allow this including: aluminium foil, water, plants, fruit and vegetables, conductive fabrics, conductive threads, conductive paint and ink, pencil drawings and any metal!

can i change the sounds?

Ototo comes with around 50 preset sounds that you can change by using the buttons on the board, so you'll be able to find the right sound for your project. If you want to use your own sounds, you can connect Ototo to your computer or iPad to play with MIDI. Each preset is also manipulated by the sensors in a different way, so there's lots of different combinations to play with. We're working on a way to upload your own sounds to the board - we'll keep you posted on our progress.

does it work with midi?

Yes, it's a class compliant MIDI implementation which means it will be recognised in any MIDI compliant software and OS: Linux, Mac, Windows and iOS. This means you can control as wide a range of software as possible, including integration with the iPad using the Camera Connection Kit.

what can i do WITH MIDI?

Using USB MIDI means you can control sounds being generated on another device. This means you can access a wider array of sounds: use Ototo to control professional music software such as Ableton Live or Logic, plug Ototo into an iPad and you can control Garageband, or create your own custom application which interfaces with the real world using Ototo. For example in Ableton Live you could trigger loops or samples by using conductive materials while changing effects using the sensors, allowing you in perform with power of Ableton without having to use a keyboard and mouse.

Can i use my own sensors?

Yes! The inputs on Ototo are 5 volt analog inputs so most sensors that work with the Arduino will work with Ototo. The connectors are a 2.54mm Molex style connector which we've found are quite easy to get hold of. There are many different types of sensors available to try out; you can use accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetic sensors and more.