Über OTTO – ein Interview mit Luca De Rosso

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OTTO ist ein elektronisches Musikinstrument, entworfen von Luca De Rosso als Abschlussarbeit seines Masterstudiums in Venedig. Mit OTTO ist es möglich in Echtzeit Audio-Samples in Beats zu zerlegen (Beat-Slicing). Ein Audio-Sample wird dabei in kleine Stücke zerlegt und durch den Musiker wieder neu zusammengestellt. OTTO ist eine stark visuell konzipierte Lösung, die eine intuitiv, haptische Bedienung erlaubt: Durch Buttons und Regler manipuliert der Musiker auf elegante Weise Audio-Samples.

Luca De Rosso, der Kopf hinter OTTO hat iPony Frage und Antwort gestanden:

What is your background?

I got my first level degree in Product Design at the Politecnico of Milan. Then I moved to Venice at IUAV university for a master degree which I got this year in April, with OTTO of course. At IUAV I’ve attended all the interaction design courses led by Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor. There I knew and started to love interaction design.
The reason why I have some electronic skill (and I repeat SOME) is due to a high school diploma in electronics and telecommunications.
Beside school the other side of my life is music. I started to play music on a band during high school and from that time i never stopped. The reason why I developed OTTO was a kind of way to merge, for my last project as a student, this two sides of my life and trying to push as much as possible into two field which are the biggest passions of my life.

How did you get the idea for OTTO?

When I had to chose a field for my thesis project I did a deep research into the electronic music field and finally I figured out that one of the thing that I was more pissed about was that to make a good beat slicing you have to use software and programming interfaces with mouse and keyboard. But when you hear it you feel like you want to actually play it! To bring something in your hand and do your mess! Beats icing is a technique developed in software music but it sounds like something manipulated by a human or something anagogic. You probably remember the Aphex Twinn video Monkey Drummer. Ok that is not beat slicing but the cyborg creature which is playing the drum set gives the idea of what you are hearing. So the aim for my project was to create an hardware for a technique which is really evolved but for which there is nothing specifically designed!

What are your future plans with OTTO? Have you planned a commercial product?

Many people in this hours are asking me if and when they can buy one. I which I could sell the tomorrow but is not that easy to make one of them in few days. So I’m now looking for a company or someone who wants to help me and see if we can let other people use it. Another point is that I would like to keep it quite cheap. OTTO should be something that one can buy two or three and combine them together to work with melody and rhythm together.

What kind of technology (hardware/software) did you use to build OTTO?

For the hardware I used an arduino board and a lot of help from the arduino community which I would like to thanks. The software is made with Max/MSP and of course with the big help of its community. You can never say how important are forums and communities, without them I probably never reach this result.

What are your top 5 most inspiring projects dealing with the interaction human–computer?

Well, let me answer concerning the music field and what helped me to design my project. One for sure is the monome. I love its minimalism and the huge amount of possibilities that it allows. It’s what you can call basic design. However sometimes too many possibilities become and obstacle for creativity, but this is another story.
Another is the reactable. I really believe that humans needs to hold hardwares in his hands but on the other hand touch surfaces are really powerful. Reactable totally satisfies these two points.
I was also very inspired by the Newtonica app for iPhone. It seems hard to believe but I kept it in mind a lot while designing otto.
Well it’s quite hard to find five… does three works for you?! the more I think the less I get… Tell me if you need the other two.

Tausend Dank an Luca de Rosso für die Antworten!

(via @wowo101)

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