Hot on the heels of our write-up of a board that makes any hardware you can imagine, here’s a mod that takes all that power and fits it in a handheld space with hands-on controls.

It’s from Tom Whitwell and Music Thing Modular – the hardware reincarnation of the once-legendary music blog. Basically, it adds controls to the Axoloti – pots, buttons, LEDs, a joystick. The result is something about the size of an old PlayStation controller, but with powerful audio generation and processing capabilities (including audio in and out onboard).


Now we just need something like this that doubles as a case. Let’s get on that.

It’s open source hardware, so you can have at this yourself.

Watch a demo, in a nice Echophon/pitch shift patch for processing:


and on GitHub:

And it makes for a great literal music… thing. Can “thing” become a new category for music gear?

  • mckenic

    According to Mr Thonk, he will be offering diy Kits of the controller board soon!
    w00 h00!

  • Max

    What’s that humming noise?

    • Tom Whitwell

      Well, this demo was recorded with the Axoloti headphone output plugged into the TV set in the house I was staying in, so it’s terrible sound with some nasty hum. At home in the studio it’s really good and clear.

  • micd

    I’m guessing this is inexpensive compared to the organelle which seems to do the fullstack thing to support PD:

    • Mark Harris

      yes, not really comparable in price … Axoloti 65 Euros v Organelle 500 Euros.
      but different things really, Organelle is a small microcomputer (similar to a Raspberry PI) running linux, whereas Axoloti has a less powerful CPU but is more focused, running a real time OS, and with code optimised for it.

    • Jakob Skouborg

      I’d take Axoloti over the organelle. I like that Axoloti is object based and not text based. Coming from Nord G2, Axoloti makes a lot more sense to me than Pure Data. And yuo can get 5 of them for the price of one organelle 😉

  • richard conrad

    Very exciting !can’t wait to buy a kit

  • Doug Gough

    This just keeps getting better.

  • James

    pencil box?
    magnum temptation box?
    box for a fountain pen?
    hard case for glasses?
    banana purse? (there’s one out there without the accordion expansion)

  • Mcpepe

    Difficult to have more control in this tiny space. I am ordering one!

  • spoonfeeder

    I’m not really a DIY guy I hope someone sells completed units

  • Thonk Synth DIY