Over the past nearly four years, we have been growing the OTTO from a loosely defined idea for a side project to a full-blown product with scope, design philosophies, and sexy hardware, albeit still in the early stages of development. During this time, we have increasingly felt, that what we wanted to do deserved not only a lot of time and care put into code, audio, and UI design but also quality hardware, with custom PCBs, enclosures, etc. And with the project, our passion for developing synthesizers has grown, and so, we decided to start a company, Bitfield Audio. As Bitfield Audio, we, Tobias & Jonatan, will continue to develop the OTTO and other products, hopefully for many years to come!
So what does this mean for the OTTO? Well, for starters, it means a whole array of things are now possible, which weren’t before. Apart from eventually getting a proper production chain up and running, we have a 5-phase plan of software features, which will be announced in the very near future!
However, since Bitfield Audio is currently funded primarily out of our own pockets, we have to take some steps to make sure we can keep the company financially viable in the future, allowing us to keep working on the project. We want to make it very clear that these decisions have not been taken lightly, and hope you all understand. If you have any questions, ask them on discord.
We have decided to treat the software and hardware similarly in terms of licensing. So far, the software has been licensed under a Mozilla license, while the hardware has been licensed under a non-commercial license. We have decided to change the license of the software to a similar non-commercial license. This means you are free to use any OTTO software for other things, but only for own uses and non-commercial purposes. We felt this was the best way to stay true to the initial idea of OTTO, while still protecting ourselves against some actors in the music production space who are less scrupulous when it comes to undercutting original products with imitations.
Under the software umbrella, we also have our build system that builds a Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi suitably for real-time audio. We hope other people can use this for their own projects as well, so this will stay under a fully open-source license.
For the beta hardware, we intend to let this stay with the same license. We both feel strongly for the “right-to-repair / right-to-modify”. We think people should be allowed to know what is inside the boxes they buy, repair it if it breaks, and modify it to suit their needs. Having the schematics and boards publicly available is a very convenient way of achieving this.