Roty è uno strumento musicale elettronico ideato e realizzato da Andrea Sartori: una DRUM MACHINE ed un SINTETIZZATORE combinati. Ciò che lo rende unico è il motore di sintesi, inteso nel vero senso della parola: un MOTORE. Il cubo motorizzato è controllabile via MIDI, ed è quindi in grado di eseguire sequenze determinate da qualsiasi dispositivo collegato alla sua interfaccia input.


FabLab Team

Andrea Sartori



ROTY is an extraordinary simple, cheap motion tool. Just a motor? Yes…But… It’s a digital controlled motor easy to program and combine to a set of optional Add-ons. It’s designed for musicians that expect to control real instruments and sounding objects using digital devices,(like MIDI). At the same time it doesn’t cage creativity, because it’ s always possible to modify its behaviour directly, touching it by hands. An Example: think about maracas. ROTY can play them for you, in sync. If it sounds steady you can filter the sound with your hands, add friction, or slap it! An optional microphone can be plugged in and record the sounds.

ROTY is also able to play tuned sounds, taking advance of motor noise. Indeed stepper motor used for 3D printers make some melodies some- times! ROTY can tune the noise and control it as a monophonic MIDI Synth . It’s possible to connect many ROTYs and obtain Polyphony and Rhythm together. It‘s also possible to plug special optional tools in the shaft and obtain heuristic sound modulation, or sound acoustic amplification.



-MIDI Compatible.
-Assignable MDI Channel.
 -MIDI THRU Motor Control Control for clockwise and anti clockwise rotation.
-MIDI IN NoteON #X Trig start of clockwise rotation.
-MIDI IN NoteON #Y Trig start of anti clockwise rotation.
-MIDI IN Velocity controls motor movement width.
-Adjustable % of Velocity amount for controlling motor movement width.
-Adjustable MIDI #Note for movement trig -Free Movement without MIDI is possible.
-Manual Start/Stop -Manual Speed -Manual Direction
-Motion Capture (allows to record a sequence of positions and replay it with adjustable speed!).
-Motor Synth
-Free Synth standalone without MIDI contol is possible. Manual Triggering and Tuning.
-MIDI PitchBend Message is processed as Synth mode.(Mono and Poly)
-Adjustable PitchBend range (-12 to +12 semitones).
-Legato Mode.
-Glide control for overlapping notes
Polyphony is possible as ROTY chain, connecting a maximum of 64 ROTYs. (no need of n° Power Suply for each ROTY. Power is driven via MIDI Cable).
Internal Memory for preset storage.


ROTY can be remote controlled by any MIDI devices, both software and Hardware. Popular applications like Ableton Live perfectly apply to the aims. Also mobile framework Apps, like LEMUR for iphone, allow customer to easily design their own interfaces. In perspective there could be a growing community around Roty.
Music applications example:
ROTY as acustic drum machine using optional tools. (A rithmic help for street musicians) ROTY as rhytmic ensable with easy MIDI link ROTY as robot that plays existing percussive instruments. ROTY as tuned mono synthetizer (sounds like an aggressive moog) ROTY as tuned polyphonic synthetizer (it’s possible to play chords on n°notes) ROTY as sex toy for onanistic musicians. :D
Video makers and photographers examples:
Rotating plate for Time Lapse. It can rotate the camera or the object. Pan-Tilt device (combining two ROTY), for camera. Easy controllable motor for hand made Dolly. Camera GO-PRO lift remote controllable.
Automation and handicraft
ROTY as third moving hand controlled by a pedal. ROTYs for addictive axes in CNC routers or Laser cut machines. ROTY with pulley/belt for small objects transport tape.
Optional Tools

ROTY system is basically composed by the ROTY cube, with limited functions. An interesting eco-system can grow around ROTY, adding optional tools. An universal hub for motor shaft, (under developement), will be able to clasp an infinity of compatible and incompatible objects dedicated to make music and make everything needing a basic controlled automation. Just like LEGO. Example of music tools: brushes, armonic resonators, microphones, percussive mal- lets, tuned string arrays, tambourines, drumsticks and so on…. Example of general porpouse tools: gear reductor modules, pulley modules, flat rotation plate module, and so on…Add-ons: ROTY battery pack + MIDI wireless cube, ROTY MIDI keyboard CUBE, ROTY pedal control, ROTY Microphone, ROTY Mixer ecc.



Team: Andrea Sartori

Support by: MakeInBo, FabLab Bologna

Date: 1st of May 2014

Skills: Electronics, Arduino, Music

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FabLab Bologna

FabLab Bologna