Status Update on Overbridge [posted February 2018]


Elektron should absolutely be offering something like free sound packs at this point. The only issue is if they are licensed from the sound creators. If that’s the case, every pack sold (or given out) will cost Elektron money. If that’s the case, they will not even consider it. If it is not the case, then there is no reason they can’t do right to any customer that owns a device that should have OB support.
It seems like a no-brainer but so does honest, timely communication…
Furthermore, the ones who own AR MK1 (like me) and
have been waiting for sample management for nearly 4 years
should also be getting something for this debacle. At this point, I assume if they were to do that, it would go to AR mk2 owners with a promise of “soon” for AR1. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Most open source project take longer to develop. Taking Gimp for example, it took 6 years to develop the last version. Usually, open source projects that manage to keep a steady pace in development are usually supported by a core team of developers tied to a company.

Making OB open source wouldn’t do any good. The first problem that comes to mind is that anyone who wants to start contributing, has to get up to speed on the whole codebase, and that takes time, you can’t actually hack away your way through coding new features. More contributors also mean it would be harder to enforce a particular coding style and code reviewing would take longer.
If you take into account that there’s a possibility that they use a custom build system, they’d have to release that also, and make sure that it’s compatible with different machines which would involve additional development not related directly to OB.

There are a lot more reasons why making it open source wouldn’t help at all and actually make things worse. Someone in this thread pointed to “The mythical man-month” before, and if you’re not familiar with this concept, you should check it out, it’s a really interesting read.

Also, while open source as its perks, it’s in no way a viable solution for everything and everyone, and it should never be a solution to development related problems.




True and I will ask Elektron about this since I bought A4 for OB use and for managing modular gear. It works great on modular CV side and hopefully they support OB in future. I don’t care about OT and OB since my OT is for live shows and sampling and as long as I can export via USB the .wav sound audio files then I am happy with it.

Overall Elektron makes great stuff so hope they pull thru to restore good reputation. Having an arrogant view toward customers is sheer folly! I know they are small company.


Cool to see that Mac from Always Sunny in Philly owns Elektron gear.


New the forum. Bought the Digitakt used a few weeks ago. Didn’t realize that OB wasn’t available initially…My bad I guess. I watched a bunch of use videos, which didn’t really touch on OB, just usage. When I jumped on the website I saw “Works with overbrige”. Read about it briefly and though, “Cool, that sways me.” Was bummed to discover after purchase that it didn’t work…but there was an OS update the day I bought it, so that was cool :slight_smile:

I just noticed that the Overbridge icon that used to be on the very top page (on right of the digitakt image) has been removed. Hope that is just them recognising that it was misleading rather than the alternative…


Good on this guy for making the video. This is such a mess. I’m still shocked they aren’t being honest to their current and potential customers in terms of advertising/marketing. Simon mentions they are hiring some sort of PR guy to do just that but seriously, not one person can come out and do an official statement with current status? What the heck is going on over there?
p.s. when I say “official” I mean not just a post on the forum buried under 1000 posts. I mean on the site and a proper post on this forum.


Yep the job has been taken by yours truly. I’m stoked.
It’s like I was made for this position.
Just been brushing up on my PR skills.
Next one of you arseholes that asks about Overbridge will cop it.
Don’t ask. It will be ready when it’s fuckin ready alright


Cool I need a new job so maybe Elektron can hire me as a sales field engineer to help take flack from customers? I own 2 new Elektron boxes so I can alway play devil’s advocate!



Which is exactly why open source could work very well with OB - there is already a core team of developers tied to a company working on it. There is also an active community.

This part of your post seems very biased to me. Couple of comments:

  • if they track issues (and I hope they do), it is very much possible for a developer to solve a single problem instead of studying the complete codebase.
  • More contributors is a good thing - two people get more done than one. It seems Elektrons resources are limited in either skill or availability and open source can help with both. Open source also means more testers and more ways to find and solve bugs.

There is no need for them to make sure their build system is compatible with all different machines. The contributors would use their time to learn and adapt to their build system.


In my opinion a more effective way would be to publish API integration publically for the boxes, then we could have many solutions produced without Elektron having to be responsible for those solutions. Protects their code IP too.


Great video, this should be spread around a bit more. Really sums up the frustration with Elektron and Overbridge. We don’t want any more new bullshit boxes, we want you guys to fix the one’s you’ve already made. I definitely won’t be buying anymore Elektron boxes if they continue with this marketing strategy. Luckily I only have a AR MK1 so I have the old overbridge but if I had bought any mk2 or Digitakt I’d sell them right away.


wow what a great advice. Just looking around in my bedroom, almost none of my synths has overbridge, so all of this has to go! Only thing I will hold on is my modular cuz some guy in internetz told me that overbridge for eurorack will be out for Superbooth 2022.


Great video. 2k+ views so far. Even if a small percentage of those were real perspective purchasers who have been dissuaded, that’s a significant dent in Elektron’s bottom line. And, sorry to say, that’s probably the only way the company reassesses their priorities.


You voluntarily left out the part of my post where I mention “the mythical man-month” didn’t you ? Throwing more developper doesn’t necessarily speed up development. If may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually true.

Also, Elektron hired more developper at some point to help with development, it’s been mentionned before. Your assumption about “skills and availability” is totally biased, there’s no ground for anyone to make this assumption given that we don’t know the nature of the problems they encounter, the number of developper in the team and their individual "skills.

Open source is not a magic solution, nor has it been a solution to anything development related, ever.


This is powerfully wrong. The world would be a very different place without the BSD network stack and the GNU toolchain.


Based on what we know, I think it is a fair assumption that their team lacks either skills or resources to solve the issues they are having.

Of course, if OB was open source or if they even communicated more openly with the community about the problems, we would know for sure.

It’s not magic, but open source development has been hugely succesful in some cases (check out MySQL for one example).

Also since Elektron seems to currently be unable to release OB, something needs to be done. Going open source is not the only option, but could help.

Especially if/when they finally release OB and it stops working properly after first major MacOS / Windows update, open source community would probably fix the issue quickly - I wouldn’t be as optimistic about Elektron dev team fixing the issues quickly.


Strange, I don’t remember seeing overbridge being announced on my eurorack gear anywhere I’ll have to email Herr Doepfer and get to the bottom of this. Also It’s not meant as advice for anyone, just an opinion. If you want to go buy the newest shiniest unfinished Elektron box then go for it.


My statement is probably phrased wrong, but it still stands. The GNU toolchain hasn’t been made open source overnight to answer a management problem. There’s a whole point to the GNU project besides “hey, we don’t have enough resources, let’s make it open source”, there’s a whole philosophy behind it. The tools it created did help development for other stuff, but GNU development hasn’t been the easiest task, just look at GNU Hurd for example.

Also, there’s a distinction to be made, my comment didn’t address open source tools, it’s about implementing open source practices inside development, which is two very different things.

What do we know exactly ? Except that the deadline has been estimated wrong and that they’re working on it ?

Those are two different things. While open source development has been successful it’s not adapted to every situation.

Also, “open source community” isn’t a thing. There are open source communities formed around specific software but forming such communities takes time, and they’re usually not as big as you might think. What makes those communities happen is that the software they’re developing helps a lot of people in their work. Wether you like it or not, OB’s user base is pretty niche and I doubt any developper would be intereseted to work on it in their spare time while not being paid.