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Artipon Orba: Music workstation in the palm of your hand

The Nashville-based company, Artiphon, takes a new approach to music making with this revolutionary device that is part synth, part looper, and part controller.

Orba is an exciting device by Artiphon. It combines a multitimbral instrument with an onboard looper to create an instrument that is both powerful and instantly fun to play. On the surface, it may look simple but, take a closer look and you’ll see it is loaded with advanced features that make the Orba the perfect companion for the mobile musician.

Pocket studio

The Orba truly is a music studio in your pocket. At roughly the size of a baseball, this tiny device can go anywhere. With features like a built-in speaker, headphone jack, and rechargeable battery, it is ready for any situation. The onboard synth has 4 instruments, drum, bass, chords, and lead. Any of these instruments can be played live with the 8 pads on top of the instrument. It also combines a unique touch-sensitive surface with motion-controlled sound synthesis, introducing a new level of expressiveness and allowing the performer to modify the sounds in a number of ways. You can shake it, tap it, tilt it, slide your fingers across the pads, rotate it, and do many other gestures. All of these change the sound completely or adjust parameters like pitch, or cutoff. And the fun is just beginning. With the built-in looper, you can capture all of this expressiveness in a song, layering up different parts. You can adjust the tempo, the octave, and the length of your loop as well. Artiphon has created a companion app for the Orba which allows you to load new sounds, keys, and tempos, ensuring that you will always have a fresh sonic palette to work with.

You are in control

Orba is a lot of fun on its own but, things get interesting when you connect it to other devices or synths. Utilizing USB or built-in Bluetooth midi, the Orba becomes a controller like no other, allowing you to use all of the expressiveness of the gestures to control the parameters of your favorite hardware and software instruments. You can use Orba to play notes into your favorite DAW (digital audio workstation) or midi sequencer or play any midi device that may not have a built-in keyboard. Combining the power and functionality of your favorite iPad apps with the playability and expressiveness of the Orba means the possibilities are virtually endless.

Part of the team

For the mobile musician, the Orba offers a lot of flexibility in an extremely small package. On its own, it is a very expressive instrument and with its built-in looper, you can use it in combination with your other gear to create a complete performance. Add to that its ability to connect and control apps and other instruments with its touch-sensitive pads and gestures, the Orba becomes an exciting replacement for a standard keyboard controller. With the Orba in your rig, you can add a bit of theatrics with a motion-controlled performance, and with its Bluetooth connectivity and built-in rechargeable battery, it provides many functions that mobile musicians are looking for.

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