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New Orba Players Welcome!

Hi there and welcome to the new Orba forum!

Please introduce yourself, and let us know what you think. We’re eager to hear your thoughts. 

If you come upon an issue, the fastest way to find a solution is by contacting Though we do our best to always respond, your post in this forum could get lost in the more high-volume threads.

You can also feel free to start a new forum thread if you have an interesting discussion point. It could be about anything – the sounds, the industrial design, the app as it continues to be developed, or anything else!


Rock and roll,

Adam from Artiphon

11 people like this idea

Got mine today and having lots of fun with it. Chemotherapy saved my life last year but left me with nerve damage in my hands and feet. I'm exploring ways to make music that don't involve guitar and keys. Orba came along just in time!

My big request would be for a chord editor in the app to select voicings which could be assigned to the 8 buttons. Maybe a user wants to have a major and minor version of the same chord to get that In My Life mojo working. I know you guys are trying to make this simple for non-musicians. Maybe the app could have an "advanced" tab for those of us who know our way around a little?

Thanks so much for the Orba. I'm loving it.

7 people like this

Just got mine last week and playing around with it.  Definitely a unique device and still getting used to it.  One of my better Kickstarter purchases for sure.

I think I know the answer, but have to ask any way.  I'm not 'that' musically inclined but have some experience using some of the Teenage Engineering pocket synths.  One feature I like, since I'm not a great beat maker, is the quantization.  It doesn't appear to available directly on the Orba itself, correct?  I've been trying my hand at making some songs but when I'm off beat, it drives me crazy.

5 people like this

I've tried the different presets with the windows app and found that many of the lead sounds are inaudible when you have the drums, bass, and chords playing on loops. Did I miss a way to adjust the volume for a single instrument?

I also get a lot of static/noise, sounds like extremely overdriven speakers, when multiple instruments are playing at once.

Also the windows app UI doesn't make much sense. The play button doesn't do anything. I cannot get a song to save from the orba to the PC and back onto the Orba. I cannot see what data is contained in a song, loading them just results in the orba doing nothing when I press play. So the saved song is empty? Who knows.

You should be able to hear the presets form the app without having to load them into the orba.

You should also be able to load a preset for all four instruments at once if you want to.

4 people like this

I have a question can this be used Utilizing an Apple iPhone Application, using the screen reader and VOICEOVER feature on my Apple iPhone?

I just ordered a new ORBA Sunday morning March 28 2021

I wasn’t aware that it was going to ship all the way from Yuen Long China, that makes receiving this instrument extra special. I haven’t received the Orva yet but I am as the saying goes *** sitting on the edge of my chair *** waiting for its arrival.

I am totally legally blind,  I do everything by touch and listening using, sensory Motor skills! 

I hope I am understanding the operation of this instrument correctly. After having my significant other, read  all the information provided. I’m hoping this will open up to me a whole new world of possibilities , i’m hoping and praying that I can express myself through touch and motion on this instrument. It sounds as if I can create music, just by touching, sliding-moving around with the instrument in my hand, And much much more, that would be awesome.

hope to be commenting very soon on the arrival of my ORBA!

This is Sally, THE BLIND TRAVELER expressing herself through sounds and motion!

This is my story this is my song praising my Savior all the day long!

Blessed Assurance Eddy Arnold

PS. my brother lives in Shanghai China as a teacher teaching the Chinese American English which makes this very special to me thank you very much

4 people like this

Here's an obvious suggestion: Would be nice if the Orba app had some sample songs, or at least pre-made drum tracks as a song starter since putting down drum tracks seems to be harder on the Orba than it should be.  e.g. a basic rock groove in 4/4 time maybe with a walking bass part. A "motorik" drum beat perhaps with some chords in the spirit of Kraftwerk or Neu!... a jazz or blues shuffle beat with bass. Anything that makes it easy for people to then lay on some lead instruments or chords or delete the bass track and add our own. 

Also, would be nice to know from Ariphon if there is some ETA of when improvements or new functionality is expected to be added. It doesn't have to be a hard commitment, but it would be nice to know if ya'll plan on making it better, or you think it's good enough.

Perhaps I've missed it, but does anyone from Artiphon read these postings?

4 people like this

The changes you can make to the 4 tracks are only using a handful of pre-made sounds in the app.

It would be really nice if we could supply our own note samples, including letting us map individual sounds (e.g. wav files) to each key. This would also allow us to make/use our own scales (Dorian, Lydian, etc) and microtonal scales too.

3 people like this

btw, pretty excited to finally have my Orba. Slightly bummed I can't really futz with the synth engines from the apps more, but hey, maybe it's coming. It just seems like there's not much room to make this sound unique and give it my own style. Pretty much can just pick from one of the presets for each instrument and...that's it! Sure there's some expressive range with all the gestures, but if you're going to give me an app let me shape the tone a bit, or layer effects or modulation or something! I do have hope something like this could be coming b/c I can duplicate the preset kits in app, I can only imagine I'll eventually be able to edit them??

I was surprised by the haptic feedback, it's a really nice touch. I'm starting to get the hang of looping and found a kit for each instrument I dig (for now). It seems the real power or way to expand beyond the presets could be using this as a MIDI controller, though I personally would love to see as much of the Orba's synth engines exposed as possible to give max creative flexibility while still being its own instrument and not just a MIDI controller requiring to be hooked up to a laptop while playing. I don't mind using an app to load up and dial in my kit/sound, there are even guitar pedals that do this, but I would love to maintain the ability to generally just pick Orba up, turn it on, and start jamming, while also having more customizability. 

3 people like this
Mine showed up this morning! I am really enjoy just experimenting with it. I looked for the app on the Google Play Store and couldn't find it. Is there one? I am very excited to get into this. I have Muscular Dystrophy and have limited mobility and strength. The Orba is so easy for me to use! I have tried other midi devices designed for people who have mobility issues and could not use them. Thanks for an amazing design!

3 people like this

 Hi Adam,

Just got my Orba, having a blast already.

Are there any plans to allow for pausing individual loops? Maybe a slide from the play/pause button to the desired track?

3 people like this
Hello, just got my Orba a few days ago, having fun playing it with my 505 looper and handpan. Would love to see more variety of pre-sets.

3 people like this

I got my Orba today and used it for several hours. Here are my first impressions...

First of all, it's a nice piece of hardware and well designed. And it definitely has a lot of potential. But....

The iPhone app and the experience with the Orba itself is... not living up to that potential. Yeah, I get it, it's early days and all that. But honestly, it's very rough around the edges. As in, the iphone app loses the bluetooth connection pretty regularly. Doesn't seem like the app is particularly well-designed or tested. Presets don't tell you if they don't load. So I loaded and kept testing only to find out it lost the bluetooth connection again. Now I'm sure we can blame apple or bluetooth for these problems, but you know, it's 2020 and my Garmin has figured out how to make it work and the Orba hasn't yet.  

Similarly the layout of presets, well. I thought I'd be loading a whole set at once (e.g. bass, drums, chords, lead) that all go together. Nope. You load them one at a time. The descriptions are not that handy either. Why not let me hear them before loading? Also, I'd like to be able to load a group of presets that work together, getting something that sounds like classic rock or jazz or blues. Ok, your mileage may vary, there are vaguely new-agey kinds of things that may or may not go together. Some sound quite nice, but they are all pretty similar to me. I was able to create a simple song that sounds kind of soothing, but I want more...

I'd love to have some more traditional sounding instruments like an acoustic drumkit, an upright bass, electric funky bass guitar sound, lead guitar synth sound. Acoustic piano or hammond B3 chords. Fuzz guitar power chords. How about strings? Trumpet, french horn, sax. Vocal chorus oohs and ahhs. Maybe I'm not the target market. Can this be fixed, of course. I hope they do make this and other sound packs that go together better and match a greater range of genres beyond synthy new age. Let me load a bunch up all at once.

Sometimes loading sounds caused glitches. Maybe I'm doing stuff that shouldn't be done, like accidentally loading a new sound while playing my song. That caused some interesting high-pitched sound glitches and then my song disappeared. (No loss, I'm just experimenting.)  So you could blame the user for that. Or you could, you know, test the app and not let that happen.

And admittedly, my sense of timing is awful, so it's hard for me to get a handle on the recording process. I'm trying to play some drums and I'm offbeat, for sure. Would be cool if it could just quantize to the nearest beat or 1/4 note or something. I'm totally unclear what happens if I play more or less than 4 bars. Is it recording just 4 bars?  Or is it until I stop playing? No idea. But you know, it's not idiot proof. Really good looper pedals handle this sort of thing automatically and I don't have to worry about it. With this, yes seems like you have to get it exactly right. (Which if you're in the pro market, makes sense. For amateurs, perhaps not.) Can I change the metronome sound to something less obnoxious than the classic instrument of torture of my youth?  Not that I could find. For me, it's difficult to hear the metronome accurately while other instruments are going and trying to count the beat, to know when I've hit four bars. Why can't the lights flash the beat? 

Wanna change the key? Apparently that requires the iphone app.  Sure would be nice to have a gesture or special keypress (A hold Oct?) on the Orba to do that. That's a pretty major inconvenience. Ok but how do I change the scale of the lead instrument?  No idea. Can't I select a minor pentatonic scale for lead? Major pentatonic? Not that I could find. 

Perhaps in designing such a minimalist instrument, Artiphon went too minimal. There's no display, I get that. But if I have to use an iphone app to make the app work, you better make that app a lot better. More stable and easier to make changes to instruments, key, scale, whatever. 

Bottom line, this is a very cool device. And I appreciate all the hard work that went into it. It is certainly doing a lot and it has great potential. But please continue to issue updates to the app and/or firmware so that it becomes more robust, easier to use and more capable. I realize that's a tall order. I am patient. I don't need it all in a week. But I would like for this to become something I use regularly, not something that ends up in a desk drawer.

Thank you! 

3 people like this

Hey fellow creators looking forward to the Orba I plan on using it with my roli software and in Reason Studio also on my IOS apps which I have a lot of MPE ones and with my SP 404 SX  and Kaoss Pad 2 and my East West Minstry Of Rock 2 software 

I hope to colab with some people on here 

2 people like this

 Hi, when do you expect to:

1. Delever to ks backers who have funded your crap project more then a year ago?

2. Fix all the dev issues you have months after you "release" the product?

3. Stop sending bs communication and spend money on marketing instead of fixing issues?

2 people like this
Orba and ROLI software are a match made in heaven. So many dimensions of expression, even compared to ROLI's own controllers. It's what the MPE drums in Noise in particular have been waiting for. Now if only they'd unlock the SWAM packs for third-party hardware…

2 people like this
I received my orba a few weeks ago, and I think it's amazing. I hate that there are so many poor reviews.. I think people are expecting too much from this very cool little thing. I had no expectations, and so far I couldn't be happier with my purchase! Thank you guys for this! I will likely be ordering one or two more. :)

2 people like this
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