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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

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Hey Andy,

Quantization and more sounds/presets are all in the works!

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I got my Orba (from the Kickstarter) earlier this week and I'm starting to learn more about it. My 10 year old is also delighted with it.

I'm someone who didn't know about the Kickstarter and just placed an order. I got an order confirmation and then a follow-up yesterday saying I'd receive my Orba in...four weeks? I'm curious as to why you don't make it clear upon ordering that there is s significant wait? And after reading some of the threads here, wondering what exactly is the shipping process and why purchasing a device like this should be cause for heartburn and anxiety? Did I just screw up by ordering? 

Please, reassure me!

My Orba showed up today! It's hours later, and I'm still playing with it. I am a big Cantabile 3 user, and I'm looking forward to trying it out on that platform tommorow.

the app is just a blank screen. having trouble connecting it to do the update. this suuuuuuuuuucks

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@Moon - Yes you are right, this sucks.

And watch out, before you know it, a fellow buyer will explain to you that we have to stay positive because it is such a sympathetic small company that is doing its best in these difficult times. Or someone from Artiphon will tell you that there is actually no problem because the Orba works fine on some versions of IOS via a USB-cable. Sigh ...

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hey, your software, and customer service suck. great midi controller though.

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 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?

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Unfortunately, these questions are still topical ...

Két napja használom! A tapasztalatom pozitív! Orba-Iphone SE - A GarageBand tökéletes összhangban működik bluetooth kapcsolaton keresztül :) Nem tapasztaltam hibát vagy összeomlást. Mikor lesz elérhető több hang az alkalmazásból? Mikor kapcsol ki a vibro motor? Köszönök mindent !

Thanks for your positive feedback, @Nagy! Glad to hear you're enjoying your Orba. Keep an eye out on our social media for updates to the app. That's where we'll be announcing any new features to Orba.

Received mine yesterday - bought it after seeing a couple of the promo videos on YouTube.

So far - impressed by the build-quality and can see that it has potential BUT and it's a really big BUT... basically sucks.

There's so much wrong with the experience of using (trying to use?) this thing that it's actually difficult to know where to begin or to know that I've even mentioned everything that's so BAD.   Firstly - I got it out of the box, installed the software on Windows 10 and connected the Orba, got the "Update or die!" message (no choice for me to say "I'll do it later" - why not?).  Not that it mattered - the message and entire app just closed.  Re-tried - same again.  Tried every combination of compatability settings, elevated status - app crashed every time.   Found a suggestion on the forums involving holding Vol+ and the power buttons.  That worked to the extent that the app didn't crash - but the Orba did - leaving me with a dead, plastic... thing.   More time wasted on the forums to find from customers - NOT the company - on how to get this working again.   Finally got it updated.  At least, I assume it has updated but I'll never know because Artiphon wouldn't let me see it pre-update to check that any difference has actually been made.

So - I go all through the Artiphon website to try to take up their offer to "download a manual" - except that YOU CAN'T.  You can read a manual online but it is so badly laid out that I got neck-ache from scanning my head side to side across the full width of my browser just to discover the most basic and useless information imaginable - a picture of "the A button" takes up an entire screen on my browser whilst telling me precisely NOTHING.   I try to find out how to use bluetooth - NOTHING - NOT A DAMNED THING!.  There's a button labelled "Bluetooth" - WHY?  What does that button do?  How do I use it?  Does my not knowing that explain why THIS GARBAGE WILL NOT CONNECT VIA BLUETOOTH??   My laptop "sees" it - but won't connect.  My Android phone "sees" it - but won't connect.   The manual and a shed load of glossy promo trash shouts "BLUETOOTH" at me but it does nothing and I have absolutely no idea if it's broken or if I've missed some setting or action because IT'S NOT IN THE USELESS "MANUAL"!  The ONLY mention of that button is "Power/Bluetooth Pairing - Press and hold to turn Orba on and off" - nothing about bluetooth - so exactly why is it called a "bluetooth pairing" button???  No-one knows - including Artiphon, apparently.   Anyway, I fiddle a bit more and for three glorious seconds, it connects to my mobile via bluetooth and the Orba app - but just that once and never since.  As for the Android app - that thing only loads on to one of my Android devices - everything else is presumably "too old" for this app.  WHY?   There is NOTHING about that app that requires the very latest version of Android.  You definitely need to warn people that almost everyone who wants to change the awful "drums" to some other awful "drums" will need to buy a new phone or tablet.   One interesting fact here - yours is the very first app I've ever seen on Google's Play Store that has no ratings, no stars, no feedback at all. 

Then, I discover that the Orba sounds NOTHING LIKE THE ADVERTS!  Never mind, thinks I - I can connect it to the laptop via the incredibly cheap and nasty cable they supplied; the one that's so inflexible that moving the Orba tips my laptop over and sends it crashing to the floor (seriously - £99 for this and all we get is a nasty. 10 pence cable?  Show a bit of class.)   Still, I am connected and I can add some different sounds.  I soon discover that the Orba itself has zero storage - you can have one sound at a time for each category and if you want a different "Bass" sound, for example, you have to connect to the app (yeah, good luck with that) and change the one and only sound allowed - no storing a few different bass sounds and quickly changing between them - like you can on just about every sound-producing toy for the last fifty years.   Okay - so maybe I can find a simple work-around - load a bass sound into one of the other slots - (we're only allowed FOUR sounds at a time - drums, bass, chords and lead - so it's basically several options below the cheapest of children's keyboards on the market).  But I can't - Artiphon won't ALLOW me to put a "bass" sound onto any button BUT the one they've decide is for bass sounds.   Many, many sighs later, I've tried "all" of the possible sounds - and by all, I mean about ten of each and with very little difference between them.  If you want a very expensive "thing" that sounds like a low-res sound sample from a Commodore C= 64 from forty years ago, way-hay - you're in.   Can I create my own sounds?  No!  Can I upload sampled sounds?  No!  Can I find third-party sounds?  No, No, NO!.  What I can do - is play with a handful of wooshy, whoomfy, "pads" that might possibly be used by a handful of people, in one genre of trippy music and even then will need to be buried deep into a track so that their low-fi "appeal" might be considered "ironic".  

Still, I persevere.   I do like the velocity-sensitivity and the aftertouch.  Or at least, I WOULD like it but the non-existent bluetooth connection means I'm forced to leave this "thing" tethered to my laptop - and that seriously impedes any ability to move with the "thing" or even to hold it properly.  I'm forced to clench my fingers in a strange shape to avoid straining the cable and plug - and that leads to me triggering the "clap" whether I want to or not.   The "shaker" is unusable - too slow to respond, sounds dreadful in all available "drum sets" and definitely unsafe with a nasty cable attaching this "thing". to an expensive laptop.

As for just trying to use it to play and record all four - count them, FOUR - sections of a "song" - mind-numbingly awful.  Firstly, there's no quantise - you'd be as well off getting your three-year old kid to bang saucepans as you record the ensuing racket into a cassette recorder (younger readers may need to check Wikipedia's history section on that one).  Then there's the lack of a simple option to set a number of bars in advance - so you're left to frantically and optimistically stab and buttons and combinations of buttons to stop the recording at PRECISELY the right time or have loops of random length.   Then there's the total absence of any control over the sounds beyond your ability to perfectly control your "touch" whilst trying to avoid tensing-up as you also try to work out how to achieve your amazing 64ths drum roll and then hit the "stop recording" button or buttons with some insane variation of the Vulcan neck-pinch.   What you end up with is a NOISE - horrible, overly breathy wooshy smudges layered one on top of the other with zero subtlety - no ability to lower the "chords" into the background, and allow your bass line to "breath".  It's the musical equivalent of standing in a room full of seagulls at feeding time - just a deluge of NOISE - not music.

So maybe that's just because the use of onboard sounds is not really this "thing's" best function - though that would be INCREDIBLY annoying in a PORTABLE gadget that I bought with the expectation of having a creative tool I could carry around for when the muse takes me.  Maybe this is an awesome MIDI controller that will add some sort of organic feel to natural and artificial sounds in a DAW.   Again - having to connect to the laptop (running my trusty Cubase) via a short and totally inflexible cable creates problems.  Not only does connecting this give a MIDI connection, it also inserts itself as an audio output device - a sound card - with no sound input device.  That's annoying - there's no way onboard or in the dreadful app to disable that "function" and Cubase/Windows really doesn't like having unaccountable sound devices hanging around.  Much fiddling later and I'm struggling to remember why I even launched Cubase - any sense of spontaneity has passed and I am now a computer geek, not a musician.  Still, I get there in the end and am able to hit "the thing" and have that pass MIDI data to a virtual instrument - and boy does thing like to send MIDI data - I swear that just looking at this creates another six hundred control change messages.   So it's back into geek mode to filter out as much as I can without leaving nothing but eight on/off switches.  I know, says me - I'll see if I can record the loop I made on the Orba to Cubase as MIDI.  I can't.   At least, I can't get them to synch up - at all.

At that point, I pretty-much gave up. 

This can't be classed as a toy - not just because of the price but because any child worth that title will be throwing it at the nearest wall within three seconds and getting more fun out of the packaging.   It sounds AWFUL - there's absolutely no subtlety to ANY of the sounds, there's no natural sounds available and the end result is a stupid throwback to the 1980's - in a bad way.  This needs to be completely rethought - I just don't see who it is being aimed at.  It needs to store alternatives sounds ONBOARD - having to go to a flaky app just to choose a different sound is unbelievably insane - it's 2021 not 1984 - MIDI devices have been storing HUNDREDS of sounds onboard for decades.  At the very, very, very least - add a basic GM sound card - uploading wooshy, bloopy retro synths is fine but you've made it the WHOLE thing and what we as users are left with is a stupid little "thing" that makes four noises - badly.   We can change the four awful noises for a very, very, very small number of other awful noises - whoopee.    Maybe, putting some decent sounds ONBOARD and allowing users to change between sounds ONBOARD will give you time to focus on sorting the appalling apps out - and getting the basics right.   And please - a decent cable costs a couple of pounds - skimping on that does not impress anyone who has just paid a fortnight's worth of beer money to buy this.   Produce a properly formatted DOWNLOADABLE manual.  Get bluetooth working - properly.   And how about this - create your own dedicated sound app or VSTi host, specifically set up to make this sound good - and to properly show any advantages to using this as a MIDI controller because as it stands, I'm not see that at all and am not seeing the value in spending hours trying to shoehorn a half-baked "thing" into what I already use.

And the "hard reset" - what the hell?   The instructions are "Hold the power and Vol- keys for fifteen seconds" - but nothing happens.  I don't just mean that nothing SEEMS to happen - literally NOTHING HAPPENS - except for the ball of doom switching itself off, exactly as it would if you just held the power button.  Uploaded sounds - unchanged.  Recorded loops - unchanged.  NOTHING HAPPENS?   Is that another non-working function, a faulty "thing", an error in the not-really-a-manual or what?   Seriously - the "thing" has more lights on it than a department store Xmas tree and you can't use any of them to give us a status message on a reboot?  

I will hang on to this.  It's not the fault of the retailer who sold it to me and I can see that it might have a future - but I won't be holding my breath and I suspect it will be in the kitchen drawer with all the other worthless junk within a couple of weeks.

One big question that comes from all of this...

Exactly what does Artiphon think this "thing" actually is - what is the PRIMARY function of this "thing" supposed to be?

Is it a MIDI controller with some clever angles such as the shake and smack - or is it a portable compositional tool?  At present, I don't think that Artiphon have any idea on that score.  Their various video promos appear to be punting this as a "creator" - a compositional tool - but then we find that the sounds used in all of their promos are being triggered in external programs - meaning that they are actually showing us this in use as a MIDI controller.  And if it's just a MIDI controller, why make it portable and why have the annoying onboard key combinations rather than a VST to control the functions?  If it's a portable sound source, compositional tool - where are the most basic of functions such as a choice on onboard sounds and a quantise option?  If it's a MIDI input device, why does the app provide no settings at all for any of the MIDI functions - no filters, nothing.

Sorry but I can't see this still being in production a year from now unless Artiphon focus their minds on what this is and who it's for.   I think it has a certain gimmick appeal as a MIDI controller - the best part of £100 for a cramped, wobbly input device with "slap me" as it's USP is doomed to fail.   I think it has potential as a musician's toy - something you throw in your pocket to play with on the train or in a pub garden.  As such, it needs better sounds and better usability as a "song recorder" - onboard sounds, quantise, individual sound tweaking, including max/min volume - easy saving of compositions - and apps that actually work.  And an app that goes beyond setting haptic feedback (why is that NOT set on the device itself??).   Without some identity, I'd not advise anyone to buy this - because it does two thing badly rather than one thing well plus a useful extra.
Wow - posted here half an hour ago, perfectly polite but not complimentary - and my post has vanished.   That is totally unacceptable from any company.


Wow - posted here half an hour ago, perfectly polite but not complimentary - and my post has vanished.   That is totally unacceptable from any company.


Given the nature of many of the communications here (and their continued presence), I would suspect a technical glitch before editorial control over comments.

@ Peter & Ben - I must indeed compliment Artiphon on that. It doesn't matter how much and for how long I complain. It does not help, but it does not go away either :-)

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