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Orba hacking knowledge base

This thread is intended to gather the feedback of Orba tinkerers.

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Furthermore, I've looked into switching out presets for the Android App - this can be accomplished by copying the relevant .orbapreset files to  


 Since this is not a normal user-writable partition however, root permissions are required

As a workaround,
you could load up the modified presets onto your Orba using a PC, then save a new Song on your Android (or probably also iPhone) device. This will save an entire song with Drums, Base, Chords and Lead everytime, but it also includes the modified diatonic Lead voice.

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"Orbacam is available for iOS from the Apple App Store."

I don't understand why Artiphon spends time on applications like "Orbacam" - iOS only(!) and ignores basic feature requests.

They should go open-source...


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More Presets!! 7th chords rule!

Couldn't believe it when I found the 7th chords option, but only for one patch... Those 7th chords sound nice! A quick diff between the 7th chords.orbapreset and others, shows that the only noticeable differences exist in the <ModifierList> and <SeekerList> entries - while I can't decipher any of the actual contents, simply swapping out the entire ModifierList and SeekerList from the 7th chords preset to other presets puts them into 7th chord mode!

Once again, an archive with all stock chord presets as 7th chords is attached. I've also included 'Normal Chords.orbapreset' which is the stock 7th chords preset, but modified to use the standard chord layout.


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In the "Orba presets sharing point" thread, Stuart Crouch demonstrates how to create presets for alternative lead scale tunings, which is a brilliant discovery, but these overwrite the currently loaded drum sounds.

Here's a process for creating a "Tuning-only" preset, using Dorian as an example.

1) Make a copy of the “Orba.orbapreset” file from the “Drums” folder somewhere

2) Rename the file to “Dorian.orbapreset”

3) I used Notepad++ for this. Edit the file to remove everything except the header line, the "TuningEntry", and its outer "PresetEntry" as shown here:


Change the "name" entry to "Dorian" and change the numbers in the "tuning" list to a Dorian scale. (The "intervals" don't seem to matter.)

4) Copy it back into the “Lead” subfolder of "Presets"

5) Run the Orba app and load a song, eg the “Orba” song

6) Go to presets and load the “Dorian” preset

Your lead will now be tuned to the Dorian notes you entered without affecting anything else. 

The key seems to be the "percussion" type specified in these presets; it doesn't work with the "tonal" type usually found in lead presets.

You can change bass tuning with the same file; simply copy it into the Bass subfolder instead. 

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Here's a daft example of what this dorian tweak sounds like, to explain the workflow. It's a loop recorded from the headphone output.

If you try and transpose one of these altered tunings once it's loaded, it reverts to one of the standard scale/pentatonic types. So what I did was:

1) Load a song or presets to get the sounds

2) Select a key for the chords

3) Load the dorian tuning preset into lead and bass

4) Noodle aimlessly

You can load these altered tunings from the Chord bank too, to mess around with those, though I think the harmony sequence is fixed to the standard musical progression maj min min maj maj etc.

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Also, I just wanna share another thread I started which led to a fruitful discussion.

Have a look

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I can see that there are many capable hands here, if Artiphon team is willing to give some code or so, guess this can be done in the blink of an eye. Hope the team can hear us (finger cross)

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@Artiphon, @Evan, if you're listening, p l e a s e give us documentation to modify sounds/chzords/tunings! The Orba would immediately be seen as a much more capable device, people would make more videos about it, there's nothing that could go wrong for you. As it stands, this device is barely using half of its potential

Probably could have been a thousand patches/sounds already. Or at least start a storefront.

Love my Orba. Peace.

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@StefanGick - Your Wish has come True! 

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If Artiphon are unwilling to add the features people want themselves, why not open it up so people here can build what they won't?

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Thanks GJ. The editor is processing the image data (even though not changed) I just removed the ability to swap the image out. I’ll may remove the image processing as well if I cannot get the uuid and cover image hash to work.

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I copied a sample from above:

MemIdx = 0 - MIDI Note at tick 12, channel 1, note 62, duration 496, von 99, voff 85

MemIdx = 8 - MIDI Note at tick 944, channel 1, note 62, duration 464, von 127, voff 87

MemIdx = 16 - MIDI Note at tick 1908, channel 1, note 62, duration 960, von 121, voff 87

MemIdx = 24 - MIDI Note at tick 3845, channel 1, note 62, duration 996, von 117, voff 80

I can see that 16 is a proprietary message for NoteOn. I suspect the next two values define the start tick since two bytes would be required to define a number greater than 255.

Let's look at the tick number 1908. This requires two bytes which I highlighted below:


There is a concept in midi referred to as MSB/LSB (Most Significant Byte / Least Significant Byte). The MSB in the case in binary is a 7 which I saw in often following PlayNote (16). and the LSB is 116. So I suspect that the pattern is

PlayNote, StartTickMSB, StartTickLSB,NoteNumber, VelocityOn, VelocityOff, DurationMSB, DurationLSB

Hopefully I'll get more time this week, but I feel this is very likely what's happening without doing the actual proof.

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Oh, I dunno, I think this is too difficult. 

The above is the data for the 7th chords. The data for the standard chords is:

Pad 1: BwwQA

Pad 2: AcMDw

Pad 3: AHDA8

Pad 4: ABAcQ

Pad 5: AAQHD

Pad 6: AADBw

Pad 7: wAAwz

Pad 8: 8AAQM

(You'll find this concatenated as a string in the aforementioned field in all the standard chord presets.) 

...and you can discover new chords by accident by changing characters. But there are no clear patterns. Eg incrementing the first character of the string once or twice on one pad might give you a 4th, or a 6th, but incrementing the first character of a different pad gives you something else. You can find breadcrumbs, but we'll have to wait for Artiphon to give us the recipie.

It should be possible to map an alternative set of chords by choosing the right tuning values as described above, though it'll be a fiddly process, where you'd have to take account of the natural shifts from major to minor (to other?) as you go through the pads, then find the right tuning value to put the chord you want onto one of those slots.

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@ Sam - Nice! What range of values did you try for wgMixBack="0" wgMixForward="0"? And what values gave interesting results? I tried ="1" but did not hear any dfference. 

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