This thread is intended to gather the feedback of Orba tinkerers.
@Subskybox: You da man!!
This looks very cool. Can't wait to mess with it/them!
Wow, nice one @Subskybox!
@StefanGick - Your Wish has come True!
I don't know why I love Hall & Oates?! Here are the ManEater chords. Set Orba to B-minor then play Pads 3|2|4|1|6|7|5|8-7-8
I've been messing with my Chord Fiddler and making some fun chord sets. I've found it frustrating that I haven't been able to make any chord I want and that the behaviors I've found can be a real challenge to work with. For example, the basic types of rules are:
I'm thinking the Chord Fiddler will need to be revamped. A better idea might be to add a feature to the Orba Virtual Piano that allows you to modify the chords graphically. Welcome to ideas..
...sounds great! Perhaps you could select a value (A, B, C# etc) for each chord note from a drop-down...? Or a graphical system based on the keyboard could be handy too if that's possible.
How many notes are there to a chord, or does it vary...? I haven't had a chance to look at the Chord Fiddler yet but but it sounds like you're making great progress. Look forward to experimenting with it over the next couple of days. I'm also wondering what the other characters in that string do, and whether the Chord Fiddler lets you mess with values outside the chord-note string you've identified...
(...or maybe the chord-fiddling system is relative rather than absolute...? In which case you could just select a +/- offset for each chord note...?)
Thanks for the feedback. I like the idea of showing the notes, but the way the modifier actually works is a series of 4 relative offsets from the root note which comes from the scale notes (Major or Minor). For example, for Pad 1 in C Major the root note is C. Each chord has exactly 4 voices so the offsets for Chord/Pad 1 for the Major scale are [0,7,12,16] or [C,G,C,E]. For the C Minor chord they use [0,3,7,0] or [C,E♭,G,C]. Notice the 2 zeros in the Minor chord offsets. Two voices are playing the same note so it sounds like a 3 note chord.
I do have a dev version of the Chord Fiddler tool that allows to modify values outside of the Major/Minor character areas. I've messed with them and many of them cause the Orba to crash and have completely made the Chord Mode unusable. I elected not to release that since it could maybe brick someone's device. I was able to recover by loading a full song which appears to re-write all the required values back.
I would be careful with the Chord Fiddler that I've published. I've since learned that the way I change the characters is totally wrong. I am allowing the user to pick any ASCII values and this will lead to problems. Instead stick to the Base64 Character set which I now know is how it needs to be.
I'm planning to correct the Fiddler first as I think this might only need a few hours of work. But I have a good plan now for the Orba Virtual Piano which will include Chord buttons and will send the altered chord notes directly to the Orba so you can hear them as you adjust. This is going to take more work and may have to wait a bit.. My wife says I'm spending too much time with Orba :P
I also had another realization. If I change all the offsets to zeros (i.e. [0,0,0,0]), that will essentially play the same note four times. This could be used to set the scale of a regular sound like Bass or Lead. I tried this by dumping a Chord sound into the Bass Preset folder and it only plays one of the voices from the chords. Once I have the Fiddler updated, it could also work for regular voice scales! AND it would be able to be transposed not like the "percussion" hack that has been shared. I'll hopefully have some updates in the next week or two.
A few things:
Seems to me like it would be good to be able to discuss these tools you made separately from this general discussion about Orba Hacking. Have you already set up a place to do that here or elsewhere? I thought about creating 3 new topics here in this forum or creating issues on Github but thought I'd ask first.
I need to ask about installing and using your tools.
I tried to get OrbaDeployDaemon.ps1 going in Windows but have never used PowerShell before. Seems like I need to do a registry change to make the Run Powershell as an admin show up on the context menu in Windows. Wanted to ask you about this first.
It seems likely to me that others will need some hand holding to be able to try our your tools. A specific place for that kind of discussion might make your life easier?
Anyhow - thanks so much for your efforts and your generosity! I hope I will be able to contribute in some way, maybe with documentation?
>My wife says I'm spending too much time with Orba
I respectfully disagree. This is important work.
>Each chord has exactly 4 voices...Notice the 2 zeros in the Minor chord offsets. Two voices are playing the same note so it sounds like a 3 note chord
OK, cheers; that's a great discovery. I'd like to make some two- and three-note presets for drones and power chords.
>I do have a dev version of the Chord Fiddler tool that allows to modify values outside of the Major/Minor character areas. I've messed with them and many of them cause the Orba to crash and have completely made the Chord Mode unusable. I elected not to release that since it could maybe brick someone's device. I was able to recover by loading a full song which appears to re-write all the required values back.
I take your point; I did crash it a few times and was able to recover it though I guess that might not be guaranteed. But I'd be interested in getting hold of an "at your own risk" version that let you venture outside the chord string. When I was initially experimenting with random values I got some twisted sounds out of the Orba chord buttons which included percussion noises, if I recall. I've got a theory that some of the values might relate to voice selection. If so, you could take your transposable lead patch idea, for instance, and stack four voices on each note.
Anyway, thanks for your work so far!
Yeah I agree that I should make a new Topic for the tool(s). I'm just not sure what the scope should be just yet. The tools are going to lead to new discoveries which will lead back here. I guess I just need to be selective with what I post and where. I can see there will be questions on how to use, troubleshooting, bugs and people might want to share chords they've made. That could be an Orba Fiddler topic. Is there already a tools topic? I thought I saw someone post a synth voice editor in here a while back?
As for OrbaDeployDaemon.ps1, PowerShell should be included with Windows (which is why I selected it). I never tested for non-admin users. Try typing 'Powershell' in the Windows search bar and see if it comes up? If you can launch a shell window, I think you'll be able to run it. There are many things that could be going wrong so maybe have a look at this https://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/powershell-scripts-faq-tips-and-tricks.htm
It would be great if you'd like to help with documentation once you work through how to launch the script.
I've made updates to the git repo. The tool is working quite nicely now. I've done some testing this afternoon.
The new version is amazing! You're a genius. :-) You've finally cracked the chord system.
Is there a way I could change the offset if I wanted to mess around with other parts of the XML ...? Not sure if that's an accessible value in the code somewhere, or if it's more complicated than that.
(Note that you'll get an error if the clipboard is empty when you first run the Daemon. Not a problem, just something to be aware of if you're looking at it for the first time.)