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Orba hacking knowledge base

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

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Sharing a Daft Punk loop that sounds pretty good with quantize on.


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(...I'm seriously starting to think about open-source MIDI handpans...;-) )

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I don't see any Orba teardowns on YouTube, so I'd be very interested in exactly what's inside. The open source software situation with ESP-32 is very healthy indeed, though it really depends on the board.

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I wonder if the quantize mode icons will eventually be clickable buttons that take you into the settings. (They're not at the moment.)

Can you also see the code for the "Clear" graphic...? I was wondering how the clickable areas are implemented. Is the event handling tied to the graphic code in some way...?

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I would say: This could be a wonderful standalone musical instrument. Now it is little more than a somewhat clumsy midi controller. But we can agree that Artiphon constantly falls short when it comes to making a good app.

1 person likes this I probably said, the reason I started thinking about ESP32 is because:


...contains a folder called "artiphon_esp32_programmer", but the other stuff I've been digging up talks about STM32 which seems to be a different board, so...dunno.

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...correction, I've now realised that was simply a result of copying a preset from the Chord folder into the Lead folder, then loading it as a Lead preset. Still, I didn't realise you could do that.

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Hmm, I expect @Subskybox could probably knock up a "Scale Fiddler" along the lines of "Chord Fiddler"...:-)

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That Flash.bin file appears to be communication/wifi code. 

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I'll go back to plan A, start by working through the flash log and see which one resets quantise. 

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I've been taking another look at the change log, and some of the comments are quite interesting.


Fix major issue sysex messages would not be transmitted by ESP32 to STM32 in many cases

Default pitch bend range set to 2 from 48


Fixed issue where Orba could crash if the play surface was extensively palmed


Added root notes and scale to pattern data

Added song root note and scale to Orba metadata


Changed default looper mode to allow up to 1 bar of silence at start of loop, first notes played back as recorded on time grid rather than snapped to start of loop.


Added feature where loops are 'intelligently' ended and notes at the end of the first bar can move to the end of the loop. Loop now ends when last note is played, not when A button is pressed.


Added ability to change Orba's key by sliding on the OCT pad


Removes ability for looper semitone shift

Add FW field to comms to allow app to turn metronome on / off


Quantization is turned on by default (constant length, snap to 1/16 notes)


This version has quantize on by default

Added 'groove' quantize option


Disables quantization by default to allow releasing of volume per part


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Lets see if I can ask this question in a different way. I understand that there are 8 hexadecimal values (P1, M2, M3, P4, P5, M6, M7, P8) and 8 numerical values (60, 62, 64, 65, 67, 69, 71, 72) for diatonic— & then there are 8 slightly different hexadecimal values (P1, M2, M3, P5, M6, P8, M9, M10) with 8 slightly different numerical vales (60, 62, 64, 67, 69, 72, 74, 76) for pentatonic. Is there a graph or a grid to show which note each combination of hexadecimal & numerical value represents—including any and all notes already not shown in the diatonic & pentatonic orba code? Also what I was referring to in my previous question regarding where I said "in relation to the root key": If I tune Orba to C maj the "P1" & "60" values represent the note C when the lowest note is pressed on the Orba. While if I tune my orba to G maj then "P1" & "60" values represent the note "G" when I press the lowest note. The note the P1 & 60 values triggers is dependent on the key you tune your Orba to.

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I was excited to take my findings to the try to crack the quantization problem...

But, um, ORBA2 ?!

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You're welcome. I wish I had more time to experiment with this.

1 person likes this, moving on to the "Note Fiddler"...;-)

...I was wondering what might be fun for people. I could imagine a drop-down with a whole bunch of different scales which would set the appropriate offsets, with a patch in the Lead folder rather than the Chords folder. 

At first I was wondering if loading a "Lead" preset with four voices on the same note was introducing a slight "phasing" effect, but I'm not sure. It's not a probleml just curious. I was also interested in your observation about the Bass section only playing one note from the chord, so that could also be a workaround if so. I wonder if there's any mileage in exploring those "uuid" strings that change between preset types to see what they can do.

Kudos for solving the chord problem and the scale problem in one go.

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