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Orba hacking knowledge base

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

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Just a quick note for other users. @Subskybox has made this super easy to use now.


Basically you just run a program (the "daemon") that handles the background processing, then open a couple of web pages. One lets you adjust the chords, and the other gives a graphical display of the chords the Orba is currently sending out.


(Note that you can also adjust the Orba for higher and lower notes beyond this visible range.)

The Orba can be in major or minor mode as usual. The pads in the left column affect major mode, and the ones on the right affect minor mode.

You can adjust any of the four notes for any of the eight pads up or down by semtones, then choose "Copy to clipboard" followed by "Deploy". At this point you can upload an Orba preset called "Disentangle" which is automatically made available in the Orba app, to program the Orba with the new chords.

If you refresh the Chord Fiddler HTML page, it resets it to the default values.

I'd definitely encourage people to try this out and post if you have any questions.












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The new tools and discoveries by @Subskybox have inspired me to go digging around with other random changes to the code to see what else we might find. Eg a set of random changes within the "Uuid" strings has turned up a patch where "Lead" delivers the same set of chords as "Chord", but with the Lead voice, allowing you to switch between them live.

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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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>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.


I've only just caught up with this idea. So...yes, this gives us a way to put something like a transposable Dorian scale on the "Lead" button. :-)


Here's an example:

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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 said:

  • 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.
I'd like to fix this. Which daemon are you using Windows or Mac?

...Windows, TBH it's a non-issue because it still works. Just mentioned it in case the error messages confused someone., 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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I like your ideas for the "Note Fiddler".. At this point I'm going to stop any development on the Chord Fiddler and start working on bringing this functionality into Orba Virtual Piano. If you noticed, the Virtual Piano can sense what mode you're in (Drum, Bass, Chord, Lead) so I imagine I'll have a section underneath that is the editor portion for that mode. I may never get to drums, especially now that Orba 2 is coming. Bass is monophonic so editing the scale is straightforward. I like the Dorian scale you shared above (this confirms it can be done). There are a few places where the mode can be set in the .orbapreset file and messing with those may correct the phasing effect you describe. As for the Lead mode (which is polyphonic), I can see why it accepts all 4 voices even if they are the same. Maybe the remaining characters in the ModifierData string control turning the voices on/off. Who knows. I can quite easily make a version of this that supports the whole string. More on this later. I'd love your help trying to see what they control. There are obvious indexes where there are values that seem deliberate. I think one might control the scale mode. That's a theory I have from messing with these values with the old Fiddler, but the new version will correctly target the values. 

I just created a new Topic: Orba Utilities to continue this conversation.

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I was just thinking, @Roger made a synth preset editor...


...and Artiphon created Orbasynth...

...which work for lead/bass/chord sounds. Has anyone considered making an editor for the drum sounds, which have a different set of parameters...?

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@Subskybox just a quick thought, but if/when you look at adding a set of alternative scale tunings, maybe the data for these could be stored in a separate file in a way that allows people to add their own.

 I'm interested in looking at Hang drum tunings myself...:-)

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@BJG145 Yes I have been considering allowing users to choose the starting.orbapreset file and the destination.orbapreset file. I'm not sure what's possible within a browser. Those will definitely be things I will consider. I will share prototype design issues before I code anything.. Likely a few weeks out.

Love the Hang Drum idea.. I wanted one of those years ago was never able to find one for a reasonable price.

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I recently took a leap into the unknown and made random code changes all over one of the song files, which resulted in the Orba become completely unresponsive; couldn't even turn it on.

Fortunately the firmware update instructions brought it back to life. So when I saw a faulty Orba on eBay that wouldn't turn on the other day, I thought...aha, I'll give you £25 for that.

Just turned up, and quickly revived it. Gonna stick them together to create a dual-manual version with an extended key this space...;-)

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...a couple of minutes' work with a hot glue gun, and voila - the Orba Diabolo.


Hot glue is great. It holds things quite securely, but if you change your mind you can break it off.

WIth the new-found scale knowledge I can configure this beauty for over an octave chromatic, or self-accompany with chords+lead.   

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