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Introducing Orbasynth: A Powerful Preset Creator for Orba's Internal MPE Synth

Thanks so much for your patience and feedback provided on Orba. Today, we have some exciting news regarding something a lot of you have been asking for. If it seems like we’ve been quiet here recently, it’s because we’ve been working behind the scenes on a couple of bigger things. One of these things is Orbasynth, our new gesture-mappable synth that allows for extensive customization of Orba sounds. 

Here are a couple of key features

  • Morphing oscillators that mix saw, triangle, and novel harmonic-rich waveforms, with variable-width pulse waveforms that change dynamically with dedicated envelopes.

  • Three ADSR dynamic envelopes allow the synth tones to be sculpted by the player’s continuous playing on Orba’s capacitive-sensitive playing surface and respond to note-on and note-off velocities. Two different envelopes can control the two oscillators, noise, and the ring modulator while the third one controls a resonant filter.

  • A waveguide allows for physical modeling, creating unique instruments that have an acoustic-like familiarity. Orbasynth has two modes that emulate string and pipe harmonic structures.

  • Reverb and Delay effects provide sounds that range from subtle ambient air to dense sonic textures.

  • Map Orba’s different playing gestures to synth destinations like filter cutoff and resonance, oscillator level, vibrato, harmonic, saw/triangle mix, harmonic mix. noise level, and LFO rate.

Here's the link where you can download it (available on both Mac and Windows): 

Here's the first tutorial video for Orbasynth (more to come!):

Here's the user manual for Orbasynth:

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

16 people like this idea

Well, once again, samples take up vastly more space than synth presets. You can verify this yourself by saving an Orbasynth preset to desktop (it's just a small XML text file) and comparing the file size to that of whatever sound samples you have around that you'd want to work with on the Orba. And even if the Orba had massively more onboard memory, samples don't play themselves; Artiphon would have to go back and build a sample player into the Orba, and create a user front end to it. If any of this were easy, rest assured they'd have already done it.

As you say, the way to use the Orba with samples is through desktop software, though I may be misunderstanding what you're proposing. What's the difference between storing samples on PC and using the Orba to control a sampler on PC?

2 people like this

I'm sorry but could you please state how much memory Orba actually has? This could be a very easy fix by eliminating the onboard preset synths already present to be replaced by the samples. You could even have it so it stores the samples directly on the pc to be played from the device while connected much like garage band does. My point being is that there are multiple ways to work around this. Even with low memory and that does not require storing it on board thats already being implemented. It would be much more effective being put in its own software than needing third party to do it. 

Unfortunately not. As has been covered elsewhere in this forum, samples require much more memory than synth patch and MIDI data, so there's no prospect of being able to host samples with the current Orba hardware. The internal synth is a little miracle, though, so I don't myself miss the ability to work with onboard samples; that's precisely the kind of area where the Orba comes into its own as a controller for third-party soundware.

[Apologies to anyone in this thread who gets this e-mailed to them twice; maybe one day Freshdesk will implement an edit button, or I'll learn to type properly… Hold no breaths.]

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Thank you. That is a good response. More than Orba has ever given. That being said, I think it would be a pretty simple add on to load a sound for a sample-based synthesis. This is able to be done through garage band and other software (albeit minimally) and I believe making it a stand alone feature would be a worthwhile endeavor. Especially on the new synth software they just put out. It would make it a much better product. Hopefully Orba can at least give it consideration in the future. 

> Is there a load button to put in my own sounds to use with the synthesizer? I don't think there is likely to be much capability of that kind, if you're referring to sound samples. Just about all of the sounds I have ever heard from the Orba have clearly been synthetic. That is, they're produced by a combination of signal processing elements (oscillators, filters, envelope generators and the like.) Maintaining banks of samples is not uncommon in groovebox-style instruments, but while Orba may superficially resemble sampling instruments in features, sampling or sample playing has never been an advertised feature.

Is there a load button to put in my own sounds to use with the synthesizer?

One engine detection is well within the margin of a false positive. In all likelihood the file is safe to use, as the heuristics used by antiviruses can't be 100% accurate and sometimes trigger on files that are not malicious.

I can download the file just fine, but when I submit the file to Totalvirus  it's still being flagged by one source.

Hi Andy! Are you still seeing this pop up when you try to download the app? 

Would you mind rechecking your posted download file?  VirusTotal is flagging it from 3 different sources as malicious.  I'd love to use it, but dare not until you can re-validate it. 

Great work! I hope somebody will find time to add a front-end to a suitable patch library website. A quick search turns up There are instructions for adding an instrument to that website. Some JavaScript and basic image manipulation skills required.
@Laurent CLAUDE probably caused by an addblocker of some kind. I've had to disable pi-hole on my network to see the download link.

2 people like this

Hello, I have a slight problem with the orbasynth app: I can't see the download link. I tried several times but the link doesn't appear. I have a laptop with Windows 10 and a smartphone with IOS. I tried on both systems and nothing, no download link. Could you help me, please give me the procedure to follow?

I thank you and wish you a good day.

Laurent CLAUDE

2 people like this

Great job guys. This is a huge step in the right direction and exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to see when I clicked on today. 
Keep up the great work! :) and thank you!!!

1 person likes this

Great job, we need that a long time away... awesome

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