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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!

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No, OrbaSynth is a classic subtractive synth rather than a "hybrid" synth/sampler; there's no sample engine, and sounds are generated entirely from sculpting the output from oscillators through envelopes, filters, and modulators, with a brilliant Gesture Mapping pane to route the Orba's control actions to destination parameters. For an MPE controller with the Orba's range and expressivity of control dimensions, this is exactly what you want; MPE sound design is extremely challenging even without sample layers, and hybrid synthesis for MPE is an order of magnitude more so. (Only ROLI implement it well.)

The revolutionary thing about the Orba 2 is the attempt to bring MPE sample manipulation into the dabbler and semi-pro market. The Artiphon team and their sound-design collaborators are geniuses and if anyone can do it they can, but for now the OrbaSynth is its own little masterclass in classic synthesis for MPE.

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I figured that was probably true, but it never hurts to ask. Loving the OrbaSynth, the oriental stringed instrument I made is now my favorite instrument :)

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I'm not finding the download link for orbasynth in the downloads area. Any else having this problem? :)


The downloads page menu still has it listed but the link just goes to the Orba1 page. Artiphon did state it was free for a limited time, but has it been removed in error? If there is no official reply here someone
Bother, a smiley terminates a posting here. What I was going to say is ....... someone here may post it on a file sharing site.
Yeah, I'd really appreciate it if someone would drop a dropbox link to  the zip file here. :)

 Or, it looks like a file could be attached here also. That might be better. :)


Looks like the link has now been fixed; just click on the OrbaSynth tab. You can't download it directly from the page; you enter your e-mail and then they send you a download link.

Well, I clicked on your link and the resulting downloads page does not contain a "OrbaSynth" tab for me. :)


Maybe the broken version is still cached? Try refreshing the page; here's what it looks like for me (in Safari).


Well, I tried loading the page fresh and I'm still not finding it.

Now, full disclosure I am using a screen reader since I am blind and can't see the screen with my eyes. :)
But I can find all of the other tabs, orba orba2 orbacam, instrument1. All of them have tabs and I can find their respective downloads, but there is no tab fr the orbasynth located in the same place, and if I just search the screen for the word orbasynth or synth, I find nothing. :)

Anyway, I hope Artiphon will officially respond here with a direct link to the orbasynth page where I can put my email in, or maybe somebody will just put the app in as an attachment. :)


Ah, sorry, Rusty – I'd completely forgotten you were blind, so the screenshot was no help at all! (Not that Freshdesk seems to allow alts for images anyway.) In case it's of any use, I find that searching the page for "orbasynth" produces five hits of which the first is the text on the tab; it's the fourth tab along, between "Instrument 1" and "OrbaCam", though if the screen is narrower then only four tabs display instead of six, which might be what's throwing your screen reader out.

I've gone into the page source and have tried in this link (which I've set to open in a new tab) to extract the page element with just the box for you to enter your e-mail and the download button below it that becomes active when you've filled in the e-mail. Don't know whether it'll work, but try it and see.

I don't think we users should be posting or sharing the installer as a file if Artiphon are asking for e-mail before they grant access - understandably, as a free MPE synth is a pretty significant asset and they won't want bots making off with it to pirate. But with luck one of the Artiphon team will be able to help if the above doesn't work.

Hey Nick,
Thank you so much! No real reason why you should have remembered that I can't see, so no apology necessary. :)

But, thanks for going the extra mile!
BRILLIANT on two counts.
The link you created worked!

But you also mentioned the width of the page being a possible issue.
I didn't think that should be an issue, because as I thought I understood things, my screen reader was rendering, in to speech, the page regardless of its presentation on the screen. So the screen width, shouldn't change what I could find using my keyboard.
But, when I maximized the screen with f11, magically, the tab buttons changed and I did find all six tabs with my usual keyboard commands.
Very interesting and something I'll be bringing up to the community.

Also, you're quite right to point out that sharing the install file probably exposes the app to unwanted possibilities which I hadn't considered.


Finally, are you THE Nick Lowe? :)

Old Punch cartoon of man at party: "As far as I'm concerned, I am the Frank Sinatra." – But no, I wish. He turned up unannounced on stage at a Robyn Hitchcock gig a few years ago where I was right at the front, and the universe was instantly annihilated in a storm of antiparticles. There's a lot of us about; I'm always getting spam from with subjects like "Are you the Nick Lowe who wrote An Oskar-Dependent Positive Feedback Loop Maintains the Polarity of the Drosophila Oocyte"? (I am not.)

So glad it worked! I don't really know how screen readers interact with page code, so it was a bit of a wild stab. But OrbaSynth is fantastic; there's a PDF manual here which you've probably found, though as usual with synth manuals it's full of UI images that will be no help at all.


I really can't explain how the screen reader interacts with code, but I do know that they're constantly catching up to the new tech.

I've found a few videos on orbasynth, so I'll start there.

Surprisingly, like with the latest orba2 app, the synth seems to be usable with a screen reader.
this has to do with the fact that it was compiled in JUCE.

I'll see how I get on with it.
I'm just excited about more presets for the orba2. :)


Interesting conversation guys. On an Android phone the menu tab does not appear for the OrbaSynth in either portrait or landscape orientation. The "burger menu" in the top right corner does have it listed but again does not produce the page. It is a Windows only app which is where I downloaded it to, so they may have set up the page to be only accessable on a PC because that is only where you could use it. Just a thought. Happy twiddling.
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