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Introducing Preset Creator by Artiphon (formerly Orbasynth)

Today, we have some exciting news regarding something a lot of you have been asking for- Artiphon Preset Creator 

Now, you can create your very own presets for Orba 1, Orba 2, and Chorda! 

If you’ve already seen or used Orbasynth, everything will look pretty similar. One especially exciting new feature we want to highlight is that you can now import your own samples and modify them directly within the app. And for those customizing presets for the first time, you can also import various Orba presets to use as a starting point.

If not, Artiphon Preset Creator is meant to function similarly to the controls on your standard synthesizer. You have access to two oscillators that allow you to produce different wave shapes, a globals section which allows you to control the mix of the oscillators and LFO's, VCA control, and much more.

And of course, all of the gestures that you know and love on Orba and Chorda, like Tilt and Radiate, can be mapped to your chosen parameters.

Finally, you can add some extra flare like reverb and delay and then save your custom-made preset directly to the app to put onto your instrument.

Like Orbasynth, Preset Creator works for both Mac and Windows. You can download it here: 

I've also attached the user manual below

We plan to release content that shows this off more in depth. In the meantime, we'd love to hear any questions you might have about Artiphon Preset Creator works


Is there a way to make a particular sound loop using these controls? Make it keep playing on a loop while I'm holding the key?

At the moment it doesn't seem possible to get it. The page says "Enter your email address below for and instant download link!" - but there is no form to actually do that and get the link.

Ah - the page doesn't work in Vivaldi browser (Chrome based, I believe). It does work Edge however. May be an accessibility  issue which Artiphon may want to consider.

From a very, very, quick test it does seem to work OK for the Orba 2 so is a bit of an improvement for that. However, I suspect that it remains not possible to test the gestures on Windows, at least (which depends on MPE midi, which Windows doesn't support). I couldn't be totally sure about that without out exploring it a bit more. That means you can only guess and hope your gestures will work, or work as you wish.  (I don't mean to be too damning about that - it's a Windows problem, not Artiphons). That is unfortunate though because that was an area I really wanted to be able to use properly to try and get truly expressive presets.

It might be better for users of Apple and perhaps Android versions.

Oh - a new feature. The creator can be fed a sound sample (read the manual) and use that to make a preset - it seems to be tolerant to some degree about the format. Before you get too excited, it treats it like the samples recorded on the Orba 2  are, so you will get a Pinky and Perky effect with human voice sounds (sorry -  a reference for Brits with high age quotients). However, there does seem to be some degree of adjustment to the output sound possible, which gives it some potential for really  interesting presets.

Surprised perhaps that Artiphon haven't been louder about that - it could be a neat feature and worth exploring.

The graphics on pages 4–6 of the manual are tantalisingly pixellated. I don't think this is intended, though it's one way to get users to figure it out hands-on…

Having spent a little time with it, using samples with the preset creator is straightforward enough in principle - but getting good results is another question - could really do with Artiphon providing some explanations  for best ways of using it otherwise sounds get mangled in the process, and it handles some samples rather poorly which limits it's scope, to my mind.

I tried out an idea I had: First I created a preset stripped down as far as I could make it - to avoid any gesture or LFO etc. affecting the sound. Then I loaded that preset on the Orba, then go into the creator and loaded that preset there. Then loaded my sample -  going into sample mode introduced some effects to the sample sound which is want I didn't want, but it was not too heavily affected. From there I could tailor the sound from the sample to what I wanted.

I do think that this should not be the way we have to do it - Artiphon should provide a "blank" preset to enable this and adjust sample mode to give us a clean palette to work from, as it were.

(I did manage to get one decent sounding preset before trying this, but my other attempts before that were just too horrid to want to risk deploying them.)

I remain positive that this feature of the Preset Creator could be really good - but it ain't there yet.

I have noticed that Preset Creator in Sample Mode adds a pitch bend effect on key press pressure. It's a nice gesture if you want it, but I'm far from convinced it's a good idea as a default. If you're using samples make sure you check the gestures section carefully. This one is in the "press" settings.

 A gentle pressure controlled vibrato wouldn't be so bad, but this seems to me like ensuring you'll be playing out of tune most of the time!

Thanks for the feedback, David and Nick. 

Our team will be going live on YouTube in about 4 hours to do a more in-depth walkthrough of Preset Creator, and take any questions if you're interested. 

@Evan, your comment is appreciated.

I have been playing around with the Preset Creator some more and I feel the concept of a blank canvass to work from is really important. 

When I load a sample I always have to go through setting to clear remnants of the previous preset loaded on the Orba and some things that I think Creator introduces. Once I can hear the sample clean (as close as I can - I appreciate there will be some change of the sound in the process, as always happens with electronic instruments), then I can make the adjustments to make the best of the sound, whether that is distorting it, or just improving it's more natural character. 

I think it would be wise to aid people with information about what sort of samples are likely to work well and those that won't. Things like dealing with samples that end abruptly might be helpful for many, I think. I have also noticed some incidental sounds in a sample recording can be much more noticeable when used for a preset even though they are barely noticeable when playing the sample in isolation. Some guidelines might save people some avoidable problems.

I would suggest it would be good to cover some ways of handling mixing samples with the osc2 synth sounds (I'm not even sure that does work - I've not managed anything that I felt might be worth deploying, so I haven't tested that possibility.

I will miss the live presentation - in the UK we like to sleep at night!

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I'll be representing the UK insomniacs, but haven't had a chance to dig into the sample features as David has, so I promise not to ask any intelligent questions. Presumably it'll be available afterwards as a recording with comments still open?

What I would front-load this with is that sound design for MPE is very different from sound design as historically practised, and that that's the perfect thing to focus on in an extended livestream.

Anyway, break a leg, guys. Really glad this is happening. Orbasynth has long been Artiphon's best-kept secret (partly because the download link is so hard to find for any but the intrepid), but is a little gem that deserves to be much more widely known and played with.

Incidentally, I don't know if this is a bug, but worth reporting anyway: sample mode doesn't work on MacOS Catalina. (You can't toggle the MODE button, though you can toggle between saw and square waves on the waveform icon.) Fine on Ventura.

I posted a comment supporting to Nick Lowe about MPE - Artiphon seemed to have waylaid it as a support ticket. So this I just thought I would ensure my agreement with Nick is noted here!

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