I've been trying to work out what the Chorda might be capable of and I found there was a short wish list forming in my mind. I'll put that here in hope it may be of use.
First, can you please, please add the capability to start scales that play from the Dominant, not just the Tonic. If you don't understand why I think this is important try playing the melodies of the classic hit songs that you grew up listening to on the radio and you'll soon see why. Most of them will not be possible.
One example came to mind - "I Want You Back" by The Jackson Five. The basic melody is pentatonic over one octave - so about as simple as it can get. It's not possible on the Orbas though. It is possible on the Chorda, but as soon as you want to make it a bit more interesting and creative, you'd want to play in a diatonic scale - and suddenly it won't fit into the available range.
Being able to change the scale start point wouldn't be a universal fix, by a long way, but it would expand the range of possibilities a lot.
Second: It has been mentioned that preset sounds can be changed without using the app on the Chorda. I've not seen that demonstrated. But I guess this is done by using the A+Song combination - a good idea. I fear this could be rather cumbersome to use though, so, if this hasn't already been considered, it would be good if a group of songs could be created on the app, which then will be the ones that can be scrolled through on the Chorda itself - knowing you'll only get the "songs" that you like or are appropriate/useful to the occasion. It would also keep it simpler to use, and I can see it as being very practical.
Third: It is not clear what the A+Clear is for, but I presume it replaces the Orbas A+Shake action for deleting recordings when creating "songs". It makes good sense, and I guess it would work well.
I would hope that Artiphon takes the opportunity to use it also to mute/unmute the selected mode preset when playing a "song", or even better, perhaps adjust the volume of that selected sound - it could add the possibility of some real dynamics in a "song" as it is being played. Seems like an opportunity too good to miss and something Orba users have called out for.
I appreciate that ,at this point, these things couldn't be implemented straight away but I think they are worth serious consideration.
This morning it dawned on me that I had miscounted the diatonic range of the Chorda. It's an octave and a fifth, not an octave and a fourth as I had thought. (I blame it on my experiences of that issue with small box harps and zithers.) It makes the issue of starting the keyboard on the dominant less bad - but the feature would still be valuable.
I should also have mentioned above that some Orba 2 users were begging for some other features - like different modal scales, for example. Those things would also be most welcome for the Chorda.
David Benton: "It has been mentioned that preset sounds can be changed without using the app on the Chorda. I've not seen that demonstrated. But I guess this is done by using the A+Song combination - a good idea."
Change Preset: While holding (A), press Pad 1-4 then press Bridge up or down to change to the next or previous preset for that Mode.
David Benton: "It is not clear what the A+Clear is for, but I presume it replaces the Orbas A+Shake action for deleting recordings when creating 'songs'."
Clear the loop on the current mode Hold + Pad 10 (CLEAR) for 2 seconds. Clear all loops Hold + Pad 10 (CLEAR) for 4 seconds.
To add to the suggestions, I'd really like to be able to set the bass and lead modes to use a chromatic scale. Also, key switching in the app when connected via bluetooth doesn't work - the key goes right back to what it was. Switching only seems to work when connected via USB. I already reported a ticket for this.
I have determined that the solution to many of our problems is to have two Chordas. Chromatic scales can be obtained by setting up two Chordas one half-step apart, similar to a chromatic harmonica or a chromatic button accordion.
Songs that modulate or use non-diatonic chords can be dealt with by setting up two Chordas - one in the starting key and another in the modulated key.
Some of these problems can be solved with one Chorda and one Orba 2.
Good catch with the Bluetooth issue. I'm going to test that right now.
There will likely be unsupported methods to create presets that can play chromatically ( and therefore can also play modal scales). However, it will be at least two weeks before I get my hands on a Chorda and it will take a while to test things to see if, and how, it will work. (There may also be some tricks with Chords possible.)
When I've done that I expect to post something about it at https://orbaalternative.blogspot.com.