Artiphon puts music creation in the palm of your hand
Artiphon first came to our attention in 2012/13 with a strange-looking digital instrument called the Instrument 1 that leveraged the processing power of a docked iPhone to create music. Now the ream is back with a handheld synthesizer called Orba.
The last time we checked in with Artiphon, the company had just redesigned the Instrument 1 to give it a different look and to ditch the docked iPhone, and launched on Kickstarter to fund production. Kickstarter is now the platform of choice for the Orba – a portable synthesizer, looper and MIDI controller about the size of half an orange.
"Its minimalist design resembles a cross between a gaming controller and half an orange, and its feather-touch sensitivity translates gestures from fingers and hands directly into music," said Artiphon in a press release. "Orba introduces a new and fun way to make music anywhere, even if you’ve never played an instrument before."
The Orba is described as a band in your hand by the Artiphon team, and comes with cooked-in sounds and has Drum, Bass, Chord and Lead modes which can be layered to create a song with the built-in looper. Eight capacitive touchpads can register gestures such as tapping, sliding and vibrato. And motion sensors inside trigger effects when a player waves, tilts or shakes the device.
The battery-powered handheld music machine has a built-in speaker, so players can create rhythms and beats wherever and whenever the mood grabs them, but it also connects to mobile devices and computers over Bluetooth MIDI or USB-C. The Orba is compatible with iOS, Mac, Windows and Android operating systems, and will work with "all major recording software including GarageBand, Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, and FL Studio."
There's also a companion app that allows for instrument/sound tweaking, exporting creations to other music-making apps, or sharing songs to social media.
Kickstarter pledges start at US$79 and, if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in April 2020. The video below has more.