Artiphon Orba is no bigger than one half of a grapefruit, but it will let you play drums, synths, guitar, and conduct your own strings section. The instrument, created by Artiphon, is described as “a portable synth, looper and MIDI controller that lets you create songs in seconds”. It can translate gestures from your fingers and hands into musical sounds, even if you’re not a trained musician.
You can switch between multiple modes, Drum, Bass, Chord and Lead, which can be played with the eight touchpads on the surface of Orba. These touchpads can recognise gestures such as tapping, sliding, vibrato and motion sensors that lets you wave, tilt and shake for more effects. With built-in speakers, Orba can be played as a standalone instrument, but wireless connectivity options will let you hook it up to mobile devices and computers via Bluetooth MIDI.
Orba can be customised with an app, offering a bank of sounds, tunings and patterns. The app also lets you share finished songs to social media, and export to other music-making apps.
Artiphon’s handheld instrument is compatible with iOS, Mac, Windows and Android, as well as being recognised by major DAWs including Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools and FL Studio. Orba has just launched on Kickstarter, where you can reserve your own from $79. The campaign will run until January 12 2020. Artiphon’s first instrument, INSTRUMENT 1, raised over $1million and was awarded by TIME as a Best Invention of the Year in 2011.