When Artiphon reached out to me this past summer offering to send me one of their products, I thought- "What the hell? I like free stuff."
Since then, I have not looked back.
I am now a proud and enthusiastic intern at the company and I carry the product everywhere I go. You could say I have a bit of an obsession. Well, more than a bit...
The product they sent me, called Orba, is a synthesizer, looper, and MIDI controller that you can hold in the palm of your hand. From the moment I opened the box I stood in absolute awe of the power that such a small electronic instrument could hold.
You can see what I have done with my Orba on my Instagram, or check out their website. But today we are here to talk about the newest addition to Artiphon's collection of badass music-making material.
Orbacam is a camera app that communicates via bluetooth with the Orba. It features a variety of filters that respond to incoming MIDI data and interact with different gestures. Basically, it provides visuals to accompany the music you play without having to know anything about music technology.
I've linked a demonstration video above so you can see Orbacam in action, but in today's post I want to talk about exactly how much of a game changer this app is for the music community and their content.
I study electronic music production at Berklee College of Music, one of the top contemporary music universities in the world, and I think this app is going to give me a run for my money.
After studying video jockeying at Berklee and working with graphics and video production since I was around 12 years old, I can tell you that syncing music and graphics in real-time can be a big pain in the ass. Graphics processing takes a lot out of your computer, and controlling visuals in real-time can take a lot of complicated setup and technical knowledge. Especially when it comes to controlling graphics with MIDI, there is a lot of sacrificing involved.
What I mean by this is you can't just layer 15 alpha channel videos on top of one another with 15 visual effects running on each one and expect to be able to manipulate them and control them with MIDI in real-time with no latency or glitching. It's just not going to happen.
All that being said, working with this kind of stuff takes a lot of effort, and people get paid a lot of money to make music videos and audio visualizers because they are not easy things to make. But Artiphon's team managed to come up with an idea that allows even the most beginner music-maker to create badass videos of them playing a badass instrument. It's genius.
Orbacam allows users to plug-and-play without even plugging in. People don't like to admit it, but musical content creation is as much about visual aesthetic as it is about audio quality. When scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, you stop and watch because you see something that looks cool. If you like how it looks, then you listen. Light travels faster than sound, both literally and in figuratively.
So if you've got an Orba, go download Orbacam and see what I mean.
And if you don't, get one here!
Much love and happy music-making,