“Band in Your Hand” combines synth, looper, and MIDI controller in an elegant package

Technology |  2 min. read

They call it “the band in your hand”, which is a pretty good description of a musical instrument that is a synthesizer, a looper, a MIDI controller and that fits in your hand.  You do need to have some music in your soul, but you don’t have to know how to play an instrument.

You create your music by touching and sliding your fingers on the Orba and by waving or shaking or tilting the Orba.  They made it to be that easy.

You can set a beat with the Drum mode, add a Bass line by sliding your finger, play a Chord by touching the Orba, add a melody – layer them all together – and then hear your song on the built-in speakers.  And you can do all of that in the palm of your hand.

You can also connect to music apps you might already have, like GarageBand. You can plug in headphones, speakers or an amp. You can do enough with it that the Orba Kickstarter campaign has already met its goal (but it’s not too late for you to get in).

Oh, and what holds this “band” together is “glass-infused plastic” (a glass fiber embedded in a BPA-based epoxy, which starts with the petrochemicals propylene and benzene).  And means that unlike a lot of bands, your Orba will stay together and sound good for a very LONG time.

There is a lot of circuitry inside too, from accelerometers and gyroscopes to touchpad technology.  Those printed circuit boards also use the same fiber-reinforced epoxy technology that starts with propylene and benzene.

Want to get one, or just learn more?  Check out Orba on Kickstarter.

Want to know where the propylene and benzene that make Orba possible come from?  We can answer that here.  The starting point is often petroleum, which is made up of a variety of different molecules, most notably naphtha.  Benzene happens to be a component of crude oil and can be separated using distillation.  Another method is to break those larger naphtha molecules apart, which produces a variety of chemical building blocks known as petrochemicals, including propylene and benzene.  There is even a new way to make propylene that starts with propane found in natural gas liquids.  Those resulting petrochemicals are used to make all sorts of things, including the Orba.