The Orb is an easy to use, single track, step-based digital sequencer, ideal for controlling the XS semi-modular synthesizer as well as any other analog CV/Gate or MIDI synthesizers. The Orb is also a perfect solution for controlling 303 clones which often lack the essential sequencer.
Based on the highly successful Revolution concept, the Orb provides an intuitive interface that Future Retro felt most accurately represents the principles of time and music.
Continuing Future Retro's tradition of hand building quality products, this sleek compact unit is housed in a rugged aluminum chassis with a high contrast white on gun metal grey finish for superior viewing of controls in dark environments, and bright blue LEDs all around. New spherical switches allow quick selection of multiple steps by sweeping through the surface of step keys.
Let's start with the sequencer....
As you can see, the sequencer's interface is circular, which provides several benefits over the traditional linear-style step sequencers. Visually, it is easier to divide a measure of music into equal parts. The circular interface also provides a more intuitive way of displaying patterns playing as cyclic loops, either forwards or reverse, and will help you better understand the underlying geometric symmetries used throughout our Remixing process. This design also allows the user to carry out all sequencing functions with a single hand.
There are 256 recordable patterns available, each recording note duration, pitch, accent , glide, loop point, time signature, and swing amount. Pattern editing features include copy/paste, pattern shifting, pattern transposing, multiple pattern cueing for chaining patterns together live, and LED chase. In addition, all pattern editing and recording can be done while the sequencer is running, and it will automatically save all your edits so you don't have to stop creating!
The Orb also provides the ability to play patterns forwards or backwards, as well as remotely select patterns to play using MIDI program change messages.
There are 16 songs to arrange the patterns in, each recording its tempo, the bank/pattern for each step, the transposition of each step, and the song's loop point. Each of the 16 songs can contain up to 3,580 measures, and multiple songs may be chained together so they play sequentially.
In addition, the Orb provides our unique Remix feature which gives 256 variations for every pattern and song, for more than 65,000 possible patterns right out of the box. Whether you're improvising during a live set, creating variations for other parts of a song, or simply have a case of writer's block, our Remix feature is sure to inspire you and speed up your creative process.
Patterns and songs can be backed up via SysEx dumps to other Orb units, Revolution units, or your computer. In addition, all patterns and songs created in the Orb can be played in the Revolution units, just as all Revolution patterns and songs can be played in the Orb.
The Orb provides separate 1/4" jacks for the CV out (1V/oct standard) with adjustable Glide Time control, Gate out (positive polarity type, 0 to +12V), and Accent out (positive polarity type gate, 0 to +10v) for playing most analog synthesizers. Or if you prefer, the Orb can act as a MIDI to CV converter allowing any MIDI keyboard/controller, or sequencer to contol an analog synthesizer. It's also possible to sync most pre-MIDI analog sequencers and arpeggiators to MIDI clock by using the Gate out signal as a programmable clock source.
MIDI In/Thru/Out are all provided for syncing playback with external sequencers, playing MIDI sound modules, or using the Orb as a MIDI to CV converter.
- Number of Patterns: 256 patterns (16 banks x 16 patterns each)
- Recorded Pattern Content: note duration, pitch, accent, glide, loop point, time signature, swing amount
- Number of Steps Per Pattern: 3/4 time = 12 steps, 4/4 time = 16 steps max
- Note Pitch Range: C1 - D#6 (internal), C2 - D#7 (MIDI)
- Loop Point: 1 to 16 notes per pattern to loop
- Pattern Transpose: from -36 to +36 semitones
- Other Pattern Features: pattern remixing, play patterns forwards or backwards, copy and paste patterns, pattern shifting, permanent pattern transposing, multiple pattern cueing (for chaining patterns together live), LED chase, real-time editing of pattern information while the sequencer is playing or stopped, sequencer automatically saves all editing
- Remix: 256 instant variations for playing each pattern and song
- Number of Songs: 16
- Number of Steps Per Song: up to 3,580 measures each
- Recorded Song Content: tempo, bank/pattern for each step, transpose value for each step, song loop point
- Song Pattern Transpose: from -36 to +36 semitones for each song step
- Tempo Range: from 20 to 250 beats per minute
- MIDI Functions: on/off, channel selectable from 1-16, Program Change messages for selecting patterns remotely
- MIDI Sync: internal or external
- MIDI Sysex: for backing up patterns and songs (sysex dumps compatible with the Revolution synthesizer)
- MIDI Data: note on/off, pitch, velocity (transmitted and received)
- MIDI to CV Converter: Converts internal patterns or external MIDI note data into control voltage, gate, and accent signals for controlling other analog synthesizers
MIDI: in, thru, out
1/4" Jacks: v/oct CV out, +12v gate out (positive polarity), +10v accent out (positive polarity)
12 volt AC input, current rating of 1 amp or 1,000 mA
7" length, 6" width, 2.75" height
The Orb comes with a 1 year limited warranty covering any failure of components being electric or mechanical.
For your warranty to be effective, you must register your unit within 30 days of purchase.
Any modifications done to the Orb automatically void the warranty!