The Orbita is the crazy, playful, multi-sensory turntable sequencer made by Playtronica. The new machine converts the placement of colourful magnets into electronic music. It's a straightforward machine that functions as a simple sequencer, but with a more playful way of interaction to create a multisensory experience. The Orbita is fun, while also being a cool tool for "out of the box" experimentation.
The Orbita is a simple sequencer, you attach the dots onto the discs that represents notes of events. As the discs spins, the fixed dots are registered by the arm, triggering whatever you want. The sequencer has 12 colours to represent 12 notes which are passed to an app that sees them as MIDI notes. The distance from the centre can be used to represent different tracks or MIDI messages.
The Orbita could create some very wayward and unexpected melodies and rhythms through experimentation. You can scratch it, stop it and reverse it. While you controle the speed, placement and movement of the magnets. It's a very fun and colourful way to present a sequencer, and we'll only have to guess what will get revealed after a couple of months of play. Playtronic also developed a little CV board for the Orbita so you can have 4 channels of CV/Gate coming out making it very modular friendly. In total, the Orbita has 3 different modes of play;
4 MIDI channels to play 4 instruments with the distance governing which instrument your coloured dot is playing.
Single instrument but with 4 octaves of play.
Sheet of paper converter interpreted via the sensors into music.
Playtronica hopes to launch this on Kickstarter very soon and are suggesting that you sign up to be in chance for the early-bird deals. The Orbita has a lot of depth potential, and would be a great interactive addition to a synth installation. It's a way of getting physically involved in clocking a modular synth, or to simply enjoy the small changes in poking the magnets about as the music unfolds. It would be very nice to have this in the studio.
The Orbita was created by Playtronica, a creative technology studio specializing in interactive experiences and musical gadgets since 2016. The company is all about connecting humans to electronics in order to invoke musical happenings. There they look for connection in the fun music can bring and are also known for the TouchMe two-person tactile synth, and the Playtron bewilderment tool, that turns vegetables into musical triggers.
You can read more on the Playtronica website.