Blog Post


So that’s enough about Orbiter, I’m busy talking to a couple of sources about using their loops, if this doesn’t come off then I will have to start to make loops – it will drive me insane – so post here may become odd, garbled and infrequent.  Meanwhile a quick review:

So what did I build?

For those of you who are interested Orbiter is/does:

  • 4 loop playback engine
  • Load up any of the hundreds of loops shipped with the product including full-drum loops, drum-tops, kicks and snares, pads, basses, special effects etc. In the end a complete 4-part song development and playback environment
  • Loaded loops are sliced into 32 parts, and each slice is placed in one of the interfaces 32 pads
  • Playback runs a pattern across the loop. This is a collection of steps each of which plays one of the loop pads.
  • Start/Stop optionally synced to DAW transport controls
  • Playback is synced to DAW tempo
  • Loadable patterns replay the loop in a unique (resliced/slice juggling) order to give you all sorts of different playback results, including randomising of pattern sections, for completely unique playback
  • Retrigger(restart) a loop from any pad at any time, using the interface or key switch
  • Latch on any pad
  • 12 patterns can be available at once, and switched between as the loops play, using either the interface or key switches.
  • Ships with heaps of patterns (hopefully)
  • Any loop can be muted/unmuted during playback using the interface or key switches
  • Groove(Swing) controls applied to all loops at the same time (loops “play together”)
  • 4 different definable(start and end point) sub-loops that can be started/stopped at any point (key switches for these too)
  • Resync(return to the original pattern position to stay in time/sync with your song)
  • Tempo and direction options
  • Key switches for start, stop, direction change, latch and resync
  • Each loop has independent volume, pan, humanise and output routing
  • Modulators for Volume(Trance Gate effects), Pan, and Groove controls
  • Event Quantise option to make sure any change is in time with your song
  • Each of the 32 pad steps has ten different effects that can be applied to it independently, these are:
  • Repeats – from 2 to 8 repeats (for drill effects)
  • Random – selects a random part of the loop, including intelligent musical sub-options
  • Reverse – plays a reversed version of the pad
  • Mute – mutes this part of the loop
  • Fx – turn on off any of each loops 4 in-line FX
  • Offset – adjust the start and end point of the loop slice playback
  • Tune – re-pitch the slice
  • Volume – change the gain of this slice
  • Sends – route different amounts of the slice to the 4 send FX
  • Every step has a likelihood control to allow random use of these pad effects
  • Complete Effects system, 4 independent in-line effect slots for each loop, with a choice from over 20 effects for each slot, 4 send effect slots, with 6 different effects to choose from
  • Pitched mode – select any pad and have it re-pitched across the keyboard for chromatic playback
  • A/B Voice and Sound switching – two complete set-ups for each of the pad effect sets to offer 4 different versions available via key-switch at playback
  • Configuration smart randomisation – generate new usable settings across a loop
  • Macro controls – 6 macro controls, assign any two pad parameters to each and modulate all controls across the viewed loop in real-time

In the end it’s the most comprehensive loop player I have ever seen in software. Yeah it’s a BIG claim, (and yes I looked at the obvious competitors Sample Logic’s Rhythmology and Spectrasonic’s Stylus RMX) and I am more than willing to be proved wrong, but I cant for the life of me think of or find anything that does what Orbiter does, it’s completely out there.


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