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WMG-backed Artiphon launches Kickstarter for Orba instrument


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Artiphon is one of the startups making new kinds of musical instrument, raising $1.3m from a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign back in 2015 to make its first device, the Instrument 1. Then, in March 2019, the company raised a more-traditional funding round of $2m, led by Warner Music Group. Now it’s turning to the crowd again, for its second device.

Orba is described as “a musical instrument designed for your hands”. It’s a circular device that’s part synth, part looper and part MIDI controller. Or as the Kickstarter page puts it, the device “resembles a cross between a gaming controller and a half a grapefruit, and its feather-touch sensitivity translates gestures from your fingers and hands directly into sound”.

The target market isn’t just musicians keen on a cool new gadget, but also beginners. “Orba lets you play with simple gestures we use every day on smartphones, trackpads, and game controllers,” as it explains.

Artiphon launched its campaign yesterday with a $50k goal, but has already more than doubled that: at the time of writing it’s past $102k of pledges for the device, which starts at $89 and is due to ship in April 2020.

For more on how WMG sees Artiphon’s potential, read our recent interview with Scott Cohen, the company’s chief innovation officer, recorded music.

Stuart Dredge

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