Artiphon Intros Chorda Synth, Looper & MIDI Controller

Artiphon – creators of the Instrument 1 and Orba synthesizers & MIDI controllers – has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the Chorda, a new synthesizer, looper and MIDI controller that’s designed to be played in a variety of ways.

It features 12 capacitive-sensing pads, an built-in synthesizer & sample engine, a looper, support for MIDI and is also an MPE controller.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Chorda is an incredibly versatile instrument. In fact, it’s like having many instruments in one! You can play Chorda flat like a keyboard or drum machine, or pick it up and strum like a guitar or ukulele.

Chorda lets you play music intuitively, whether you’ve never picked up an instrument or if you’ve played your whole life. With feather-sensitive “capacitive touch” sensors, it picks up even the slightest (or the wildest!) movements so you can express yourself instantly and explore your favorite music in new ways.”


  • 12 capacitive-sensing pads respond to even the lightest velocities and enable per-note expression in multiple dimensions
  • Bridge with six triggers for individual note articulation using familiar gestures like strumming, tapping, and pressing
  • Onboard synthesizer and sample engine, and built-in speaker offer an immediate, standalone playing experience
  • Accelerometer and gyroscope capture a range of multi-dimensional movements
  • Use the built-in looper to easily layer Drum, Bass, Chord, and Lead parts
  • Connect to the cross-platform Artiphon app for more sounds, songs, and settings
  • Connect via MIDI over Bluetooth or USB-C, and use MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) to play your synths and music software in dynamic new ways
  • Use the 1/8″ (3.5mm) output to listen on headphones, speakers, and amps
  • Multicolor LEDs respond to the way you play
  • Embedded haptic engine offers vibration feedback
  • USB rechargeable battery with 4+ hours of battery life

Chorda supports the following MIDI expressive controls:


  • Velocity
  • Vibrato (Pitch)
  • Radiate (CC74)
  • Press (Channel Pressure, Aftertouch)


  • Tilt (CC1)
  • Move (CC113)

Pricing and Availability:

The Chorda is available to project backers starting at $199 USD.

Note: Crowdfunded projects involve risk. See the project site for details.

11 thoughts on “Artiphon Intros Chorda Synth, Looper & MIDI Controller

  1. Maybe this is a great tool, if perhaps a bit unserious. Kudos for making an MPE controller for so cheap. Just a thought on the ad: we’re on, what, year 15 of electronic music gear advertisements that showcase a variety of young, hip people making music on subways, on the beach, in the office, in hospital waiting rooms, in classrooms, etc etc. I have yet to see an actual human in the wild bashing on a MIDI controller, fully rocking out as they wait for their 4 attractive friends to join them to dance in a city square. It just isn’t happening.

  2. As a concept and design, it is a viable alternative to standard controller types. Offers some subtle departures from a keyboard. In the vid, it shows various people enjoying a kind of immediate experience of making fun sounds with little to know skill required. That kind of entry-level user-experience is pretty nice for folks who have no other kind of training or experience.

    It does seem to over-value portability (as we do).

  3. I always look at things like this from the angle of what they might add to a more traditional rig. Chorda feels like a high-quality toy straining to be a more mainstream item, because it sure has some Swiss-army-knife things going on. My first thought was ‘scratch pad.’ The modest battery and 1/8″ output are clearly not pro-level.

    On the other hand, it offers some refreshing variety for a mere $200. You can pay more and get a lot less. The sound is good, so it depends on how it fits your work flow. That kid will beat it to death in no time, but as a Sunday afternoon tool for inspiration, I can see value in it.

  4. If it was Not crowd funded, I would buy one it seems fun.
    If they believe in the instrument so much just come straight to market.

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