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The Orb is a “rolly, tumbly, singy” synthesizer by Emily Velasco

Arduino TeamApril 7th, 2020

Some years ago, Emily Velasco started exploring the idea of creating a musical instrument based on a pendulum. This didn’t work out exactly the way she’d planned, but after several iterations — and inspiration from a cat toy — the device eventually turned into a sort of wobbling egg-shaped instrument, which sings as it tilts and tumbles. 

The Orb —  as seen and heard in the video below — is truly strange, reminiscent of a theremin morphed with a trendy bowl-shaped wooden speaker. 

As it’s spun, the Orb produces a sort of warbling noise, and one can position it to vary the sound by hand if they so desire. Inside lies an Arduino Nano running the Mozzi audio synthesis library, along with an accelerometer and audio amplifier board.