An evolution of the Instrument 1 MIDI controller, Chorda is a new product from Artiphon that promises to “reinvent the musical instrument” and is designed to become part of your “everyday life”. It can be played in a variety of ways and comes with a library of built-in instruments and a layering looper that enables you to record songs.
The heart of the Chorda is a bank of 12 capacitive-sensing pads that respond to velocity and finger movements. In fact, you get per-note expression in multiple dimensions.
There’s also a six-trigger bridge that can be strummed, tapped or pressed. This can also be used to control the built-in arpeggiator or to adjust your song’s tempo, key and other properties.
You add even more expression by moving the instrument itself, thanks to the inclusion of an accelerometer and a gyroscope. The synth and sample engine gives you hundreds of sounds to work with out of the box, and you can also create your own using the cross-platform Chorda app.
The looper has four parts for drums, bass, chords and a lead line, while the built-in speaker means that you can use Chorda completely standalone (there’s also a 3.5mm headphone/line out). MIDI can be transmitted via USB-C or wirelessly over Bluetooth LE, and the rechargeable battery can power the instrument for up to four hours.
Chorda is currently sitting pretty on Kickstarter, having smashed through its funding target in just a couple of days. Early bird pricing is still available, though - a pledge of $199 should ensure that you get one delivered in November 2023.