“Like on its bigger brother OrphionOrphinio is a musical instrument with a unique sound between string instrument and percussion. Everyone can play expressive, wonderful sounds and easy or virtuosic melodies on it just by moving fingers on virtual pads. ”

Unlike Patatap, Orphinio and Orphion have endless educational uses….well still being a ton of fun. Orphin(io) are iOS only mobile apps that provide flexible on-screen tap pads. These features are detailed in my video demo below.

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  • Orphinio is currently free (Orphion is $3.99 + $.99 in app custom pad creator)
  • Very natural and intuitive interface
  • Multiple articulations and pressure sensitivity allows for a high level of musical expressivity.
  • Multiple pitches at once, plus multiple articulations allows for true polyphonic playing
  • Pitch names allow for a visual music theory and improvisation teaching
  • Pitch bending and tremolo support
  • Full registral customization from c0 to c8 (though c0 is sort of impossible to hear on ipad)
  • Harmonic shakers (sounds like a customized baby rattle)
  • 9 built in layouts
  • Sound exportable o EMail, SoundClour or AudioCopy
  • Midi enabled
  • Audiobus support allows for live streaming of audio to other Audiobus enabled apps.


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  • Limited sound palette. You can be quite creative with the sound provided but there is only the one sound.
  • No palette customization in Orphinio, though it is possible in Orphion as an in app purchase. (These custom palettes are sharable)
  • The sensitivity of the pads makes it easy to activate the wrong pad.
  • Pitch bends are only ascending.
  • Orphinio’s automatic transposition can at time show pitches with sharps and flats in the same scale.



[title size=”3″]In Tablet Demo[/title]



[tagline_box backgroundcolor=”#f6f6f6″ shadow=”yes” border=”1px” bordercolor=”#f6f6f6″ highlightposition=”bottom” link=”http://themeforest.net/user/ThemeFusion” linktarget=”” button=”” title=”Class Activity Suggestions” description=”Orphinio is useful in a variety of contexts. As a performance teaching tool, it can be used to discuss and practice different types of articulations, phrasing and expression. In particular, the simple visual interface allows students to engage with musical expression without having to deal with the complexities of their own instruments.


As a theory tool, Orphinio can be used to discuss transposition. Many students have trouble conceptualizing scales as patterns of semitones and whole-tones. This maybe due to the memorization of scales on their primary instruments. Orphinio allows the instructor to transpose pitches up or down without changing the on screen pattern. It can also be used to introduce students to other sorts of octave divisions, like whole-tone or octatonic collections. Orphion’s custom palette creator would make this even more useful.


As an ear-training aid, orphinio could be used as a call and response tool. The teacher plays one of the pitches on a simple palette and the student responds in kind. Or the student could respond with a specific interval above or below the given pitch. It could also be used for simple melodic call and response. The complexity of these interactions would increase as more complex palettes are used. Micro-tuning can also be introduced in this way as it is quite possible to play in multiple tuning systems at the same time.


Imporvisation has a new best friend in orphinio as it allow pairs or groups of students to interact not just on a pitch level but on the level or articulation and phrasing. Imagine asking students to imitate or expand on the way their colleagues are making the sounds (plucked, tremelo, bends, slaps, etc.) instead of just dealing with pitch information.”][/tagline_box]