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KordBot is a MIDI controller that gives you 1000's of chords at the touch of a button, a powerful arpeggiator & step sequencer in one!
KordBot is a MIDI controller that gives you 1000's of chords at the touch of a button, a powerful arpeggiator & step sequencer in one!
KordBot is a MIDI controller that gives you 1000's of chords at the touch of a button, a powerful arpeggiator & step sequencer in one!
736 backers pledged $178,655 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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KordBot - Music Production Assistant

$178,655

736

KordBot is a music production assistant that combines a chord generator, arpeggiator and step sequencer In one unit.

KordBot enables users to quickly and easily play 1000s of chords on any polyphonic MIDI capable device. 

It has 32 built-in chord types including inversions for each, with another eight user-banks for storing custom chord types.

For creating fast ideas, ‘Song Builder’ mode lets KordBot automatically pre-select the seven harmonically related chords of a scale known as a 'diatonic progression'. These are standard chord sequences available from fourty-nine scales and scale modes, such as Major, Minor, Penatonic and Blues scales, Lydian, Phrygian, Aeolian and Locrian modes and more. Exotic scales are available as well, such as Pelog, Hungarian Folk, Balinese and Oriental. 

Up to four scale types and key signatures can be selected, accessed from the four chord modifier rows on the left side of the unit. The resulting diatonic chord progressions of each row then form a sort of 'musical palette' for inspiring song ideas with the push of a few buttons.

Other KordBot features are the unique chord ‘strum’ feature, where users can slide across the built-in ribbon controller to strum the notes of the chord. 

Speaking of which, the ribbon controller is also both pressure and location sensitive, allowing 2 axis control of sound parameters during user-configurable MIDI Continuous Controller commands (MIDI CC). This means 2 separate real-time MIDI CC parameters can be manipulated at once, such as pitch bend and vibrato levels.

The advanced Arpeggiation unit includes 'humanisation' and 'swing' functions to vary note velocities and/or note/chord start times and lengths. The arpeggiator has all the usual up/down patterns as well as the ability to store user-created patterns. It may also be syncronised to an external MIDI clock if desired.

Kordbot is not only just a tool for the studio... It’s a truly powerful learning device -- KordBot’s illuminated keyboard displays each note of the chords played. This is a great way for users to quickly learn how to play the chords themselves and for quick reference lookup of chord fingerings.

KordBot easily connects to your hardware and software via MIDI, USB or wirelessly via Bluetooth and will work with iOS and Android devices too.

Some of KordBot's functions
Some of KordBot's functions

Chord Spread demo and mini Jam session..

More coming soon, keep checking back.. 

Chord Generation 

  • KordBot contains 32 built-in chord shapes along with inversions. 
  • Users can also input their own chord shapes. 
  • Song Builder Mode where KordBot will automatically pre-select all harmonically related chords in a given key and present them to the user for quick access. 
  • A ChordSpread rotary control expands the amount of notes used in the chord 
  • Humanisation functions to vary note velocity and starts of notes. 
  • Chord Strum mode - Use Ribbon controller to strum notes of a chord.

Arpeggio

  •  Access to the same functions as chord mode. 
  • Standard arpeggio patterns up/down/updown and many different patterns including the ability to enter user patterns. 
  • Variable note length 
  • Swing functions
  • Sync to an external MIDI clock 
  • Strum / Repeat / Latch modes

Step Sequencer (currently under development)

  •  32 steps 
  • Up to 4 sequencer channels 
  • Each step can play a single note, rest, chord or MIDI cc value

Midi Mode

  •  Use as a normal MIDI controller, 32 chord modifier buttons become note on/off buttons (can be used for launching clips in ableton etc)
  •  All controls, including the pressure and location sensitive ribbon controller, can be assigned to MIDI CC. 
  • Memory pads can be used as drum pads.

User Interface

  • Two Octave illuminated keyboard (chord fingerings are presented to user) 
  • 32 ‘Chord Modifiers’ illuminated (8 reconfigurable for user defined chord types) 
  • Four rotary controllers with push buttons for settings change 
  •  Six Chord Memory pads
  • Illuminated 128 x 64 OLED Display 
  • 4" force and location sensing ribbon controller, assignable to MIDI cc or used for the ‘strum’ feature.

Connectivity

  • Standard MIDI 5 pin DIN IN/OUT 
  • USB host MIDI interface / power 
  • SYNC in/out for classic hardware 
  • Sustain pedal input 
  • Bluetooth MIDI 
  • DC input jack (for MIDI only use) 
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery (if stretch funding goal reached)

Dimensions

Width: 14” / Depth: 4.5” / Height: 2.5” Weight: 600gms (approx)

Work started on KordBot in late 2014, when Brad Holland started building prototype ideas to output preset chords over the MIDI protocol and his imagination quickly ran away with him. It became clear that his own programming skills couldn’t keep up and so he had to seek assistance from someone more experienced in software development.

After several online meetings with programmers from various different disciplines, he was beginning to despair with the whole situation and then received another application from a man called Bill Behrendt. Brad explains, “what struck me about his application was that he had experience in both coding AND music. We got talking and he mentioned that he wrote a few books on the subject of music and computers in the early 1980s and started reeling off a few titles, one of them being ‘Music & Sound for the Commodore 64’ that title seemed very familiar to me and so I found myself quickly google image searching the book, and then it dawned on me!”

Brad continues, “A sudden rush of memories hit me like a ton of bricks. I was a Commodore 64 fanatic and at the age of about 12 was heavily into computers and making music. It turns out that very book was like a bible to me as a kid. I found it quite amazing to say the least that my life would lead me, some 25 years later to the very guy that helped to influence me into much of this in the first place. I don’t think of myself as a superstitious man, but it sure seems like the stars aligned to make all this happen.”

So here’s where Brad finds himself now, about to launch a product that he has been dreaming of for years, built upon a chance internet meeting of two like minded guys that unbeknownst to them, already had a lot of history together.

Bill's take on the matter: "It's astounding to me on two fronts. First, the one guy I inspired with my writings in the 1980's and I manage to connect over the internet 25+ years later. Secondly, in the 2 or 3 months preceding that, I had been working on a very similar homebrew project. Of course, Brad's design is more elegant and compact. Mine would have taken up a good-sized room and taken one hundred years to complete!"

2014 The very first KordBot prototype
2014 The very first KordBot prototype
2nd Prototype model, moving onto custom pcb
2nd Prototype model, moving onto custom pcb
Design starts for the 3rd ProtoType and Enclosure
Design starts for the 3rd ProtoType and Enclosure
3rd ProtoType, everything on 1 pcb now!
3rd ProtoType, everything on 1 pcb now!
1st Prototype silicon keypad fresh out of its mold
1st Prototype silicon keypad fresh out of its mold
Finished ProtoType silicon keypad
Finished ProtoType silicon keypad
3rd ProtoType enclosure fresh out of the mill
3rd ProtoType enclosure fresh out of the mill
3rd ProtoType enclosure preperation
3rd ProtoType enclosure preperation

All Tees available with crew or v neck in both male & female styles.

 press Kit available for download here you can also contact us directly here

Risks and challenges

In an effort to minimize risk we have already made KordBot almost production ready by taking the product development so far on our own. Save for a few minor design changes suggested from our supporters, we are expecting no issues here.

Despite our best intentions it would be futile to say there will be no issues arise in final manufacture.
We have researched extensively and worked very hard on our design to minimize that risk and carefully chosen our production partners.

In further effort to make things run smoothly, we have extended our delivery time to September 2016 to give us some buffer in case there are any small hiccups along the way or an overwhelming amount of orders which would increase our production times.
We promise to keep our backers up to date on the development and will welcome any and all feedback and participation throughout the process.

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    Your Name In Lights!
    Get A KordBot - AND your name added in the credits IN THE DEVICE.
    A special scrolling credits screen will display your name!
    Backers at this level will also receive their KordBots 1st

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Funding period

- (30 days)