The Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1
Artiphon Instrument 1, that´s a compact electronical music instrument that was first introduced few
years ago and now, after few months of Kickstarter support it comes in full production version with
many improvements. It´s aimed to serve as guitar, bass, piano, violin and drums in one single and
quite cheap package for both, amateurs and experienced players. Of course you will never get fully
professional sound with it like with the real version of any of named instruments, but it will at least
let you enjoy lot of fun.
Guitar – Keyboard? Keytar!
So as we told before, Instrument 1 behaves depending on how you hold it. Tones are created by
fretboard which is force-sensitive and thanks to onboard speakers you need nothing more to enjoy
the sound. What is great is possibility to connect it to many versions of music software including
Ableton Live or Garageband. After testing we can proudly say that Instrument 1 cooperates very well
with both, Windows and Mac (Apple) computers.
Months of intensive testing, including feedback from betatesters of real public, allowed Artiphon to
tune Instrument 1 to quite good user comfort. Jacob Gordon from Artiphon states that initial idea
was to create something that is not meant to be used in only one specific way. That´s how the idea of
multi-instrument was born.
Instrument 1 is available in 3 different versions. Black and white versions are made of plastic and
holds the price quite low. Exclusive Nashville edition has back made of hardwood. Thanks to
development the net weight of Instrument 1 is only 0,9 kg. This allows almost anybody to hold it and
play it while still being comfortable with it.
Another new thing is USB/Lightning slot. Thanks to this feature you can simply connect almost any of
modern cellphones to your Instrument 1. This slot replaced original iPhone slot that allowed
exclusively only iPhone connection. Up to date, there is only iOS app for this instrument, however,
other versions should follow in short time.
The price is not very low, but on the other hand, it´s still cheaper than to buy all of the instruments
that this device can play. Standard plastic version costs 349 USD while exclusive Nashville edition
costs nearly 700 USD. You can also buy additional shoulder strap and some other minor additions.
The neck of the device has six lines which are meant to be guitar strings. Instrument 1 even allows
string shortening or pitch raising, as same as pluck and strum the sound. Of course you can choose
from one of eight sound and play styles via rotating knob on the top of the neck. Professional guitar
player will probably not get enough to be fully happy, but most of recreational players will be able to
handle it with ease and happiness.
Battery of the device is rechargeable, while charging takes up to six hours. Side part also includes 3,5
mm jack for your headphones or additional amplifier.
So what is it like to play it? The very best of all options is surely guitar mode which will make happy
all amateur, advanced and experimental players. Violin mode also runs pretty well, but holding the
instrument is not as comfortable as it might have been. If the manufacturer plans Instrument 2, they
should definitely consider it. For drums there is not much to comment, because it simply works.
What´s problem is piano mode. Although the Instrument 1 allows playing with good accuracy, the
feeling is whatever, but not like playing piano. It will take some time to remember what key makes
Our conclusion is that Instrument 1 is pretty good music instrument for pretty good money. Maybe it
won´t be the thing that will differentiate you from the others, but unconventional design and original
appearance together with wide range of software connections and tuning definitely will do so.
The Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 Black | Adaptive Multi-Instrument MIDI Controller Plug & Play USB + Lightning iOS iPhone iPad Mac PC
- Play guitar, bass, synth, violin, drum pads, and more, on a revolutionary midi controller
- Time magazine best invention of the year, 1 instrument on kick starter, PC mag editors' choice
- The first fretted and fretless digital string instrument, low-latency, pressure-sensitive playing product
- Ultra portable: Lightweight and 6-hour battery life, USB & lightning cable IOS and mac connectivity
- 2 stereo speakers & headphone jack for creating on your own, or jamming with friends