I stumbled across the Artiphon Instrument 1 at Summer NAMM in Nashville and I have to say that I am intrigued.
The Instrument 1 is a controller that uses the iPhone5 for its heart and soul and can be played guitar style or like a violin under your chin.
A proprietary fingerboard has over the top sensing capabilities to make it very expressive. The fingerboard features aftertouch as well to allow a player to add vibrato the same way they would with a stringed instrument.
Below where the iPhone is inserted there is a sensor pad that can be set up for strumming or tapping or even to mimic bowing actions.
One of the points that came up was that the iPhone5 is actually a more powerful computer than a Mac Pro from 4 years ago. Now that is Moore’s Law in action!
Artiphon rounds out the Instrument 1’s capabilities with onboard speakers, MIDI and USB I/O and has a Lithium Ion battery to power it. Audio output is on a quarter-inch cable or eighth inch headphone outs. It will address and control any Core Audio compliant piece of software on the iPhone.
At $799 the Instrument 1 is expensive but it is made lovingly with craftsmanship here in the USA. The wood makes you want to hold the Instrument 1 close and strum a chord.
The biggest challenge I see for this piece is finding its market. It is priced for pros but its sound engine is based on a consumer computing device.
A mere $10 will allow you to reserve one of the very first ones to roll of the line this summer.
So, do you feel like owning a piece of Nashville based music technology history?