Jul 23 2013



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?

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