Artiphon Instrument 1

Artiphon Instrument 1 is a versatile instrument/controller that can be played like a guitar, piano and other instruments.

Artiphon Instrument 1

It looks and plays like a miniature guitar, complete with a pressure sensitive fretboard, but it doesn't stop there. The interface is designed to simulate a variety of other instruments, so you can also play it as you would a mini-keyboard, synth, drum pad, and even violin!

Being a guitarist, the most interesting aspect of the Artiphon Instrument 1 is it's close resemblance of the guitar. It has a touch sensitive fretboard that allows you to fret your favorite chords, while the bridge offers tactile buttons that you can strum, pluck, pick or tap. This control configuration allows for a wide variety of guitar playing styles, from basic strumming, to folk-style fingerpicking, to bass plucking, and more.

Being MIDI compatible, it can be used to trigger your favorite virtual instruments and samples. This means that you can play synth and other sounds by merely playing the Artiphon Instrument 1 as you would a compact guitar, removing the need to learn how to play a keyboard style controller - this makes it a good transition MIDI instrument for guitarists.

While there are already quite a number of attempts to make guitar-like controllers, the Artiphon Instrument 1 is more ambitious because the guitar is just one of the many instruments that it can emulate. By placing it on your lap or on a table, you can play it as you would a lap steel guitar. You can also press on the pressure/touch sensitive fretboard as you would on a keyboard and it will turn into a piano controller.

Like other midi controllers, it can also be used as a trigger pad for electronic music samples and synths, and can be used to control virtual percussive instruments. Place it on your shoulder and you can even play it like a violin, and it does all these while reproducing the dynamics and nuances of your playing.

Check out the official Kickstarter video:

Another interesting feature of the Artiphon Instrument 1 is its standalone playability, where it has its own sounds already programmed within the unit, which can then be played through the built-in speakers. This standalone capability makes it a full pledged instrument, unlike the usual computer dependent MIDI controllers.

The Instrument 1 is currently offered at Kickstarter, hoping to get enough crowdfunding to get it mass produced. It is said that they have already raised $750,000, ten times more than its $75,000 target. You can pledge $349 for the standard plastic black or white version, while the Nashville version is much pricer at $699 because it utilizes hardwood for the back panel. Pending unforeseen problems, the company hopes to get the Artiphon Instrument 1 publicly available by January of next year (2016).

For more information and to check out more demo videos, head over to Artiphon.

Related Article:

MIDI pickups Click here for our MIDI Guitar Pickup Guide!

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