Introducing The Instrument 1

Here is a dramatically new kind of musical controller, a multi-instrument that combines traditional craftsmanship with the power of mobile apps. The ergonomic hardwood body is playable in five positions, and the virtual string interface is the first of its kind in sensitivity and responsiveness. This is the first serious instrument for the professional mobile musician.

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The Multi-Instrument

The INSTRUMENT 1 introduces the category of the multi-instrument. This new form factor allows for deep versatility and expansive combinations of playing position, interface configuration, and variety of sound. Defying the standard that an instrument can only be held one way, the INSTRUMENT 1 invites you to sling the strap over your neck to play it like a guitar, set it under your chin like a violin, prop it upright on your knee for a bass or cello technique, or lay it down flat like a lap steel or drum pad. This is a portable music studio, a professional-level performance device, and the origin of entirely new sonic possibilities.

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The Specs

  • Patent-pending fretboard interface with six virtual strings, six virtual frets, and full fretless playability.
  • Patent-pending touch and velocity-sensitive strum section.
  • Accommodates multiple ergonomic playing positions.
  • Compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and 5th generation iPod Touch via Lightning connector.
  • Onboard connections for USB, headphones, ¼” stereo instrument cable, and MIDI I/O.
  • Integrated high-fidelity stereo BMR speakers (100Hz–20kHz) and a 25-Watt, Class-D amplifier built-in.
  • Rechargeable integrated lithium-ion battery and AC power input.
  • Controls any Core MIDI enabled iOS app, including aftertouch and MIDI CC mapping capabilities, and extends hundreds of available audio apps.
  • Multi-track recording capabilities with apps like Garageband® and Auria®, and direct MIDI control of computer software like Ableton®, Traktor®, Pro Tools®.
  • Forged aluminum speaker grilles.
  • Body carved of sustainably-harvested specialty hardwood and bamboo by Cumberland Architectural Millwork.
  • Hand built in Nashville, TN.

The Interface

The INSTRUMENT 1 is played via a six-string, six-fret fingerboard and a digital strum section that can be strummed, bowed, picked, or plucked. These interfaces offer the nuance musicians demand from traditional stringed instruments, but go beyond what analog strings have ever been capable of. Our patent-pending sensor technology is the first digital string interface to be fully pressure and velocity-sensitive, meaning the instrument dynamically registers the speed and pressure with which the musician plays. And polyphonic aftertouch lets the player manipulate tones after they have been actuated: rock your finger for vibrato, or apply more pressure to intensify an effects filter.

The Apps

By tapping into the musical platform of iOS, the INSTRUMENT 1 becomes limitlessly expandable in sounds and features. With hundreds of MIDI-enabled apps in the App Store, each one represents a new spectrum of possibilities. Apps like GarageBand® allow for multi-track recording and mixing directly within the instrument. Synth apps like Animoog® offer an ever-growing array of rich timbres with dynamic aftertouch expressiveness. And robust sample libraries like SampleTank® provide a nearly endless selection of traditional instrument sounds, from cellos to electric guitars to sitars.

The Multi-Instrument

The INSTRUMENT 1 introduces the category of the multi-instrument. This new form factor allows for deep versatility and expansive combinations of playing position, interface configuration, and variety of sound. Defying the standard that an instrument can only be held one way, the INSTRUMENT 1 invites you to sling the strap over your neck to play it like a guitar, set it under your chin like a violin, prop it upright on your knee for a bass or cello technique, or lay it down flat like a lap steel or drum pad. This is a portable music studio, a professional-level performance device, and the origin of entirely new sonic possibilities.

Touch Sound

We founded Artiphon in order to design and build next-generation musical devices, melding traditional craftsmanship and materials with advanced technology. These sound tools are versatile enough to be used by people of all skill levels and robust enough to satisfy seasoned artists. They cross the boundaries between traditional categories, expanding a musician’s freedom through innovation while staying true to the art and artisanship of the past. Future products will include microphones, speakers, and musical instruments, all designed to reimagine how music is consumed and created. We call our philosophy Touch Sound.

About Artiphon

Artiphon is composed of a tight-knit team of experts based in Nashville, TN with a satellite office in New York City. Artiphon’s founder, Mike Butera, draws on his background in consumer electronics, a PhD in sound studies, and life on the road as a touring musician. He continues to teach sociology at Belmont University and lecture on the phenomenology of sound. Artiphon is leveraging best practices from the field of technology startups, including lean methodology and customer development. Among Artiphon’s Investors and advisors are some of the finest minds in strategy, technology, and design, including Dave McClure of 500 Startups, and Jimmyjane founder Ethan Imboden.

Investment information can be found via Artiphon’s AngelList page.

In The Media

Artiphon has been featured in the US and international press in publications like TechCrunch, CNN, Forbes, Engadget, and many others. Click below for a complete list of coverage.

In The Media

Get Started

Reservations are currently available for the INSTRUMENT 1, with sales commencing in 2014 (date yet to be announced). The INSTRUMENT 1 will be priced at $799 USD, available exclusively through Artiphon.com.

Artiphon is accepting beta testers on a rolling basis. To learn more and apply, click below.

Reserve Yours or Join the Beta Program

THE ARTIPHON INSTRUMENT 1

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Please consider taking our brief survey; we want to know a bit about you and how you play music. As a thank you, we’ll be giving away one of the first 1,000 instruments.

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