Artiphon Instrument 1 MIDI Controller Available Via Kickstarter


Instrument startup Artiphon has started a Kickstarter project to fund production of their new Instrument 1 MIDI controller.

The Instrument 1 is a controller that can be played in a variety of ways, is fully MIDI compatible and connects to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and PCs via Lightning or USB.

Here is the official intro video:


  • Play any instrument, style, and sound with a single device that connects directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • Plug in and play 100’s of apps like GarageBand with universal musical gestures: strumming, tapping, bowing, sliding, and more.
  • Digital string-like interface works with any MIDI-compatible software.
  • The ergonomic design can be held in multiple positions, and is fully ambidextrous.
  • Design new instruments and custom tunings via the Artiphon companion app.
  • Compact, portable, durable, self-powered, and simple.


The companion Artiphon app lets you customize the way the sensors on the instrument work. artiphon-control-app

The Artiphon Instrument 1 is available to project backers starting at US $299.

34 thoughts on “Artiphon Instrument 1 MIDI Controller Available Via Kickstarter

  1. On one hand, new controllers like this are almost always welcome. And I think this will be easily adapted to by people who have some familiarity with stringed instruments. The devil is in the details, but based on that video, it seems like it will provide fun for entry level musicians and non-players.

    Personally, I don’t think I’d like that form-factor very much. I would HATE playing drums on something like that. And though the developer said he was building an instrument from the ground up, it looks like guitar controllers we have seen before. If it has per-note expression (i.e., poly AT) and very responsive buttons, then I suppose it is worth the dough for some brave souls with deep pockets.

  2. Not ‘deep’ pickets, its a steal at $299. A real instrument COSTS, I paid full wack for my haken continuum over $3k
    And its looks very portable, hell ill buy one

  3. Looks nice, but at that price, not for me. Although it is similarly priced to midi guitar pickups, midi keyboards, and drum pad controllers, and it “provides” the ability to be played in various ways, I’d rather spend on the other than on this. Mainly because it is not really any of the things I mentioned. Off course I am referring to my needs and wants. Now, it seems a lot of fun, and a great option or if you are starting out with midi controllers.

    1. With Kickstarter things, it is all about the supposing since you don’t get to try it before you kick.

      But yea, if the kickstarter succeeds and this thing ever sees a store, I suppose one could try it before supposing.

  4. I was surprised by this one. It looks fairly legit! Nice portable form factor. Kind of reminds me of the every-man’s Eigenharp. It’s a lot cheaper than I would expect, which makes me wonder about the quality of the construction and components. And of course the achilles heel is the software. While great to have customization options now, the instrument becomes worthless when somebody stops updating the software… which always happens at some point.

    I would need to play one first, but at 300 clams I’d buy it in a second if it was more than a junky toy.

    1. The entry-level version is $300 to backers, but they’ve also got a version with a nice wood body that’s $900.

      The price seems very fair, if the format makes sense for you. It’s exactly the same price as the new Launchpad Pro, but the format makes a lot more sense to traditional players vs people with more of a drum machine/loop triggering focus.

      FWIW, it looks like it’s more than half funded after getting posted here and they just launched the campaign, so it will probably get fully funded before the day is through.

  5. honestly it is cool, as someone who started on guitar when I was a kid, it is always my comfort zone and I am all for neck-type controllers. My only question though for these is how do they feel? is it a touchscreen neck eg smooth? how does the neck feel in the hand – looks kind of wide – I would need to feel it before I bought it to see if it would work….

    1. yes, feel breaks the deal! i’ve had bad experiences with strumming in the yourock guitar (old version) and playing rubber roll up pianos. and looking at the “string” controllers that look like rubber pads, I’m worried there would be noticable lags. i hope i’m wrong though. touchscreen iPad instruments, for example, are not as bad.

  6. “Fully MIDI compatible” unless you’d like to plug it into anything with an actual MIDI jack on it, then nope, you’ll need a computer plus MIDI interface.

    1. The reality is that there are a now probably a 100 devices that can handle USB MIDI for every 1 DIN MIDI device.

      For anybody that would want to control a DIN MIDI module with this, there are plenty of options, like the iconnectivity boxes.

      The lack of wireless support will be more of a concern for most potential users.

      But, since they already made their funding goal, it’s pretty clear that the lack of DIN MIDI and Wireless MIDI isn’t going to keep people from buying this.

      1. What a load of crap. 30 years of MIDI synthesizers out there, and ain’t a single one that knows what to do with Bluetooth.

        1. “What a load of crap. 30 years of MIDI synthesizers out there, and ain’t a single one that knows what to do with Bluetooth.”

          Translation: ‘Get off my lawn!’

          4 billion computers and smartphones and still no DIN MIDI!

    1. True, but the closer these things get to real instruments the better chance there is of more people actually developing some functional musical skills in the playing department.

      1. Nothing can compensate for the real feel of an instrument. It would probably have a similar effect to something like guitar hero, or rock band, although the drums in that one would help more than this.

        1. Sad note , to see negative on my first comment, what is it that Simon said “I am trying to be honest with people” There are people who will buy gear to get to be somebody because of certain sounds they have heard or things they try. And some don’t realize that some people have taken years to get there.
          Another good example of working with what you have is Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, ever see his gear, an Atari st driving an Akai sampler that is over 20 years old

    2. On the one hand I must agree with Xtopher that this would drive some people into music, but OTOH nowadays if someone wants to manufacture and sell something, esp. new, it has to be attractive for masses. A few days ago in the talk with a younger person I realized how technology changed over last years. Some years back you had to know (eg) what MIDI is, how to setup and connect things, let’s leave alone some theory of music. Now you have to plug your usb midi keyboard do your computer, run Live, skim over some youtube videos, and start playing/messing around. The hardest thing for people sharing their producing sessions on YT is to realize that what they want is a melody kept in one key. And they get there by trial end error. They have a fun. And this little thing would be very appealing for them. It’s nice to be violin virtuoso, despite the bow doesn’t have hair…

    1. Ha! Fucking Beams – forgot about that shit. I fail to see the advantage of this over a knob, slider and drum pad laden keyboard controller which can be had at this price. My Novation 25SL is highly portable, and is a far better controller than this POS. Not to mention, I just feel like one would look like a tool jamming this on stage.

  7. Looks and sounds promising. But with kickstarter projects notorious for the time they take to deliver and the quite high price (which is reasonable for what it promises), I would rather wait for it to become a readily available product (and read reviews from early customers). Considering it’s already more than fully funded, I think they are very likely to succeed though.

  8. I had to laugh at the part where someone was using a damn “smart” phone as a wireless, non-tactile bow. How does removing a tactile interface improve feel? Did laser harps (fake or otherwise) teach you nothing? I’m officially banning phones, iPads and ridiculous interfaces from my studio.

  9. I’m sick of all this gear being tied to iPhone apps. Eventually, the developer or Apple will stop supporting the app, and then you’ll likely lose a large amount of the functionality of your device.

    That’s what separates an instrument from a disposable piece of technology. I can pick up a guitar, synthesizer, or violin that’s older than I am and still make music with it. In 20 years this thing is likely to be nothing more than a paper weight…

  10. I complained about the corny music at the end of the video…. then they dropped in some half-assed dubstep… and I complained again. Worst of both worlds. Product looks ok though, will be interesting to see how it plays.

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