Take a Chapman Stick, add a lot of tech in its belly and jam a USB cable and you get something that looks vaguely like Instrument 1. For those uninitiated to electronic music instrument, a Chapman Stick is an electric musical instrument devised in the early 1970s. It is a member of the guitar family and usually has 10 or 12 individually tuned strings and has been used on music recordings to play bass lines, melody lines, chords, or textures. Designed as a fully polyphonic chordal instrument, it can also cover several of these musical parts simultaneously.
The Instrument 1 is a completely new type of musical instrument developed by Artiphon and is now available to order for US$400. It can be played as a guitar or as a keyboard, but it also has pressure sensitivity and an accelerometer built in, which can add a layer of creativity on top.
To play the instrument, you can use the companion app that helps you pick sounds, tunings and so on. It is also MIDI-compatible, which makes it compatible with a large number of mobile and desktop apps for creative music creation, including GarageBand, Animoog, SampleTank, Ableton Live, ProTools, Logic, Mainstage and many others.
Musicians using the instrument for the first time recognize that there is a new wave of creative potential hidden in the equipment, but they also admit that there is very definite learning curve to get to grasps with it.
Early reports suggest that Instrument 1 is a jack of all trades and could very likely become the master of a new generation of musicians.