Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does the INSTRUMENT 1 need to be connected to a mobile device or computer?

Yes, the INSTRUMENT 1 needs to be connected to a sound-generating device such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or PC. The device will receive MIDI notes from the INSTRUMENT 1 and translate them into sound.

  • Can the INSTRUMENT 1 be played using third-party hardware and software sound generators?

Yes, any software-based MIDI sound generator on iOS, Mac, or PC can be used. Select INSTRUMENT 1 as your MIDI input device and make sure that the MIDI channel and pitch bend range setting are set to work as expected. For more information, see our guide on using Third-party Apps.

  • Can I use INSTRUMENT 1 with my Android device?

The INSTRUMENT 1 can play any MIDI compatible sound-generating software. We have done extensive testing on iOS, Mac, and PC. Android support at this time is experimental, and we are not currently developing an Android app, but we hope to in the future.

  • How do I play the INSTRUMENT 1?

The INSTRUMENT 1 is a multi-instrument and there are many ways you can play it! The technique for playing the INSTRUMENT 1 can be changed at the press of a button, and you can customize it however you want.

Learn the different Ways to Play here and customize your INSTRUMENT 1 using the Artiphon App or INSTRUMENT 1 Editor.

  • How do I charge the INSTRUMENT 1?

The INSTRUMENT 1 is charged using the power adapter that is provided in the box. The power adapter has multiple types of prongs for the different international power outlets.  The INSTRUMENT 1 does not charge through the mini USB port.

Please do not use other power adapters with the INSTRUMENT 1. Even though they may fit, it is likely that another adapter would use a different voltage and would damage your INSTRUMENT 1.

  • Can the INSTRUMENT 1 be used with headphones, external speakers, amps, and other recording equipment?

Yes, the INSTRUMENT 1 has an ⅛” audio jack. You can use this to plug in standard headphones, or use an auxiliary cable to plug into external speakers. Some speakers, amplifiers, or audio recording interfaces use a ¼” cable, so you may need an ⅛” to ¼” TRS stereo adapter.

  • What is MIDI?

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a type of data that allows musical instruments like keyboards, drum pads, and the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 to interface with a computer.

When you play the INSTRUMENT 1, the information that is sent to your phone or computer are MIDI notes. This contains information like what note is being played, how hard you hit the note, and how long you held it for.

MIDI notes do not contain information about the instrument or sound that should be generated.

Your computer, iPhone, or iPad receives the MIDI notes and they are sent to a Virtual Instrument where they are converted to sound. You can choose the kind of sound you want to generate within the Virtual Instrument.

This means that if you play a C note with the INSTRUMENT 1 or middle C on a keyboard, the MIDI note sent to the Virtual Instrument will be the same. The Virtual Instrument can trigger a C from any kind of instrument sound.

  • How do I get Virtual Instruments?

It depends on what kind of device you are using with the INSTRUMENT 1.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod – The Artiphon App is a good starting place, we have many easily accessible built-in sounds. There are also a lot of other free and paid apps which have Virtual Instruments.

Mac – Garageband is perfect for beginners and comes free with Macs. In addition to having many Virtual Instruments, Garageband also has the capabilities of a Digital Audio Workstation.

PC – Bitwig Studio is a good option for PC users, and Bitwig offers a free trial. Like Garageband, Bitwig is a Digital Audio Workstation and has capabilities beyond generating sound with Virtual Instruments.

  • What is a Digital Audio Workstation?

A Digital Audio Workstation or DAW, is a computer software that allows the user to record and edit audio or MIDI. Almost all modern music is created using DAW’s.

For example, using the INSTRUMENT 1 with a DAW you could play a virtual instrument, then record yourself. You can then edit the MIDI notes you recorded, change the sound afterwards, if you like, and play it back. You can create multiple tracks, record more MIDI, and use a different virtual instrument on top of what you already played. Audio can also be recorded into a DAW via a microphone.

These are the basic capabilities of a DAW, but there is a lot more you can do. Using a DAW has a steep learning curve, so it can be hard for beginners to get started. Garageband and Bitwig Studio are great to get started.

  • What kinds of MIDI data can I control with the INSTRUMENT 1?

In the previous answer about MIDI, it was said that MIDI notes contain information about what note was played, how hard it was played, and how long it was held. These are the basic elements of a MIDI note, but there are many more!

First, it’s important to know that the INSTRUMENT 1 can switch between single and multi channel MIDI. Having multiple channels gives you independent control over each note.

The fingerboard and bridge of the INSTRUMENT 1 are pressure sensitive. This can be used for more expressive playing techniques, such as manipulating a sound by applying more or less pressure while pressing down on the bridge trigger, string, or pad.

In single channel MIDI mode, the fingerboard pressure information is transmitted as Polyphonic Aftertouch, and in multi-channel it is Channel Pressure.

The pressure on the bridge triggers is always transmitted as Expression.

The INSTRUMENT 1 can be played with a fretless neck. This technique uses Pitch Bend MIDI data so you can do smooth slides between notes. Having multiple channels means that you can control the pitch of notes separately, For example you can play two notes, and slide one up and the other down.

For more detailed information on the INSTRUMENT 1’s MIDI output, see our guide on using Third-party Apps.