Hello, and welcome to the manual for the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1!

The INSTRUMENT 1 is a versatile, expressive, and portable multi-instrument. With this single instrument, you can perform a variety of intuitive musical gestures and play any sound. It was designed to be fun and useful for music lovers at all skill levels. Its complexity can be scaled from a simple connection to the Artiphon iOS app up to an powerful and customizable MIDI interface for professional software.

This manual will detail all of the ways the INSTRUMENT 1 can be played and customized.

Support and Feedback

We want to ensure that you have the best experience possible with your INSTRUMENT 1. If you have any questions, feedback, or just want to say hi, please don’t hesitate to email us at

You are also welcome to join the discussion, on the Artiphon Community forum. See and hear user created videos and audio, get technical information, and give feedback on the Artiphon product line.




A saved combination of INSTRUMENT 1 settings. For example, the Guitar preset includes the settings fretted, strum, and guitar tuning (EADGBe).


The circular multi-purpose knob can be turned to control volume and pressed to cycle between presets.


The rectangular playing surface with six strings and twelve frets.

Capo Buttons

The two triangular buttons at the end of the fingerboard.


The six triggers between the fingerboard and knob.

I/O Panel

The panel for input and output connections on the side of the instrument. This is also where the power button is located.


There are a number of lights on the INSTRUMENT 1. These include the power, volume, preset, and capo LEDs.

Getting Started

The first steps here are also covered on our Getting Started YouTube playlist.

Powering on and Charging

Turn the INSTRUMENT 1 on using the power button on the I/O Panel.

power button-01

If the PWR LED doesn’t glow green when powered on, connect your instrument to a power source using the included 12V power supply.

A power adapter with three different international prongs are provided. Here is how to assemble your power adapter:


When assembled correctly, the prongs will sit flat with the body of the charger.

cautionDo not use any power adapter other than the one we provide. Many adapters use the same shaped plug but can have different electrical properties and may damage the INSTRUMENT 1.

The PWR LED on the I/O panel changes color to indicate the state of the battery:

ChargeLights-0120-100% Charge

5-20% Charge

ChargeLights-030-5% Charge


A fully charged battery will last at least six hours.


Two connection cables are included:

Lightning cable for iPhone, iPad, and iPod

cable res


USB Cable for Mac and Windows Computers


There are two software we provide for customizing and configuring your INSTRUMENT 1:

The Artiphon iOS app

The free companion app is available on the Apple App Store. This app, built especially for the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1, includes sounds and allows you to customize settings for the INSTRUMENT 1.


The desktop interface for controlling all the settings on the INSTRUMENT 1. The desktop editor does not have built-in sounds.

Third Party Software

The INSTRUMENT 1 is a class-compliant MIDI controller and can connect to any third-party music making software that accepts MIDI. This includes iOS apps and desktop DAW’s.


When first connecting to the app or editor, you will be prompted for a required firmware update. We are constantly working to improve the INSTRUMENT 1 and add new features. Keep your INSTRUMENT 1 up to date and watch out for any new feature announcements my joining the Artiphon mailing list!

Main Settings


Every preset for the INSTRUMENT 1 will include these main settings.


The mode sets how the INSTRUMENT 1 can be played. Two modes set the fingerboard to respond like digital strings:



Each string has a base tuning and the pitch ascends chromatically. The tuning can be chosen from one of the provided profiles in the app or editor and can also be customized.

If two frets are pressed on one string, only the higher note will be played. Notes can be triggered by performing hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Fretless mode allows you to slide continuously between notes, while fretted mode will play the notes of the chromatic scale. In fretless mode, the notes of the chromatic scale can be played by pressing just to the left of a fret marker.

Two modes set the INSTRUMENT 1 fingerboard to respond as a grid or pads:


Grid mode has 72 notes on the fingerboard in a 12 x 6 arrangement with an additional 6 triggers on the bridge. Any note on the grid can be pressed and played, meaning you can play multiple notes on the same string.

Unlike string modes where the tuning ascends chromatically from a base tuning, each Grid mode note location can be tuned individually.

You’ll notice the notes in grid mode are where the strings are in Fretted and Fretless modes, not the spaces in between strings.


Pad mode has 12 locations with an additional 6 triggers on the bridge. In this mode an entire fret becomes one large pad, so just a single note or chord will be triggered no matter what part of the region is pressed.


The method setting determines how you intend to interact with the INSTRUMENT 1. Some methods are only available for certain modes.


(Available for Fretted, Fretless, and Pad modes)

Strum method is similar to playing strings like a guitar, bass, banjo, harp, ect. A string will be activated by strumming or plucking the bridge. Notes can also be activated by striking the fingerboard as a hammer-on or pulling-off to another fretted note.

The bridge and fingerboard are sensitive to how hard they are played (velocity).

If you are holding a string on the fingerboard, the note will stop when the fingerboard is released. Open strings will ring out for some time unless they are muted. Strings can be muted in a few different ways:

If you press straight into the bridge, this will mute the note. When you release this, a note will not be triggered.

If you touch the bridge, but release slowly, this will not trigger a note. (As if you were playing bass and your finger lands on a lower string, not intending to pluck it.)

If you lightly press an active open string on the fingerboard, this will mute the note.


(Available for Fretted, Grid, and Pad modes)

Tap method is similar to playing a keyboard or a drum pad. When you tap or press the fingerboard or bridge, a note will be triggered. When you release, the note will turn off.

The bridge and fingerboard are sensitive to how hard they are played (velocity).


(Available for Fretless mode)

Slide method is the fretless version of tap, where you can tap a note and slide up or down a string. This method also allows for vibrato when rocking back and forth over a fret.

This method uses the MIDI message pitch bend. The Pitch Bend Range output of the INSTRUMENT 1 can be set to 12, 24, or 48.

The fingerboard is sensitive to how hard it is played (velocity).


(Available for Fretted and Fretless modes)

Bow method is similar to using a bowed string instrument like a violin or cello. Pressing the bridge will activate a string, and modulating pressure will control the MIDI message brightness (CC 74). Releasing the bridge will end the note. Multiple bridge triggers can be bowed and independently control brightness.

In the Artiphon app, bow method is mapped to control volume.


(Available for Fretless, Grid, and Pad modes when connected to the Artiphon app)

iBow uses the accelerometer in iOS devices to control the volume of the sound. The iPhone is moved in a bowing motion while pressing down on a string on the INSTRUMENT 1. The angle of the iPhone and the motion combined determine how loud a sound is played.




The tuning of the INSTRUMENT 1 can be easily changed and customized. We provide a number of tuning profiles in the app and editor, and each note can be edited.

The fretted and fretless modes have a base tuning for each string, and the notes ascend chromatically up the frets. In grid and pad mode, each note element can be edited independently.


These features can be turned on and off unlike the core settings which are part of every preset. Some features are global, meaning they apply to all presets. Other features are preset specific, meaning they can be on for some presets, but not for others.

Multi-Channel MIDI

The INSTRUMENT 1 can output MIDI on multiple channels (1-7). This is a new, emerging MIDI specification called Multi-dimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE). With MPE, you can control pitch bend and pressure for individual notes, meaning you can slide notes in different directions with independent pressure control.

Since MPE is relatively new, some virtual instruments, synths, and DAW’s are not equipped to receive it. In this case, change the INSTRUMENT 1 to single-channel mode to make it compatible.


The INSTRUMENT 1 fingerboard and bridge are continuously pressure sensitive. In multi-channel mode, the MIDI message is channel pressure, and in single channel mode, the MIDI message is aftertouch. All INSTRUMENT 1 methods can be made more expressive with pressure.

I1 Tilt

The INSTRUMENT 1 can be tilted to control mod wheel (CC 1). The maximum tilt range starts from horizontal with the ground going 90 degrees up to vertical.  The minimum and maximum tilt ranges can be adjusted to any range of motion within the 90 degrees.

String Bending

In the fretted mode, string bending can be activated. Apply pressure to the fingerboard to bend a string by up to two semitones.

Smart Strum

Set your INSTRUMENT 1 to Pad mode and Strum method to play Smart Strum. Press anywhere on a pad and strum or pick the bridge to easily play full chords. Change chords by pressing a different pads. This feature is also compatible with pressure, tilt, and the arpeggiator. Chord tuning profiles can be customized to include different chord root notes and voicings.


The capo buttons will shift the tuning up or down. This can be set to shift by one semitone or one octave. The maximum number of shifts is 12 up or down.


Notes will activate at a set tempo as long as they are held down. If multiple notes are played and held, they will play over and over in the order they were activated. The tempo can be adjusted by tapping in the app, or set to a specific BPM. The rate of the notes can also be set to a specific note value.

String Flip

The INSTRUMENT 1 can be played by both left and right-handed players. The fretted and fretless string modes can be set to either a left or right-handed orientation. The INSTRUMENT 1 can globally be set to always right or left. Alternately, it can be set to Automatic flip, where the INSTRUMENT 1 will flip the strings based on how you are holding it.

There is also a preset-specific override setting, in case you wish to set a preset to flip specifically one way.

Program Changes

When activated, the INSTRUMENT 1 will send a MIDI program change message when you press the preset selector knob. The messages 0 – 7 can be sent for the eight presets.

Sensitivity Settings

Method Sensitivity

This sets the velocity output across all methods. The maximum is 123 and the minimum increases with method sensitivity. If you set this to very high, you can play lightly and still have loud notes. If you set this to low, you can play with the most dynamic range.

Velocity 40-123 using light to very hard touch
Medium (default)
Velocity 60-123 using light to hard touch
Velocity 80-123 using light to medium touch
Very High
Velocity 100-123 using light to medium touch

In tap method, velocities 124-127 are possible, but require harder strikes.

Hammer-On Sensitivity

(Available for Fretted/Strum)

This sets how hard you have to strike the fingerboard to trigger a hammer-on. If you are playing the Guitar preset and find that you are unintentionally triggering notes when you press on the fingerboard, the Hammer-On Sensitivity can be decreased or turned off to prevent this. Alternately, you can turn this up to make the fingerboard more sensitive.

Turning off hammer-ons will also turn off pull-offs.

Aftertouch Sensitivity

This how hard you press the fingerboard to control polyphonic aftertouch or channel pressure. This can also deactivate pressure sensitivity.

MIDI Specifications

 Single Channel MIDI  Multi Channel MIDI  Configurable in App and Editor
MIDI Channels  Channel 1  Channel 2-7 (base channel 1)  Switch Single / Multi Channel
Fingerboard pressure  Polyphonic Aftertouch  Channel Pressure  On/off, Sensitivity
Fingerboard and Bridge Tap  Note on/off, velocity  Note on/off, velocity  Midi note #, Method Sensitivity
Slide on fingerboard  Pitch bend (ch. 1, adjustable range)  Pitch bend (channel per note, adjustable range)  Pitch Bend Range (12, 24, 48)
Bridge Bow  Note on/ off, Brightness (CC74)  Brightness (CC74) Method Sensitivity
Bridge Strum  Note on/ off, velocity  Note on/ off, velocity Method Sensitivity
String Bending Pitch bend (ch. 1, up to two semitones) Pitch bend (channel per note, up to two semitones) Pitch Bend Range (12, 24, 48)
I1 Tilt Mod Wheel (CC1) Mod Wheel (CC1) On/Off, Tilt Range
Program Changes Program Changes 0 – 7 Program Changes 0 – 7 On/Off

Velocity Ranges – Adjustable with the Method Sensitivity

Velocity 40-123 using light to very hard touch
Medium: (default)
Velocity 60-123 using light to hard touch
Velocity 80-123 using light to medium touch
Very High:
Velocity 100-123 using light to medium touch

In tap method, velocities 124-127 are possible, but require harder strikes.


Hardware Specifications



Lithium Ion Polymer 2000mAh / 1C
Life At least 6 hours with medium volume
Lifetime 80% capacity after 500 full charging cycles


Amplifier / Speaker System

Max. Ouptut 4.2W rms into 4 ohms (x2); 8.4W peak into 4 ohms (x2); 7.4V power supply 94 dBSPL @ 1m
Freq. Response 100Hz- 18kHz


2 x 1.25″ (stereo)

Audio I/O Analog

1/8″ TRRS

Tip Ring 2 Ring 1 Sleeve
Left Audio Ground Right Audio Microphone
Audio Input Microphone Level 35dB Max
Audio Output Headphone Output 5.5mW into 32 ohms


Connector Mini USB
USB Audio 48kHz/ 44.1 kHz bi-directional 16-bit/24-bit
USB 2.0
USB 1.0 Audio Class Compliant
USB MIDI USB MIDI Class Compliant

Power Supply

  • 12V DC, 100-240V, International
  • 1.5A

Dimensions and Weight

INSTRUMENT 1 Size 597mm x 813mm x 546mm
23.5 in x 3.2 in x 2.15 in
INSTRUMENT 1 Weight 0.73 kg
1.6 lbs
Shipping Box Size 672mm x 159mm x 120mm
26.46 in x 6.26 in x 4.72 in
Shipping Box Weight 2.34 kg
5.15 lbs
Master Carton Size 684 mm x 489 mm x 384 mm
26.93 in x 19.25 in x 15.12 in
Master Carton Weight 22.83 kg
50.33 lbs