Artiphon brings version 1.1 of their app and new INSTRUMENT 1 firmware

The 1.1 update brings new functionality and improved playability to the INSTRUMENT 1 firmware and Artiphon software for iOS.

String Flip

The String Flip feature uses the INSTRUMENT 1’s built-in accelerometer to automatically switch between lefty and righty tunings based on how the instrument is held.

With this update, String Flip becomes a global setting, meaning your preference will persist even when you change presets. This should make it easier for astronauts and other players in zero-gravity environments to play without the INSTRUMENT 1 accidentally flipping between left and right-handed tunings. For those who play some presets left-handed and others right-handed, we’ve included an override feature that is preset-specific.

Sensitivity

New and improved sensitivity settings are now at the ready.

Method Sensitivity
Whether you’re heavy-handed or have a feather touch, you can now more easily achieve the volume and dynamics you seek.

Hammer-on Sensitivity
Avoid unintended notes by turning the hammer-on sensitivity to Low or Off. Or enjoy a fingerboard that is so sensitive you can simply tap to play notes. In other words, you can now dial in the ideal action for Eruption by Van Halen.

Aftertouch Pressure Sensitivity
You can now adjust the amount of pressure required to activate effects with aftertouch. Try this with pressure-sensitive sounds in the Artiphon iOS app (such as Square and Sine waves), or with your favorite synths in GarageBand.

Tilt Range
We’ve added a new slider that allows you to select the angle range that activates the Tilt feature. Set a low tilt range to use smaller, more precise motions, or set the range much wider to put on a real show.

Arpeggiator

The Artiphon app’s arpeggiator feature allows for fun “auto-play” and “auto-strum” playability. With this update, the arpeggiator can be set to different subdivisions of the global tempo. Simply selecting ¼ notes, ¼ triplets, ⅛, ⅛ triplets will allow you to find your groove much more quickly.

MIDI Program Changes

MIDI program changes 1–8 can now be sent by pressing the INSTRUMENT 1’s volume knob. In Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, and other software, you can now switch instrument tracks, press record, play/stop, and perform a range of other options simply by pressing the volume knob. Your live show just got a whole lot smoother.

Artiphon’s INSTRUMENT 1 gets new features in the lastest app and firmware

Artiphon push new features to their innovative instrument in firmware 1.0.40 which comes along as part of their new app version.

Here’s what’s new:

New Feature: String Bending

With the new String Bend feature, you can now bend notes by applying pressure to the fingerboard. In Fretted Strum technique, string bending allows you to press on the fingerboard to pitch bend the string. To turn on the feature, tap the “A” icon to go into Settings where you’ll find an on/off switch. This switch can also be found in the INSTRUMENT 1 Editor for Mac/Windows.

New Feature: Tilt

Rotating the INSTRUMENT 1 can now shape sounds in new expressive ways.
Using the built-in accelerometer, tilt the INSTRUMENT 1 to control the mod wheel in the Artiphon app, GarageBand, or any other MIDI app that supports this input. In a horizontal position, the mod wheel is at zero. It starts activating at 15 degrees, and is at max value when the instrument is in a vertical position. To turn on the Tilt feature, go to Settings where you’ll find an on/off switch. This switch is also available in the INSTRUMENT 1 Editor for Mac/Windows. When using the Artiphon App, Tilt controls a filter sweep effect. In third-party music apps, mod-wheel (MIDI CC 1) can often be mapped to control any effect.

New Feature: No-Note is now a tuning option

You asked and we built it: individual strings can now be turned off.
New tuning presets have been included for instruments with four or five strings like banjo, bass, and violin. No-Note can also be assigned to grid or pad locations.

Update Mode Light Show

A new LED pattern indicates that the INSTRUMENT 1 is updating. We hope you like it 🙂

Audio Effects On/Off

On/off switches for delay and reverb are available in the “More” section of preset settings.

Reset App Preferences

In Settings, use the Reset button to bring all global parameters to back to their default settings.

Bug Fixes

Verification Hash Error blocks firmware updates. The first time a note tuning is edited, the note will de-select.

Known Issues

Lightly tapping the bridge with tap method can double-trigger notes.
Pressing hard near the edge of a fret can cut off the note. This can be obvious when using String Bend. Changing the sound in the Artiphon app resets the capo setting.

Some first impressions of the Artiphon Instrument 1

I promised that I would write about the Artiphon Instrument 1. I thought I’d start with some photos of what it used to look like as a prototype. Of course, it’s quite different now and doesn’t have a bay for an iPhone, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. However, it is essentially the same instrument.

The version that shipped from Artiphon’s Kickstarter campaign is a nice evolution of the original, and, on first impressions, is pretty easy to use.

What’s shipped may not look as beautiful as the original, but the shipped version is still rather lovely anyway. But more than that it works and works really well.

When I unpacked it and got it out of its box the first thing I noted is that it is really well presented. The packaging is protective and works and you’ll probably want to keep hold of the box just in case.

The instrument itself feels the right weight. It’s smaller than I’d had in my mind. It’s around the size of a ukulele or maybe slightly bigger. I’ve got the black one. The surface of the device is smooth and it feels nice to handle. Of course the most important thing is how it works and handles as an instrument and I’ll be coming on to that in just a moment.

What struck me first off was that it does actually feel like an instrument and not like a piece of digital technology that you’re going to have to learn how to use and isn’t immediately obvious. That might sound like a subtle distinction, but in my view it is an important one. It means that you feel, or at least I felt, like I could pick this instrument up straight away and get going with it, and that is exactly what I did.

So let’s move on to hooking it up to a device and getting going.

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The app that Artiphon have created to go along with their device is great for getting started, but if you’re a seasoned iOS music pro you’re going to get bored of these sounds very soon.

The app is very good for setting up how the instrument works though.

It gives you all the options for setting the tuning and layout of the instrument. Which is very useful in getting the thing to work how you want to.

Inside the app you can play with some basic instrument settings, although the sounds aren’t going set the world on fire, but the main thing is that you can set up MIDI here, and that’s where, for me, this instrument is going to be really useful. MIDI is very easy in the Artiphon app so you won’t have any issues I wouldn’t think.

After getting some sounds out of the thing I spent most of my time experimenting with playing with it and that’s what I’ll be sharing next.

What the ArtiPhon Instrument 1 is like to use:

I have to say, that even after just a brief time of playing with this instrument I can say that it’s a joy to use. It really is an instrument. I’m not much of a guitarist, but it does work well when you play it in guitar mode. In piano or keys mode it’s even more interesting and useful. I found that I could play and experiment with how the device worked with a variety of apps and sounds for ages as it was such a novel way of interfacing with apps.

I think that I’ve only scratched the surface with this instrument and it’s going to take a lot more interaction to get to a point where I can talk about where I think it really excels. However, I think it’ll be a lot of fun getting there.


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