When Artiphon first started showing the early prototypes for the Instrument 1 it was obvious that this was going to be a truly innovative instrument. Artiphon absolutely smashed their Kickstarter campaign, with what I think could be the highest ever raise for an instrument on Kickstarter. The production device is awesome. It’s lived up to the promise of the prototype, and more than that, Artiphon has has kept the app and the firmware updated with new features. And to illustrate the point, here’s version 1.2. Here’s a quick look at what’s in 1.2:

  • Introducing Smart Strum, our new favorite way to play pretty much anything
  • Improved MPE Compatibility for synths in GarageBand, Logic Pro X, and more
  • All factory presets have been refined and updated
  • Pitch bend range is now 48 (adjustable), and CC11 is now CC74

So, what is Smart Strum?

Probably easiest if I let Artiphon explain in their own words as I’m only just downloading the update and hope to give it a whirl fairly soon …

Introducing an entirely new way to play your INSTRUMENT 1: simply press anywhere on a fret and strum the whole chord! It’s a supremely fun and simple music-making too–whether you’re a beginner or a virtuoso, songwriting has never been more intuitive.

So let’s take a look at the video that they’ve kindly provided as an overview …

Improved MPE Compatibility

MPE is becoming increasingly important, both generally, and to me personally. This is probably the area I’m most interested it checking out in version 1.2 of the updated app. Again, I haven’t tried this as yet, but it’s very high on my to do list. For now, here it is in Artiphon’s words:

Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (say that three times fast!) allows MIDI controllers like The Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 to automatically play nicely with apps like GarageBand, even when using fretless techniques and pressure sensitivity. Trust us, you’re living in the future.

It’s good to see Artiphon maintain and continue to innovate with their technology. I think that their Instrument 1 has a bright future, and I’m betting on them having even more goodness in the pipe.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Instrument 1 then take a look at Artiphon’s site here.