You make music on the iPhone like a boss. And, as awesome as you make it sound, it’s still hard to get taken seriously when you diddle-daddle on a small display with crappy-sounding speakers pumping out your music — a serious “iPhone musician” just isn’t a thing. Maybe the Artiphone Instrument 1 can help.
A music-making accessory for the iPhone, the handset turns your humble phone into a real instrument you can play on stage without looking like you’re typing a text message the entire time. Of course, the instrument looks kind of geeky as well, but it’s definitely better than hunking down and tapping on a tiny slab for a 45 minute set. Plus, the wood and aluminum construction gives it some semblance of dignity — a far cry from the plastic MIDI accessories smartphone musicians tent to get stuck with.
The Artiphon Instrument 1 is a miniature guitar of sorts that uses an iPhone or iPod Touch as its brain. A slot in the body holds the mobile device, with a six-string, six-fret board to its left and a strum bar to its right, making way for a wide selection of playing options. Clad in a compact design, it allows for multiple playing positions, so you can mimic working with a guitar, violin, lap steel guitar, or any other instrument as needed.
Designed for portability, it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, onboard stereo BMR speakers, and a built-in 30-watt amplifier, so you can use it to play loud music on a street corner all on its own. It works with any CoreMIDI app on iOS, which should let you do more than play — you can make beats, mix tunes, and record music with nothing but this device. Other features include MIDI I/O, a USB slot, a 3.5mm jack, and a stereo instrument port.