Editor’s brief: If you are a music enthusiast who believes in creation more than just listening, then you know there are many roads to “music Rome”, whether a keyboard, a wind instrument, strings, or percussion. For many, the road to creating music is an arduous one, from learning music notation, to endless hours of practice, before we make legible music that won’t get us kicked out of our homes. Yet, technology and innovation are making not just music more approachable, but also to creators. Artiphon is an interesting company that has a few digital instruments that can empower just about anyone on the go, to play and create music of their own. Read more below.
SINGAPORE – A few years ago, Artiphon launched the Instrument 1, something that looks like parts of a guitar. With that, you could play digital versions of the piano, guitar, violin, and drums. I am a little disappointed they did not go further, to perhaps engage the Asian audiences with say, simulated Guqin (古琴) and Guzheng (古箏). That would have sealed the deal for me. Nonetheless, the Instrument 1 is an amazing tool or toy (depending on how advanced a musician you are), to easily bring around anywhere to play and create music.
With people traveling the world again, I can see folks lugging this in their luggage, and strumming across streets of anywhere, anytime (or maybe not, in the wee hours).
Artiphon did not stop at the Instrument 1. They launched a loop instrument about the size of a small Japanese miso soup bowl, called the Orba. And recently, they upped the ante with Orba 2.
The Orba 2 is a tiny music creation instrument that features drums, bass, chord, and lead, with an accelerometer and gyroscope built in to allow you to tilt the tiny synthesizer in different directions to nuance any sound. You can even sample real-world sounds and integrate into your created music loops, to create complex, multi-layered songs, anywhere on the road.
All these are MIDI compatible, and so you can toy with sounds and loops on your GarageBand or other MIDI systems. You can use your headphones to go quiet on the world, or speakers to amplify sounds. They are rechargeable and give you many hours of creation.
How the world has changed, for music lovers and musicians. These may look like toys, but they empower just about anyone from enthusiasts to professionals, to choose their own time, their own space, to make music.
PS – If you are a guitar lover, you might enjoy something acoustic as well. Instead of the MIDI instruments from Artiphon, Traveler Guitar has physically much smaller acoustic guitars (and electrics). Here’s a maestro from the National Guitar Academy making music magic on a Traveler Guitar Ultra Light Acoustic.