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They Did What?: 

‘Instrument 1’ can be any instrument you want it to be


Can’t choose one musical instrument when you can have them all?

What do you get when you cross a guitar, a violin, a keyboard and a drum machine? No, it’s not an ill-advised musical joke, but a brand new instrument that combines all four – as well as lots of other instruments – into a Frankenstein-like musical hybrid.

Called Instrument 1, the idea is to inspire even complete beginners into action, giving them the chance to explore their musical options without committing to just one style or sound. Remember, bagpipes may not always be the sound de jour (hard to believe, we know), so it’s good to have a backup plan. The designers claim their gizmo can imitate ‘any’ instrument you want (although bagpipes aren’t mentioned), and it can be strummed, tapped, pressed or even bowed with your smartphone if appropriate.

The instrument itself resembles the fretboard of a guitar, and while it looks like it should be used as a peripheral Rock Band controller, it will actually help you learn, write and record music. Instrument 1 can also be plugged into hundreds of musical apps like GarageBand or Animoog to help you get the sound you want, and if you learn how to loop or record them all you could even be your own one-man band.

“We believe anyone can make music, and that most people really want to,” the team wrote on its Kickstarter page. “Like snapping an Instagram, now you don’t have to already be a professional to start making music and enjoy every note. We’re building an instrument that empowers people to play music apps beyond the touchscreen, and we want to inspire people to explore music-making in their everyday lives.”

An earlier version of Instrument 1 was first shown at CES 2013, but, with the designs now complete, the product is at last heading towards production. The Kickstarter campaign needed to raise $75,000 before April 13, but has already received nearly $500,000 in funding.

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