When you looked at the headline of this post and saw the word “Controller,” I bet you might have said to yourself, “The last thing I need is another one of those.” I must admit that I shared that view until I checked out Irijule’s new TheoryBoard, which is an entirely different kind of controller that’s so outside the box in how it works that it takes a second look to actually grasp how powerful it can be.
TheoryBoard is an intelligent controller based entirely on musical scales. You pick the scale that you want, then the buttons on the left contain all the possible chords in that scale while the buttons on the right contain all the possible single notes. The key element here is that TheoryBoard contains over 860 different scales from countries all over the world and a wide variety of genres of music. I have to admit that when I was checking out the available scales it didn’t take long before I was faced with many that I’d never heard of but provided new and wonderful note combinations way beyond the normal pop and blues scales that many of us deal with on a daily basis.
And that’s where the power of TheoryBoard really lies. At first I looked at it as a tool for electronic musicians with little or no musical training, but soon it became clear that this is a way for even trained musicians to open up to weird and wonderful note combinations that are beyond what they normally use. Plus, you never have to worry about playing a wrong note again!
The controller is comprised of 93 velocity sensitive pads with RGB LEDs, and an illuminated LCD display. Connectivity is through MIDI in/out connectors as well as USB and Bluetooth. Irijule says that it’s also working on implementing an on-board arpeggiator, step sequencer, and custom MIDI mapping into the TheoryBoard’s software.
TheoryBoard is scheduled to retail at $799 when it rolls out May of 2018. In the meantime, the company is raising money via a Kickstarter campaign where the unit is available for $350 for the bottom offer tier. The campaign has already blown past its goal of $100,000, but the special offers will close with the campaign on November 18th. Check out the campaign here and the video below for more info.