I think just about everybody having something to do with music already has a MIDI controller of some sort. That’s why you probably read the headline and thought, “The last thing I need is another controller,” but I think you’ll find the new JouÃ© Play controller is different, especially if you’re looking for speed when it comes to creating music.
Most musical controllers are dedicated, so there’s one for keys, another for drums, and maybe another one that’s more general purpose. Although you can use one in place of another, that’s never a comfortable solution. JouÃ© Play is different because it comes with 4 dedicated-function interchangeable silicon pads that mount onto a touch-sensitive board that allows for all the nuances of real instruments like vibrato, glissando, and velocity. The pads include a drum pad, keyboard pad, guitar pad, and a general keys pad for more nuanced effects.
The board connects via USB (from which it also gets its power) to either an iPad or iPhone (there’s no Android app yet because of the latency). The included software app automatically recognizes the pad that’s chosen and loads in a sound library, and there’s also a sequencer included that allows you to record and loop very easily. Once you start recording you can even change pads on the fly to continue to build a loop from instrument to instrument.
JouÃ© Play won’t be available until October 2020 but you can pre-order it through a Kickstarter campaign (which has already exceeded its goal by quite a bit) at a 40% off retail. The basic package includes the JouÃ© Play board, the 4 pads, and the iOS app for around $293. You can choose between the “Fire” and “Water” packages as well, with the only difference being the color of the keypads (Fire = orange and yellow; Water = blue and aqua).
, or watch the video below of the JouÃ© Play in action.