Previewed at this year’s CES (where we tested it), Joué‘s multifunctional instrument Joué Play is both easy to use and expressive. Comprised of a set of silicone pads and a board, it’s a stark contrast from the company’s complex modular MIDI controller, which debuted on Kickstarter three years ago. The designers found the MIDI less approachable for beginners and dabblers, as much of the software designed to make MIDIs easier ultimately made them more complex; in fact, their interfaces and inherent gestures and lingo require training sessions of their own.
But with Joué Play, founder and CEO Pascal Joguet (who also created the multi-touch Lemur controller used by Daft Punk and Björk) tells us, “There is no set up. There is nothing technical to do at all. We are removing all of the complexity of the music software on the market today. You just put the silicone pad down and play your instrument.”
With a base crafted from natural beech wood, the Joué Play (which just launched on Kickstarter) proves both easy to carry and neatly organized. The top supports the entire suite of silicone pads—piano keys, guitar neck, synth keyboard or drum pads. To begin playing, simply plug the Joué Play into a tablet or smartphone and launch the Joué Play app.
“The aim is really to get more and more people making music,” Joguet says. “The focus is on beginners and aspiring musicians who do not have access to music-making tools or find that those are too complex and take years and years to master. This is for those that want to dive into music with something very simple to use—but then, of course, you still have to practice to become a musician. There is no magic there. But at least you have something that you can play with in a minute.” The output of each pad can be toyed with inside of the Joué Play app.
The cleverly designed Joué Play is both a digital tool and an instrument that encourages experimentation. For rookies, crafting the next mega-hit on the device may be difficult initially, but the Joué Play designers ultimately hope to hear hundreds of homemade melodies and beats.
Images courtesy of Joué