The awesome start-up based in San Francisco named Irijule, launched a Kickstarter to fund their groundbreaking new instrument called TheoryBoard. This innovative controller has the potential to make music without any musical theory background and knowledge. This could change the game for producers.
After 17 days they already hit their funding goal of $100,000, this came as a surprise to the founders Even Swanson and Scott O'Hair.
“We knew we had something special, but we had no idea we would receive this level of support. We’ve barely even done any marketing, the money raised so far has almost been 100% organic from the Kickstarter community. People really seem to love this idea”. The campaign is almost over with over 565 backers and $219,000 worth of funds raised.
The Irijule Team explained,
“We want to empower more people to create music. Music theory is intimidating when you first get into production. A lot of people get discouraged by the vast amount of information you have to understand in order to start playing. We want to help people bypass that learning curve. We hope that our instrument serves as a bridge so more people can access the harmonies that music expresses itself through. Originally we set out to create a sort of “music theory hack”. As the idea started to manifest we noticed that the TheoryBoard had evolved into a completely new type of instrument. It continues to grow as the influx of great ideas flow in from the Kickstarter community. It’s taken around three years to get the TheoryBoard to this point so it’s awesome to finally have people support our vision.”
For how complex the TheoryBoard is, its functionality can actually be summed up pretty easily (Similar to Apple products, “complex yet simple”). First of all, it is a MIDI controller that can be routed into any DAW, VST, or piece of hardware. For example, It could be used in Ableton on a Mac, FL Studio on Windows, or could even be routed into an old-school modular synthesizer. This level of versatility is rare in the MIDI controller world. Most companies try to lock you into using the hardware they supply with a paired software. You can ONLY use Ableton Push with Ableton... You can ONLY use Maschine with the Maschine software. Allowing the TheoryBoard to work across multiple platforms takes away that limiting factor. How the TheoryBoard handles compiling all of music theory into one MIDI controller could best be understood by watching the Kickstarter video. The video is a hybrid between an expedited music lesson and a performance, with different producers showing the TheoryBoard’s functionality. Simply put, the TheoryBoard gives you access to:
- Every scale (a scale is a set of notes)
- Every note within the chosen scale (these notes are based off of a mathematical equation)
- Every chord that can be built from those notes (a chord is when 3 or more notes are played at the same time)
With all of the correct combinations at your fingertips it’s easy to get into a creative flow. The TheoryBoard is split into two sections. The “Melody Side” loads four octaves of the single notes within the scale, while the “Chord Side” loads every correct chord. Color is used to express the correlations between these two sides, as well as keeping chords that share the same root note grouped together. Having these visual reference points while playing provides an additional layer of perception for the user. Irijule describes this phenomena of being able to see what your playing as a “synesthetic experience”. The scales that the TheoryBoard loads are universal for any instrument (guitar, piano, violin, saxophone, trumpet). As well as being a revolutionary musical instrument, the TheoryBoard also serves as a multifaceted production tool. It keeps different elements of a song (baselines, leads, plucks, chord progressions) in the same key. This can drastically increase workflow and productivity. You rarely see a technology that can benefit both seasoned professionals and complete novices. In an area that lacks innovation, its refreshing to see a game-changer like this come along. The TheoryBoard looks to be the next big thing in the world of music production.
“This is the evolution of the MIDI controller. We can’t wait to hear the music that people create with the TheoryBoard”
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Still a Kickstarter project, we will review soon to test the device