TheoryBoard MIDI controller brings a splash of color to music theory
Californian startup Irijule has launched a MIDI controller on Kickstarter that color codes the relationship between chords and notes, to simplify music theory and put almost two billion chord combinations and over 800 scales within easy reach.
The TheoryBoard Thy333 is actually the second generation of Irijule's music production tool. The first was also the subject of a Kickstarter in 2017, attracting 628 backers and raising just short of US$245,000. The promises of the new project are similar to the first – to make getting to grips with music theory less of a daunting challenge and get folks having fun making music.
The Thy333 interface is divided into two main playing areas. To the left are chord pads grouped together by color – those that share a root note will also share the same color. Chords are made up of three or more notes played together, and pushing one of the pads will result in multiple notes sounding simultaneously. Each chord group begins with a triad, and gets more complex as you move through a set.
To the right, you'll find pads representing single notes across four octaves, and the far right of the interface is home to a Live Note Update section. As a chord is pressed, this latter area displays the single notes of that chord, allowing players to get their groove on without having to search for the correct notes.
Separating the two pad zones is a touchscreen zone for in-depth chord control. This allows for raising, lowering or stacking of octaves, spreading chords out, and altering voicing. Or such things can be mixed and matched for claimed access to more than 1.9 billion chord combinations. Irijule has included hot keys for more advanced composition concepts too.
The Thy333 is reported to work with any MIDI device or digital audio workstation environment, and Kickstarter pledges start at $599, representing a substantial saving on the $1,199 expected retail price. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in December.