Like pressure-sensitive control – but don’t want to commit to one layout? Joué is a fascinating new controller concept that has touch sensitivity but lets you change layouts on the fly – with tactile control. The concept: add physical, modular overlays to the top to change the function of the controller.

At its heart, the Joué is a USB-connected controller – much like the ROLI Seaboard, roughly speaking. It transmits data over MIDI. The difference is the physical overlays. Combined with configurable settings in a software editor, they let you add piano-style keys, drum pads, guitar-like frets, or other 3D controls in various combinations.

(No word yet on whether this also supports MPE, the polyphonic protocol used by ROLI, the Linnstrument, and others.)

Also interesting is the team, which includes JazzMutant founder Pascal Joguet – Pascal is way ahead of his time, having built the company that fathered the Lemur multi-touch controller that beat even the mighty iPhone and iPad to market.

It’s tough to judge without trying it. But it’s a neat concept:

Thanks to the high sensitivity of its sensors and to the unique texture of the modules, Joué offers a completely new playing experience. It allows natural gestures such as vibrato, bending, finger drumming and high velocity sensing normally reserved to traditional instruments to being used with digital and electronic instruments.


And in the meantime, I’ll try to get in touch with Pascal and the French team he’s part of.


And some pics: