Joué has added a MIDI output to their expressive MPE MIDI controller. It’s the sort of thing you’d think a MIDI controller should already possess but a surprising number of them just have MIDI over USB. So it’s great to see Joué understanding that there’s a much larger world outside the computer that could benefit from expressive control and so we have re-Connect.
It’s not a particularly exciting cable but it does enable some very exciting things. The re-Connect cable itself takes the USB-C socket in the side of the Joué controller and breaks it out to a single MIDI Din socket and a regular USB cable that needs to be connected to some kind of USB charging plug for power. What this means is that you no longer have to have a computer involved in your playing of hardware.
You can now, of course, connect your Joué to any sort of external MIDI device, synthesizer, drum machine or sampler.
It might require a little bit of setting up beforehand although by default the various Joué overlay modules send out regular and expected MIDI messages. In the Joué software you can map the various controls to whatever would best suit your hardware. That configuration is saved to the overlay itself and so once set you don’t have to access the software again until you want to change the settings.
The Joué offers MIDI note control, pressure, aftertouch, velocity, XY pads, control strips, drum pads, a fretboard and those weird nipple-like controllers that actually work rather well. And even if your hardware doesn’t support MPE you can still apply all those MIDI controls to parameters in your hardware.
It does make the Joué a more versatile controller. I wonder whether people would be attracted to it just for the hardware control or whether this is really an upgrade for existing users. Either way it’s a cool thing for €39 and they even have a special on where you can get the Joué with the Grand Clavier overlay and the re-Connect for €399.