Joué is a MIDI controller that gathers information using a pressure sensitive sensor. Different textured modules can be placed on the sensor area to provide different functions. I think we might have seen this before somewhere.
The main controller is made, very nicely, from wood and then the black pressure pad area seems to be split into three areas. For each area there are a number of modules. They cover the usual MIDI controller forms such as pads, knobs and XY controls. And also some less common ones such as a fretboard and weird jelly-fruit-like nipple things. It looks a lot like playdough or that stuff that strawberry laces are made from. It’s weird, toy-like perhaps, but it certainly gives some interesting haptic feedback and touchiness possibilities.
So where have we seen this before? Well a fair while ago I wrote an article on the Sensel Morph which, to my eyes at least, appears to employ the exact same concept and materials. They raised a shed load of money on Kickstarter and are planning to ship their first product by Christmas. It also has some similarities to the ROLI Seaboard in that it appears to offer multidimensional polyphonic expression – wobbling your finger to get vibrato, that kind of thing.
The Joué does have a unique look to it and I like the idea of the three modular sections letting you mix and match your modules. Another cool feature is that the configuration for each module is stored within the module itself. So once you’ve set it up to control what you want to control you don’t have to reconfigure when you swap modules during a live set.
There’s no information on price or availability at the moment. The Sensel Morph is going for $249. I imagine they’ve got to be looking at coming in under that figure. You can sign up for more information on their website – one to watch I think.