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Joyst JV-1

Joyst JV-1  ·  Source: Joyst

Joyst JV-1

Joyst JV-1  ·  Source: Joyst

Joyst JV-1

Joyst JV-1  ·  Source: Joyst

The JV-1 has 39 tactile joysticks for granular control over pitch and velocity in this innovative MIDI controller – will you have enough fingers?

Joyst JV-1

Coming to Kickstarter on the 6th October is the JV-1 MIDI controller. It’s made up of 39 thumb joysticks like those found on game controllers which gives you a springiness for expressive control of pitch, velocity and aftertouch.

Each joystick tackles a note turning it into an isomorphic keyboard. It covers 2 octaves but you can click each joystick to octave shift each note giving a 4-octave range. The JV-1 fully embraces MPE expression and it’s easy to see how the joysticks would offer individual per note pitch bend and expression.

Inventor and co-founder of Joyst Philip Snell says:

I invented the JV-1 because I was tired of tradeoffs. Why can’t a MIDI controller let you bend notes like an electric guitar? Why do MIDI controllers have to copy the fiddly layout of traditional pianos? Right from the first prototype, the power of the joysticks blew me away: they’re springy, responsive & expressive. It’s like going from black-and-white to full colour music. Joysticks just work on a MIDI controller: try one and see!”

To play the JV-1 what you do is pull a joystick in any direction to trigger a note. You can then rotate or wobble them to add pitch bend or vibrato. It’s a bit weird to witness, somewhere between plucking a string and striking a key. This video takes you through the basics and layout:

This one gives a bit of a better view:

They need to work a bit on the old pizazz for these demo videos!

We see a lot of new and innovative MIDI controllers where the inventor is tired of the traditional keyboard paradigm and wants to discover a whole new world of control via their unique device. All of them offer a new way of playing an instrument and a new thing you have to learn in order to do that. Springy joysticks are certainly different and could appeal to people who find keyboards a drag. It will be interesting to see someone producing some real performances on it.

The real question though is will it work on your Xbox?

Kickstarter should be live on the 6th October but head over to the website to sign up in the meantime.

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