There’s something about MIDI control in a ring that has captured our imaginations. A month ago Genki Instruments launched their Wave MIDI controller ring onto Indiegogo and they’ve raised 203% of their original goal. Now we have the Neova MIDI controller ring who have just funded on Kickstarter on their first day. Who knew that we all needed MIDI jewellery in our lives?
This story is about the Neova. They do claim that it’s “unique” and “a brand new way to enhance musical performance” which seems odd in light of the Wave. But then Enhancia, or the Oria Ring as it used to be known, did get itself out there at shows first. It’s just taken them some time to reach the funding stage.
The basic idea remains the same. The ring goes on your finger and as you wobble or move your hand you can control different parameters in your software or hardware. The Neova looks a lot less hi-tech than the Wave being a bunch of sensors and a battery encased in ring form. The Wave has buttons and a display built into theirs. Instead, Enhancia has gone for a sort of hub or base station which gives it some advantages. The hub provides the charging, preset selection and the connectivity to your computer. With Wave it’s all done via Bluetooth directly to your presumed Bluetooth MIDI-enabled device. With the hub, Neova is bypassing all that nonsense with their own protocol and give you a dedicated receiver for the ring’s data. You can then USB into your computer or MIDI directly into hardware. That’s a really good idea and gives a certain amount of reassurance that the connection will work.
Enhancia have also developed their own software instrument called Plume which is designed to make best use of the Neova.
As with the Wave what I like about the ring controller concept is that you can do vibrato and parameter changes without took much hand flapping or arm ache. The Neova promo video does an excellent job of demonstrating this. Although the Neova hub and ring look a bit plastic when compared to the Wave it’s hard to judge without seeing them in real life. What’s going to be interesting is how they compare when it comes to performance. May the battle commence!
The Neova is on Kickstarter now and you can preorder one from €210 and they are looking to deliver in March next year.
- Neova Kickstarter page.