Theoryboard kickstarter

has anyone given this a gander?

i’d love to throw away all my scale/chord books.


hadn’t seen it until now… looks sweet!

I have students that could learn a lot from messing around with this!

t-minus 60min

I find this keybord a lot more confusing than actual music theory.


i think it’s pretty cool, tminus 4min.

I’m in – signed up shortly after it was announced.

Others have compared it to the Isla Kordbot, and there is a resemblance, but the TheoryBoard looks better to me with the structure of its interface. This is still a bit of a gamble, and hopefully it’s not delayed in release the way the Kordbot was – which got tied down with stretch goals.

Still some ways to go with the implementation, but they upgraded the processor from Arduino to a 32 bit processor, and the LCD display is improved now too. Plus they’ve got incubator support with Arrow.

Any body else here in on this?

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Google some piano scales, practice them for 15 minutes, make up some chords, rinse and repeat. Before you know it, you’ll have memorized a few scales/chords and can effectively improvise on any keyboard.

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I think it looks nice, a bit better than the kordbot. Its not a bad idea to have chord /melody side by side, beeing able to play it at the same time. The price seems a bit steep for the reatil version. Push and novation circuit already has scales and a lot of other functions. + sequencer.

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i jumped on it and managed to get one for the $299 price.

my composition phase often incorporates no computer, and so, i’ll often use phone apps/books to look up scales/chords. this will totally streamline my workflow.

also, the whole talk about “why don’t you just learn music theory?” is complete silliness. i took piano lessons for years as a teen and college student, but now with 2 kids and a wife, i’m not looking to dig deep with theory, but rather, production. my overall goal is to produce as many quality tracks as possible, not to understand the intricacies of music theory. also, i see this as a support, not as a cheat. i think it’ll help me see the relationship between certain chords and scales that much more easily

there are plenty of very well versed musicians who are getting this to just make the overall process of finding chords/using scales even that much more simple.

so yah, if you’re not interested because you’re understanding of music theory has surpassed most others doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t other people (whether or not an expert in music theory) who won’t be interested.

Well, i understand this completly - i have a Kordbot incomming :), yes its probably easy to remember some scales, but to transpose them, suspend, inverse, place a 7th dimished chord somewhere. Is not soo easy. I think for 300€ its a great price for the theory board.

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It seems like they are copying kordbot features, that said it is huge and looks corny, however i was interested in it anyway but they didnt have a 299 campaign for my country so i skipped it.

Does anyone know if you can make your own custom scales to load into it? That question doesn’t seem to have been answered on the kickstarter page.

if you look at the comments, they mention that’s something they’ll be implementing.


RE High MSRP: I believe the high MSRP is a bit of kickstarter hype, which while i don’t like seems to be an often used k.s. sales technique. If you look at the price and volume on the offer, they’d hit target somewhere near the $350 price. and I’d expect something like that for the retail if they ever get to that – especially after i ball-parked the manufacture cost to Irijule.

zfigz is right, Irijule said they plan for custom scales, which will be nice – but if you look at the variety of built-in scales they already have that really covers an enormous amount of musical territory already.

What i am really hoping for, as an addition, is to allow for easy key change on the fly. I think using pivot chords, and presenting destination chords in a new key (simply), is a method that would be very cohesive with the current Theoryboard design.

An aside on music theory

When speaking of music theory it is useful to keep in mind that thankfully there isn’t just one music theory, but competing ideas, interpretations and schools.

ADDED A MONTH LATER: Irijule did indeed add key change modulation, and it sounds like pivot chords will be part of this.


the theoryboard and the kordbot look very different to me.
I have a kordbot and it is a very useful sketchpad controller with knobs, pads, keys, chord buttons and a touchstrip.
With its large screen, assignability and customisation options it offers a lot - i find it a brilliant laptop companion when on the go. It might rival or far exceed the OP-1 in a portable finger-user midi controller context when its software is finished with sequencer functions in addition to the existing programmable arp engine.
theoryboard IMHO targets a different market - it looks more like its core functionality is matching scale options and chords with robust chunky multicolour button presses - strong in the WYSISYG paradigm.
theoryboard wins out in terms of simplicity and immediacy. kordbot has similar functions, but with the large screen and the deep software versatility and existing detailed framework that might offer great things in the future with various engines - like the OP-1 sequencers - and high level of existing midi customisation options. already it is more of a tweakers creativity controller with deep personalisation, but lacking a little in the robustness of punching its buttons. the buttons are good, but not the chunky cubes the theoryboard offers.
Both looks like quite different takes on a deconstructed approach to the old yamaha QY creative process, but as yet, without the phrases … yet.

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the 799 MSRP leaves a sour taste in my mouth. The kickstarter price seemed fair.

But yeah, how have they thought one changes scales midsong with this? Not overly fan of squishy square buttons though…

I wished that Elektron would add music theory to their sequencers, the minor /major implementation doesnt cut it for me.


What is out there that is based on grids and has scales? Linnstrument, Launchpad Pro, what else?

Novations various grid boxes
And i’d expect plenty of monome apps