A new expressive instrument, Striso Board, hits Kickstarter

The MPE controller is designed to help users understand music theory and “take musical expression to the next dimension”.

Striso Board
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Arriving on Kickstarter this week is an instrument that’s been in the works for almost six years now, and is already nearing its funding goal after just several days. Striso Board is an expressive MPE controller/instrument that not only allows you to get more creative with your performances, but also helps you understand musical structures.

The most obvious thing about the Striso Board is the sea of 61 silicone buttons. All of these are responsive to finger pressure and subtle left-to-right and back-and-forth movements to make variations in amplitude, pitch and timbre. Each button is built with a horizontal ridge, with “exactly the right amount of haptic feedback”, according to the creators. For even further expression, accents and sound effects can be added by shaking and moving the entire Striso Board.

Striso’s layout is isomorphic, which means that every musical interval, chord and scale has the same shape regardless of the key. All intervals have their own shape, independent of the root note. Notes in the same key are sat close by to each other, too, making it a struggle to hit those dissonant notes. The axes of the layout places pitch on one axis and the progression of fifths on the other, making it easy to navigate pitch and key.

“The final interesting property”, Striso says, “is that the layout is tuning invariant. Because sharp and flat notes are separated it is possible to tune them differently and play for example in meantone tunings without having a wolf interval”.

Striso Board

At the time of writing, Striso Board has been pledged £10,353 – almost halfway to its goal of £21,874. The project still has some time to go, with the closing date being 31 May 2020.

Find out more about the project at kickstarter.com

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