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First impression and a BIG whish

Hello everybody,

Sorry for my bad English, I am French speaking but I prefer to try writing in English so more people in the world could share and give their advice if needed.

If you prefer (and to be sure the info is better and more precise), I will switch to French (which will be easier for me haha)

 

Important note : all the feelings I express in this message are MY PERSONAL FEELINGS and are not at all critics or judgement, and I am sure that many people will not feel these impressions, and those feelings don't mean at all that somebody did not well his/her job or had a wrong idea about the joué manufacturing. I heared you in many videos and I know and feel that you are willing the best for your instrument and all of us musicians. If you don't agree with my feelings, so please consider I am just a guy with wrong feelings 😉

First of all, I want you to congratulate and thank you a lot for this FANTASTIC and BEAUTIFUL project because you permit us to build a direct link between our soul and feelings, and the music we can express.

 

I watched all the interview I found on the web, especially a very interesting long one made by ModularSquare in a music show I guess. I discovered the great and noble ideas you got when imagining the joué.

 

For your information, I am 47 from Belgium, I learned piano at 5 and studied piano to become piano teacher until I was 30. During that time, I played as well on a Korg M1 (synthesizer) and composed some electronic music. I tell you that so you know that I am used to play on heavy piano keyboard or lighter synth keyboard.

At 38 I discover the bass guitar and I played it till now (following lessons and performing on stage)

The joué was for me a great opportunity to combine the great part of these two worlds.

 

I just ordered my joué this week and I feel that it is indeed ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC but I have been as well very frustrated because of the sensibility and velocity settings.

 

Except those two points, I found that the concept is really great :

Nice visual experience

Great touch feeling (I am speaking about the material only)

No issue to play on the wrong note (one of my fear, as the notes do not move down, but very good surprise)

Wonderful expression capabilities with aftertouch, and fantastic bend and vibrato features on the fretboard

Size and weight are so incredible for people who are traveling

Ethic and eco-responsible manufacturing process is a great positive point

 

Now, I would like to come back to the two major points which are making me very frustrated when I am playing with the joué.

And when I mean frustrated, it is really important, because if you tell me that it is not possible to change these parameters, I think I will send you the joué back, because these points are canceling all the positive pleasure that all the positive points are bringing.

 

First one : the sensibility.

For me, the sensibility of the grand clavier and the drum pad are not enough sensible.

I will try to explain and give you a maximum of details (even if it is not structured), so I hope it will help you to really spot the way you could enhance this fantastic instrument.

 

It happens a lot of time, with the grand clavier and the drum pad, that when I hit a note softly, there is no midi input detected.

A second effect of this lake of sensibility if that when I play a note and hold it, there are some additional notes played, like if I hold off and on it several times (because I am near the limit of the "on/off" pressure)

I don't know if it is possible, but in my opinion, if you press a note on, there should never be any note off signal till my finger is touching the note.

If this is possible, I think it should be GREAT to include that as a parameter of the module, so each musican could tune it for his/her needs 🙂

Why not include different levels for note on and note off (note is triggered when we push 10/256 and not off is triggered when we release under 1/256 and not under the same as note on, in this example 10/256)

I guess that it is a matter of module, and not a matter of lack of sensibility of the board itself, because I noticed that I nearly never encountered this issue with the fretboard module.

A side effect of this "not-enough-sensible-touch" is that because we have to play "quite" hard on the keys for the sound to appear, than we are often triggering the aftertouch without wanting it at that moment precisely (but we don't deactivate it because we will need it later for instance)

 

I feel that issue strong on the grand clavier, medium in the drum pad and the scaler, and less on the fretboard.

 

Second one (thank you if you are still reading) : the velocity detection.

I don't know why, but playing with synth sounds on the grand clavier is ok, but when you play with piano-style sounds (piano, harp, guitar, ... sounds where you put lot of touch control), this little keyboard becomes a nightmare :'( the way we are thinking the note velocity and applying to our fingers seems totally disconnected with the way the keyboard is doing it ! Some notes are softer, some are harder, and I could not even succeed to guess why... I tried several hours to change my way of hitting and pressing the notes, but I don't understand how it works.

Sometimes, I am hitting the keyboard so strong that I hear the noise of my finger hitting the sillicon through my earphones, but despite of that "speed of hit", the sound is often at minimal volume, than suddently, one note or two are loud, and I don't understand why.

Best of all, this issue appears very obviously on the grand clavier, a bit less obvious on the drum pad and scaler, and not at all on the fretboard !

The fretboard is a real pleasure. You make your finger hitting quick and fast, and velocity is always high.

I have the fuzzy feeling that on the grand clavier, the velocity midi parameter is linked with the speed of the hit AND a mandatory level of pressure, but it seems it is not so simple.

I found a good example of this issue : if you hit with your both hands a 5 notes chords (do-sol-do-mi-sol) 3 times per second, it is nearly impossible to have all the notes with max velocity, even if you hit the notes like a big hammer, and you feel that you should really hurt your fingers to have that max.

I think that settings should be possible to correct that issue, because on the fretboard, this issue does not occur. If you hit fast, the note is hard and loud, even when hitting several notes at the same time.

On the scaler and the drumpad, the settings are so-so for me. Not so frustrating as the grand clavier, but not as reactive and natural as the fretboard.

 

Et voilà, this is what I have on my heart. I really love this incredible board and the spirit you put in it, playing with the fretboard is full of sensibility and I spend hours to appreciate sounds and musicality, and I would really love to feel the same pleasure and "direct-link" between my feeling and the music with the other modules.

 

So, during the time I was writing that post, and playing on the joué, I thought at little points which could be enhancements in the future if you have time (and you want) to implement them :

 

- A mute button (for the next versions of the joué, because the board should be modified)

Indeed, especially with the grand clavier, when I want to remove the module off the board, I often touch a note and that unwanted note often play forever because it will never get its "note off" midi signal.

 

- A parameter to modify the bend sensitivity.

When you play chords on the fretboard, it is impossible to play without accidentally bending the sound.

So, I guess it should be possible to tell the program that instead of bending as soon as we move the finger, we could have a margin (start bending at 50 or even 100/255 instead of 1 or 10/255), so we would not trigger the bending and it would be still available for parts where we need it.

 

- A possibility to glide on the fretboard like the grand clavier

Indeed, especially when you play bass guitar sounds, this should be a great possibility to make glides like a fretless (so grooooooovy)

 

I hope that you are not too discouraged by all these remarks but be sure I want to be as constructive as possible to contribute and help to make the joué the best tiny lovely midi controller in the world <3

 

As I worked with computers as developer and support engineer, I can help you with testing, if you need me, you could send me some beta joué editor to check new parameters and experimental features, no issue for me even if I have to install a full dev environment on my laptop if it can help you.

 

So, again a HUGE THANK YOU for this project, it's great, it's fun, and it's making the link between the music we have in our soul and the music we produce in the real life, thanks to you 🙂

 

Keep up that GREAT work guys, it is a pleasure.

 

(I don't know if there is a delay for me to send the joué back if I'm not satisfied, please tell me if it is the case, I hope not because I would really prefer to keep is as long as we could try to fix these settings)

Hi Ehilson,

first of all, many thanks to you for all the positive feedback and taking the time to share it:
this is really appreciated, and we're very glad to hear about your experience with the Joué and how it finds it place into your creative play and work!

Also, thanks for writing in English so everyone can read about your experience, this is a nice touch, merci beaucoup 🙂

Regarding the issues you encountering with certain modules, I'm not certain I understood well each of them, but one recurrent problem you're describing seems to be about velocity:
have you tried to experiment with the velocity settings in the Joué Editor software?

You can adjust certain parameters to suit your playing better, and because of the physical differences between certain modules (height, etc.), it might help.

Regarding the Grand Clavier: the behavior you're reporting seems strange (all notes should respond to the velocity), this can happen sometimes if the MPE setting is on, but the host and/or VST being used is not MPE compatible. This is also a setting that can be checked off in the Editor.

We appreciate user feedback to improve the Joué and its modules, and some of what you suggested is already being prepared (glide on the Fretboard, etc)... 😉 The mute button is something we'll have to look into. For the pitch bend sensitivity: you can already adjust its range in the Editor, and also activate vibrato and bend separately.

Please let us know if adjusting the settings with the Editor suits your playing better (and if I actually got what you explained properly).

If certain issues were to persist, please write to us directly at support@play-joue.com, so we can work it out for you.

Again, thank you for your constructive feedback and we hope we can adjust things so you can enjoy the Joué fully!

best,

Romain@Joué

Quote from romain@Joué on 13 April 2019, 18 h 52 min

Hi Ehilson,

first of all, many thanks to you for all the positive feedback and taking the time to share it:
this is really appreciated, and we're very glad to hear about your experience with the Joué and how it finds it place into your creative play and work!

Also, thanks for writing in English so everyone can read about your experience, this is a nice touch, merci beaucoup 🙂

Regarding the issues you encountering with certain modules, I'm not certain I understood well each of them, but one recurrent problem you're describing seems to be about velocity:
have you tried to experiment with the velocity settings in the Joué Editor software?

You can adjust certain parameters to suit your playing better, and because of the physical differences between certain modules (height, etc.), it might help.

Regarding the Grand Clavier: the behavior you're reporting seems strange (all notes should respond to the velocity), this can happen sometimes if the MPE setting is on, but the host and/or VST being used is not MPE compatible. This is also a setting that can be checked off in the Editor.

Yes, I already checked all the settings of the editor, because in another post, a girl playing some harp told about an issue about the velocity which was too low for her needs.

And despite the velocity max is set to 127, it seems hard to hit 127 even by hitting the key very hard, especially playing with chords, and this issue does not appear with the fretboard.

And to be sure it was not interfering, I cut off the mpe and all the effects (vibrato, aftertouch and glissando) and the behaviour is the same.

We appreciate user feedback to improve the Joué and its modules, and some of what you suggested is already being prepared (glide on the Fretboard, etc)... 😉 The mute button is something we'll have to look into. For the pitch bend sensitivity: you can already adjust its range in the Editor, and also activate vibrato and bend separately.

Great for the glide !

And for the bend, I saw the bend range parameter, but I would like to be able to have a "dead zone range". It is not easy to explain, but it would permit our fingers to move a bit without triggering the bend, and if we move more, then the bend is done. A kind of "margin" before the bend starts.

Please let us know if adjusting the settings with the Editor suits your playing better (and if I actually got what you explained properly).

If certain issues were to persist, please write to us directly at support@play-joue.com, so we can work it out for you.

Again, thank you for your constructive feedback and we hope we can adjust things so you can enjoy the Joué fully!

best,

Romain@Joué

I will send you a mail (in French) so you will got my email address, and you could ask me more precise questions if needed.

Best regards and thank you for the VERY QUICK answer 😉

It is not so urgent, so please take care and enjoy your week-end 😉

Best regards.

 

Etienne

Hi Etienne,

thanks for the precisions on the issues you're encountering:

- for the velocity, this seems like strange behavior, as it shouldn't be that hard to achieve max velocity. Please let us know in your e-mail to support which OS/software/VST you're using, so we can look at it.

- the fretboard does indeed already have a 'dead zone' before triggering the bend, but it might still be a bit sensitive for certain uses, we'll look at it in detail for upcoming Editor updates, so it can be more flexible to use.

Will be in touch soon by mail, thanks for your feedback!
best,

Romain@Joué

Hello Romain,

 

Thank you for your quick answer. I was not available to answer you quick, sorry.

I have not yet any DAW installed, so I did my tests with the software provided with the Joué (so I was sure to benefit all the mpe stuff)

Now that I reload each of them to check that I did not dreamed about the feelings I got, I think I could moderate them.

For the sensibility, no change for me, I would like to have a sensibility setting, so I could make the keys detecting sooner the "key on" status.

But for the velocity, I am not so sure.

Indeed I tried now to play with the UVI workstation and the dynamic is great and I'm pretty sure that I reach the max velocity easily.

Then I go back to Analog Lab 3 and played with the "grand piano" kind of sounds, and I feel back that impression of no power at all.

So I guess this is related those samples, and not to the keyboard. I am really sorry, so don't worry about the max velocity.

I will continue to use the Joué and I guess I will "adapt" my touch to it 🙂

Thank you for your awesome job with this cute instrument, it is everytime I take it a big pleasure to use it 🙂

Hi Etienne,

thanks for your feedback, and great to hear that the Joué responds to your needs when using certain VST/DAW in context!

Indeed, the response can vary a lot from one VST to another, which is also why we choose to offer a sample pack from UVI with the Grand Clavier, so that users can enjoy the full range of the Joué expressiveness.

Regarding the 'immediate' response with soft touch, given the nature of the technology it is not entirely possible to allow for very light touch (it works with pressure and needs a minimum amount), but we'll make sure to improve the response and settings in future updates.

Please feel free to let us know about your experiments with the Joué, we're looking forward to hear about it and keep improving our product.

best,

Romain@Joué

Saw the post really late but had to reply, there’s a big issue with velocity sensing with all modules and it shouldn’t matter what vst/au/daw/win/OS X a man is using, just use a midi monitor and you’ll see the issue,

i hope u guys aren’t denying it cause you lack an understanding of how should it work because it would mean that it couldn’t be fixed

If you guys would like to learn from your mistakes, compare sensitivity with other midi controllers, for instance pads Try maschine studio and for keys try every standard midi keys out there, even the cheap korg microkey have better velocity sensing.

if people need a specific sample pack for a module to be have full velocity than the issue is the controller.

unless you guys do a better qa, the device is unusable for dynamic sounds. Take a real piano player/ live finger drummer and let them test it on all types of sounds and not just low dynamic-electronic sounds.

I know this sounds harsh but I’m really frustrated for backing this up on Kickstarter as it wasn’t cheap and it doesn’t deliver the goods(i’m Barely connecting it and I’m starting to think about replacing it for the sensel morph)

 

Thank you Bargale.

What Bargale is saying is really what I feel. I just don't have as much comparisons and experience with other controllers than him, but indeed I feel so frustrated playing drums and piano-like sounds.

I don't use the joué anymore and went back to my old Korg M1 keyboard for these kind of sounds.

It is very difficult to match "bad feeling" with technical explanations with figures, that's why it is difficult for us to explain what is wrong (for us) and what you could try to make better in the settings of the board.

I am sure that the incredible potential of the Joué will be far better when this fine tuning will be realized.

Unfortunately, I feel helpless, but I hope somebody will be able to give you the more technical and practical information which will be useful for the technical part.