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TheoryBoard Unboxing

Here it is!

I am so impressed by the people who designed and developed the TheoryBoard. They launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and they not only delivered, but they really increased the value of their product by taking it from prototype to production while adding features and refinements all along the way.

Straight out of the box

I was able to quickly connect the TheoryBoard to my MacBook Pro, open Cubase, and begin recording. The USB cable is all you need if you are using a PC or Mac. I did test it with both external power and USB power only. It works really well!

Powered on and connected via USB

Since I didn’t watch the tutorial yet, here is me just exploring a little. 🙂

Select a scale and test

What I like:
– plug and play
– excellent build quality
– plays chords and scales that sound great without any knowledge of music theory
– light weight and easy to carry
– non-slip base
– pressure-sensitive lighted buttons

What can be improved:

– the symbols for the central display buttons that affect the current scale are not documented in the boxed literature or within the menu system, I’ll have to go online to learn more

– the lighted buttons are pressure-sensitive but require some finesse that I don’t yet have. Sometimes I was able to get the results I desired but there were also times where the result was louder or quieter than expected. Changing the algorithm used for debouncing these inputs might be able to improve this

– the central display indicates when a button is pressed but the lighted buttons themselves do not, it’s personal preference, but I’d like the button I press to dim or turn off for a moment so I know the press was registered there as well

Take aways:

I love this MIDI instrument. My only concern is that I won’t get used to the somewhat finicky response of the lighted buttons. Again, that might be user error, but it definitely has room for improvement. This has been a great first user experience and the bonus of following along with the development of this product has made this a great Kickstarter experience as well.

I’ll try to post again after I have had enough time to really learn how to use this instrument, but if you have the chance to pick one up sooner then I highly recommend you do!