Imagine ROLI keyboards had a baby with an Ableton Push controller and they had a baby that looked like a board game – That’s Striso.
This bizarre and incredibly interesting new instrument has just come to our attention and we are enthralled. It is a next level expressive instrument with an intelligent layout and a completely personal feel to playing.
Lets take a look at what makes this new Kickstarter project tick. Firstly the most noticeable thing about it; it’s build. It is a square device with diagonal rows of black and white buttons, making up nearly 4 octaves of range with its 61 pressure sensitive buttons.
Now what makes it so cool; the fact that those 61 buttons are completely pressure and motion sensitive. They can tell how hard you’re pressing the button, sense motions your fingers are making on tip of, all whilst using this input to create “the next dimension” of sound.
With its sophisticated sensitivity the Striso board can change its loudness, pitch and timbre all making for a variety of sounds. They have been designed to simply feel good with the haptic feedback guiding you on making the precise movements you want to get the sound you want.
But beyond the buttons, the entire board is motion sensitive adding a whole extra layer of control over your possible sounds. Tilting and rotating, or even shaking the instrument can put your sound under a range of effects. With MIDI control you can customise it so that you can have whatever result you want with every movement.
The layout at first looks quite random, a bunch of white buttons in between two crowds of black buttons at an angle. However, the Striso board has been built intelligently with music theory at its essence.
Using typical music patterns to place notes in places that match up musically to their surrounding notes, every button having the same pattern of connections surrounding it. They have built so that you can easily stay in key by following nearby buttons and learning how the patterns work.
Here is folk violinist, Baltazar Montanaro, saying how the layout works for him:
I love to use the Striso board to compose my music, it gives a very clear and logic idea of how to travel in harmonies and melodies, with a lot of space for intuition and feeling. As a violinist, the Striso board gives me a complete other map of how to build my music.
There’s a lot more to it than we’ve covered, but if you’re still interested at this point then you should check out their official Kickstarter to learn more about this fascinating little instrument.