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Kickstarter: TheoryBoard Thy333

TheoryBoard Thy333 is a $600 MIDI controller that was just launched on Kickstarter. The campaign was instantly succesful, hitting their funding goal in the first 3 hours. The TheoryBoard can be used with everything, including iOS devices, and they hope to begin shipping out in December of this year.

Unfortunately they made the mistake of using a really fucking shady PR company to contact me; who then went on to misrepresent themselves. I'm not at all happy with these guys right now, and the only reason I'm posting this is because of how laughably tacky their promo video is.

The guy doing the VO sounds like a real asshole. I'm honestly amazed no one involved in the production of the video pointed this out, but I get the impression that they might all be assholes.

Behold the absurd abuse of the free After Effects plugin Saber. Every single text effect in this video is Saber.

Reader Comments 17

Sounds like an asshole. Way to go man. Don’t know where they went wrong with you but this is a cheap observation.
July 14, 2020  | person_outline Erik Ooms
This is the kind of product that I'm usually very critical and nit-picky about. However, in this case, I'm sincerely impressed with the product, it's ambitions, and its feature set.

I thought the video was well-done, organized, clear, and in the goldilocks zone as far as not being too dumbed-down, and not too technical.

On one hand, theory-based products can be very limiting, as rules are not only meant to be broken, they often are to ecstatic effect. That said, having a device like this will make some users' music compositions FAR less boring. But, if not explored with some guts & energy, it'll just make more boring music.

As for the PR firm, well, seems like those can be all over the map. The developers may have chosen poorly.
The thing that made my Bullshit Radar tingle is how the guy mispronounces the word “octave”. (Awk-tayve). There’s no way this guy is a musician.
July 14, 2020  | person_outline Matt B
@Matt B

I'm guessing that's the first time you've heard octave pronounced that way?

I think that might be a regional thing.

I remember the first time I heard "maths". Of course, now I realize that's perfectly fine, even charming.

The video gets into some pretty advanced subject matter, and yes, they may have hired a voice-over talent to read the text. No need to throw shade onto someone who is very capably reading text. Jeez.

It's Jar Jar all over again.
On July 14, 2020 - @Erik Ooms said:
Sounds like an asshole. Way to go man. Don’t know where they went wrong with you but this is a cheap observation.

I mean this in the same way that some people just have "resting bitch face" for their default facial expression. This guy genuinely sounds like an asshole.
I see where the chord/note/scales names pop up and go on the device, so this could be a learning tool, if someone can remember what they just played. But it is not really going to teach much theory or common practice and structure unless there is some background and analysis that goes along with it. It is like even though you have all the ingredients for a Crepe Suzette lined up that doesn't mean you are going to be able to make the dish. Common chord usage like V/V would be hard on this, and this and other common harmonic devices are almost gone from the modern musical lexicon because of too many easy bake ovens. Could you easily play a song with this from a chord chart? It might take some thinking to get some out of key but common chords, which could be a learning moment, if this task is undertaken and analyzed. I think this could be a nice controller but whomever is demonstrating it decided beforehand what chords they were going to play based on their musical knowledge. This is marketed to a music producer, not a musician, so the product has the limitations built into that approach.

For an alternative approach:

Redd Kross - Notes and Chords Mean Nothing to Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g44B_iaUvDk
Why isn't this an app?
I would like to know if you can program the left side to play dyads.
On July 14, 2020 - @Tim Webb said:

I mean this in the same way that some people just have "resting bitch face" for their default facial expression. This guy genuinely sounds like an asshole.
Allright that's fair when he speaks it kinda sounds like a fart. But Tim, and this is really cheap because I never do public speaking or voice over like you and moreover I really like all your videos, have you heard yourself introducing a Youtube vid?
July 14, 2020  | person_outline Erik Ooms
LOL! That's also fair, Erik.

I tried getting away from the "Hey YouTube" on the Let's Plays a few years ago, but people complained and I'm (apparently) a whore. So I decided if I was going to "Hey YouTube" I was going to lean into it!

Also I'd be super awkward trying to do anything else. For some reason I'm really awkward about intros and outros. Once I get going I'm going to keep going, but I feel really weird about the starting and stopping.
Does this resemble, at least partially, a poor-man's (or maybe at $600+ a middling-class man's) "Roger Linn Design LinnStrument MIDI Performance Controller" in purpose or spirit? If so would the Linn also provide a sturdier and more durable piece of equipment for the extra outlay? In short, what else can we neophytes compare this critter with to further our understanding? "MIDI Controller" isn't telling me much. Isn't nearly everything a "MIDI controller" in some way now?

Don't know much about this equipment, or the technical merits, but like TW and MattB I to have a BS meter. It is farily well tuned to audible vocal frequencies, though, those two gentlemen have more complex context-specific modules for this discussion installed on their racks than me, I'd wager, my beam-projecting MRI thought-reading module isn't half bad despite it's age. At ~0:50/7:02 ~quote, "it's impossible to play a wrong note", uttered in the breathy rapid-fire way of the practiced hard-seller was enough to make my skin crawl. Obviously, they haven't seen my fingers. Besides, even Amadeus played the wrong note occasionally. Not the promotor's intent I suppose, but the HUD/saber piano keyboard reminds us of that reality, yes? As a basic principle, when people ask for your money, hard-sell presentation or not, skepticism is your best bet. Of course, we can take that ... excuse me a moment ... Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!! ... Ok. I'm back. Right. We can take that skepticism to far and miss some opportunities. I'm sure I missed the whole Jar Jar kerfuffle originally, but, I have to admit @stubs made me LOL with that choice of counterpoint. @Erik "Resting Bitch Face" Ooms makes, at the very minimum, a potentially valid debating-point. "Don't shoot the messenger", may not 'map' perfectly, but, it seems close enough. His obvious mistake was obscuring his point with invective. I periodically read neutral, buy and sell side financial 'analysis' of various non-traditional lending platforms. I'd imagine Kickstarter qualifies as that and may well of been one covered. Who doesn't at least read journalistic pieces about this or that bit of new FinTech these days? Nevertheless, can't say I regret, or have any sense of FOMO, that very very very little of what I read has even slightly tickled my interest or greed gland. Lately I did come across a private-equity (PE) real-estate platform open to non-qualified investors (think an alternative/addition to the public REIT for common investors) claiming they also have a way to make early withdrawal restrictions, common to PE products, less onerous. It is still bubbling up to the surface enough that I may well take a another look ... in a year or two if it is still around. Do I remember examples of these "non-traditional lending platforms"/crowdfunding-sites getting embarrassingly "gamed" by, or being accused of "gaming", 'investors' in the past ;)? Now that I've played both sides of the issue without being able to contribute anything useful about the actual product I guess then ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=649froZBVho

LOL. I see peace and harmony has begun to reassert itself ;) since I started typing. Yikes, I think, I may have completely misinterpreted the vibe of @EO's opening parley?!? My confidence is shaken ... Anyway, great chance to try the Edit Powers I have been granted now that I got around to making an account ;) ... Since no one else will say it around here: Atta-boy Crowfly! Atta-boy!

300 edits later I can certify Edit feature works!
July 14, 2020  | person Crowfly
Oh good =: ^ D I found my atta-boy elsewhere, after all, by none other than Master Webb! Sadly, found it to late to get to make my 301st edit on this page.
July 14, 2020  | person Crowfly
On July 14, 2020 - @Crowfly said:
Does this resemble, at least partially, a poor-man's (or maybe at $600+ a middling-class man's) "Roger Linn Design LinnStrument MIDI Performance Controller" in purpose or spirit? If so would the Linn also provide a sturdier and more durable piece of equipment for the extra outlay? In short, what else can we neophytes compare this critter with to further our understanding? "MIDI Controller" isn't telling me much. Isn't nearly everything a "MIDI controller" in some way now?

Don't know much about this equipment, or the technical merits, but like TW and MattB I to have a BS meter. It is farily well tuned to audible vocal frequencies, though, those two gentlemen have more complex context-specific modules for this discussion installed on their racks than me, I'd wager, my beam-projecting MRI thought-reading module isn't half bad despite it's age. At ~0:50/7:02 ~quote, "it's impossible to play a wrong note", uttered in the breathy rapid-fire way of the practiced hard-seller was enough to make my skin crawl. Obviously, they haven't seen my fingers. Besides, even Amadeus played the wrong note occasionally. Not the promotor's intent I suppose, but the HUD/saber piano keyboard reminds us of that reality, yes? As a basic principle, when people ask for your money, hard-sell presentation or not, skepticism is your best bet. Of course, we can take that ... excuse me a moment ... Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!! ... Ok. I'm back. Right. We can take that skepticism to far and miss some opportunities. I'm sure I missed the whole Jar Jar kerfuffle originally, but, I have to admit @stubs made me LOL with that choice of counterpoint. @Erik "Resting Bitch Face" Ooms makes, at the very minimum, a potentially valid debating-point. "Don't shoot the messenger", may not 'map' perfectly, but, it seems close enough. His obvious mistake was obscuring his point with invective. I periodically read neutral, buy and sell side financial 'analysis' of various non-traditional lending platforms. I'd imagine Kickstarter qualifies as that and may well of been one covered. Who doesn't at least read journalistic pieces about this or that bit of new FinTech these days? Nevertheless, can't say I regret, or have any sense of FOMO, that very very very little of what I read has even slightly tickled my interest or greed gland. Lately I did come across a private-equity (PE) real-estate platform open to non-qualified investors (think an alternative/addition to the public REIT for common investors) claiming they also have a way to make early withdrawal restrictions, common to PE products, less onerous. It is still bubbling up to the surface enough that I may well take a another look ... in a year or two if it is still around. Do I remember examples of these "non-traditional lending platforms"/crowdfunding-sites getting embarrassingly "gamed" by, or being accused of "gaming", 'investors' in the past ;)? Now that I've played both sides of the issue without being able to contribute anything useful about the actual product I guess then ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=649froZBVho

LOL. I see peace and harmony has begun to reassert itself ;) since I started typing. Yikes, I think, I may have completely misinterpreted the vibe of @EO's opening parley?!? My confidence is shaken ... Anyway, great chance to try the Edit Powers I have been granted now that I got around to making an account ;) ... Since no one else will say it around here: Atta-boy Crowfly! Atta-boy!

300 edits later I can certify Edit feature works!

Nobody is gonna read everything you say. So I agree!
July 14, 2020  | person_outline Erik Ooms
On July 14, 2020 - @Tim Webb said:
LOL! That's also fair, Erik.

I tried getting away from the "Hey YouTube" on the Let's Plays a few years ago, but people complained and I'm (apparently) a whore. So I decided if I was going to "Hey YouTube" I was going to lean into it!

Also I'd be super awkward trying to do anything else. For some reason I'm really awkward about intros and outros. Once I get going I'm going to keep going, but I feel really weird about the starting and stopping.

I think your Hey Youtube is the best so just stick with it Tim!
July 14, 2020  | person_outline Erik Ooms
@EO: thanks for propagating the text-meme in it's entirety without a single transcription error! I'm sure it appreciates that. Me? I'm pretty indifferent as the Random Thought Generator in my noggin will spew out many more ideas/questions/nonsense. I'm no Linus Pauling, of course, but he liked to say, "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." When a man with several record strings, depending on how you add them all up, of Nobel Prizes is kind enough to speak in plain english then I'm willing to take his ideas for a walk-about, if I can. If I may suggest without causing offense, a more effective tactic with those you suspect are trolls, or of being beneath your contempt, would be Do Not Answer (DNA). But seriously, thanks for your actual two cents worth (Yikes! ~:^O I don't mean to imply you are "cheap" honestly!) I'm thinking my tendency to get a bit to literal in my reading of text especially that written by people whose thought's and ways I haven't had the pleasure of acquainting myself with before, gets me into tangles occasionally, is where I went wrong. Blue-screen eyestrain may not be helping either. As I said, "Yikes, I think, I may have completely misinterpreted the vibe of @EO's opening parley?!?" I suppose I can see how that happened now. Plus, my admission of my fuck up should of been clearer. Now some old cynics might say "why bother explaining yourself more fully to @EO since he doesn't read anyway?" Sounds a bit snarky though don't you think? I think I see more clearly, when I place the emphasis 'correctly'. Then, I see, your use of "asshole" was likely a reference back to @TW's use of the term. I think I'd forgotten about that first occurrence of "assholes." Further proof "shit runs downhill" it appears. My instinct is to align with the benevolent web master, always, as his biting criticism, possibly testing the boundaries of snark sometimes (but he is no Ann Dowd by any stretch of my imagination), is there for good reasons as far as I've seen so far, but, then @stub who nearly always gives good "devil's-advocate" whip-sawed me. Causing me to call into question the resident authority figurine, if only so slightly, but by then, the thought-train must of jumped the tracks.
But @EO you did do me a solid confirmation of my understanding of Human Nature! It may not be clear to the reader, I wrote it so it probably isn't, but, when I wrote, "Now that I've played both sides of the issue ...", it was in anticipation of the possibility my palavering may rile up some partisan backlash ;) Sort of textbook friendly fire one expects in a civil war, eh? Brother firing on brother because of a simple misunderstanding, even though they are on the same side. People often say, "that's just Semantics", dismissively. But my observation often suggests otherwise, that is, semantics, all to often, is everything in our tragicomic existence! Now I'm curious @EO if you could answer this one question for me: which end of a hard-boiled egg should I crack?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logic_of_Violence_in_Civil_War
July 15, 2020  | person Crowfly
On July 15, 2020 - @Crowfly said:
@EO: thanks for propagating the text-meme in it's entirety without a single transcription error! I'm sure it appreciates that. Me? I'm pretty indifferent as the Random Thought Generator in my noggin will spew out many more ideas/questions/nonsense. I'm no Linus Pauling, of course, but he liked to say, "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." When a man with several record strings, depending on how you add them all up, of Nobel Prizes is kind enough to speak in plain english then I'm willing to take his ideas for a walk-about, if I can. If I may suggest without causing offense, a more effective tactic with those you suspect are trolls, or of being beneath your contempt, would be Do Not Answer (DNA). But seriously, thanks for your actual two cents worth (Yikes! ~:^O I don't mean to imply you are "cheap" honestly!) I'm thinking my tendency to get a bit to literal in my reading of text especially that written by people whose thought's and ways I haven't had the pleasure of acquainting myself with before, gets me into tangles occasionally, is where I went wrong. Blue-screen eyestrain may not be helping either. As I said, "Yikes, I think, I may have completely misinterpreted the vibe of @EO's opening parley?!?" I suppose I can see how that happened now. Plus, my admission of my fuck up should of been clearer. Now some old cynics might say "why bother explaining yourself more fully to @EO since he doesn't read anyway?" Sounds a bit snarky though don't you think? I think I see more clearly, when I place the emphasis 'correctly'. Then, I see, your use of "asshole" was likely a reference back to @TW's use of the term. I think I'd forgotten about that first occurrence of "assholes." Further proof "shit runs downhill" it appears. My instinct is to align with the benevolent web master, always, as his biting criticism, possibly testing the boundaries of snark sometimes (but he is no Ann Dowd by any stretch of my imagination), is there for good reasons as far as I've seen so far, but, then @stub who nearly always gives good "devil's-advocate" whip-sawed me. Causing me to call into question the resident authority figurine, if only so slightly, but by then, the thought-train must of jumped the tracks.
But @EO you did do me a solid confirmation of my understanding of Human Nature! It may not be clear to the reader, I wrote it so it probably isn't, but, when I wrote, "Now that I've played both sides of the issue ...", it was in anticipation of the possibility my palavering may rile up some partisan backlash ;) Sort of textbook friendly fire one expects in a civil war, eh? Brother firing on brother because of a simple misunderstanding, even though they are on the same side. People often say, "that's just Semantics", dismissively. But my observation often suggests otherwise, that is, semantics, all to often, is everything in our tragicomic existence! Now I'm curious @EO if you could answer this one question for me: which end of a hard-boiled egg should I crack?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logic_of_Violence_in_Civil_War

Crack it on all sides and the egg will fall out of it’s shell, vulnerable and ready to be eaten. Just like citizens.
July 15, 2020  | person_outline Erik Ooms
@Erik Ooms: Swift! Now we can go back to the homeland as citizens and dance to accordion music.

(I tried to find a link to the original Disney Welcome Home video where the StormTroopers called us a "citizens" at the end, but I couldn't find it...? This version is pretty funny if you haven''t seen it.)
https://vimeo.com/437664254
July 15, 2020  | person Crowfly
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