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Calgary’s Next Economy: Joué Play puts several instruments into the users’ hands

It’s not the first foray into music for Pascal Joguet.

If you’re a music-tech buff, you may have heard of JazzMutant and their product the Lemur – linear input device. It came out roughly 17 years ago. It was the first-ever multi-touch screen device used by musicians. And it was used by some of the world’s biggest musical acts.

The iPad came along, said Joguet, and transformed that interaction.

“I was ahead of my time, I would say,” said Joguet, founder of Joué Musical Instruments, a French music device company.

After that, Joguet decided to leave the music industry for a measure.

Six years ago, he returned.

“I decided to get back into music and try to use all the things I’d learned… to build a new instrument that will let people practice very easily in a casual way,” he said.

This instrument – Joué Play is different, however.  It’s almost like being able to carry a symphony of musical tools with the ease of a typical computer keyboard.

For people who want to have fun

There are tools like Garage Band and sound mixers like Audition, but this is a platform that allows people to make their own music from a keyboard-like instrument.

Each overlay allows the user to build a tune with different instruments. Want a different set of instruments? Change the overlay. Each pad has a bank of 12 instruments.

“People that don’t want to program music or do complex things, they just want to have fun,” Joguet said.

“The way to make it fun is to have an instrument that’s not, they’re not afraid of, first, and then that sounds great.”

The modular board connects to a USB port and has software that immediately recognizes the overlay on the board.

They have built-in content that allows the user to learn how to play the music – even some of their favourite hits.

Tracks that a user plays are also recordable, and the instrument is compatible with other programs and devices.

‘You have to learn all your life’: Joguet

Joguet wanted to participate in the Platform Calgary Reverb program geared towards music tech because he wanted to get back to the roots of building a strong business.

He’s had business experience. But, Joguet said that’s mainly been in France, where the company is based.  They needed to broaden their business knowledge, he said.

“The perspective, the way you talk about your business, the way you talk about your product, about your ideas, so I wanted to get into that with the Reverb program,” Joguet said.

Right now, 80 per cent of their business is in France, though they ship worldwide. It’s only four per cent of the music market, said Joguet. North America, in comparison, is 40 per cent.

“The way to grow for my business is to go to the US and Canada. And I want to do it the right way,” he said.