Technology is developing at lightning speeds. This is true for various industry and entertainment branches, as well as hobbies. Music is just another sphere where technology has ushered new options and opportunities for a growing number of people.
A London-based music technology company is definitely giving its substantial contribution with its high tech musical instruments. We’re talking about ROLI, founded in 2009 by Roland Lamb. ROLI’s flagship product, the Seaboard synthesizer controller, is already a star with its older version appearing in the Oscar-winning film La La Land. ROLI has also produced a consumer-oriented controller system called BLOCKS.
Simply put, Seaboard is a hardware synthesizer controller based on the piano keyboard. Its touch-responsive surface of pliable silicone reimagines the piano keyboard. It allows a musician to play “in between” the keys of a standard piano, making any kind of sound possible. In other words, this revolutionary controller allows the musician to bend the pitch of a note by making finger-driven vibrato-like movements, deepen a sound by pressing into the surface, as well as other touch-based sound manipulations.
The Seaboard used to come in two versions, namely the Seaboard GRAND Stage and the Seaboard RISE. The Seaboard GRAND Stage was a premium synthesizer with a pliable, compliant, touch-sensitive keywave surface and an embedded sound engine. While the GRAND Stage had its debut on the big screen in the hit-movie La La Land, it was unfortunately discontinued.
Meanwhile, Seaboard RISE improves on the Grand’s technology and continues its legacy with Seaboard RISE 25 and Seaboard RISE 49. It is a USB and Bluetooth-powered MIDI controller with a similar keyboard, although smaller and with additional options.
ROLI did not forget there are non-professionals out there who would also like to try their products. For this purpose, they created BLOCKS – a modular music-making system composed of musical controllers that can be connected magnetically and using Bluetooth.
Operating on the basis of the Seaboard’s touch technology, block centerpiece modules are put together to create music. This includes the Seaboard Block, a 24-key MPE MIDI controller with a pliable keywave surface as seen in the Seaboard RISE, and the Lightpad Block M, a musical touchpad with a pliable surface like the one in the Seaboard.
You can start out with one of these blocks, adding more by connecting them together and customizing a perfect instrument for your unique creativity requirements. You can even combine Lightpad Block M and Seaboard Blocks together.
The Seaboard RISE 25 comes with a price tag of $849.95, while its larger version, RISE 49, costs $1,199.95. The Seaboard Block costs $349.95, while Lightpad Block will cost you $199.95. You can expand your collection with Live Block, Loop Block, or Touch Block, each available at $149.95.
YouTube: BLOCKS: The instrument that grows with you
Photo credit: All images used are owned by ROLI and were provided for press usage.