Musical equipment has ridden the wave of technological change in recent years, at the forefront of this change is Roli, an English company hoping to revolutionize how we make music. Roli’s Blocks are a flexible modular musical system that includes incredible new touch technology. Now anyone can put together the blocks that they need, from a portable studio in your backpack to a professional dream studio and get down to making tunes.
There are really two parts to Roli’s revolution, the modular wireless design of the blocks and the interface of the instruments. The blocks themselves can be split into two groups; control blocks and instrument blocks. All of the blocks are wireless and Bluetooth connected, snapping together into any configuration you need, allowing everyone from armature jammer to professional studio musician to put together their perfect kit.
Control blocks provide the tools to build your tunes while the instrument blocks bring Roli’s revolutionary touch interface. The control blocks include the Live Block, Loop Block and Touch Block. The instrument blocks include the Lightpad and Lightpad M blocks along with the various Seaboard keyboards that feature the Roli touch sensitive surface that provides a 5D interface. The silicon based touch surface allows it to sense velocity of the strike, glide which provides vibrato and bend, slide, press pressure and lift velocity. All of this sensitivity makes the touch surface much more like playing a guitar than a keyboard.
The Blocks don’t require a PC to work, they will sync with your phone or tablet using the free Noise software letting your device work as the display and sound engine to control the blocks. Initially only available for iPhone / iPad devices Roli are now supporting Android, although only the Pixel and Pixel 2 phones are officially supported at the moment. Equator costs $179 USD and allows precise control of the sounds used by the blocks and is available for Mac OS and Windows. Professionals can also sync the blocks to their favoured software and integrate them into their existing studio through the integrated Midi interface.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the best of the Roli Blocks YouTube clips that show the incredible little instruments in action. This is a revolution for anyone interested in talking the musical language. Sit back, relax and let the tunes roll.
Reference: Roli Website
Roli Blocks Tunes
About Roli Blocks