Roli Seaboard-Future of Keyboards


MIDI Keyboards have been one of the most effective controllers a producer can wield in their arsenal of equipment, though regardless of the dozens of evolutions keyboards have encountered, they never strayed too far from the centuries old counterpart: the piano. The ROLI Seaboard takes a dramatic step in the realm of MIDI Keyboards towards greater musical expression and a large leap in musical inventiveness.

The Seaboard aims to transform the traditional keyboard/piano, (characterized by single tone keys and fixed velocities,) into a unified expressional tool, using the power of five different parameter controls:

  • Strike
  • Press
  • Slide
  • Glide
  • Lift

The strike parameter is essentially a more advanced velocity control, measuring the force of contact you make with ‘key waves,’ while press is controlled by the pressure applied, maintained, or reduced after you have struck. Glide is a horizontal pitch control which you can influence by gliding through the key waves, or the ribbon on the outside of the key waves. Slide is essentially the same thing except moves vertically and controls volume. Finally, lift would represent the release, measuring the ‘speed of liftoff,’ from the key waves.

Each control parameter can also be assigned to MIDI, so the parameters in which you control can be customized, making for a wide range of sound and expression. You are also able to control the sensitivity as to how much each parameter effects your playing in order to find the finest balance to your style.

The Seaboard is, not only compatible with all the major DAW’s, but also equipped with a fully integrated synthesizer software, Equator, which stretches the capabilities of your controller. Take a listen to the power of Equator, along with a number of their provided presets here.

The Seaboard is highly regarded all around the musical spectrum, being called the “future of piano,” by CNN. and leaving BBC reviewers, “astonished.” The rise is currently being sold for $799, while the Grand is going for $1,999.


Check out the video below to see the Seaboard in action.

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