Musical instrument innovator ROLI is launching BLOCKS, its modular system of connectable music-making devices, into Australia following huge acclaim abroad.
Pharrell Williams, Kygo, Grimes, Hans Zimmer, Stevie Wonder, and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan are among the musicians who love ROLI instruments, which reviewers in the UK and US have hailed as “mind-blowing” and “utterly unique.” Music-makers can literally touch, bend, and shape sound on the tactile surfaces of ROLI devices, which feel like a surfer’s wetsuit and can be programmed to sound like any instrument on earth.
BLOCKS are ROLI’s newest, most affordable, and most consumer-friendly instruments. The Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block are individually powerful. But they also snap together magnetically with the Loop Block and other Blocks to create customisable systems for playing and recording any kind of music.
Anyone can get started with the Lightpad Block and the ROLI PLAY app, which teaches people how to shape sound through touch. Skilled electronic musicians can start with the Songmaker Kit — which integrates the Lightpad Block, Seaboard Block, and Loop Blocks — and explore hundreds of sounds in the bundled software suite.
All Blocks come with software tools for learning, playing, and producing music. These tools extend from mobile to desktop, and suit anyone from a beginner to a professional musician. Blocks products launching in Australia include:
Seaboard Block ($500): Seaboard Block is a fun, futuristic, super-powered keyboard that lets you make amazingly expressive music. It replaces white and black piano keys with a soft, touch-responsive surface that lets you play “in between” the keys and shape your sound through pressure, sideways movements, and other touch gestures. Smaller and more affordable than any previous Seaboard, Seaboard Block is the latest evolution of ROLI’s musical-touch technology.
Lightpad Block ($340): Lightpad Block is a musical touchpad that lets you play any kind of sound, anywhere. Have fun making beats and shaping melodies on a smooth, soft, amazingly touch-responsive surface. Learn how to play with the free ROLI PLAY app. Go to the next level and explore hundreds of sounds and effects by pairing it with the free NOISE app for iOS. It’s wireless and fits in one hand, so you can make music anywhere you bring your connected device.
Loop Block ($150): The Loop Block helps you produce tracks faster and more spontaneously with ROLI BLOCKS. Record loops, play them back, or undo your recordings. Set your tempo, and quantize your loops so they’re always in time. These studio techniques for building a track are right at your fingertips, so you don’t need to interrupt your flow by delving into software menus.
Songmaker Kit ($900): Songmaker Kit combines the expressive power of the Seaboard Block, Lightpad Block, and Loop Block in a single integrated instrument. It comes with a huge software package that includes hundreds of sounds and advanced editing and production tools. Songmaker Kit is a tried and tested configuration of Blocks that has proven hugely popular in the US and UK.
BLOCKS are available at JB Hi-Fi, Apple, Australian Geographic, Amazon, Kogan and David Jones. Visit select JB Hi-Fi Stores and feel the sounds you can make on the most important new musical instruments since the invention of the synthesizer.Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.