ROLI Seaboard Block

Marketed as a “super powered keyboard,” the ROLI Seaboard Block is a remarkably versatile and expressive modular musical tool.

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$300

When it comes to portable music-making devices, the march of modern marvels continues to amaze as each new release outstrips the last. And industry innovator ROLI has just upped the ante once again with its Seaboard Block.

Marketed as a “super powered keyboard,” the Seaboard Block uses advanced digital technology to create a remarkably versatile and expressive musical tool. The instrument comes stocked with more than 100 distinctive sounds that range from full string sections to sweeping snyths. To accommodate those who want to expand the Seaboard Block’s sonic capabilities, ROLI offers the free sound app NOISE as well as a range of additional soundpacks including packages from celebrated artists such as Steve Aoki and de facto Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA.

Although the Seaboard Block can be played like a traditional piano, it also uses 5D Touch technology to give players the opportunity to manipulate sound in unique ways. Players can glide over the surface of the Seaboard Block to bend notes like a Theremin. They can also slide fingers up each “key” to increase volume/intensity or press firmly on a “key” to trigger a variety of different effects. Perhaps even more impressive, each Seaboard Block can connect with another or to a ROLI Block to allow for additional effects manipulation and/or to create a single instrument that spans four full octaves.