Roli has moved on from squishy keyboards to highly manipulatable touch controllers called Blocks. The new palm-sized product was announced by CEO Roland Lamb, and sports a touch and pressure sensitive surface that lets you shape music through presses, glides, and other gestures.
Like a lot of other music technology products these days, Blocks is designed to ‘democratise’ music production — i.e. you don’t have to be a genius to create good-sounding tracks. Pitched as a modular music studio, the emphasis is on ‘shaping sound’ and taking it with you anywhere responding musically to natural gestures and pressure on the playing surface.
Blocks is a controller for Roli’s app Noise which is currently available for iOS only. The Lightpad Block is the centre of the Blocks system with the glowing pressure-responsive surface. The Live Block and Loop Block give you access to more features like recording your beats, playing them back, switching scales, playing chords and arpeggios, and more. Multiple units can be magnetically attached together to construct a larger playing area with more flexibility.