Gear Spotlight: ROLI Seaboard Rise

This week’s gear spotlight focuses on the ROLI Seaboard Rise. ROLI, a London-based startup company, is making waves (literally) with their keyboards. Rather than keys, they have “keywaves,” pieces of flexible silicone that can sense even the most subtle nuances of a player’s inflections, and allow for parameter control beyond that of any typical knobs-and-keys controller.

Similar to the 3D touch of the QuNeo as we discussed last week, the Seaboard uses what ROLI calls “5D Touch” performing. Two pieces of software are necessary to access these 5D functions. Although they are not integral to using the Rise as a simple MIDI controller, to really use the device to its full potential, you should locate one of the three computers in Music Technology that have these softwares installed: the Mac in Studio E, the mastering laptop, and the Dolan Studios Mac. The softwares are called Equator, which is ROLI’s in-house synth for Rise, and ROLI Dashboard for Rise, which is a configuration utility.

You can also use the Rise with a ROLI developed application called NOISE, which is free for use on your iPhone or iPad. (In fact, you don’t even need a Rise to use the app!)

Using the ROLI developed computer applications, you can take full advantage of 5D Touch, meaning complete control over the following parameters:

1. Strike

The velocity force and curve response of the Rise25.

2. Glide

The x-axis pitch bend response, horizontal movements from side to side along the keywaves or the ribbon controllers. Control horizontal vibrato and pitch-bend sensitivity.

3. Slide

The y-axis response, vertical movements up and down the keywaves, enabling or disabling things like fade-ins, filter shifts, etc

4. Press

The continuous sustain sensitivity of the Rise25.

5. Lift

Allows user to change the release velocity, aftertouch.

Useful Links:

Seaboard Support (Installation, Technique, Sounds, etc)

Seaboard Performance Technique

Interpreting Seaboard MIDI Data