The ROLI Seaboard Controller At The 2014 NAMM Show

At the 2014 NAMM Show, ROLI was showing its line of Seaboard keyboard controllers, which are designed to allow polyphonic pitch bend, vibrato and per-note dynamic changes.

Three models of the Seaboard are available, ranging from teh $2K Seaboard Grand Studio model to the $8,888 Seaboard Grand Limited Edition 88-key model. 

This video, via Future Music Magazine, captures an overview of the new keyboards.

See the ROLI site for more info.

15 thoughts on “The ROLI Seaboard Controller At The 2014 NAMM Show

  1. omg, this was a chore to watch, the tech is great, the presenter is a stumbly mess, give me the NICK BATT review and i’m set. Great tech though.

  2. Brilliant concept.
    My biggest concern though is that silicon material.
    How long before it starts to tear?
    I’m sure they’ve stress tested it, but what about the sweat our hands emit?

    The sound effect is very similar to that of the EWI.

  3. I tried this at NAMM and it is a very cool controller – but not a replacement for a traditional keyboard. It is a little squishy, so it can sense the difference between soft touches, medium touches, hard presses, etc. This makes it great for playing lyrical melodic lines expressively, but it felt weird for playing chords. That might change as you got used to it, but it seemed like the place it really excelled was in playing expressive solo lines.

    1. Except it works with any synth!

      It’s too bad that this tech is still pretty expensive. Like you suggested, the CS80 could do this 35 years ago – but hardly any other synth or controller since has been able to.

      I’ve got a KMI Qunexus and it can do this, but it’s not very good for ‘normal’ playing.

  4. Imbedded synth engine: unnecessary. It’ll add to the price and probably not offer much. As a guitar player who loves synthesis and plays a bit of keys, I’d love a product like this… but it’s got to be under $1K.

  5. The 2014 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show seemed somewhat lackluster this year. At least there was the ROLI Seaboard Controller to look forward to. While the ROLI Seaboard Controller will never replace the piano, or, more specifically, the articulation of traditional keyboard keys, the ROLI Seaboard Controller requires technique and is a very fascinating musical instrument. It would be great if more synthesizer manufacturers had keyboard designs that were as innovative as the ROLI Seaboard Controller. There is something very special and futuristic about this design.

  6. I remember silicon Mallets? I can’t say I see too many of them knocking about.
    People put some great work into midi controllers , this is ‘beautifully conceived’
    but has someone who works with my hands, my rough skin would ‘fuck it ‘ in no time.
    Another obscure controller aimed at the minted and soft skinned.

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