ROLI’s MPE Software Synth, Equator, Now Available Standalone

ROLI has released Equator, the Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE) synthesizer behind the company’s Seaboard RISE and Seaboard GRAND, as a standalone software synth for Mac & Windows.

Equator was originally launched in 2015, to support the expressive possibilities of ROLI’s instrument/controllers.

Equator is designed to respond to very subtle expressive control in three dimensions. Equator lets you map Strike, Press, Glide, Slide, and Lift gestures to any musical parameter.


  • 400+ Presets
  • 3 Oscillators with 40+ waveforms
  • 2 sample banks with over 50+ factory sample instruments
  • 1 noise generator with multiple waveforms
  • 1 configurable FM module
  • 6 Custom built effects
  • Flexible Routing Matrix
  • 5 multi-mode Filter Modules
  • 2 multi-waveform LFOs
  • 5 multi-mode Envelopes
  • 4 multi-mode and multi-node keytracking sources
  • 4 adjustable curves per dimension of touch
  • 8 Macro Controls
  • Playlist Manager
  • Online library of presets and playlists
  • Deep integration with ROLI Hardware

Here’s a video demo of Equator in action:

Pricing and Availability

Equator is available now for $179 (£149), and all owners of a Lightpad Block and Seaboard Block can now upgrade to Equator for $79.

15 thoughts on “ROLI’s MPE Software Synth, Equator, Now Available Standalone

  1. Interesting but maybe not $180 interesting. Synth-wise I think Zebra2 pretty much covers this ground plus much more. Probably not worth it if you don’t own a Roli or LinnStrument, but great news for the LinnStrument camp. Hope more synths add support too.

  2. Equator is great but for the love of God it needs to have “user friendly” custom sample import. At the moment it’s apparently possible but is 100% complete ball ache. C’mon Roli get the finger out! This synth would be so amazing if I could load my own field recording and other stuff

  3. Seaboard Rise 25 799,00 USD
    Equator -179,00 USD
    Strobe2 -179,00 USD
    Bitwig 8-Track worth 40$ off for the Upgrade to Bitwig Studio
    Tracktion Waveform -99,00 USD
    Software -457,00 USD
    Hardware 342,00 USD

    1. Strobe2 is nothing to write home about. It had a hugely convoluted download and registration process requiring a third party piece of software to be downloaded to authorise the plugin. When I eventually got it working, it hogged my CPU so badly that I had to stop using it. My computer is fairly beastly too (12 cores, 64gb) None of the MPE presets worked as they were supposed to either, despite having checked my settings in Roli Dashboard/Strobe several times. It’s nice that its free and all but I definitely would be looking for my money back if I had bought it

    1. Zebra 2 supports poly aftertouch, but not a separate voice per channel. All the other U-He products support both, the latter generally termed “multichannel MIDI”. It’s not strictly MPE — to the extent that a not-yet-standard can have strict implementations — in that they generally only support ±2 octave pitch bend range, don’t support release velocity, and don’t support CC74 as a per-channel controller. As a LinnStument player I don’t find these to be problems: I map X to pitchbend, Y to CC1 (“mod wheel”), and Z to aftertouch in (generally) Bazille and get wonderful per-note expressiveness. To my taste Bazille sounds better than what I heard above.

  4. I so wish that Roli would make something like a hand percussion controller. Like Alternate Modes JamKat but with all these extra modulation capabilities…

    1. Agree.
      Like the Roland- Handsonic or the Korg- Wavedrum but with no need for onboard sound architecture. Hand percussion pads only.

      Don’t know when the ‘Jambe’ will ever be available?

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