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ROLI Seaboard GRAND - A keyboard with the feel of a string

Posted by Michael Venia on

A novelty in the keyboard world, the ROLI Seaboard GRAND is a set of squishy keys that give you control of pitch, loudness, and timbre—somewhat like a stringed instrument. The video above is a pretty compelling demonstration of the Seaboard's abilities.

Many more conventional MIDI controllers have a bit of what the ROLI Seaboard offers, but tend to be much more crude and basic. For instance, the M-Audio Axiom keyboards have an "aftertouch" that basically lets you control one parameter after once a key is held down. This parameter could be volume, tone, a vibrato effect, etc.

As you can see with the Seaboard, the squishy keys seem to have a wonderful subtleness and wide spectrum for the player to use intuitively. And just like a stringed instrument, each key can be massaged left and right to achieve vibrato. A vibrato that isn't coming pre-programmed from a synth, but rather controlled by a finger anchored on the key.

ROLI Seaboard

The possibilities look amazing for the product if indeed it is as intuitive and easily controlled as it looks in the demonstration. Check it more videos on the web. There are lots of musicians who seem to be genuinely convinced.

If you've had experience with the ROLI Seaboard GRAND, tell us what you think in a comment below!

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