EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

The RISE of the 5D Keyboards (Or Seaboards)

Music technology will never cease to impress, as it evolves through the times at a rate in which one might say it’s hard to keep up. It’s an exciting market full of wondrous potential and outlandish ideas, that only a decade ago may have seemed ludicrous and not commercially viable. So today we look at the music technology company, ROLI, and their attempts to revolutionize how artists work, perform, and manipulate the music they create.

Recently, ROLI has been making quite a name for itself with their BLOCKS instrument lineup which seems to derive a lot of inspiration from modular synthesis and the recent boom in the modular synth market. It works like this. There are currently five gadgets in this lineup including the Lightpad, Live Block, Loop Block, Touch Block, and more recently, their 5D Seaboard Block. You can purchase them separately and then connect them together in any way that will help your creative process as you go. You can essentially think of these as different Eurorack modules that you would install into your modular synth setup. However, let us focus on the 5D Seaboard Block.


At first glance, it looks very much just like a small keyboard but the technology behind it is what makes it truly intriguing. The five dimensions that define this keyboard are strike, glide, slide, press, and lift, which are all the ways that you can manipulate the sound right within the Seaboard Block. With other keyboards, it is set up just like a piano and any modulation would have to be executed with the mod or pitch wheel or within your DAW. This is what makes this piece of tech stand out. By being able to manipulate different expressions right on the instrument, it’s no wonder that ROLI is getting praise. And to add on to the sonic capabilities of the Seaboard Block, you can then connect it to any other BLOCK instrument to truly bring new depth to your creations.

It is something unique and at the same time, cost-effective. ROLI has a more top tier keyboard (sorry, Seaboard) lineup but it will cost you much more with it’s priciest being the Seaboard GRAND LFE, which will run you $8,888.88. At just $299.95, the Seaboard Block is a great introduction into the ROLI brand that holds a plethora of possibilities that can really change how your music is created and is a prime indicator as to where music technology as a whole is heading.

Be sure to check out the video on the Seaboard Block below and let us know what you think in the comments!

For more information on ROLI products, be sure to visit their website.

H/T: Electronic Beats