Sep 14

I can’t help saying that I think the “Seaboard Rise” is such a silly name especially as it is a inovative new instrument (similar to a keyboard) that allows you to touch and shape your sound, opening endless possibilities of musical expression. Although they say it is futuristic, I am also not sure about it all black / grey looks but it is very portable to play where you want and has a superb interface with a pressure-sensitive, continuous surface.

The Seaboard RISE is the baby of the Seaboard GRAND which is a bit expensive for most of us but the Rise is a lot smaller with just 25 keywaves. What is a keywave you ask? Well I suppose it like a piano key but it allows you to play a lead guitar solo to produce the same guitar skills a guitarist would use with his guitar. You need to see the You Tube clip to fully understand what I am trying to say.

The expression on this keybed is fantastic as many artists like BT, Rudess and Zimmer are discovering. With pitch and pressure on each note, as well as positional data as to where you are on the key, its possible to play very expressive sounds modulating the character of sound in real time with simple movements of your finger. This seems right up Jordan Rudess’ street as Roli have made him Head of Music Experience.

What does it sound like? Well Seaboard RISE comes with Equator which is ROLI’s own software synth designed for Expressive MIDI instruments. ROLI state that “in Equator, the Seaboard RISE’s five primary dimensions of touch and gestural control – strike, press, glide, slide, and lift – are easily and independently mapped to a wide variety of sound parameters. Sliders on the left-hand control panel regulate the extent to which these parameters of gestural modulation are utilised, allowing the Seaboard RISE to behave like anything from a conventional keyboard controller – in easy-to-use “piano mode” – to a completely open-ended interactive surface”.

ROLI also say that it is a first. It is the first Expressive MIDI device to offer an easy-to-use multi-platform synth, the first with an integrated user control panel, and the first to perform wirelessly with an integrated battery and Bluetooth over MIDI. ROLI also believe that its retail price of $799 (£599) puts it within reach of beginners as well as studio professionals.

Seaboard RISE 25 Features

Seamless hardware-software integration
Beautifully crafted using premium materials
Sleek, intuitive design accessible to musicmakers of all technical levels
Completely wireless with MIDI over Bluetooth
Bundled with Equator, the world’s first purposebuilt, multidimensional software synthesiser

Seaboard RISE 25 Technical specifications

25 Keywaves
505 mm x 210 mm x 22.9 mm / 2.8 kg
(19.88 in x 8.27 in x 0.9 in / 6.17 lbs)
Continuous pedal input (1/4″ jack)
USB B port (MIDI out and power)
USB A port (for charging peripherals)
18 W
Internal battery with 12hour playability
Full MIDI compatibility over USB and Bluetooth

System Requirements

OS X 10.8+ / Windows 7+ / iOS 7+
Intel Core i5 2.5GHz or faster recommended
4 GB RAM minimum / 8 GB RAM recommended
2 GB available disk space for Equator installation
USB 2.0+ port for USB compatibility

I want one.

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