What a week it’s been so far. With Arp Odyssei from Korg, PdParty this morning, and now Roli announcing BLOCKS. I knew something big was coming from them, but I had no idea that it was this impressive.
I’ve known Roli for a long time now and even tried one of the early prototypes of their SeaBoard. They’re a lovely bunch of people and I’ve spoken at some of their events in the past. Roli have also support my SoundLab project too, so these guys really do have a passion for music technology, and that shows with BLOCKS.
I have to say that from what I’ve seen so far, BLOCKS looks pretty amazing, and I think that this is just the start of what we can expect from Roli’s BLOCKS. Here’s what they say in about it:
ROLI BLOCKS is a modular music studio that opens up the world of music-making to everyone. Each individual Block offers unique capabilities that let people create music in simple but far-reaching ways. The Blocks connect together to create customisable kits that suit any budget, skill level, and musical style. With a click of magnetic connectors, music-makers can now build their instruments as they go.
Renowned artists including Grimes, Steve Aoki, and RZA are already making music on BLOCKS and creating signature soundpacks for BLOCKS musicians. Grimes — a composer, producer, and global superstar whose sound is redefining pop music — said, “ROLI BLOCKS will democratize music production. It’s so intuitive and versatile. I’m always on the go, and BLOCKS is the most powerful mobile production tool I’ve ever used.”
Three Blocks launch today. The Lightpad Block features a tactile, glowing surface that lets people shape music through presses, glides, and other natural gestures. The Live Block and Loop Block have controls that make it even easier to perform and produce in real time. BLOCKS is powered by NOISE, a free music app for iPhone and iPad that is now available at the App Store. NOISE connects to BLOCKS wirelessly over Bluetooth, becoming the system’s sound engine as well as a standalone app.
Roland Lamb, founder and CEO of ROLI, and inventor of BLOCKS, said, “Many areas of life have been transformed by the digital. Music, though, remains a universal language that everyone understands, but only a few can speak. BLOCKS will change that, and enable people around the world to experience the joy of music-making for the first time.”
The Lightpad Block, Live Block, and Loop Block are exclusively available at ROLI.com, Apple.com, and Apple Stores around the world. With a Lightpad Block retailing at $179 (£169.95) and the Live Block and Loop Block at $79 (£69.95), BLOCKS is extraordinarily affordable as well as powerful.
I think that this is just the start of BLOCKS. I’m looking forward to getting to try the system out very soon hopefully. When I do, I’ll let you know what I find.