Today at CES 2016 in Las Vegas we had the opportunity to go hands-on with a very fascinating product.
The Seaboard Rise by Roli looks like a futuristic keyboard, and for the most part, it is. The entire top of the deck is a soft and touch sensitive silicone with 5D Touch. Gestures can be used to produce or alter sound while traditional style “piano” methods can be used. Four areas that the Seaboard Rise functions on are striking the key, applying pressure to deepen of vary sound, gliding your fingers from side to side for pitch bend and vibrato, sliding your fingers up and down to turn filters on and off and lifting your fingers to achieve resonance of acoustic or electric sound.
The keys on the board are called keywaves and this one has 25 of them across the 50cm board. It weighs less tan 3kg and can be powered by battery alone for 8 hours using bluetooth to communicate to your computer. Roli supply a custom-built software synthesiser exclusively for multidimensional expression. The software is called Equator and comes free with the Seaboard Rise.
Like any instrument, it’s only as good as the musician. We asked the team about the transition from traditional keyboard to the Seaboard Rise and were told that the process would be like relearning how to play music. This is mainly because of how much more is now involved and achievable. Watching them play though made it look easy, having a go ourselves proved however, that you still need to practice.
Roli products are available to order online, the Rise is $799 USD
EFTM’s coverage of CES 2016 is made possible with support from Intel, Hisense, Sony, Samsung, LG and Alcatel One Touch