ROLI calls its Blocks system “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 customizable 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. Composer and producer, Grimes says, “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.”
ROLI is now launching the first three Blocks modules. 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 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 the Lightpad Block retailing at $179 and the Live Block and Loop Block at $79.
The launch caps an important year for ROLI, which has emerged as a leader in music technology innovation. The award-winning Seaboard Rise, a reinvention of the piano that has redefined the expressive capability of electronic instruments, has been adopted by a range of artists from Stevie Wonder to Meghan Trainor. ROLI acquired FXpansion, a London-based maker of audio software and virtual instruments, in September 2016. ROLI has raised over $50 million from leading investors including Foundry Group, Balderton Capital, and Founders Fund as well as Universal Music Group.