by Robin Vincent | 5,0 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2  ·  Source: ROLI

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2  ·  Source: ROLI

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2  ·  Source: ROLI

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2  ·  Source: ROLI

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2  ·  Source: ROLI

ADVERTISEMENT

Luminary ROLI has brought back the Seaboard multi-dimensional expressive controller in the form of the RISE 2 with a new playing fretted surface and 5D visualising ROLI Dashboard. 

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

RISE 2

When ROLI went into administration last year there were doubts that we would ever see another Seaboard product. However, against all odds Luminary ROLI, which encompasses both the ROLI and LUMI brands, are super-chuffed to present the Seaboard RISE 2; same idea, slightly enhanced implementation.

The concept is that you give the player five dimensions of control. With a regular MIDI controller, you have velocity and maybe aftertouch to give your performance dynamics and modulation. With the Seaboard RISE 2, you have pitch bend or Glide per note, you have Slide for modulation, Strike for transients, Pressure for evolution and Lift for release control per note generating masses of MPE control data that operates over a regular MIDI connection. The expression and nuance you can inject into your playing with this instrument are astounding.

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Fretted

Now, I know it looks the same as the previous version. But if you get in a bit closer you should notice that the lumpy bits that represent keys now have a narrow ridge on them. ROLI are calling these “frets” in as much as they are a bit like the frets on a guitar. They give better tactile feedback as to the position of your fingers on the notes so that you can play more accurately. One of the difficulties with playing the original Seaboard is that you tended to inadvertently pitch shift if you didn’t apply your fingers dead centre on the raised keys.

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

The new surface is called Keywave2 and should make it easier to play in tune. ROLI hopes it will open up the RISE 2 to a much wider audience. Also new is the platinum blue anodized aluminium chassis which creates a bigger contrast between the playing surface and the edges. RISE 2 retains the Bluetooth MIDI and integrated battery but gains a MIDI port and USB-C connections.

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

Expressive Software

The RISE 2 was designed with the existing Equator 2 hybrid, expression enabled synthesizer in mind. Equator 2 is a fabulous platform that brilliantly demonstrates the expressive and performative power of the Seaboard controller. It sounds completely stunning. While MPE support in software and hardware synths is widespread these days, Equator 2 is still the best at what it does; making full use of the multidimensional expression.

You also get ROLI Studio, an all-in-one production suite that includes ROLI Studio Player and ROLI Studio Drums. The Player plugin is like a cut-down version of Equator 2 which seems a bit superfluous. However, you also get some sounds from the Fxpansion synths Cypher 2 and Strobe 2. There’s an arpeggiator, a Smart Chord system and other bits and bobs to keep things interesting. ROLI Studio Drums gives you 15 MPE-enabled drum kits for wonderfully expressive finger drumming.

Finally, there’s a new ROLI Dashboard. This is an app that helps you fully configure the RISE 2 and how the various dimensions of control operate. ROLI says it features an enhanced 5D visualizer, but I haven’t seen that in action yet.

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

Rise 2 Availability

You can preorder the new controllers directly with Luminary ROLI. They will be manufactured in small numbers and made available through 2022. The cost is £1,099 including Equator 2 and ROLI Studio.

I think the Seaboard is a magnificent performance controller and I really hope the RISE 2 is a success. There is a slight sense of wariness because ROLI somehow managed to burn through an extraordinary amount of money and go bust when they had pretty much cornered the market for MPE controllers. The style of marketing seems to be filled with hubris and overboard excitement which enthuses about how awesome the product is. I don’t think anyone doubts how great the product is; rather there’s some uncertainty about the way Luminary ROLI operates. The previous financial issues do make you wonder if support of the Seaboard platform will be ongoing. MPE is more widely supported than ever. And so ROLI should be lapping that up as the best controller for the job.

 

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Image Sources:
  • ROLI Seaboard RISE 2: ROLI
  • ROLI Seaboard RISE 2: ROLI
  • ROLI Seaboard RISE 2: ROLI
ROLI Seaboard RISE 2

How do you like this post?

Rating: Yours: | ø:
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

4 responses to “Seaboard RISE 2: ROLI’s squidgy controller is back”

    Adrian says:
    0

    Too expensive now, waiting for the fall

    Robin Parry says:
    0

    the only problem on adoption of this system(I owned a mk1) is the design flaw whereby notes b/c and e/f are extended by a stipe rendering normal keyboard technique useless by extending these notes for an extra half width thereby creating two separated parts of the octave, making normal fingering out of tune!
    Shame

    Steve Elbows says:
    0

    Even the first small batch arent scheduled to ship till late October, with various subsequent batches in the months that follow, so I’m not taking the risk at this stage of the Seaboards return.

    Also existing customers should check the FAQ for the Seaboard 2 as there are discounts available for owners of previous versions.

    Dom says:
    0

    Crooked company. Screwed their suppliers in bankruptcy. No morals. Don’t be sure you’ll ever see your product or your money again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.