Riffing with ROLI: SAE London students get a feel for the Seaboard RISE

09 May 2019

ROLI are a multidisciplinary team of makers who are creating the musical instruments of the future. Content Production Executive Heen-Wah Wai visited SAE London students on 1 May to showcase their fantastic tech.

The demonstration was a great chance for our May intake students to mingle with other Audio students and get to know one another while simultaneously learning about the innovative equipment for music makers made by ROLI.

ROLI’s Seaboard is a renowned reinvention of the piano keyboard. Smooth, touch-responsive, and super-sensitive, its surface lets you bend, deepen, and modulate sounds in ways that make a standard keyboard feel two-dimensional.






Heen-Wah said: "It's always great to see how mindblown people are when they are first shown to the Seaboard."

Seaboard RISE is a multidimensional controller for studio or stage and comes in two models. The Seaboard RISE 25 is so-called because it has 25 keywaves, whilst the Seaboard RISE 49 has 49 keywaves. Both bits of kit feature hundreds of free sounds; have five Dimensions of Touch control and the ability to play wirelessly over Bluetooth; come with a software bundle of Equator, Strobe2, Tracktion Waveform, Bitwig 8-Track; are compatible with music production software and are made of premium, durable materials.

The Seaboard stole the scene in La La Land, which won 6 Academy Awards including Best Original Score. Ryan Gosling, who isn’t a trained pianist, performed a searing Seaboard solo that turned the heads of movie-goers around the world.

In terms of the artists that use ROLI products, it ranges from Canadian artist and producer Grimes to esteemed jazz musician Dr. Lonnie Smith, who said: “The Seaboard is the most expressive keyboard instrument that I've experienced in years. It is different from any instrument in the past, and it will change the future. Its unique interface will inspire, and expand creative boundaries. I'm very excited to create with the Seaboard."

We spoke to some of the attendees of the demonstration to find out what they thought of the event:

Joan Torruella, a first year Audio student said:

“It was a really fun and informative event. The ROLI demonstrator answered any questions we had and you could really tell he loved using the keyboard. Later, once the event was finished he even allowed us to use the Seaboard Rise which was really cool!”

Often, the best way to learn is to get stuck in, which is why it was great that students had a chance to test out the equipment for themselves after the demonstration.

Dev-Kishan Bhika, a first year Audio student said:

“The ROLI event was great. It was very interesting to see the Seaboard RISE in action. It is something I would definitely add to my arsenal of instruments and synthesisers in future.”

We are very grateful to Heen-Wah who delivered the session and hope to see him back on campus in future.