Notes: 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 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. … Read more
The Lightpad Block is the center of the BLOCKS system. You make music through natural movements on the Block's smooth, glowing, pressure-responsive surface. Drop beats and shape melodies by striking, sliding, and pressing your fingers on the surface. Illuminated grids help you find your notes. Light Trails guide you to learn musical gestures quickly. To get started on BLOCKS, all you need is a Lightpad Block and NOISE, the iOS app.
Shape any kind of music on one powerful surface:
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Lightpad Block packs more power than a roomful of instruments. When it's paired with the NOISE app you can make any kind of music - drum beats, guitar leads, orchestral melodies - on its versatile surface. It's totally approachable and easy to learn. So you can express the music inside of you - whether you play an instrument or not.
Touch Sound. It Glows:
Making music on the Lightpad Block is a delightful interaction of touch, sound, and light. Its silicone surface is pressure-responsive, and you shape sound by striking the surface, pressing into it, and moving your fingers around it. Not only do you touch sound. You also see it. The LED-illuminated surface glows, and each touch leaves a trace of light. Colourful grids guide you to make different kinds of music.
Strike, Glide, Slide, Press, Lift:
The Lightpad Block gives you five ways to shape sound through touch. Strike the surface to sound a note, as you would on a piano key or a drum. Glide your fingers from side to side to bend the pitch, as violinists do. Slide up and down to modulate the sound. Press into the surface to deepen sounds, like a saxophone player does by breathing more. Lift off the surface at different speeds to change a sound's resonance.
Learn to play:
The easiest way to learn music is to see it right in front of you. In Learn Mode, Light Trails appear on the surface that guide you to make beats and melodies. Follow a few zigzags and end with a strike. You might not know it until you finish, but that's a cool riff. Learn Mode teaches you the gestures for making music, so you can move more quickly to performing.
Drop some beats:
The Lightpad Block is a beat-making machine. Choose a drum kit in NOISE. Tap the surface with your finger at different speeds and on different pads of the illuminated grid. You make beats just like you would on live drums. Choose a Groove Kit and drop some grooves simply by moving your fingers around the surface.
Take your beats to the next level:
As you learn more you can do more with your beats. The NOISE app puts within reach techniques that electronic musicians use all the time. Record loops of your favourite beats - a bass drum here, a snare drum there - and build your loops into a track. You don't need to be a DJ. But you might sound like one sooner than you think.
Play a melody:
The Lightpad Block is also an amazing instrument for playing melodies. Glide your fingers from side to side to create an expressive flute solo. Slide a finger upward to add some growl to your bass guitar. You can play all kinds of tunes. Start by choosing a scale. The notes of the scale appear on the pads of the illuminated grid. Turn on Hide Mode and you'll always be in tune, because you'll only see the notes for that scale.
Play in harmony:
Add depth and texture to your melodies through special features on NOISE. You can play chords and arpeggios by pressing a single note. With so many sounds available, you can record melodic sequences from a range of instruments. Then - like an orchestra conductor or film score producer - layer them to create beautiful harmonies.
Make a song:
Anyone can arrange a musical composition with the Lightpad Block and NOISE. Just record your favourite beats and melodies as loops, and layer those loops on top of each other to make a song. Keep building your song as your skills and interests grow. Perform one part of it live for your friends, and the riff you improvise may be the best thing you've come up with yet.
A piece of work, a work of art:
Breakthroughs in engineering, sound, and design make the Block a truly revolutionary instrument. The surface is made of special tactile silicone that's dotted with hundreds of light wells. BLOCKS DNA connectors not only magnetically connect the Blocks. They also send data, so each Block knows how it's configured with other Blocks. As much as the gestures you make on its surface, the Lightpad Block is the new shape of music.