ROLI Announces Major BLOCKS Upgrade

US Advancements include next-generation Lightpad Block and NOISE 3.0      28/09/17

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ROLI has launched a new model of Lightpad Block and a sweeping series of upgrades to its NOISE app that they say further advance the position of ROLI BLOCKS as the most versatile and expressive portable music creation system on the market today.

Roland Lamb, founder and CEO of ROLI and inventor of the BLOCKS system, told us, "In the last 10 months since we launched BLOCKS, we have continuously evolved the system with software and firmware updates as well as new hardware components like the Seaboard Block. Today with the release of the Lightpad Block M and NOISE 3.0, we are even more firmly establishing BLOCKS as the most powerful way to create music on the go. You can configure an endless number of production workflows and enjoy a range and depth of expression that was hard to imagine just a few years ago."

Here's more details direct from ROLI...

The Lightpad Block M is the next generation of the Lightpad Block, a surface for sonic control, that launched in November 2016. Music-makers can recreate the sounds of drums, cellos, flutes, synths, and hundreds of other instruments just by touching the Lightpad Block, which is both a palm-sized music-making device in its own right and a piece of the expandable BLOCKS system. The Lightpad M creates an even more sensitive and precise playing experience that is on par with ROLI's premium instruments like the Seaboard RISE.

Advancements of the Lightpad M include:

  • Microkeywaves. Inspired by the wave-like undulation of keywaves on the surface of ROLI's Seaboard instruments, the microkeywaves of the Lightpad M provide additional tactile feedback on an already sensitive surface. They mark a major revision from the flat surface of the original Lightpad Block.
  • A redesigned silicone surface layer. A deeper, softer silicone layer -- topped with 225 microkeywaves -- enhances the pressure-responsive control of sound that defines the Lightpad Block.
  • Brighter surface illumination. The Lightpad M is 50% brighter than the original Lightpad Block. It features a higher contrast display and a much richer range of color definition.


NOISE and the software ecosystem supporting BLOCKS have also taken a major step forward. Highlights include:

NOISE 3.0: The newest version of ROLI's free app introduces improvements to clip launching, clip editing, and user-interface navigation as well as new acoustic sounds. Together with the recent introduction of Seaboard View and Mixer Mode, the updates make NOISE 3.0 a versatile sketchpad for making music on the go. Download NOISE to explore.

Acoustic instrumental soundpacks: Stunningly realistic cello, violin, clarinet, saxophone, and other acoustic instrumental sounds are now available in NOISE. Treble Quartet and Bass Quartet are two new soundpacks created with the SWAM engine by master sound designers at Audio Modeling. Bass Quartet is now bundled with the Lightpad M, and Treble Quartet is bundled with the Seaboard Block. Both soundpacks are available for $9.99 in the NOISE Soundpack Store.

NOISE Audio Unit for GarageBand: Over 400 polyphonic sounds from NOISE are now available to play and edit in GarageBand, Apple's popular music production program that comes with iPhones and iPads. Music-makers can bring their favorite NOISE sounds directly into their GarageBand workflows with the new NOISE Audio Unit plug-in for iOS. The integration shows how NOISE is becoming the center of an expanding ecosystem of musicmaking tools.

Ableton Live Lite: A customized version of Ableton Live, the acclaimed digital audio workstation (DAW) for desktop, is now included with every Lightpad Block. Integration with Ableton Live Lite transforms the Lightpad Block into a versatile control surface for launching clips, controlling instruments, and creating tracks within Ableton Live. Coming soon to all Lightpad Block owners.
Strobe2 Player: A desktop sound player version of the high-powered polysynth from FXpansion. Explore 50 included sounds and three macros in Strobe2 Player -- and upgrade to the complete Strobe2 synth for $79. Strobe2 Player is fully compatible with MIDI
Polyphonic Expression (MPE) controllers like the Lightpad M. Now available to all Lightpad Block and Seaboard Block owners.


The Lightpad M is now available to purchase for $199.95 (£189.95, €219.95) on, and it will soon be available at retailers including Apple.

The original Lightpad Block is available for $179.95 on and at retailers worldwide. Sharing the expressiveness, versatility, and portability of the next-generation model, it remains the most affordable entry point into the BLOCKS system. ROLI is delighted to offer software upgrades to all owners of the original Lightpad Block. NOISE 3.0, Ableton Live Lite, Strobe2 Player, and the GarageBand audio unit expand the creative possibilities for anyone making music on either model of Lightpad Block.

The release of the Lightpad M is the most recent moment of growth for the BLOCKS system as a whole. Launched in November 2016 with the Lightpad Block, Loop Block, and Live Block, the system recently added the Seaboard Block -- a super-powered keyboard modelled on ROLI's Seaboard RISE -- plus the Touch Block. The Lightpad M introduces another modular component to build an instrument that suits any setup, any style, and any skill level.

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