ROLI has released a kit that they say helps beat-makers of all abilities improve their skills, play with hundreds of mind-blowing sounds, and produce tracks. The Beatmaker Kit is a hardware-software package that takes a track from start to finish. It centers on the high-powered Lightpad Block and Loop Block — two ROLI Blocks with a surface area the size of a postcard— and includes a suite of software that caters to everyone from learners to skilled producers. Here's the details that they have supplied us with...
The all-in-one Beatmaker Kit is designed for:
Learning: Take your beat-making skills to the next level with a free 6-month subscription to Melodics. In hundreds of fun and interactive lessons, the program teaches everything from basic finger-drumming to advanced playing techniques. Melodics integrates perfectly with ROLI’s Lightpad Block.
Playing: Explore hundreds of expressive sounds included in the kit’s desktop and mobile sound engines. ROLI’s iOS app NOISE features drum kits from renowned beat-makers like Grimes and RZA. Sounds in other programs like Equator Player span everything from strings to synth leads. Bend and shape each sound on the unique surface of the Lightpad Block.
Producing: Create amazing tracks with hardware and software production tools. The controls of the Loop Block help you record and produce faster, without breaking your flow. Ableton Live Lite, the included digital audio workstation (DAW), is customized for the Lightpad Block, which is also compatible with all leading DAWs.
Traveling: Take your kit anywhere. The Lightpad Block and Loop Block are small, lightweight, and extremely portable. They connect wirelessly with the sounds in ROLI’s iOS app NOISE. Even if your kit is connected to desktop software, it can still fit in a backpack with a laptop computer, iPhone, or iPad.
Beatmaker Kit is the latest evolution of ROLI BLOCKS, the modular music-making system. Since 2016 BLOCKS has become more accessible. More software programs — from Apple’s GarageBand to Steinberg’s Cubasis app — are compatible with the system’s MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) controllers, which are the most affordable on the market. With approachable software and a price point of $299, the kit empowers even more people to make music with BLOCKS. New Blocks have also made the system more powerful. The next-generation Lightpad Block M is the tactile playing surface of Beatmaker Kit. Launched in 2017, it features enhanced touch sensitivity and brighter LED illumination.
Melodics has demystified beat-making to a global audience of learners who love the interactive, gamified approach of its lessons. Melodics caters to all abilities and offers thousands of hours of course content across multiple musical styles. Its lessons teach keyboard playing techniques as well as finger drumming and other beat-making techniques. The desktop app was launched in 2014 by Sam Gribben, the former CEO of Serato, who was motivated by the challenges he personally faced in building new music-making skills.
Pricing and Availability:
Beatmaker Kit will be available to purchase from October 18. Buy from ROLI.com and retailers worldwide including Guitar Center, John Lewis, Sweetwater, and Amazon.
$299 (£249, €279).
Highly configurable Eurorack module