ROLI has launched a new music making system called Blocks.
ROLI describe Blocks as a "modular music studio," which currently comprisesthree portable controllers and an iOS app called Noise. It's designed to appeal to both professionals and people with no musical experience. Blocks operate wirelessly over Bluetooth and can be connected into larger setups.
The Lightpad Block has a pressure-responsive silicone surface that gives users tactile control of sound across multiple dimensions. Left-to-right movements create tremolo, pushing into the surface "deepens" the sound, while the speed with which one's finger leaves the surface controls resonance. Lights provide haptic feedback and also contribute to Learn Mode, which teaches new users how to get the most out of the device. Drums and melodic content, which are provided via the Noise app, can be sequenced into loops and multiple instances of the Lightpad can be joined together to increase its abilities.
The Live Block and Loop Block connect to the Lightpad Block and include buttons for selecting loops, adjusting volume, choosing scales and note range as well as triggering chords and arps. The Noise iOS app acts as the sound engine and DAW that powers the Blocks system. The products will be available exclusively from ROLI and Apple Stores. Grimes, GZA and Steve Aoki are releasing sound packs for Noise.
Watch a promo video for Blocks.