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ROLI Seaboard Rise - worth it?
Old 4th April 2016
  #1
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🎧 10 years
ROLI Seaboard Rise - worth it?

Hi-

So just wondering if anyone here owns a Rise 25 or 49 and what you think of it - worth the money? Is it useful beyond with just the Equator software? Do you really use it that much or is it something of a "fad" that you will quickly tire of? And how is the wireless MIDI - stable or glitchy?

Cheers
Old 4th April 2016
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I had a 61 keywave Roli Stage, not a Rise. It was an amazing instrument. Extremely expressive and very easy to play. I loved it. Definitely oriented towards a traditional keyboard player, except more difficult to play. So you'll want your keyboard chops down.

After having to send it back to London twice for warranty-covered repairs, I ended up asking for a refund. I just couldn't stomach hanging on to a $3K instrument that was so unreliable. The Stage was made by hand in London. The Rise is mass produced (I don't know where). They likely have different degrees of reliability.

If I was going to buy a Rise today, I'd opt for the 49 key. 25 keys just isn't enough to get the expressive power out of a Roli.

I'm leaning towards the Linnstrument at this point. I'll stick with my Arturia Keylab 88 for keyboard style playing, and use the Linnstrument when a more isomorphic layout makes sense. I appreciate that the Linnstrument can do MIDI without an intermediary computer in the chain.
Old 6th April 2016 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw22 View Post
I had a 61 keywave Roli Stage, not a Rise. It was an amazing instrument. Extremely expressive and very easy to play. I loved it. Definitely oriented towards a traditional keyboard player, except more difficult to play. So you'll want your keyboard chops down.

After having to send it back to London twice for warranty-covered repairs, I ended up asking for a refund. I just couldn't stomach hanging on to a $3K instrument that was so unreliable. The Stage was made by hand in London. The Rise is mass produced (I don't know where). They likely have different degrees of reliability.

If I was going to buy a Rise today, I'd opt for the 49 key. 25 keys just isn't enough to get the expressive power out of a Roli.

I'm leaning towards the Linnstrument at this point. I'll stick with my Arturia Keylab 88 for keyboard style playing, and use the Linnstrument when a more isomorphic layout makes sense. I appreciate that the Linnstrument can do MIDI without an intermediary computer in the chain.
The other thing about Linnstrument is how very sensitive it is to the touch, and how smooth and natural it responds (no jerkiness). I've never found any MIDI keyboard that had a truly satisfying and expressive aftertouch experience. Now that things like Linnstrument are finally here, it makes you wonder why it took so long. It's like the hopes and dreams of MIDI's expressive capabilities are finally being realized in a relatively affordable way.
Old 6th April 2016
  #4
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I played it extensively at Messe. The Seaboard Grand was in my opinion very gimmicky to play. It just didn't connect with me on a musical level. The rubbery keys felt out of place on a musical instrument & the touch response was not smooth & fluent. They present themselves very smart and fashionable with their apple-like commercials. But the truth is it's not that great.

But this is just my opinion, tons of people like them, and it's best to try it out yourself if you have the chance. See if it connects with you.
Old 7th April 2016
  #5
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mikefellh's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Tried it in the store, didn't care for it.

Maybe if it was smooth vinyl keys instead.
Old 7th April 2016
  #6
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mildheadwound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I played with the 49 key Rise, in a store recently and was blown away. I'm not sure which software it was using, just some kind of string patch. The tension on the keys seems more solid then the stage, which i did find a bit jelly.

I've had my eye on the linnstrument as well, which seems it's main competitor. The Linn seems more configurable, especially with other hardware, vs. the Rise's keyboard playability and just frigging stunning good looks. Also, the Rise has a battery, and bluetooth, so it doesn't have to stay tethered. Conversely, a battery means it has a limited lifespan...

They are both pretty expensive, but i think i'm gonna hit the Rise, since it will probably have to go through a computer either way, if you want to properly record the midi expression out.
Old 7th April 2016
  #7
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fwet's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
There are few threads here comparing these new types of expressive instruments.

I like it, I'm traveling with it. The 25 key fits in my portable rig.

I use it as a standard keyboard and for its unique expression, I don't know of anything with the same price value.

I do tend to use it with Equator, there are instructions floating around the net on how to use it with other vsts.

The wireless midi works pretty good, I don't notice latency.

You should check if your computer has the right specs to use it wirelessly.
Old 7th April 2016
  #8
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goldphinga's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The rise is great but the keys are narrower than standard pianos which makes it easy to slip into the wrong notes. They should have kept the keys the same width as normal. Otherwise it's great!
Old 7th April 2016
  #9
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gjvti's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I have LinnStrument which is great, however I'm keen to test Rise as well. Unfortunately Roli doesn't seem to have any plans sell them directly in may area, so there is no way to test Roli stuff. Two things which makes me worry about Rise are
1) the feel of Rise silicon surface - from videos it look very soft and spongy (LinnStrument feels ok - a well thought compromise between hard, soft and easy to slide)
2) Equator plugin - I understand that it requires quite a lot of processing power and I'm not sure if my laptop can handle it, especially as Equator based Noise barely allows to play more than single note at time on my iPad 2. There is no demo version of Equator available so it is not possible to test if it works in my set up. I emailed Roli about my concerns, but even didn't receive any replay.

any comments about these concerns from Rise users?
Old 7th April 2016
  #10
msl
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I've been very interested by it myself, got a chance to try it twice in the last month. Its very very different than anything you've played before, very different response than a keyboard, you need to learn how to play it. If you can do that then I think its great, but I had a hard time with it just playing around for 20mins.


.
Old 7th April 2016
  #11
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🎧 5 years
What's wrong with traditional piano-style keyboards with aftertouch, mod wheels, and expression pedals?

This seems like a really expensive and unnecessary tool.
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #12
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Other Guy View Post
What's wrong with traditional piano-style keyboards with aftertouch, mod wheels, and expression pedals?

This seems like a really expensive and unnecessary tool.
It is very bold of them to claim that this would be THE 'next step' in the revolution of piano based keyboards and music creation. Marketing sure. But the truth is, it is absolutely not if you ask me.

It's a cool idea sure. But in practice it doesn't have the same timeless quality of traditional performance instruments in my opinion. It is more interesting i think if instrument manufacturers build up and learn what traditional instruments made great in the first place.
Old 7th April 2016
  #13
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login's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
It is great people try to develop new instruments and interfaces, given the actual possibilities for mass production it would be a waste not to do it. But they have to compete with designs that have been refined for centuries, teaching traditions, years invested in instrument training, etc.

i think one of the last instruments to really get a following is the Hang drum, but it is in fact rare that it happens.
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Other Guy View Post
What's wrong with traditional piano-style keyboards with aftertouch, mod wheels, and expression pedals?

This seems like a really expensive and unnecessary tool.
That's exactly it...I have played aftertouch capable keyboards since the Multimoog in 1978, and none of them felt truly natural.

After you've spent some time with controllers like Rise or Linnstrument, you realize that the mod wheels, pitch wheels and aftertouch features on conventional keyboards have been sort of temporary crutches, as far as expressiveness goes, until truly expressive controllers are brought to market. You start doing natural vibrato, tremolo and pitch slides with finger movements (in x, y or downward pressure directions) like on a stringed instrument. You get a very responsive and wide poly aftertouch experience. I did try the Rise for a few minutes and liked the spongy aftertouch feel, but for pitch slides the sponginess got in the way a bit. Then again I only spent 10 minutes with it.

That said, I don't see much sense in using a Rise or Linnstrument to play things like acoustic/electric piano or organ patches...
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #15
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gjvti's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Other Guy View Post
What's wrong with traditional piano-style keyboards with aftertouch, mod wheels, and expression pedals?

This seems like a really expensive and unnecessary tool.
You can hardly play them with both hands and modulate pitch, timber and some other parameters at time, also per note/key modulations are not possible at all with traditional keyboards. Not every time you need that, of course - that said I would prefer traditional weighted keybed for traditional piano/organ, but certainly the new generation MPE controller for everything else.
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #16
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jlaws's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
It is very bold of them to claim that this would be THE 'next step' in the revolution of piano based keyboards and music creation. Marketing sure. But the truth is, it is absolutely not if you ask me.

It's a cool idea sure. But in practice it doesn't have the same timeless quality of traditional performance instruments in my opinion. It is more interesting i think if instrument manufacturers build up and learn what traditional instruments made great in the first place.
I think that's part of what's behind the movement. They want to take the pieces that are great from the piano and add to it what makes a violin or any fretLess instrument great. If we only stuck to the forms that were there, the Beatles would have been playing violins and celli or possibly lutes and modern music would be made with classical instruments. Good ones, sure, but I think there's something to be said for evolution of forms. Bonham would be playing timpani and imagine a Hendrix solo on a violin. Interesting, sure, I think you'd be artificially limiting yourself. Also, I think you'd be in the minority given the subforum this thread is in...
Old 7th April 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Rise is good, but you should practice your keyboard chops and understand music theory. I bought the linnstrument instead and have noticed how much more musical you can get without music theory or keys in your background. If you like to play chords and scales on push grabbing a linnstrument and hooking it up to a sound module can get experimental and musical. I use various Kong modules on the iPad, logic X pro instruments, analog keys, and my prophet 6. I need to hook it up to the voyager and see how avant garde I can get. I also use it to play komplete 10 instruments.
Old 7th April 2016
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hm, interesting how long it took for this thread to even get any comments. I am also not sure in the end how useful a tool like this would be in my normal production. I'm a traditional keyboard player and not sure I really need to be so expressive in my live playing - can always draw in modulations. And it seems so far only the bundled software is really fully capable of the keyboard's potential. Although I noticed Fxpansion Strobe is also compatible now, but a lot of money to use with basically just one software.
Old 7th April 2016
  #19
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I have a Linnstrument. It is wonderful for doing natural-sounding pitch bends and vibrato. There is no way I could get a similar effect using a pitch wheel. The firm pads also make it well suited for percussion. However, I find it less useful when it comes to adding modulation via y-axis or pressure. It is difficult to use these controls accurately due to the entire range being condensed into such a small area. Also, it is very difficult to play without looking at the keys, due to the limited haptic feedback.

I'd really like to try the Roli, as it seems to address some of these issues.
Old 7th April 2016
  #20
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
I picked up a Rise 25 in their easter sale. Came with Bitwig and Strobe 2 - both are quite easy to set up in terms of MPE MIDI and, of course, it came with Equator. And the hard case!

I've been playing keys badly for years. I'm the chump who plays chords with his middle 3 fingers and can't do more than the most basic of stuff when my left hand comes into play so how did I find the Rise?

First impressions are incredibly positive. The thing oozes quality. I can appreciate the "Apple" comments - it's a very similar sort of vibe. In terms of playing, it really feels like nothing else I have come across. I thought 25 "keys" would be limiting - 3 octaves was one of the reasons I sold my Analog Keys after all - but, to me, you shouldn't approach Rise as you would a piano. I think you would be disappointed if you did. To me, it's more like a fretless bass or something. And you definitely have to come to the Rise with an understanding that you need to try a different playing style to get the most out of it.

So far I like it a lot. I'm having fun bluetoothing it up to my iPad (Roli's Noise app is very good) and feeding my Octatrack with ideas. It's a joy to play.

I'm a Live man and love to use Push 2 so praying Live 10 brings MPE and I can make the switch over as the combination of pads and Rise will be magical IMO. Of course, you can use it with Live but it's a bit convulated vs Bitwigs single track.

I can already see a Push 3 down the line with a continuous grid like a Linnstrument with full MPE capabilities. But for now, I am having a lot of fun playing with my Rise. Can't commit to it being a keeper yet - I'm forever chasing that mythical piece of gear that will magically turn me into a productive beast - but for now, it's probably put the biggest smile on my face since I got back into music a few years ago and booted up Maschine.
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by J0n35y View Post
I picked up a Rise 25 in their easter sale. Came with Bitwig and Strobe 2 - both are quite easy to set up in terms of MPE MIDI and, of course, it came with Equator. And the hard case!

I've been playing keys badly for years. I'm the chump who plays chords with his middle 3 fingers and can't do more than the most basic of stuff when my left hand comes into play so how did I find the Rise?

First impressions are incredibly positive. The thing oozes quality. I can appreciate the "Apple" comments - it's a very similar sort of vibe. In terms of playing, it really feels like nothing else I have come across. I thought 25 "keys" would be limiting - 3 octaves was one of the reasons I sold my Analog Keys after all - but, to me, you shouldn't approach Rise as you would a piano. I think you would be disappointed if you did. To me, it's more like a fretless bass or something. And you definitely have to come to the Rise with an understanding that you need to try a different playing style to get the most out of it.

So far I like it a lot. I'm having fun bluetoothing it up to my iPad (Roli's Noise app is very good) and feeding my Octatrack with ideas. It's a joy to play.

I'm a Live man and love to use Push 2 so praying Live 10 brings MPE and I can make the switch over as the combination of pads and Rise will be magical IMO. Of course, you can use it with Live but it's a bit convulated vs Bitwigs single track.

I can already see a Push 3 down the line with a continuous grid like a Linnstrument with full MPE capabilities. But for now, I am having a lot of fun playing with my Rise. Can't commit to it being a keeper yet - I'm forever chasing that mythical piece of gear that will magically turn me into a productive beast - but for now, it's probably put the biggest smile on my face since I got back into music a few years ago and booted up Maschine.
I have a 25 as well. This post is basically my experience as well. I do play with a 5 fingers though.
Old 11th April 2016 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wordsdrawnigh View Post
I find it less useful when it comes to adding modulation via y-axis or pressure. It is difficult to use these controls accurately due to the entire range being condensed into such a small area.
As far as pressure goes, I was skeptical at first before I got it, but once I used it I was amazed how well it responds to the full range of pressure...way better than any keyboard or other controller I've ever tried. I'm able to get natural-feeling pressure expression (polyphonic at that), and it does not respond in a klunky/jerky way to pressure like almost all keyboard controllers do..there was a ton of engineering that went into this thing, both hardware and software, for example smoothing the CC data stream coming from pressure...something synth manufacturers should have been doing for for a long time.

What I have found tough, is that whatever synth and patch you are playing with the Linnstrument, it has to be customized to it. For example if pressure controls the filter cutoff, the control amount needs to be increased and the (default) filter cutoff needs to be lowered significantly, because of the wide range of expression you now get with Linnstrument. There is a German online synth magazine that reviewed and demo'd the Linnstrument by simply plugging it into a Korg Kronos and using factory presets Of course, the results were a bit mediocre.

Re Haptic feedback.. I'm mainly a keyboard player but know my way around the guitar, and the ridges on the Linnstrument basically are like frets. I've had it for a little over a week now and with some practice already feel comfortable playing solo lines without looking.
Old 11th April 2016 | Show parent
  #23
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Stephen Bennett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga View Post
The rise is great but the keys are narrower than standard pianos which makes it easy to slip into the wrong notes. They should have kept the keys the same width as normal. Otherwise it's great!
Nice to see a nod to the current trend for mini-keys even here.

Stephen
Old 11th April 2016 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
Hm, interesting how long it took for this thread to even get any comments.
Well, there are not that many users. Also the couple of users are split between a couple of platforms (mainly Continuum, Seaboard, Linnstrument). I am a Linnstrument guy myself.

It is also a bit tricky to talk about this stuff, since most of us (except for a few old school Continuum guys) are rather new to this type of instrument and still struggle a bit. I am playing the Linnstrument for nearly a year now (on and off) and I am still not sure how to best play some cords...

Quote:
I am also not sure in the end how useful a tool like this would be in my normal production. I'm a traditional keyboard player and not sure I really need to be so expressive in my live playing - can always draw in modulations.
Playing these things is kind of awesome, since you will add the small expressive touches, that you would never automate. It is also kind of wired, since a lot of different sounds can suddenly sound kind of similar, since you will mainly notice the slightly organic quality due to slight modulations.

The big trap, that I am still working to get out off: You always want to modulate and glide all over the place with these things. That is fun, but can be annoying for everybody. The trick is to play mostly normal and just add a bit of expression when it fits. (But sometimes you just have to do mad drones of death...)

Quote:
And it seems so far only the bundled software is really fully capable of the keyboard's potential. Although I noticed Fxpansion Strobe is also compatible now, but a lot of money to use with basically just one software.
Perfect place to plug my Reaktor stuff. Both are designed for the Linnstrument, but they should work with the Seaboard, too. Y-Axis is Modwheel, Pitchbend should be +-12, but you can adjust it. Pressure is channel aftertouch (per note/channel, as usual). The first one should still work is Reaktor 5 and does a bunch of different stuff, the second one is mainly "pseudo-vintage" and focuses on the Paul-Filter and the new oscillators from Reaktor 6.

MultiExp | Reaktor User Library : Entry | Reaktor-Community
PolyPaul (normal and multi expression) | Reaktor User Library : Entry | Reaktor-Community

Enjoy...
Old 12th April 2016
  #25
VST
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4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Gimmicky to play?! Get the same thing with mod wheels?! pshh


One of the most interesting instruments to come along in centuries I'd say.
Old 12th April 2016
  #26
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Nice demos. Not sure I can condone anyone doing Hendrix especially with Jimi's vox in a canned backing track but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do for the yawning walkers by at a trade show... I'll spare you the digression into 'sacrilege' and perhaps the though is an anachronism anyways, guess I should've been prepared when it was predicted that Michelangelo's David would be re-imagined as Rude Dog Dave to sell baggy boys boardshorts.

The question about why people do such things, suggesting that mod wheels et all are sufficient, is silly in a number of ways. There is significant irony that the ebony and ivory keyboard has a place as (arguably) the premiere musical interface, yet it could also be argued that it is the worst of them all. Just for starters it is one of the few where you cannot fudge intonation on the fly to adapt situationally - the piano concerto is loathed by orchestra players with refined pitch acuity for exactly this reason. If you know your music history you appreciate how crucial technology has been to the development of new styles. You needn't go any further than the TB-303 or the sampler or turntable and compare their intention with what eventually happened. Even though you needn't go any farther, technological innovation is of vast importance stretching way back.

These things might work and spawn something major, or they may end up as footnotes but that's not the point - it has to happen - griping about modern music one dislikes or even a general malaise, without celebrating these types of quests is completely off base. Ideas are built on ideas (take that copyright reactionaries). The truly monumental and meaningful changes are pretty much always part of or directly resulting from a technological innovation. That's why I am always the guy saying you can have my Mini Model D - just give me an Octatrack and Push / Live. I don't know about 'centuries' though - what year was Clementi? That was only 3 and we've seen a lot in between such as every single electric/electronic instrument ever conceived and that was all in the last one more or less.
Old 12th April 2016
  #27
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jlaws's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Is it just me or is his intonation way off on the Hendrix demo?
Old 12th April 2016
  #28
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Dave_Ionic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I first played a Rise at the Berklee alum group event at the Village back in December or November. I instantly liked it, I do not see it as a complete keyboard replacement though. I see it as an extension for more expression. I do feel it's not perfect enough for replacing the keyboard but being a writer of multi instrument pieces and being a keyboard player. I feel that I can exact horn runs, violin bowing, guitar riffs that will be more realistic than the ones done on a regular keyboard and indeed this is where it excels.
Old 12th April 2016
  #29
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goldphinga's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The first person that incorporates apple style 3D Touch and touch into standard keys surfaces will win the race. I know there have been attempts but if roli are wise, they'll work with existing keyboards and build in the tech- standard keyboards aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Old 28th April 2016
  #30
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🎧 5 years
oh bummer! I thought it was midi compatible. It took me quite a while to figure out that I wont' be able to control midi instruments with it (at least in terms of the sensitivity it's supposed to offer). Does anyone know if the Linnstrument can do that? (thinking for example of finding a controller for an E4 sampler). thanks
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