We got our first glimpse of the Seaboard, which offers a uniquely responsive take on the classic piano keyboard, when London-based technology start-up ROLI paid us a visit back in March.
At the time, the Seaboard was in prototype stage, but we were still highly intrigued by its unique, ultra-sensitive silicon keyboard. With its rounded, sensor-covered keyboard the Seaboard allows for completely polyphonic pitchbending, aftertouch and vibrato-style expression - watch the video above for an idea of how it works in practice.
Well now the ROLI Seaboard Grand is available to order from the company's site. The instrument is available in three variations, starting at $1999. For details of each and more information, check out the press release below.
ROLI Seaboard press release
ROLI, an up-and-coming music and interface technology start-up based in Dalston, today announced the release of the Seaboard GRAND, a new musical instrument based on the piano keyboard that promises to revolutionize the way music is made. The Seaboard GRAND is available for pre-order today through the ROLI website, www.weareroli.com
The Seaboard is a radically new musical instrument that reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous wavelike surface.
Early fans of the Seaboard include celebrated film composer Hans Zimmer: "Having the Seaboard in front of me is inspiring. It has a sensual touch, which feels intuitive and very human. The Seaboard shows us how to get beyond the boundaries of the keyboard, a technology that was invented hundreds of years ago. Many people have tried and failed to do this; Roland Lamb and his team are actually much closer than anyone else has ever come to doing so, and thereby establishing a new, truly expressive digital instrument."
The Seaboard was invented by Roland Lamb, Founder and CEO of ROLI. He commented, "After years of development, we are tremendously proud to be offering the Seaboard on sale today. It is a testament to the huge commitment of the ROLI team that such a small group can offer a device so technologically advanced."
Lamb, a graduate of Harvard University and the Royal College of Art (RCA), conceived of the Seaboard as a result of a desire to extend the expressivity of the keyboard. Designer Ron Arad, who mentored Lamb at the RCA, is on the company's advisory board.
The Seaboard won first prize in the 2013 SXSW Music Accelerator in Austin, Texas. On September 23rd, the Seaboard made its debut public performance in front of a 4,000 strong crowd at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Seaboard GRAND features a unique soft touch made possible with patent- pending SEA Interface technology. Years of research and testing have created optimised materials and sensing solutions which offer a unique kind of passive haptic feedback, and an information-rich, high-resolution data stream.
As a design object, the Seaboard GRAND brings together the best in traditional instrument craft and contemporary technological design. It has been precision engineered to measure 25.7mm– making it the thinnest full-size professional keyboard instrument ever made. The casing and stand are made from black anodized, precision-milled aluminium, and hand-finished with extraordinary care.
Made in London
ROLI is based in Hackney and integrates two seemingly disparate worlds: the tradition of craftsmanship and manufacturing in East London, and the emerging cutting-edge design and technology hub that is the 'Silicon Roundabout.' The Seaboard GRANDs are designed and hand-assembled in a pair of railway arches in Dalston, using a combination of traditional craft and high-tech manufacturing methods.
Pricing and specifications
The Seaboard GRAND family are the first Seaboards available for sale: the Limited First Edition, the GRAND Stage, and the GRAND Studio. The Seaboard GRAND Limited First Edition ($8,888.88), is ROLI's flagship 88-keywave Seaboard GRAND and includes a bespoke integrated stand, making it the ultimate Seaboard experience. The Seaboard GRAND Stage ($2,999 for a limited time) is a 61 keywave instrument making it ideal to take to a gig and slot right into to your music production workflow. The Seaboard GRAND Studio ($1,999 for a limited time), offers 37 keywaves and gives you the powerful new expressivity that only the Seaboard offers in an extremely portable format that makes it a fantastic addition to any music studio.
For further product details and pricing, and more information, go to the Roli website.