It’s been almost a year since ROLI launched its Blocks mobile music making platform, and in that time we’ve seen various software updates and the introduction of the Seaboard Block. Now a new version of the Lightpad Block, which was the cornerstone of the original range, is set for release, and the Noise iOS app, which provides Blocks’ sounds and enables you to create musical sketches, is hitting version 3.
The Lightpad Block M, as it’s known, includes ‘microkeywaves’, which were inspired by the keywaves on the Seaboard and promise to offer more tactile feedback. 225 of these sit on the redesigned silicone layer, which enhances the pressure-sensitive control experience in comparison to the original Lightpad. The ‘M’ model is also 50% brighter, with a higher contrast display and a richer range of colour definition.
Noise 3.0, meanwhile, offers improvements in the areas of clip editing, clip launching and user interface navigation. There are new acoustic sounds, while more can be added as soundpacks. What’s more, Noise can now be used as an iOS Audio Unit in hosts such as GarageBand.
On the desktop software side, the Lightpad Block M will ship with Tracktion's Waveform DAW, which is definitely a big bonus. It will also come with a copy of Ableton Live Lite in the box, as well as a cutdown Player version of FXpansion’s Strobe2 synth. Existing Lightpad Block and Seaboard Block owners are entitled to some of this extra software too (what you get differs slightly depending on which Block you have) though ROLI has confirmed that owners of the original Lightpad won't be offered a discount on the new model.
You can purchase the Lightpad Block M from the ROLI website for £189/$199/€199, while the original model can still be had for £170/$179.