ROLI returns with Seaboard RISE 2: “easier to play, more durable and a more beautiful, expressive experience than ever before”

If you thought that you’d seen the last of ROLI and its Seaboard range of controllers, think again, as we now have the prospect of the Seaboard Rise 2. 

Launched in 2015, the Rise was a more affordable version of ROLI’s full-size Seaboard MPE controller, but has been off the market for two years. The new version is said to be easier to play, more durable, and to come with a better bundle of software.

The most significant improvement over the original Rise might well be the Keywave2 silicone playing surface, which provides ‘frets’ that enable players to more accurately judge the position of their fingers on each key. This new surface is said to make the Rise 2 more playable than its predecessor, and easier for players of standard keyboards to get to grips with.

“Finally the Seaboard is accessible to all,” says renowned Seaboardist Marco Parisi. “The new precision frets on the Rise 2 address the biggest challenge Seaboardists have faced - playing in tune and modulating sounds without your fingers slipping off the keywaves. Any piano or keyboard player will now be able to translate their skills more quickly than ever before.”

Rise 2 also offers a new platinum blue anodised aluminium chassis, giving it a more contemporary look. Build quality is also said to have been improved, and you now get both standard MIDI and USB-C ports to ensure maximum compatibility with your software and hardware instruments.

Features inherited from the original Rise include the Touch Fader controls, integrated battery and Bluetooth MIDI support for wireless operation.

Rise 2 is bundled with the Equator2 synth, Ableton Live Lite, the ROLI Studio production suite and a new version of ROLI Dashboard, which features 5D visualisers for customising your settings.

“Developing new instruments is a long process, and today is a major milestone in our journey with the Seaboard,” said Roland Lamb, CEO of Luminary ROLI (the company that Lamb founded after ROLI’s demise). “RISE 2 is easier to play, more durable and a more beautiful, expressive experience than ever before.

“It is also an experience transformed by over a decade of development in Equator2, the world’s leading dedicated MPE synth, plus the creation of a whole ecosystem of compatible software and workflow solutions across the industry.

“This launch marks the transition of MPE from a fledgling, peripheral project to an established and mature category, which is becoming increasingly central to how digital music is made. We deeply appreciate all the people around the world who believe in this vision and are excited for the Seaboard community to continue to grow and thrive.”

A limited number of Rise 2s are available for pre-order now from the ROLI website priced at $1,399/£1,099/€1,299.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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