ROLI’s LUMI Keys Studio Edition promises MPE control from a standard MIDI keyboard action

ROLI is repositioning its LUMI MIDI keyboard with the launch of the LUMI Keys Studio Edition, which promises to offer a taste of MPE control from a standard key action.

Although this bundle comes with the same hardware as the standard LUMI Keys, which is focused on learning to play, it ships with ROLI Studio, a software package that includes presets from the Equator2, Cypher2, and Strobe2 synths. This also gives access to some handy features that could help with your songwriting and playing.

ROLI is now referring to LUMI as a 4D keyboard, in that it offers four ways to shape sounds by playing it. Glide offers polyphonic pitchbend per key by moving your fingers from side to side, while Press is another way of describing per-key polyphonic aftertouch. There are also Lift and Strike options, which refer to release and attack velocity respectively.

Then there are the features that aid your music creation workflow: you can set LUMI’s keys to light up and show scales, chords and arpeggios. There’s a Smart Chords option, too.

If you want a larger playing surface, you can connect multiple LUMIs using its magnetic DNA connectors, and the keyboard can be used in conjunction with products from ROLI’s Blocks range, too.

“LUMI Keys Studio Edition brings a touch of Seaboard magic to a traditional keyboard format,” claims Roland Lamb, founder and CEO of ROLI. “Beyond its form factor, however, LUMI Keys is anything but traditional. Its unique combination of illumination - which enables a range of compositional shortcuts - and its unprecedented MPE capabilities make it the most innovative and feature-rich keyboard action on any controller available today. 

“The Seaboard is still the premier MPE instrument for playing in the deep end of musical expression, but now LUMI Keys provides an opportunity for everyone to get started with MPE and see how it can enhance their production workflow and create new possibilities for performance.” 

LUMI Keys Studio Edition is now available for pre-order in a limited-time launch bundle priced at $269/£269, a 10% discount from the standard price of $299. The launch bundle includes ROLI Studio, a LUMI Snapcase, three additional ROLI soundpacks, and a $50 voucher which can be used for any ROLI software, including the newly released Equator2. We’re told that shipping will begin in January 2021.

If you want the LUMI Keys 1, which includes the LUMI Music learning app rather than ROLI Studio, this is also available in a launch bundle for $269/£269. This includes the LUMI Keys, LUMI Music app (which can be downloaded for free for iOS devices), a $50 voucher for a LUMI Complete content library subscription, and a LUMI Snapcase (yellow, blue, or aqua).

LUMI Keys Studio Edition owners can also subscribe to the LUMI app for an additional $79 per year, while LUMI Keys owners can upgrade to the ROLI Studio desktop software for $99. The MPE features will be available to everyone via a free firmware update that will be released in January.

Find out more on the ROLI website

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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