ROLI’s Lumi MIDI keyboard is finally set to go on sale: learn to play and use it as a polyphonic aftertouch controller

Roli Lumi
(Image credit: ROLI)

Following a slightly bonkers Kickstarter campaign - more than £1,600,000 was pledged in support of it - ROLI’s 24-note Lumi keyboard is now almost available to buy.

Designed to be used both by beginners who want to learn to play and by producers who want a compact MIDI keyboard with a difference, this features keys that light up to correspond to the colours being shown in the teaching app. This now has a much expanded content library; it includes more than 400 songs and more than 100 lessons.

As well as letting you play in a ‘follow the lights’ manner, the app also now includes standard notation and offers 360 exercises for practising scales and chords in every key.

While a core library of content is included with the Lumi - 40 songs, 60+ lessons and 72 exercises - if you want the full package you’ll have to sign up to the Lumi Complete subscription service. This costs $9.99 a month or $6.67 a month if you sign up for annual membership.

It’s worth noting that the Lumi hardware has been improved since the Kickstarter model; the keyboard is now 77g heavier but promises greater durability and a better key action. 

Roli Lumi

(Image credit: ROLI)

The keys are custom-sized - 5.5 on the Donison-Steinbuhler scale, so we’re told - and offer polyphonic aftertouch, a feature you won’t find on too many other MIDI controllers.

Connectivity is via Bluetooth 5.0 or USB MIDI, and Lumi promises to run for six hours on a single charge. You can also connect multiple Lumis - or devices from ROLI’s Blocks range - using the built-in, snap-together DNA connectors (though, obviously, this will push the price up considerably).

One concern is that, if you do opt for just one Lumi, your learning is going to be restricted to playing with one hand at a time - 24 keys is nowhere near enough if you want to play with both. We’re hoping to get our hand(s) on a test model soon, but this is certainly something to consider before you take the plunge.

Lumi pre-orders will open on 1 October, with $299/£299 getting you a bundle that contains Lumi Keys 1, a free Snapcase, express shipping, and a $50 discount voucher to LUMI Complete. Shipping is expected to be in early November.

Find out more on the Lumi website.

Ben Rogerson

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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