ROLI Seaboard Rise 49 49-Key MIDI Controller Keyboard
The ROLI Seaboard Rise 49 is not your average MIDI Controller.
Instead of mechanical keys, it employs the company's proprietary "keywave" design: A set of raised portions where keys would be but are more "squishy" than stiff.
Each "keywave" not only controls velocity by how hard you perform but also modulation according to where you perform.
It is even capable of smooth (and note independent!) glissando effects when you run your fingers above the keywave portion for smooth transitions.
- Keys: 49 Keywaves , velocity sensitive with aftertouch and modulation
- Pads: None
- Arpeggiator: No.
- Octave: 2 Octaves (+/-)
- Controls: Assignable Touch Faders, X-Y Touch pad, Octave shift, preset browser
- Automap: Yes (On some DAW Software)
- Bundled Software:Equator software synthesizer
- Power: Rechargeable battery / optional 9-12V 2A DC port
- Connectivity: 1 x USB Type A, 1 x USB Type B, MIDI via USB/Bluetooth
- Control Hardware Directly: No
- Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
- Dimensions: 32.8" " x 8.3" x 0.9"
- Weight 12.13 lbs
Musicians bought the unit to supplement their existing MIDI controllers with some purchasing it out of curiosity. They were delighted to find that the Seaboard Rise 49 opened up new musical possibilities especially with the smooth note transitions and glissando effects. Many of them felt like they had to learn a new instrument because of the added modulation and expression. Despite having an entirely different tactile feel, many users adapted quickly to the keywaves.
Keywaves not for everyone. Might actually be limiting as a sole MIDI Controller. Some found third-party virtual instruments a pain to set up with the added modulation features.
If you're looking for a different experience with keys and are looking to explore new dimensions in expression with your keyboard playing, the ROLI Seaboard Rise 49 is the key (no pun intended) to unlocking new creative directions.
Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.