Roli Rise

Discussion in 'GEAR Talk Forum' started by Dewdman42, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. mikeybabes

    mikeybabes Only the good die young....

    857
    1,048
    Nov 21, 2016
    Yorkshire, U.K.
    Well I ended up having to be away all week, but got home last night to find my Roli Seaboard Rise waiting for me.

    First thoughts are that I cannot remember getting a product that feels like such a high quality item in a long, long time. It is simply beautifully made, and feels strong and robust. If Roli ever decided to manufacture a standard keyboard controller I would be queueing up for one on the basis of how well made this item is.

    Secondly, initial impressions are that it's a bit tricky to play at first. I'm a classically trained pianist, and I had thought that might be a bit of a help. Now I'm not so sure...

    I'm going to have to practise on this - but one impression I am left with is that it's certainly no toy, it feels like a real musical instrument.
     
    fiestared and Ned Bouhalassa like this.
  2. slateandash

    slateandash Senior Member

    87
    114
    May 9, 2018
    jononotbono and samphony like this.
  3. ka00

    ka00 Senior Member

    472
    547
    Oct 23, 2017
    Toronto, Canada
    I bought a Rise 49 and agree fully. But I ended up returning it for the less expensive Seaboard Block, for which I’m guessing Roli had to cut some corners.

    For example, the Seaboard Block I got had huge cosmetic defects; the keywave surface was damaged in multiple spots. I exchanged it for another and the second one has a litle rough speck on one key that can be felt every time I do a slide on that key, and the rubber padding around the underside of the unit seems to be a bit sloppily applied and adhered, with some wavy and misaligned areas.

    I think coming from the perfection of the Rise, the Block’s manufacturing was a natural let down. Though I still think this was the right choice for me from a budget and desk footprint standpoint.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  4. OP
    OP
    Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

    753
    268
    Oct 28, 2016
    I'm liking my Rise, but I do wish they could put some kind of painted lines on the "white" keys. Its very hard for me to see where to put my finger and I miss the ridge all the time.
     
    sostenuto likes this.
  5. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    I love the Rise and it’s definitely built amazingly well. I just wish everyone would get on board with MPE. Using it with Kontakt isn’t the slickest of experiences for example.
     
    Brueland likes this.
  6. Fredeke

    Fredeke Member

    9
    5
    Jul 9, 2018
    I am wondering if it is possible to chain up 3 Block Seaboards ?
    That would make a 6 octave keyboard, for much cheaper than a 5-octave Rise, let alone a Grand.
    (With smaller keys as a tradeoff)
    Has anyone tried that ?
    Is the Block's response as good as the Rise's ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  7. CQrity

    CQrity Senior Member

    51
    13
    Dec 5, 2015
    Their website states that you can combine up to 5 of them. However the glide function doesn‘t work across two blocks.

    As I not yet own any of them I can‘t comment on that. I am leaning to the 49 version, as I want that sustain pedal input and as I don‘t own any other fader input I like those 3 controls plus the X/Y controller. AND those three faders also controll the responsiveness of the vibrato/slide etc. which is super Handy to adjust to different patches on the fly. I think I would miss that.
     
  8. CQrity

    CQrity Senior Member

    51
    13
    Dec 5, 2015
    So, I got my RISE 49 yesterday and i am not sure if I like it or not. I wish I would have a breath controller and leap Motion to compare which I like best.

    Build quality is definetly great, it's nice and heavy, doesn't move on the table.

    As I am coming from the piano I first loaded a piano patch - and it doesn't compare to a piano in any way than by it's look. The dimensions to a paino keyboard are different and kind of uneven (my guess is that between e/f and b/c the spacing is different than on the piano but I am not sure). I need to get used to that.
    For some reason the sustain pedal from my Kawai MP5 doesn't work at all. It just doesn't do anything but send lots and lots of MIDI data. I have no clue what is going on. The support hasn't answered to me yet with a solution.

    Right now i am trying to figure out the best way to use the capabilities of the Seaboard.

    For solo instruments (tested with Friedlander Violin):
    I can see, why it could be an awesome device. The way vibrato works by just wiggeling the key is really cool. The bending over octaves, too. I think these two parameters are the best and most usable for me right now. It has to be said though, that one has to hit the keys precisely, otherwise a bending is applied and the note detunes. Up to a point that might add realism, but you'll need some practice for sure.
    What I really can't bring to life is expression. There would be 4 ways to handle it by the board itself as I see it: slide (move up and down on a key), aftertouch, one of the 3 faders or the X/Y pad.
    Slide: with slide if I want to play very loud I have to reach between the "black notes". The space is very small and because of the vibrato handling of the board the tone is detuned as soon as I touch another key. So not usable for me.
    Aftertouch: Nice idea but in reality it is very difficult to control the amount of pressure so the expression get's very "wobbly". To be somewhat playable the range of the midi data has to be quite limited so it's more of an accent thing.
    Faders/X/Y pad: Would be the go to, as it's close to the regular mod wheel. My Problem with it: I have to apply some pressure to Change the value of it. Therefore it's unpleasent to use for me. I feel like I can't use it smoothly, as it looses touch every now and then when I don't press enough.
    The X/Y Pad is the same deal. In Addition I can't get with it to very quite or very loud, as it seems to loose sensibility towards the edge.

    For Ensemble patches (tested with Spitfire Symphonic Strings):
    Vibrato obviously doen't work with whole sections (wobbling one key), so I used the slide function (up and down on one key) to control the vibrato of the patch. And I have to say I really like that. As I come back down on a key before changing notes the problems from expression doesn't apply here. I like. The octave sliding is also a nice effect but it appears to be very FX like on Ensemble patches and not too realistic. But nice to have nevertheless.
    Expression is the problem again for the same reasons. It's even worse: because the room is backed into the samples, it jumps around like crazy from one note to another. So a slider would be the only workable solution, but they aren't that "touchy" as described above.

    For synths: I guess awesome in very way. I am not a synth guy, but the vibrato alone makes them more "real".



    Right now I am not decided if I want to hold onto the board or not. The best thing for me is the vibrato (oh and the playability of percussion sounds, a lot better than on my Kawai). But that alone doesn't really make it worth the pricetag.

    I imagine a breath Controller might be a nice addition, as it solves the expression part. However a Leap Motion is as good in the vibrato department (in my imagination from what I have seen in the videos on youtube) as the Seaboard and it costs around 900€ less.
    So again, i would love to try that. Seaboard or Breath Controller + Leap?
     
    fiestared likes this.
  9. OP
    OP
    Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

    753
    268
    Oct 28, 2016
    I recently got one too. I agree it’s goong to take some practice to play it. Mainly it’s hard to hit the white keys because there is no visual indicator whatsoever and you have to precisely hit the ridge that is hidden under the rubber or else the note may not be on pitch. After playing it a few hours I got better at it and am using the black key lines to kind of figure out where to put my fingers. But I agree with you about the playability, it’s not that easy to play.

    That being said I am going to keep mine and try to master it over time and just see what I can do with it. I also play guitar and I have longed for a long time to have the same kind of tactile responsiveness that I get from guitar strings and I think this comes close. It will take some time to master it and also to come up with the perfect sound Patches that respond the best way for me, but I’m thinking it will breathe more life into it then a breathe controller, but if I were a wind player I might feel differently
     
    fiestared likes this.
  10. CQrity

    CQrity Senior Member

    51
    13
    Dec 5, 2015
    For guitar its great. How do you handle expression in orchestral stuff?
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

    753
    268
    Oct 28, 2016
    I just got it and haven’t dug that deep into it yet but that is the plan. I also have a breathe controller which is probably more suitable for wind instruments. Honestly I don’t know where the roli rise is going to lead me. It’s like a new instrument that I need to learn how to play. Talk again in a year.
     
  12. Fredeke

    Fredeke Member

    9
    5
    Jul 9, 2018
    Thanks. That's informative.
     
    CQrity likes this.
  13. pmcrockett

    pmcrockett Senior Member

    423
    294
    Nov 3, 2014
    Saint Louis
    I was considering getting a Seaboard, probably a Block, but then realized how inexpensive a Leap Motion was and got one of them first. The Seaboard purchase is now on indefinite hold.

    I've only tried the Leap Motion on the Audio Modeling strings so far (which is mostly what I bought the Leap for), but it has basically everything I want from a controller except tactile feedback. The things in particular that appeal to me about it are the ridiculous number of parameters that can be sent (via GECO); the fact that, unlike other gesture controllers I've experimented with, it doesn't involve holding/wearing a transmitter; and the fact that an API is available so that I could write my own controller software if I wanted to. I have a breath controller too, and haven't even tried combining it with the Leap Motion yet. My only disappointment with it so far is that I can't get it to track a hand on a keyboard, at least with the older drivers that GECO requires -- I was hoping to duplicate some of the Seaboard functionality, but no such luck.

    I might still get a Seaboard Block if they go on sale, but I feel like I'm pretty well covered with the Leap Motion and breath controller.
     
    CQrity likes this.
  14. CQrity

    CQrity Senior Member

    51
    13
    Dec 5, 2015
    Little addition if anyone is interested:
    I feel like the velocity curve is very sensitive on the roli. Too much acctualy (for my taste). I was playing in a spiccato section yesterday and nearly everything was at 127. If I am playing more softly I sometimes get no sound, because I am too soft on it. For me quite difficult to deal with.
    In the software the responsiveness can be adjusted but just in one direction: it can be made even more responsive. However that might be me, as I couldn't get it to work the other way round.

    I am used to a Kawai MP5 Stage Piano which has a hammer immitation keyboard. However that is not even close to the wheight of a real piano. So I am not sure about that, but I would say I am not over the top with my finger action ;)

    Edit: As I think about it I might have been a little unclear with my words: The Roli has a small action range for my taste. I have to bring a given force to make a sound, which is more than I would like it to be. On the other end I have to bring not too much more force to be on the top end of the velocity curve. That makes it difficult for me to be as expressive, as this leads my play to be on the extremes of loudness without much differenciation (is that a word?! *lol*) in the mp to f range.

    Edit 2: Btw I am in no way overly negative with this thing. I try to wrap my head around it and get used to it. I am just documenting my findings. Take it for what it's worth ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    stixman likes this.
  15. stevedeath

    stevedeath Active Member

    35
    30
    Apr 8, 2018
    London
    I wanted to get an MPE controller for the Auras library and wasn't sure about whether to go for the rise25 or block but ended up going with the block for now. Have to say so far that my experience has been that MPE feels like a genuine game changer. Not sure if thats to do with the combination of it with Auras, as I haven't really tried Equator etc yet but using it with that has been magical. The ability to control the notes individually with multiple dimensions of touch makes performing sample instruments feel like you're playing an actual instrument, not an approximation of one. Like a real instrument it does take a bit of learning but I would say that the learning curve isnt too steep, after a day or so of proper use I started to feel pretty comfortable with it.

    Need more companies to get on board!
     
  16. TigerTheFrog

    TigerTheFrog Senior Member

    682
    569
    Nov 18, 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think that for anybody who is on this forum, a Seaboard Block is not a complete instrument until you buy a Touch Block ($79) so you can adjust the sensitivity of the Strike, Glide, Slide, Press, and Lift. I think it's unplayable without being able to make these kinds of fine adjustments. ROLI is currently offering a special deal where you can get the Seaboard Block and a Touch Block for $349.

    If somebody is just using the NOISE app on their iOS device it's okay because you can adjust these parameters within the app.

    The Touch Block isn't as good as the interface on the RISE, and the RISE has a sturdier build, but the Block is $300 and the RISE 25 is $849. For the price of the RISE 25 you could get two Seaboard Blocks and a Touch block and still have $170 left over to buy an MPE synth or two.

    Some of you may have noticed that OrangeTree samples sent out a free update today, that makes all of their Evolution guitars work with MPE controllers.
     
  17. HeliaVox

    HeliaVox Senior Member

    I bought the touch+ block combo to dip my toes in the water of mpe. As much as I love it, I dearly wished I would have saved some more money and just gotten the rise.
     
    TigerTheFrog likes this.
  18. TigerTheFrog

    TigerTheFrog Senior Member

    682
    569
    Nov 18, 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think it's hard to say for sure where MPE is going.

    There were multidimensional expressive controllers long before Roland Lamb set up ROLI in 2009 and introduced the Seaboard in 2013. The Continuum Fingerboard was developed in the 80s, and was used by Jordan Rudess, John Williams, and Ramin Djawadi, among others. Roger Linn, Haken, and others and others were part of setting up the MPE spec, and now you have many interesting new controllers on the scene, including the Joue, Keith McMillen's K-Board 4, the Sensel Morph, Touchkeys, etc. Now that there is a MPE spec, there is going to be many new and exciting controllers in the coming years. We don't know what they will be.

    The big money is certainly behind ROLI, but I think it's possible the kind of people who frequent this board may eventually have more than one MPE controller, just as they have more than one MIDI keyboard today. Perhaps a ROLI for its squishy tactile interface and a Touchkeys or a K-Board because they play just like conventional keyboards and require no learning.

    So a big expenditure in ROLI might be the right way to go, because whatever happens, they will certainly be at the top of the heap. Or maybe not. It's very early in the game, so I've put a little toe in with my Seaboard block.
     
    slateandash likes this.

Share This Page