ROLI today launched the Seaboard RISE 2, a refined and reimagined version of their Seaboard expressive MIDI controller.

Here’s what’s new with the Seaboard RISE 2:

  • A new Keywave2 playing surface, tested with piano and Seaboard players to be more intuitive and expressive, featuring precision frets which help players to feel the exact position of their fingers on each key.
  • A more powerful, comprehensive, and versatile suite of bundled software, including Equator2 synth (normally $249), featuring 1400+ presets. Ableton Live Lite and ROLI Studio are also included.
  • A burnished platinum blue aluminum chassis,
  • Expanded compatibility with other instruments with MIDI Port and USB-C.
  • A next generation version of ROLI Dashboard, featuring enhanced 5D visualizers to customize your settings.

Invented by Roland Lamb in 2009, the Seaboard is, according to ROLI, the best-Selling MPE controller of all time.

The Seaboard is designed to give you 5 dimensions of gestural expression, per note. Most of these options are unavailable on more traditional keyboards:

  • Strike to sound a note at different velocities
  • Glide from side to side to bend pitch or create vibrato
  • Slide up and down to add brightness or texture to a sound
  • Press into the Keywaves to deepen sounds or simulate the effect of breath on a wind instrument
  • Lift off at varying speeds to effect a sound’s resonance

ROLI says that the Seaboard RISE 2 is another big step forward in realizing the technology’s extraordinary power.

“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,” according to Lamb. “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.

The Keywave2 silicone playing surface is at the forefront of the improvements to Seaboard RISE 2. Keywave2 provides tactile feedback with new precision frets, broadened surfaces, and articulated edges. Similar to a string on a guitar fretboard, this enables tonally precise and natural performances.

“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,” notes Seaboard guru Marco Parisi. “Any piano or keyboard player will now be able to translate their skills more quickly than ever before.”

The Seaboard Rise 2 also has a new ability to pair with other MIDI instruments and devices via both MIDI port and USB-C. RISE 2 retains the Touch Fader hardware controls, integrated battery and MIDI over Bluetooth support of the original RISE.

ROLI Studio (worth $99, £79, €89), an enhanced ROLI Dashboard, and Ableton Live Lite are also included in the complete bundle.

ROLI Seaboard Performance Demo:

Pricing and Availability:

The RISE 2 is available to preorder now for $1,399 (£1,099, €1,299), with limited availability expected for 2022.

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