Roli Seaboard RISE

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
eaman
KVRer
3 posts since 9 Feb, 2020

Post Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:35 am

I got a used Block and I like it, I'm thinking about buying another one or a Rise 49.
I don't mind small keywaves but what troubles me is that I fell like I need to put too much strength to play the Block, do you know if the Rise is any different? I've read somewhere that the rise is supposed to be less stiff.

Other than that would you recommend to spend like 500 for a used Rise 49 (selling my Block) when I can get an other Block for ~180?

Do you know if I can map another midi controller knobs to change the sensitivity of the axes of Blocks on the fly as you do with a square block?

User avatar
ChamomileShark
KVRAF
1729 posts since 12 May, 2004 from Oxford, UK

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:25 am

Never played a block but the Rise 49 responds to the lightest of touches when I'm playing orchestral strings, pads etc.

eaman
KVRer
3 posts since 9 Feb, 2020

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:47 am

He problem is I have no way to test the Rise close to me, the closer I can see is a private seller 1.5 hours of a train from me.
My problem with the block is that it is quite hard for me to separate AT from vibrato (by pitch), almost everything goes kaboom if I try to modulate Slide. Kaboom means that my finger feel like wrapping in the keyboard if I don't use the lightest touch while using Slide.

Also, a lot of fatigue if I want to use some Strike (velocity) with it.

So yeah, it's a hard place to be coz the block is a good form factor for me and it would be easy to buy another unit to get 2 more octaves, but I don't want to spend for another one if the Rise gives a "substantially better" play experience.

Disclaimer: I've been using my Block for one week so I may not be well used for it, also it is a pre owned unit in case that matters (dunno if older units were stiffer, the firmware has been updated).

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7648 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:51 am

I had a seaboard block for a while. Sold it after about a month as I found the key areas a bit cramped and just didn't love the feel. I ended up taking a chance and getting a Seaboard Rise 49 later and love the feel much more due to the extra space, and yes it is less stiff. It really is better with light touches.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

eaman
KVRer
3 posts since 9 Feb, 2020

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:32 am

Dam that is good to know, thanks, yet it's 3 times the money.

Now that MIDI 2.0 is out are there any interesting controllers coming out soon?
I saw the new Touche' Osmose but it looks like early stages...

Dam The rise is really a lot of money and I'm afraid it won't keep its value as soon as a new model comes out. I could buy a decent Cello with 1k :/

zadillo
KVRist
147 posts since 24 Jan, 2017

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:28 pm

eaman wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:32 am
Dam that is good to know, thanks, yet it's 3 times the money.

Now that MIDI 2.0 is out are there any interesting controllers coming out soon?
I saw the new Touche' Osmose but it looks like early stages...

Dam The rise is really a lot of money and I'm afraid it won't keep its value as soon as a new model comes out. I could buy a decent Cello with 1k :/
The Osmose is definitely the most interesting one I’ve seen coming so far; it seems pretty far along and they’re still saying coming out in the summer.

They just put up 3 new videos:

https://youtu.be/EIeShxYF-a4
https://youtu.be/e3Qj5Zt8hRA
https://youtu.be/iYiwAJo5uPA

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
135 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:22 am

Now this has turned out as a academic and semantic bickering, of the difference between pitch bend and pitch slide, or glide? Portamento? On fretless instruments, be it fretless bass or cello, double bass, violin, theremin, there's absolutely no difference in pitch bend or pitch glide. You slide and glide. Or slide guitar (pedal steel, hawaiian slack key, lap steel etc) . It's only technical minutiae but practically and in real life it is heard by the listener as the same thing. Me myself have always loathed the pitch bend wheel, and especially the modulation wheel - if it's done for vibratos. It's stale, and clinic, and wavers up and down in a non natural way. Skip the guitarist thinking and think out of the box. No diff at all. Not digital nor analog, nor MIDI, a pitch SHIFT is a pitch SHIFT no matter how it's made. Vibrato is a fast pitch shift too, between two pitches. Or modulation undulation whatever.

User avatar
el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
15498 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:08 am

eaman wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:32 am
Dam The rise is really a lot of money and I'm afraid it won't keep its value as soon as a new model comes out. I could buy a decent Cello with 1k :/
Now is not the time to be buying these controllers if your main concerns are budget and resale value. Relatively speaking, we're still at the bleeding edge.

All the current expressive options seem to have positives and negatives, and it would be great to be able to afford them all. One day, this kind of expressivity will be the norm, and at that point the prices will become more competitive. Until then, you need to decide whether the payoffs are worth the risk :shrug:

goodplayer
KVRer
9 posts since 5 Nov, 2016

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:29 am

Here is my two cents worth. Based on my day to day use of rise 49 (which I enjoy very much), the microtonal ability is intact at least when using the upper and/or lower ribbon areas on the rise or block. Although it indeed takes a special playing technique and excellent tone recognition/hearing skills to really make any meaningful outcome playing the ribbon area alone (a combination technique using ribbon and keys interchangeably may bring more pleasing results though, in my opinion). And I think the removal of continuous microtonal frequencies when landing fingers in-between over key waves certainly sounds like a reasonable business sense for Roli as well as for majority of general users wanting a comfort level not hearing microtonal pitches at least initially.
Cinebient wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:19 am
Keyless wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:00 pm
When the Seaboard was first introduced (I got one of the first Seaboard Grands on the West Coast), they responded fully microtonally. That is, if your initial touch was somewhere between keywaves, you would get the corresponding micro-pitch, exactly as you would get playing an acoustic string instrument, such as a violin or upright bass. About a year or so after the initial shipments, ROLI introduced a firmware update which removed that ability, such that if your initial touch was somewhere in between keywaves, it would quantize to the nearest half-step. Current versions of the Seaboard all do this now. Although it makes it easier to play I guess, I was not happy about this change. I lobbied ROLI hard to restore the original micro-tone feature, or at least make it an option in the Dashboard. Apparently, not enough users were on board with that, so it didn't happen. So it appears to me that the ROLI Seaboard will never again have true microtonal ability similar to a violin, etc.
Exact the reason why i do not use my Seaboard Rise much anymore (beside more as a normal midi keyboard). It is not only that but also very slow glides are quantized always and doesn´t stay in a micropitch.
This works even in their iOS app (if glide set to 100%) but not on the hardware. I know it might be minor to some but i really hate this limitation so much. Not only for more realistic microtonal things but also for really slow and evolving sound design/FX/etc. In general the hardware is still too close to a normal keyboard rather than the extraordinary glide/bends/polyphonic modulations i can do with a 5 dollar app on my phone.
I also wrote them about this a few times but i doubt it will change. I hoped for a Seaboard Rise 2.0 but not sure. They gone all for these blocks and Apple like marketing things and Roli lost their magic a bit for me while i really saw the innovation at the beginning.
I must say i love the feel of the Rise, the build quality is like a tank and in general their support is great, fast and helpful. It is just it could be so much more and more versatile. I tried to sold it but no one was interested even at half price (and it was still under warranty) so i guess i have to live with it and hope one day it could be solved via a software update. Maybe it is just not possible with the Rise hardware.
As usual just a personal opinion :)
goodplayer

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7648 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:51 am

Mats Eriksson wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:22 am
Now this has turned out as a academic and semantic bickering, of the difference between pitch bend and pitch slide, or glide? ...
If by "Now" you mean three months ago, yes we had to deal with someone being ridiculous and making up arbitrary definitions (probably to bring attention to his keyboard project).
But that's long since dealt with, we certainly don't need to bring up that frustrating conversation again! ;)
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

Meffy
Skunk Mod
20809 posts since 10 Jun, 2004 from Pony Pasture

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:23 am

Echoes, you just had to make me look, didn't you? I wasn't around during the "interesting" part of this discussion, so I'll just add this.
himalaya wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:20 pm
A mind bending exercise! :D
ACK-chewally, that's called portamental.

… I'll get me hat.

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
135 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:51 am

goodplayer wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:29 am
Here is my two cents worth. Based on my day to day use of rise 49 (which I enjoy very much), the microtonal ability is intact at least when using the upper and/or lower ribbon areas on the rise or block. Although it indeed takes a special playing technique and excellent tone recognition/hearing skills to really make any meaningful outcome playing the ribbon area alone (a combination technique using ribbon and keys interchangeably may bring more pleasing results though, in my opinion). And I think the removal of continuous microtonal frequencies when landing fingers in-between over key waves certainly sounds like a reasonable business sense for Roli as well as for majority of general users wanting a comfort level not hearing microtonal pitches at least initially.
Cinebient wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:19 am
Keyless wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:00 pm
When the Seaboard was first introduced (I got one of the first Seaboard Grands on the West Coast), they responded fully microtonally. That is, if your initial touch was somewhere between keywaves, you would get the corresponding micro-pitch, exactly as you would get playing an acoustic string instrument, such as a violin or upright bass. About a year or so after the initial shipments, ROLI introduced a firmware update which removed that ability, such that if your initial touch was somewhere in between keywaves, it would quantize to the nearest half-step. Current versions of the Seaboard all do this now. Although it makes it easier to play I guess, I was not happy about this change. I lobbied ROLI hard to restore the original micro-tone feature, or at least make it an option in the Dashboard. Apparently, not enough users were on board with that, so it didn't happen. So it appears to me that the ROLI Seaboard will never again have true microtonal ability similar to a violin, etc.
Exact the reason why i do not use my Seaboard Rise much anymore (beside more as a normal midi keyboard). It is not only that but also very slow glides are quantized always and doesn´t stay in a micropitch.
This works even in their iOS app (if glide set to 100%) but not on the hardware. I know it might be minor to some but i really hate this limitation so much. Not only for more realistic microtonal things but also for really slow and evolving sound design/FX/etc. In general the hardware is still too close to a normal keyboard rather than the extraordinary glide/bends/polyphonic modulations i can do with a 5 dollar app on my phone.
I also wrote them about this a few times but i doubt it will change. I hoped for a Seaboard Rise 2.0 but not sure. They gone all for these blocks and Apple like marketing things and Roli lost their magic a bit for me while i really saw the innovation at the beginning.
I must say i love the feel of the Rise, the build quality is like a tank and in general their support is great, fast and helpful. It is just it could be so much more and more versatile. I tried to sold it but no one was interested even at half price (and it was still under warranty) so i guess i have to live with it and hope one day it could be solved via a software update. Maybe it is just not possible with the Rise hardware.
As usual just a personal opinion :)
I don't ever get ...the [explicit deleted] why you can't revert to old firmware? If it's just a software thing, why not letting users choose this option? How hard can that one be? Like there's only room for so and so much "memory contenct" inside the chips that carries the firmware. This thing that you have to be forced to use firmware updates is what drove me silly, and I had - on top of this - problems with the physical hardware too. I had 3 units swapped out, and no one worked as supposed to. And that was OTHER things than the seamlesss microtonality. Luckily, if they have not fixed the warranty repair within 3 "rounds" back and forth the purchase is withdrawn and I got a full refund. However, all cred to Roli support, they acknowledged this, they really found errors with the units, and acknowledgd them as warranty repair, but just waited for a new batch to arrive, and it wasn't fixed. It was like 3-4 years ago now, so much water has ran under the bridge since then. But I detected this too, with the microtonality, and when I upgraded, I asked them if it was possible to reverse. It wasn't.

And that IS still / and was the deal breaker for me.

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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
5648 posts since 7 Jan, 2005 from Corporate States of America

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:11 am

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:08 am
One day, this kind of expressivity will be the norm, and at that point the prices will become more competitive.
Will it though?

Expressivity has gone backwards in pursuit of lower cost. This has been a technological trend for a while now, in most markets: lower cost = less capability. In fact, we have plenty of companies actively selling less for more!

Back a couple decades, there was greater chance of finding poly-aftertouch on keyboards. Then it was only channel-aftertouch. Now aftertouch itself is mostly left off controllers.

Where were all the ribbons? Yamaha’s most expensive analog synth, Kurzweil’s most expensive digital synth, and ... um... Doepfer’s now discontinued standalone ribbon for modular? At this point, there hasn’t been poly-aftertouch or ribbons on keyboards for ages.

Hell they didn’t even want to give us knobs!

Why would this trend reverse? Yes, we have knobs now, but that’s not what I’m getting at. Expressive controllers hasn’t been a pursuit of the big developers who can afford to make them in higher numbers.

Wind and breath controllers frequently fall off the market, add-on ribbons aren’t being offered (Kutzweil was the only company I knew of who even offered one for their synths), and anything unique is to be found only in DIY projects (I’m not a DIM person), or in small batches, sold expensively by individuals doing limited runs.

What technological developments were missing, previously, that explain why expressivity didn’t improve already, a decade or two ago? I’m honestly asking.

No one much cared to improve MIDI itself for 30 years either, and I know that wasn’t for a lack of hardware. It was a lack of demand and a lack of will to change things. It was “good enough”. That’s what I see every time I complain about MIDI’s 8-bit values. “It’s good enough. You’re just complaining!”

Apparently controllers were “good enough” all these years too.

What technological developments have been made, that will definitely reverse the trend of “cheaper because less capable”? Why would we suddenly get more for less?

The evidence so far suggests that this type of product is a niche, and therefore it cannot support higher volume. It looks like it never will.

If there’s an untapped vast market of people clamoring for this kind of thing (and I wish there were!!), where is it, and why have only very small independent companies so far bothered to try to develop for it with what amounts to very expensive, often short-lived experiments?

I’m all for more expressivity, in all controllers, by default, at all price points. I’ve been irritated about this for some time, but, as I’ve found, what we’ve had so far has been “good enough” to not bother changing the status quo.
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud

machinesworking
KVRAF
2048 posts since 15 Aug, 2003 from seattle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:36 am

I haven't read this whole thread, but has anybody talked about the Rise as an instrument in terms of the rubber and slide?

I bought a Seaboard Block and while I like it, and recently bought a Seaboard Rise, the one almost for me anyway natural thing to want to do is to push down for aftertouch then slide to get whatever filter or modulator you've assigned to slide. This result often in the rubber of the Block and Rise bunches up and your fingers response is to lock, or go straight. As a guitar player this is the absolute last habit you want to develop. I really don't think it's a great idea for keyboard players either to have a "natural" response to be locking your knuckle straight like that.
I'm keeping the Block, but the Rise is already sold waiting for pick up by USPS. Besides pitch, the natural thing is to want to do is to use strike and aftertouch with slide, which IMO is a huge failure on the part of Roli. If they had made the surface of the Roli out of a more slick surface like teflon etc. then this wouldn't be an issue.
On to the Linnstrument. -->

deastman
KVRAF
7331 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:01 am

Jace-BeOS wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:11 am
el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:08 am
One day, this kind of expressivity will be the norm, and at that point the prices will become more competitive.
Will it though?

Expressivity has gone backwards in pursuit of lower cost. This has been a technological trend for a while now, in most markets: lower cost = less capability. In fact, we have plenty of companies actively selling less for more!

Back a couple decades, there was greater chance of finding poly-aftertouch on keyboards. Then it was only channel-aftertouch. Now aftertouch itself is mostly left off controllers.

Where were all the ribbons? Yamaha’s most expensive analog synth, Kurzweil’s most expensive digital synth, and ... um... Doepfer’s now discontinued standalone ribbon for modular? At this point, there hasn’t been poly-aftertouch or ribbons on keyboards for ages.

Hell they didn’t even want to give us knobs!

Why would this trend reverse? Yes, we have knobs now, but that’s not what I’m getting at. Expressive controllers hasn’t been a pursuit of the big developers who can afford to make them in higher numbers.

Wind and breath controllers frequently fall off the market, add-on ribbons aren’t being offered (Kutzweil was the only company I knew of who even offered one for their synths), and anything unique is to be found only in DIY projects (I’m not a DIM person), or in small batches, sold expensively by individuals doing limited runs.

What technological developments were missing, previously, that explain why expressivity didn’t improve already, a decade or two ago? I’m honestly asking.

No one much cared to improve MIDI itself for 30 years either, and I know that wasn’t for a lack of hardware. It was a lack of demand and a lack of will to change things. It was “good enough”. That’s what I see every time I complain about MIDI’s 8-bit values. “It’s good enough. You’re just complaining!”

Apparently controllers were “good enough” all these years too.

What technological developments have been made, that will definitely reverse the trend of “cheaper because less capable”? Why would we suddenly get more for less?

The evidence so far suggests that this type of product is a niche, and therefore it cannot support higher volume. It looks like it never will.

If there’s an untapped vast market of people clamoring for this kind of thing (and I wish there were!!), where is it, and why have only very small independent companies so far bothered to try to develop for it with what amounts to very expensive, often short-lived experiments?

I’m all for more expressivity, in all controllers, by default, at all price points. I’ve been irritated about this for some time, but, as I’ve found, what we’ve had so far has been “good enough” to not bother changing the status quo.
Strange that you would post this just after MIDI 2.0 has been ratified, and new synths such as Hydrasynth with both a ribbon and poly aftertouch, not to mention Osmose, are coming on the market.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

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