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ROLI acquires FXpansion - Will continue development and integrate products

Skot MacDonald, Roland Lamb, Angus Hewlett, and Rhiannon Bankston Thomas

ROLI has acquired FXpansion, maker of software instruments and effects.

London-based FXpansion adds a collection of sounds and effects to ROLI's growing ecosystem of music creation tools. The Seaboard, ROLI's touch-responsive instrument, will now be developed alongside FXpansion's virtual instruments including BFD3, and Strobe2, their analogue-modelled software synthesizer. The combined ROLI team will integrate its technologies, as ROLI creates new digital instruments.

FXpansion products also extend ROLI's stack of technologies. Beyond the Seaboard ROLI has developed Equator, the software synthesizer; NOISE, the free app that turns iPhones into musical instruments; Blend, the social platform for music collaboration; and JUCE, the C++ coding framework for audio developers.

Roland Lamb, founder and CEO of ROLI, said, "We are creating a Connected Music ecosystem of devices that will change the way people make and enjoy music. Our leadership in music technology innovation — across both software and hardware — strengthens with every link we add to ROLI's toolchain. We're excited to continue pushing the boundaries of musical expression and technological innovation with FXpansion, which has been at the forefront of audio software development for the past 15 years."

Angus Hewlett, founder and CEO of FXpansion, said, "This acquisition is a momentous opportunity for FXpansion. Together ROLI and FXpansion can create best-in-class instruments, even as we continue to develop the FXpansion products our users know and love."

ROLI will support and develop FXpansion's family of products which also includes Geist2, the beat production system, and a range of sound effect plug-ins such as Maul and Bloom. FXpansion products will continue to be sold in their current form. Customer support and product maintenance will be available on all of the current channels. Anticipated updates — including the release of BFD 3.2 and Cypher2 — are progressing.

All FXpansion team members will join ROLI, where they will take on new roles as they continue to develop FXpansion's products. Angus Hewlett will become Head of Sound Synthesis and Lead Software Engineer. Rhiannon Bankston-Thomas, FXpansion's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, will become ROLI's Head of Software Program Management. Skot McDonald, Chief Technology Officer, will become ROLI's Lead Software and Research Engineer.

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Discussion: Active
1 September 2016 at 11:40pm

Oh no. Acquisitions are almost universally bad for existing customers and products. Now I have to fear for BFD under "new management"? Sigh.

When did Roli acquire JUCE?

How did Roli become an acquisitions business? Aren't they kind of new on the scene? They describe themselves as a "start-up". What start-up has the cash to go on acquisition sprees?

2 September 2016 at 12:12pm

I'm very happy that FX have finally been recognised for the talented people that they are, and while I'm not at all worried about their existing customers and products, I do feel a tinge of resentment for all the software pirates over the years that made an acquisition inevitable. During my time there (nearly 5 fives years :-@) we survived some really tough times, mainly through the good will of our loyal customer base (you know who you are). I hope people here look on at this story and understand that FXpansion started in Angus' mum's spare bedroom and grew into a ~12 person company that always hit above its weight - up against Native Instruments and the like. I hope that that attitude remains in the years to come with ROLI.

Good luck guys. x.

5 September 2016 at 10:33am

The free BFD 1 Lite made available in Computer Music magazine was what got me to become a customer of FXpansion. The product spoke for itself: I bought v1 and then 2 immediately. :-) This is why I'm concerned: I LIKE FXpansion.


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