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ROLI releases Equator MPE software synthesizer as VST/AU plug-in and standalone


ROLI has released Equator, a software synthesizer whose sounds and effects have infused the music created on ROLI's instruments the Seaboard RISE and Seaboard GRAND.

Launched in 2015, Equator is built for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). Each of its hundreds of sounds are designed to be richly textured. Pitch, timbre, and other sound parameters respond in real time to subtle variations of movement on a playing surface. When paired with an MPE-enabled controller like Seaboard Block, Equator can be a pathway to music that is more expressive because of the variety of sounds and also because of on-the-fly modulations that are possible at every moment of music creation.

Equator Player, a version of Equator that includes much of the Equator sound library and select macros, is now bundled with every Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block in the ROLI BLOCKS system.

Built with a hybrid synthesis engine, Equator includes sounds, effects, and modulation functions. Over 400 sounds range from melodious flutes to droning synths. Wavetable oscillators, multimode filters, frequency modulation, and sample playback are some of the features available for designing sounds and fine-tuning music projects. Equator allows individual modulation of Strike, Press, Glide, Slide, and Lift — movements that can be assigned to any musical parameter.

Equator is available as a standalone application and a VST/AU plugin. While optimized for polyphonic expressive instruments such as Seaboards, it works with a range of hardware and software instruments. Its sounds remain precise when controlled by MIDI controllers with minimal or no MPE compatibility.


  • 400+ Presets.
  • 3 Oscillators with 40+ waveforms.
  • 2 sample banks with over 50+ factory sample instruments.
  • 1 noise generator with multiple waveforms.
  • 1 configurable FM module.
  • 6 Custom built effects.
  • Flexible Routing Matrix.
  • 5 multi-mode Filter Modules.
  • 2 multi-waveform LFOs.
  • 5 multi-mode Envelopes.
  • 4 multi-mode and multi-node keytracking sources.
  • 4 adjustable curves per dimension of touch.
  • 8 Macro Controls.
  • Playlist Manager.
  • Online library of presets and playlists.
  • Deep integration with ROLI Hardware.
  • VST and AU Support, plus standalone application.

Price: $179 (£149). All owners of a Lightpad Block and Seaboard Block can upgrade to Equator for $79.



Discussion: Active
23 August 2017 at 6:48am

One would expect they'd price it reasonably as an *anchor* to hook people into their ecosystem and buy the keyboards & controllers... On the other hand maybe $180 is reasonable, considering that the basic Roli 25 costs $400.

26 August 2017 at 2:23am

It's a really nice synth in it's own right to be fair. Comes free with the normal Seaboards, it seems to be the Seaboard Blocks buyers that lose out a bit here. Presumably that has it's own benefits for a Blocks user, so perhaps the software side isn't why those folks are buying it.

I was a lucky winner of the Seaboard (25), so am probably biased, but they pack it with software. Including Waveform 8 which does MPE quite nicely. I'm well chuffed with it - it makes a big difference (depending on the plugins alot atm, as a downside) with what I can do and I'm a pretty terrible player! :)

But yeah, unsolicited advert aside - great synth. Very expressive possibilities even without the MPE power.

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