ROLI's Pliable Seaboard Keyboard Allows You to Directly Interact With Music

Experimental musicians take note! ROLI's Seaboard takes the standard piano and reimagines it into a soft, pliable surface allowing for direct manipulation of sound. With polyphonic pitch bend, vibrato and per-note dynamic changes, the instrument intends on changing how you make music by combining the traditional with technological advancements.


Thanks to the rubber-like surface, you are able to rub your finger across the board to alter the sound of a note, modulating the pitch, volume and timbre. Since it's tactile, you're able to actually physically connect with the music in completely new ways. Sliding your finger side to side will alter the pitch, while moving it up and down will change the volume and timbre. Running along the top and bottom of the "keyboard" are glissando ribbons, which makes it easy to "start playing one keywave, then slide to any other keywave you choose in one fluid gesture, even allowing multiple notes to glissando independently at the same time."


Handcrafted in London, the instrument has an onboard audio engine that means you don't have to use any external audio devices to use it. All you need to do is plug in some headphones or connect it to an amplifier and play. You can also use the Seaboard to control any other software instrument, which would allow you to play them in new ways as well.

The Seaboard comes in three different versions: the Grand Studio ($1.9k), the Grand Stage ($2.9k), and the Grand Limited First Edition ($8.8k). The main differences between them is the size, with the Studio being great for desks and the Stage being a good standalone piano keyboard. The Limited Edition is the closest you can get to a real full-size piano though, with 88 keys (and only 88 units made), and is the "thinnest full-size professional keyboard instrument ever made" at 25.7mm thin.