You can now turn ROLI’s pressure-sensitive instruments into a portable control studio.

ROLI has added third-party support for its wireless Blocks touch instruments, allowing them to work with software including Ableton Live, GarageBand and Bitwig Studio.

The third-party support works via ROLI’s new Blocks Dashboard software, which has just been released in beta. It allows you to configure each block to create your own individual controller solution for the supported apps.

In Ableton Live for example, one block becomes a mixer, one turns into a scale for composing melodies and the other is an XY pad for controlling effects.

Launched last year, Blocks are are a “mobile music studio” that the company designed for use with its own iOS app, Noise. As well as being touch sensitive, they respond to pressure, making them an intriguing prospect for use with software such as Bitwig Studio 2, which supports MPE (multidimensional polyphonic expression).

The video below shows how Blocks can be used with Bitwig Studio’s XY device, which allows you to control four instruments simultaneously and mix between them, using pressure to control reverb.

As well as Blocks, ROLI also manufactures the Seaboard RISE, a controller keyboard that also allows musicians to add extra expression to their music not possible on a traditional MIDI controller.

Blocks Dashboard is available in open beta now. Blocks controllers can be purchased from the ROLI store, and cost £169.95 for a pressure-senstive Lightpad Block.

Read next: Stereo Field is a Buchla-style instrument for patching sounds with touch



Share Tweet