Solo jammers and musicians on-the-go will love Roli’s new Lightpad Blocks system. This new controller includes the touch-sensitivity found in Roli’s Seaboard.

The Blocks lightpad controller works by allowing the individual to shape the sounds through “intuitive gestures.” The app contains kits, which countain a series of percussive instruments and sounds. Each kit has it’s own characteristics, and the user can look through them to choose one they want to play on the Block. This video explains things further:

Roli’s Lightpad Blocks system is extremely versatile, considering how small and compact the block pad itself is. The 5×5 grid (or 4×4 for the drum machine mode) is pressure sensitive. It also provides flexibility as the user can change the pitch by sliding left/right or change a preset effect by sliding up/down.

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Setting up the Blocks system can be a task, as firmware updates have proven to be annoying to install. Also, there’s a learning curve involved with the block, as the sensitivity of the gadget might take some time to get used to. Since the keys are relatively small, precision could be an issue as well (especially if you have big hands!).

THE GOOD: The Roli Lightpad Block is an affordable, flexible and compact musical gadget which can be used anywhere at anytime.

THE BAD: The sensitivity of the Roli Block could take some time to get used to. Setting up/updating still needs some work.

Although this is the first “of it’s kind” gadget, we hope to see Roli improve on some of the minor issues involved. The Roli Block has great potential, and is extremely fun to play with.


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