FACT finds out if ROLI’s cute, snap-together controllers are as good to make music with as they look.

New innovations in hardware design are making music production easier and more accessible than it’s ever been. Spearheading this revolution is ROLI, a UK startup that has challenged perceptions of electronic interfaces with its Seaboard RISE controller, a keyboard that responds to strikes, glides, slides and lifts like an acoustic instrument.

ROLI’s latest system, Blocks, aims to take this technology to the mainstream. This modular, snap-together collection of controllers can be used to make rhythms, play notes, generate chords and add effects, either by using them with Ableton Live, GarageBand and other compatible software or with ROLI’s own mobile app, NOISE.

With the recent introduction of the Seaboard Block and updated Lightpad Block M, we decided it was the ideal time to give Blocks and NOISE a go for ourselves in the first of a new series of video reviews from FACT’s Make Music section. Are Blocks as good to make music with as they look? Watch above to find out our verdict, and find out more about Blocks at the ROLI website.

Watch next: East End Dubs’ custom studio is a cutting-edge synth paradise



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