What to Get Your Keyboard Player for Christmas – The ROLI Seaboard

We (Gear Gods) are a website dedicated to gear played by or intended for metal bands. But the humble keyboardist is often overlooked, more for reasons of practicality than any prejudice on our behalf, simply because there’s a lot fewer of them and they are not a particularly vocal bunch (here come the angry letters!). With the exception of some very cool apps from Jordan Rudess (who is going to want one of these real bad) for making weird spacey noises, I haven’t seen a great number of truly innovative products for keyboard players in recent years.


And then this. Building somewhat on the idea of the Haken Continuum with it’s soft, dynamic interface, the ROLI Seaboard uses a more obviously piano-like interface, but with a major twist: you can manipulate the soft, squishy keys like strings (we all know pianists want to be more like guitarists, hence the keytar) by pushing harder to create velocity swells, wiggling your fingers side to side for vibrato, and just lay your head down and take a nap on the thing after a long night of practicing.

You can also, like, take each note for a walk up to the pitch ribbon and slide them around. Like those little mechanical penguins that go up the staircase and down the slide.  Anyway, I know dynamics aren’t exactly the forte of metal bands in general, but I would really like to see this thing put to good use by the keyboard portion of the metal community, who are often the most musical of the bunch. Like the wise old grandfather who teaches the children how to also play quietly sometimes.

Check it out.

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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.

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