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ROLI Lightpad Block Lets You Create Music on the Go

The ROLI Lightpad Block is an amazing portable tactile controller that will revolutionize the way you create music.

The ROLI Lightpad Block is an intuitive and expressive tactile control surface that will change the way you create electronic music. It’s the main performance controller for ROLI’s entire Blocks system and is built around an illuminated LED-based touch surface that lets users physically manipulate sounds with differing methods of touch.

There are 225 LEDs on the Lightpad mounted in a laser-etched silicone surface in a 15x15 matrix. The configuration of the pads can be set three ways, 2x2, 4x4, and 5x5, through use of the ROLI’s free Noise app for iOS. The Lightpad will also connect with desktop apps like ROLI's own Equator, GarageBand, Logic, Bitwig, Max, and many others via Bluetooth or USB. It’s easy to see why the ROLI Lightpad Block is the go-anywhere touch controller you’ve been missing.

The Basics

The ROLI Lightpad Block can create as much magic as a room filled with physical instruments from the best guitars for beginners to a quality drum set, yet it fits in the palm of your hand. It can be used for creating drum beats and patterns, swirling synthesizers, bass lines, orchestral elements, and anything else that can be imagined. 

It’s made to directly integrate with the ROLI Loop and Live Blocks to form an ultra-capable performance controller that fits into a backpack. The Loop Block lets users grab loops, quantize, layer sounds, and change tempos, while the Live Block lets users play chords and arpeggios in various scales and octaves. 

Playing ROLI Blocks

The most amazing thing about the ROLI Lightpad Block is how easy it is to learn, even for non-musicians. It is pressure-sensitive and will respond to every touch. The surface even glows and leaves trails of light where you touch it. Differently colored grids will steer you through creating many types of music with ease. 

The grid can be set to a 2x2 or 4x4 configuration for drum kits with either four or 16 sounds and 5x5 for all melodic sounds. The ROLI Lightpad Block lives where sound, light, and touch meet and will take your creativity to new heights.

Touch and Learn

The ROLI Lightpad Block responds to five kinds of user touches: 

  • Strike to sound a note
  • Glide fingers sideways to bend notes like a string player
  • Slide vertically to modulate sounds
  • Press harder into the Block to deepen a note like a horn player does by blowing with more force
  • Lift off of the Lightpad to alter a sound’s resonance

All these touches make for an extremely expressive controller that is capable of producing any and all styles of music. Learn Mode is available to instruct you on how to touch the Lightpad by leaving light trails where you touch down. This is designed to get you up and performing right away. 

Time to make beats.

Making a new beat on the ROLI Lightpad Block couldn’t be simpler. 

  1. Dial up a drum kit on the Noise app. Use different kits for different genres of music, like rap or witchhouse genres.
  2. Then, just tap your fingers on the pads as you like. You make beats just like playing live drums. You can choose to use a Groove Kit and make grooves happen by moving your fingers around on the LED surface. 
  3. After that, record loops of your best grooves to make a brand new track. Nothing to it. This type of physical programming is much more natural to most people and a lot more fun than making beats in step time.

Let's get melodic.

Playing melodies on the ROLI Lightpad Block is also super easy. Pick out the scale you want to use and the notes of its pattern will show up on the LED grid. Go into Hide Mode and always be in tune because correct notes are all you’ll be able to see. No more mistakes! 

Then, play arpeggios and chords by pressing down on a single note. You have a sound engine full of choices in the Noise app, which means you’ll be making beautiful music happen almost instantly. You will be able to invent melodic sequences on any number of sounds and instruments and easily record and layer them in inspiring ways.

Learn to make songs.

You will quickly learn to make full songs come to life with the ROLI Lightpad Block and the Noise app. Capture your chords, melodies, and beats as loops and stack them in layers to make a song. Take a drum beat, add a bass loop on top, then synths and guitars on top again. You can start simply with a basic arrangement and then add to it as you become better with the device. You can also play one part of your song live and improvise over your already-tracked loops. The Lightpad Block features were well thought out to make this process easy, fun, and creative. You will be quickly capable of creating music beyond your expectations with this incredible unit. 

Try the expansion pack.

The ROLI Lightpad Block will never be an island. It is made to integrate seamlessly with its own kind and its siblings in the Blocks series to give users tremendous amounts of musical power. Blocks lock together magnetically with Block DNA connectors that also transmit data. This lets Blocks know instantly what they are connected to and how they are configured. 

A pair of Lightpad Blocks joins together to form a control surface with twice the capabilities of a single Block. Connect to a Live Block for real-time control over sounds, scales, arpeggios, octaves, and more. Loop Blocks are made for studio work and put recording techniques on the table anywhere you go. You will easily play, record, undo, and quantitize your way to your next masterpiece and then edit it until it’s perfect. The ROLI Lightpad Block will make you wonder how you ever lived without one up until now. 

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ROLI Lightpad Block Lets You Create Music on the Go
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