Roli Seaboard RISE

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deastman
KVRAF
7197 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:49 pm

Trying to collect my responses in one place, rather than a dozen different posts in a row...
zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:18 pm
I’ve only found one decent Linnstrument demo video, and it wasn’t that great. All of them seem to be plagued by awkward modulation that’s probably exasperated by the small pads. But if you like that sort of thing, good for you. The Continuum, OTOH, looks awesome, but too rich for my blood.
The LinnStrument pads are extremely responsive. I find them much better than the Seaboard Rise in that respect. What I have noticed, however, is that a lot of patches in, for example, Equator, have modulation optimized for a long travel along the Y axis. That same amount of modulation on the LinnStrument happens in mere millimeters, rather than sliding your finger all the way along the length of a key. Those patches need to be reoptimized for LinnStrument so that you don't get such drastic modulation changes happening. As a consequence, you're going to make different patches. I will say that, in general, I've noticed that less is more when it comes to expressive patches... you don't need drastic changes in modulation, and it works better if you focus more on the performance and less on the sound design.
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:19 pm
Linnstrument works pretty much the same as the pightpad block when it's in melodic/scale mode, with a bunch of other features like a low row that can strum or act as a cc/ modwheel etc.
The layout is similar. I don't find that they feel or respond alike. LinnStrument feels much more like a true expressive instrument and less like a gimmick. Or to put that a little more politely, I could see devoting years of practice to mastering the LinnStrument, but not to Roli Blocks.
Mats Eriksson wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:51 am
As with the legato playing, I would think they could not have solved that easier on the Haken though. As I am as good on keyboard as bass and guitars, I very well know the gnarls. I e the hammer on legato thing on a guitar string in the note shaping of things, is very different from a pull-off. And neither a Roli nor Haaken would be able to second-guess what you are actually doing, or thinking of doing. A saxophone players legato may not just be "devoid" of "re-blowing" into the mouthpiece. There's a slight difference in the beginning of each note whether you press on the "key" on the saxophone, or lift it off. Such nitpicking may not be of importance to others, but as I have heard many Indian and Arabic "flute" impersonations on both Roli and Haken, I hear it immediately. BTW Roli is way more handy as an instrument, The Haken may be a tad too unwieldy and cumbersome, due to the included synthesizer engine resides UNDER the keyboard.
There is some truth to that. Using one kind of interface to emulate all of the idiomatic techniques of a completely different instrument will never be totally convincing. A Continuum, or a LinnStrument paired with Audiomodeling instruments, can pull off a passingly convincing wind instrument performance. But it will never be 100% authentic. I've just picked up a TEControl BCC2 breath controller to use with Respiro, and that combination works much better for woodwind performances, even when paired with something as basic as an Arturia Keystep. Choose the right tool for the job.
Mats Eriksson wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:02 am
The Linnstrument to me seems like drawing from the same legacy as an accordeon, but with touch and vibrato sensitivity thrown in. What is a libalility and shortcoming of mainly all keyboard designed instrument is that you have to play a chord within the span of your own hand and hands. Say a C major chord. A symphonic orchestra can let the very very low bass fundamental C be played by certain people on double bass, the middle E some octaves up, and then the high C at the far right end of a grand piano. With Linnstrument and so on, like an accordeon, you have the octave ranges within the split of your hand, and if that ain't enough you use your left hand. On a piano, grand piano you have to use pedals in order to let sustain ringing for those note you can't reach unpedalled.
All of these expressive controllers lend themselves primarily to monophonic instrument performances. You aren't going to try to play chords on a clarinet, and I don't think any of these controllers are best used for chordal playing.
BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:39 pm
As I've said many times before, I don't care about MPE at all, I just want the 5D touch experience and you can get that with pretty much anything, straight out of the box. I still haven't seen more than one convincing use-case for MPE and that single use-case is just as easily accomplished with two instances of a plugin and a keyboard split.
I agree with you regarding MPE. However, it's nice to have it, so that if you do happen to play more than one note at a time, it won't be an issue. You just won't have to think about it either way.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
8527 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:57 pm

Except that a lot of the time when you are playing more than one note, you want them all to respond together. e.g. If I'm playing a string chord at the end of a song and pitch-bend it down as the thing finishes (which I probably do way too often on stage), I want all the notes to pitch down together. Same with Mod Wheel stuff - in 30-odd years I've never wanted the Mod Wheel to only affect one of the notes I'm playing. It would be weird.

99% of the expressiveness I get from my Seaboards is via after-touch. Of course, polyphonic aftertouch is nothing new, it's about how much more controllable it is with a Seaboard and the fact that it works with pretty much any soft synth makes the Seaboard worth purchasing for anyone. I actually find velocity a bit awkward on the Seaboard, especially with the playing technique I've developed for it, where I rest my fingers on the surface and just push down to trigger notes.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), Behringer QX1002USB, Cubase, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Synthmaster One, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft Synth 2.0

deastman
KVRAF
7197 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:04 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:57 pm
Except that a lot of the time when you are playing more than one note, you want them all to respond together. e.g. If I'm playing a string chord at the end of a song and pitch-bend it down as the thing finishes (which I probably do way too often on stage), I want all the notes to pitch down together. Same with Mod Wheel stuff - in 30-odd years I've never wanted the Mod Wheel to only affect one of the notes I'm playing. It would be weird.

99% of the expressiveness I get from my Seaboards is via after-touch. Of course, polyphonic aftertouch is nothing new, it's about how much more controllable it is with a Seaboard and the fact that it works with pretty much any soft synth makes the Seaboard worth purchasing for anyone. I actually find velocity a bit awkward on the Seaboard, especially with the playing technique I've developed for it, where I rest my fingers on the surface and just push down to trigger notes.
Precisely why I said that expressive controllers are far more useful for monophonic lines than for chords.

Although I have made some very interesting performances on the Continuum, playing sustaining chords which bend and shift and drift. Again, the Continuum is in a completely different league, and you really have to experience it firsthand to fully appreciate it. However, I doubt it would be particularly useful or practical for a Novakill show. ;)
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

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BONES
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8527 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:35 pm

Well, for a start it's too big for carry-on.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), Behringer QX1002USB, Cubase, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Synthmaster One, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft Synth 2.0

machinesworking
KVRAF
1662 posts since 15 Aug, 2003 from seattle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:47 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:57 pm
Except that a lot of the time when you are playing more than one note, you want them all to respond together. e.g. If I'm playing a string chord at the end of a song and pitch-bend it down as the thing finishes (which I probably do way too often on stage), I want all the notes to pitch down together. Same with Mod Wheel stuff - in 30-odd years I've never wanted the Mod Wheel to only affect one of the notes I'm playing. It would be weird.
Funny, I really like the fact that it does things like pitch on a note by note basis. left hand lower notes stay in tune, higher notes can be pitch bent without the bass going sideways, (or visa versa) and no need for two keyboards and two synths etc.

Plus I like the sound it produces when you use the strips at top or bottom to move a whole chord pitch wise. I've got the 24 key Seaboard Block and I'm debating getting the Rise or just going with another Block.

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BONES
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8527 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:58 pm

Yeah, that's the one and only use-case I can see for it, something easily achieved with two instances of a VSTi and a keyboard split. Honestly, though, how often does that come up? If I am playing in two different octaves, I will almost certainly be playing two different sounds. It's not like the 1980s, where I might have only had three synths so they all had to do double-duty.

For what it's worth, I prefer the Seaboard Block. The keys are a little more defined and the spacing works better for the way I find I have to play it. e.g. On a normal keyboard I can stretch my little finger way across and still hit with enough velocity but on a Seaboard it doesn't work when I try to do that. At least with smaller keys on the Block, I don't have to stretch as far.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), Behringer QX1002USB, Cubase, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Synthmaster One, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft Synth 2.0

machinesworking
KVRAF
1662 posts since 15 Aug, 2003 from seattle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:44 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:58 pm
Yeah, that's the one and only use-case I can see for it, something easily achieved with two instances of a VSTi and a keyboard split. Honestly, though, how often does that come up? If I am playing in two different octaves, I will almost certainly be playing two different sounds. It's not like the 1980s, where I might have only had three synths so they all had to do double-duty.
Again, goes back to different use cases, I like the way certain patches on synths sound with long octave stretches and the same patch, I generally have gotten 61 key controller keyboards for this reason alone.
For what it's worth, I prefer the Seaboard Block. The keys are a little more defined and the spacing works better for the way I find I have to play it. e.g. On a normal keyboard I can stretch my little finger way across and still hit with enough velocity but on a Seaboard it doesn't work when I try to do that. At least with smaller keys on the Block, I don't have to stretch as far.
The guy from Sonic State shares that view, I've got a friend about 25 miles from me I should visit who has the 49 key Rise, see if it's worth the extra cash, but I'm thinking I'm fine with the smaller keys on a rubber keybed like this, generally I hate them on plastic keys. Plus another 24 key Block can be had used around here for under $200 VS people trying to sell their Rise 49 for about $150 off of brand new prices on average around here. :roll:

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
43 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:53 pm

deastman wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:49 pm
All of these expressive controllers lend themselves primarily to monophonic instrument performances. You aren't going to try to play chords on a clarinet, and I don't think any of these controllers are best used for chordal playing.
But I think playing pedal steel guitar chords on any of these controllers is a hoot. I've seen Jordan Rudess do it on both Roli and Haken. I did too with the small amount of time I spent with the Roli Within a chord with steady top and bottom notes, the middle one bends up to or down to a third, or sus4th and so on. But then again, legato playing on any pedal steel guitar is kind of ... non existent. There's no hammer on or pull of, just gliding and sliding between notes. Polyphonically and monophonically.

The main trick is to use totally alien instruments that doesn't have any IRL equivalents, like flute, horn, pipes and whatever, and try to utilise bends, legatos and microtonal tuning within those. Something completely foreign so no one has something else to relate to. Regarding monophony, if one should take a one dimensional look on all this, is that it is all some sort of physical contact Theremin. Although the actual timbre of the waveforms that can be controlled with it are unlimited. As they try to pitch all this upon us, they're using all these real instrument impersonation in demos to get the message across, because that's the ones we can relate to.

I find it peculiar, but appropriate, to think that most of the sales of both Linnstrument, Haken, and Roli has been to the soundtrack demographic. Film scores, TV documentaries of the scientific, nature things. India is so far the greatest sales for Roli outside US and UK. It seems. The "bollywood" directors and score composers use Roli to no end. Little wonder...I don't mind that at all, to the contrary actually.

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
43 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:58 pm

DELETED DOUBLE POST
Last edited by Mats Eriksson on Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

deastman
KVRAF
7197 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:55 am

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:35 pm
Well, for a start it's too big for carry-on.
Exactly. Bulky, heavy, and delicate. A lot of touring Continuum players have bought the ContinuuMini for that purpose. However, in my opinion, it loses much of what I love about the larger models.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

deastman
KVRAF
7197 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:08 am

Going back to the clarinet example, what I’ve found I enjoy the most is running these instruments through a looper. So for a clarinet or trumpet or solo violin line, I’ll keep overdubbing as I build up a whole orchestra section of individual players performing their parts. All that expression shines through and helps to create the feeling of a group of individuals playing together.

I’ve also struggled with what to actually use these instruments for. I don’t make wub wub EDM or virtuoso jazz or anything where solo performance needs to stand out. What I’ve eventually settled on is simply small bits of musical gestures, which when combined as a whole, make for more interesting music than a traditional keyboard would give me.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

himalaya
KVRAF
5067 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:57 am

deastman wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:04 pm
BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:57 pm
Except that a lot of the time when you are playing more than one note, you want them all to respond together. e.g. If I'm playing a string chord at the end of a song and pitch-bend it down as the thing finishes (which I probably do way too often on stage), I want all the notes to pitch down together. Same with Mod Wheel stuff - in 30-odd years I've never wanted the Mod Wheel to only affect one of the notes I'm playing. It would be weird.
Precisely why I said that expressive controllers are far more useful for monophonic lines than for chords.
I hold a different view. In fact I could not disagree more. It's with chords where these controllers come to life for me. But of course, to get the best expression when playing chords and trying to articulate expressive gestures, requires practice and skill (rightly so).
I mean, we have always been able to get a lot of expression when playing monophonic lines. By using the standard controllers like mod+pitch wheels, pedals, breath controllers, etc, a monophonic instrument/line can be as alive as one would ever wish for. Conversely, it was never possible to do the same with polyphonic electronic instruments/sounds/chords until the advent of the new breed of MPE/5D midi controllers.

So, I can not understand why you would come to that conclusion.

Also, I can not agree with what BONES said:
Except that a lot of the time when you are playing more than one note, you want them all to respond together
I find the opposite. I want the chord to be fluid, with each note having the capacity to bend, slide, press. I would be doing more of this, ie: playing a chord and shaping it with dimensions, than wanting to pitch bend a chord at the end of a song with a mod wheel, so that all the notes bend at the same time, as BONES described above. However, I can still do it on an MPE controller: simply assign a fader (like one of the faders on the RISE) to master pitch in the patch, and use this fader as the 'pitch bend wheel'. Very simple, and works great (although without the benefit of the spring-loaded wheel).

But forget chords. Even a simple duophonic line is so much more interesting when played on an MPE instrument. Sustain a note in the left hand, and solo/noodle with the right hand, keeping each note independent with pressure, slide, and pitch. So satisfying to play!

And then, often I just do not want to play anything complex at all, and I'd rather just trigger some arpeggiated patches. Again, play a few simple chords and mangle the arp with poly-expression. So good! So easy. Why would anyone arrive at the conclusion that an MPE instrument is more suited to monophonic playing? It's only a subset of what is possible, and boring at that (because we have always been able to get great expression on mono sounds, even with those beautiful Audio Modelling sounds when using breath controllers).

Isn't it time to be exploring poly-expression at last? It is where it's at for me (and not in the virtuosic 'Marco Parisi' manner, but a much simpler style which still gives immense sonic expression).

I just feel that somehow, people are not really utilising these MPE instruments to the full if we get conclusions such as this one. :)
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

himalaya
KVRAF
5067 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:08 am

deastman wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:08 am


I’ve also struggled with what to actually use these instruments for. I don’t make wub wub EDM or virtuoso jazz or anything where solo performance needs to stand out. What I’ve eventually settled on is simply small bits of musical gestures, which when combined as a whole, make for more interesting music than a traditional keyboard would give me.
What music do you make? :)
I don't make EDM or virtuoso jazz either, and I couldn't live without my MPE controllers.

You make a good point though, that we don't need to use 5D expression in each track, plastered all over a song, etc. and that small additions here or there can add very meaningful expression as well.

Often, I don't even want deep expression, and for example, just playing a simple chord progression with a standard synth pad, will create a more interesting result as I play and inevitably add tiny pitch bends that create natural detuning. The end result is just much nicer to the ear than if played on a normal keyboard. I can exaggerate these pitch bends (spread the fingers out and wiggle them slowly in a chord) which helps to create a superb sound for a Synthwave track. Nicely detuned, 'dusty', dare I say, more 'organic'. :D

Also, I think that SLIDE will work better on the RISE than on other MPE controllers without long keys, as there is a greater 'travel' on the RISE key. This allows much greater, controllable detail. So in all this talk about pitch and poly-pressure, I think that SLIDE is even more attractive (for technical reasons too).
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

elxsound
KVRAF
5270 posts since 18 Aug, 2007 from NYC

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:52 am

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:39 pm
As I've said many times before, I don't care about MPE at all, I just want the 5D touch experience and you can get that with pretty much anything, straight out of the box. I still haven't seen more than one convincing use-case for MPE and that single use-case is just as easily accomplished with two instances of a plugin and a keyboard split.
elxsound wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:03 am
Yes, but likewise I want a better way
But that's the way you set up any kind of modulation in any instrument I can think of, even Equator. The only difference is that you have to clone the modules in Kontakt. An extra step or two is hardly a deal-breaker when you can save the patch and recall it instantly whenever you need it again.
From my understanding, Cubase already supports MPE, so you already get “5D” touch out the box and then just have to configure in whatever plugin to assign modulation. That’s not a deal breaker, but it could be better is all. In other hosts and tools that don’t support it natively, you have to resort to hacks/workarounds to get the the full expression out of the Roli devices, plus THEN make those same modulation assignments. Again, not the end of the f**king world, but it’d be nice to have native support instead.

It doesn’t matter much either way, because I get the feeling that MPE will be broadly adopted soon enough simply because of who’s hands the many MPE capable devices (Linnstrument, Roli, etc...) are in.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
8527 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Seaboard RISE

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:51 pm

himalaya wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:08 am
Often, I don't even want deep expression...
I'm the same, I just want to be able to add something a bit organic to a held pad sound so that it doesn't fall flat once the envelopes are all at their sustain points. LFO are OK but they can be a little predictable. Using PRESS and SLIDE just feels like the right way to be doing it.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), Behringer QX1002USB, Cubase, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Synthmaster One, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft Synth 2.0

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