Meet the ROLI Seaboard Grand synthesizer, a new piece of instrumentation that has changed the synth game forever. Invented in 2013 by Roland Lamb, founder of ROLI, a music technology company based in London, the Seaboard is guaranteed to stretch musical boundaries.
Retailing at around $3,000, this keyboard lets you glide seamlessly between keys, or notes, allowing the player to recreate woodwind sounds or a stringed instruments such as in the style of violin or a guitar. Its shape is modelled after a standard piano keyboard, but instead of black and white keys there is a gel like surface made of soft silicone. By pressing into into this alien substance, the musician can emphasize particular sounds and bend the pitch of the instrument like you would with a guitar string or pitch bend wheel on other keyboards.
Its use is becoming much more common in studio recordings and live shows. Like any new technology, it took some time for the music community to become receptive to this new instrument. However, recently artists like Stevie Wonder have been documented recently using it. The Seaboard even found its way into the most nominated musical in Oscars history, “La La Land‘s"
With 3 grand to blow this musical instrument could become a weapon in your musical arsenal. To quote the famous Ferris Bueller, "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."