For over a decade, Roli has been making unconventional electronic music instruments. Its seaboard series has taken the traditional keyboard design and incorporated it with some notable tricks just like the pressure-sensitive keys which allow for far more modulation effects than you can do on a piano. It is a series of modular block gadgets which take the pressure from the sensitive area in another direction.
Music hardware startup Roli has launched a keyboard model named Lumi, a 24-key, light-up keyboard and companion app that teaches users how to play the piano from scratch, before transforming into a tool for jamming and even composition. The keyboard and companion app is available to pre-order on Kickstarter with a base price $249 and sale as cheap as $150. While shipping starts in October.
Roland Lamb founder of Roli said that the purpose is to appeal a large group of music lovers. The basic function of Lumi does not start by teaching you the basics of sheet music. Instead, Lumi offers a Guitar Hero-style interface that coaxes you into playing your favorite songs by hitting the light-up keys in time with on-screen notes. By providing users a basic interface which allows them to play before they can read. For beginners, Lumi made an easy on-ramp.
After users move past the Guitar Herostage, the app automatically makes things trickier by adding in first the names of notes, After that a left-to-right interface, then chords and keys, and finally offering up regular sheet music. It definitely looks like a good procedure for the beginners but also an equally important package for the library of songs.
The keyboard looks very much like MIDI keyboard, moreover, the keyboard keys are light-up with internal LEDs, and those lights match up with a Lumi app for iOS and Android that’s meant to teach users how to play. The app could play for over a hundred songs for you to learn, including songs from big-name artists like Beyoncé and Pharrell.
If you tried the demo version of the app, the tracks available were nicely varied. The music includes pop titans like Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, as well as jazz and classical standards from J.S. Bach to Herbie Hancock. Furthermore, the company says it will launch a hundred few tracks, plus, this library will be updated over time for no extra cost.
The colored keys provide a guideline for the new players but instead of doing scales, the Lumi app lets you dive right into those pop songs. Lumi set an interesting milestone for Roli keyboards, the company was founded in 2009 and since then it had made a series of products which were famous throughout the time. The signature technology of Roli has always been squishy keyboards, which are touch-sensitive and let musicians bend notes on a piano or synthesizer as they would on a guitar, but as the years pass by it’s repackaged this into more and more affordable products.