• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Roli Lightpad / Loop Block

    One week in and this thing is amazing. Learning curve is medium. Downloaded and installed new sound packs and they are great. I am beginning to play this well and have several projects underway. Unbelievable technology behind this with potential to do whatever you want. Throw it in to a studio setting and use as a sequencer/drum machine/strings etc... really great sounds and can't wait to add the seaboard block!!! Don't listen to the bad reviews if you know how to play and you are semi technical. Hooking them up for the first time takes some practice. Loop block then Lightpad Bluetooth (connect them first). Have fun!!!

    2 of 3 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Avoid these

    These really are terrible for the price. No GM support so you can only use them properly with the official app which is very shallow to begin with. The touch surfaces are not responsive enough both in terms of pressure and position. Customer support is non existent.

    6 of 11 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    ROLI Blocks

    I am not a music maker but my grandkids absolutely love this product--even the 2 year old! It's such a delight to see kids interacting with technology but not being buried in a screen. I really think this product can (and does) inspire creativity. I've seen some reviews complaining about the surface but it seems fine to me and is much more enjoyable than my phone screen.

    1 of 2 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    great product

    My kids got to play with a Lightpad Block at Christmas time. They are 8 and 6 and they had a blast. They were thrilled by all the different sounds and its responsiveness. They also enjoyed playing with it in the dark so they could see all the lights swirling around. The only part that was a bit annoying was that it took some time to get it set us as I have an iphone 5 and you need a 5s or above so we had to use a relative's phone.

    1 of 2 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    So easy

    It's so easy to make great beats and I love that I can affect the sound so much with just touch. I can't wait to see this develop more.

    2 of 3 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    So Much Packed into This Little Square!

    I love the Roli lightpad Block because is the perfect tool for a music teacher who has to teach on a shoestring budget. The timbres and techniques can give students a real taste of what playing an actual instrument would be like. Just with the app and a Block one can easily provide access to a large number of curriculum standards. What's more, the Block is a simple way to teach a class of multi level students by allowing the more able ones to program or customize their choices and the less able can then perform or trigger choices. As I went through teaching myself about the Block I kept a list of all the vocabulary, techniques, styles, and more that this gem can help teach. Not five star yet because from within the app I'd like a way to trigger my personally created sound files from outside the app.

    4 of 8 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Compose music without having to KNOW music.

    With the Lightpad Block, I can take the tune in my head, lay it down in a loop, audition instruments until I find the one that matches the tune, add drums and accompanying instruments and have something that sounds good to me. Bonus is, I've let some of my friends hear it and they like it too! (Even the ones that are no more than a single loop per track)

    I'm not a trained musician, so what I think helps the most is the fact that the "next good sounding note" is lit up (depending on the scale you choose) so, if you're humming, and ALL you know about the next note is that "it's higher", two or three taps will find the note you're looking for OR a note you think sounds better. Want to go crazy and improvise? Whatever lit note you hit will be the right one. Folks that know the scales in their head... I don't think they understand how liberating just that one little bit of help is. Then, as you add other loop tracks, they're ALL in the right key. So, you're thinking about WHAT you want to hear more than HOW to play it. Not sure if that explains it well, but it's easiest the best feature for me.

    The sensitivity works for me. The range between light touch and heavy touch does feel sort of shallow, but I audition the keystrokes a few times before recording the loop so it's not a problem in practice. In some cases, I like the organic variability that arises.

    The NOISE app has come a long way, and my only issue with the sounds are the drums. I don't like many of the drum choices offered. I have to admit I've had fun with some of the more esoteric ones, but I wish there was a pack that was simply a wide variety of "plain" sounding drum kits. There's also the issue with laying down a drum track where the first playback doesn't sound like what you played, the second doesn't either, but by the third loop, it has all the beats you intended. The bad part is that I have to audition the loop three times before I realize that... "nope, it didn't get that I was holding that bass groove for the entire loop" then try again.

    I haven't had any Bluetooth issues, but then again, the devices I've tried to connect to are only a year or two old. And, getting audio out for use in GarageBand (for laying down vocals) is easy. Using a Mac, connect a lightning USB cable between your iOS device and the computer, launch QuickTime and have it record the iOS device's audio as you play. I'd love to see integration between NOISE and GarageBand such that you can bump all the loops over there for arranging :)

    It's SO fun, and SO easy, so much so, that I can forgive some of the issues. When I play it on my car stereo and my friends are humming it a few days later, it's TOTALLY worth it!

    9 of 11 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Forward thinking Great Invention

    I’m a composer, sound designer, Max MSP programer… involved in Pro Music for more than 20 years and I must say that I’m amazed by the Blocks modular system. As it is the Seaboard Grand & Rise a great invention, Blocks are pushing the limits even further. You can use it in so many different ways. It works with all IOS devices with really nice latency and I really like how you can modulate transient sound moving on the X&Y axis in their Noise app.
    Beside that, now we can use it to control Daw’s and other software instruments thanks to the MPE implementation. I have made a whole Max 7 patch called GranuRise which integrates seamlessly with Blocks. But what I like the most about Blocks it is its modularity, you can reorganise your whole studio setup and combine it in to something new. I believe that the concept behind Blocks it’s really (Apple like) forward thinking and is changing how we create and interact with music, so it really fascinate me what will be done with it in the future. Love it.

    4 of 6 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    It's so great to be playing music again!

    Who was it that said music makes the world go 'round? Well, regardless of who first uttered this phrase, I agree that it's absolutely true. You see, as a youngster I loved to play the piano, guitar, drums, and anything else I could get my hands on. However, as rapidly time moves on, I've found it more and more difficult to find the time and space to dedicate to my love of music. Now, with the ROLI Lightpad Block, I am so glad to be able to regularly play music again.

    I'm obviously not a professional musician, but this ROLI product is extremely easy to use and allowed me to master my inner composer skills almost immediately.

    I love using the ROLI Lightpad Block and I would recommend it to everyone! Because, as the quote suggests, music truly does make the world go 'round and the ROLI Lightpad Block makes producing great music just that much more accessible.

    3 of 4 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Really fun!

    I was pretty skeptical of the Blocks, but after getting it up and running on my iPad, I was having a lot of fun! The newer version of the blocks are way more sensitive than the older ones. They can be a little confusing or daunting to try to use at first, but after watching some YouTube tutorials, I felt like I was actually making some really cool music! The sound packs are really cool too! I'm excited to see how this product continues to evolve.

    3 of 5 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    bad touching , bad sensitivy I think frustration

    Totally disappointing.
    I took it with great enthusiasm. But the interior is not a painfully stable device. I did not mail back to the roli authorities.
    I do not recommend

    11 of 14 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    too much in it's infancy to be used as a custom MIDI controller

    I purchased the lightpad in the hopes to customize it as a MIDI control surface.

    Their web documentation indicated that one would be able to "customize BLOCKS for your workflow" via the BLOCKS DASHBOARD app. This is true IF you know how to code in their proprietary C++ like language and/or be satisfied with the provided but limited templates (I'm sure the types and numbers of templates with evolve over time, after all dashboard is still in beta). However, since I don't know how to code--I make music-- I am unable to use this device to suit my needs.

    Perhaps in the future, DASHBOARD will evolve to provide a GUI that will allow you to assign independent areas of control (eg note/ CC/ p-pressure/ x-y-z pad etc), but for the moment the only solution I can think of is to purchase a 3rd party app (MAX 7) to act as an intermediary between the lightpad and your Digital Audio Workstation - this is an unexpected expense and implementation layer.

    Also note that the BLOCKS DASHBOARD app requires the latest firmware to be installed on the lightpad. This can only be done through the NOISE iOS app or the DASHBOARD on macOS, not DASHBOARD on Windows.

    As with other reviews, I can reiterate that the sensitivity--amount of force--required to activate the pad is too high and that there is currently no way to apply velocity curves (sensitivity thresholds) to suit your playing style.

    As I do not have any iOS devices, I am unable to comment on the NOISE app. With that, I do find it short-sighted that the developer limited their initial consumer base to the iOS platform when it appears that there is an appetite for such a controller in this form factor across all computer-based music platforms.

    Perhaps in time with firmware and better DASHBOARD features, the lightpad may 'rise' to it's full potential but, for the moment, it will simply be a controller product that thought it could.

    12 of 13 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    This is a useless MIDI controller.

    If you are a wealthy person looking for an expensive toy for your child who already has an iPad this might possibly be a suitable gift if you don't mind that it will only work for a short time.

    If you are a musician looking for a MIDI controller for your tablet PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. I bought the LightBlock and the LiveBlock and tried for a week to like them but I was forced to send them back for a refund. Here why:

    First the LightBlock.

    1. Any musical usefulness is tied to the Noise App which has cheezy sounds and offers no methods for exporting MIDI files or audio files or any interaction with other apps.
    2. The design imposes unacceptable limitations. If you want to pitch bend a note in the right column of notes you can only bend it flat not sharp. If the note is in the left column you can only bend it sharp not flat.
    3. If you want to control the brightness of a sound using CC#74 the top row of notes only allow you to pull the filter cutoff down and those in the bottom row only allow you to pull it up.
    4. No controllers are assignable or scaleable.
    5. The velocity sensing of the block surface make it useless for generating music. You have to strike very hard to get anything at all and this causes the rubbery top to peel away after a very few uses.
    6. If you use sideways movement to generate vibrato the pitch end values generated are too tiny to be of any use in a sequencer.

    Now the LiveBlock.
    1. Interaction with the sound using LiveBlock is strictly through the lousy Noise App.
    2. The pad itself only allows two octaves of MIDI note numbers. If you want to use the LiveBlock to shift the octaves up or down it will only happen with the Noise App. The MIDI note numbers are unaffected.
    3. All the aspects of your music that should be affected by LiveBlock cannot be recorded to a MIDI product.

    Only my pride forced me to spend a week with these products since I paid so much and did not want to accept I had bought a turkey. The only good thing that came out of it was that in my desperate search for a way to make it useful was an App called MIDIFlow which I bought to try and make the LightBlock responsive. A great app but even that could not make the Roli products into a useful MIDI controller.

    Oh and one more thing. When I complained their support staff that I was unable to deleted a recorded loop they told me to record silence which I had already tried and did not work. When I advised them that their suggestion did not work they told me that Noise was a "work in progress". It's funny but the $259 I paid for these two products indicated to me that it was a finished product.

    Seriously folks, don't by this as a MIDI controller. It's useless for that.

    13 of 16 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    DO NOT BUY

    The bottom line is that these are a cool idea, but the company has not put in the proper R&D to make them actually useful for more than just tinkering around. The Noise app is horrible, and while the company claims to have new software coming out, as of now they are a complete waste of money.

    12 of 14 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Useless product don't waste your time or money on it. TRASH!

    DO NOT BUY THIS!!!

    So its a trigger pad with a horrible delay in response time the touch sensitivity doesn't work well at all. Cant be used to play chords because the lay out isn't thought out well.

    Its marketed as a way for a beginner to get started and learn how to produce with it but theres nothing useful this can teach that can be transferred into serious music production. This is nothing more then a poorly designed toy.

    The sounds on the APP is corny and even if I could get something decent sounding made on it theres no way to bounce it to any audio file or transfer it to program like logic or garage band. (nice thinking ahead)

    I can get a controller the connects directly for half the price that actually works well.

    Seriously questioning why Apple would carry this product, the only use for it is as over priced and over hyped night light. Which they already have plenty that are done much better then this disaster.

    11 of 12 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome product!

    I received the Lightpad Block for Christmas and have been playing it non-stop. I played the piano and drums as a kid, but haven't had the time, or the space, to play them in recent years. This is a very intuitive and fun instrument, and I'm psyched to be playing music again!

    2 of 6 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Love the lightpad!

    After seeing Rudimental demo these at the Apple store I bought a Lightpad. It’s an easy product to use, touch sensitive and has a real range of sounds. I’m in no way a pro musician but I was able to master my inner composer skills almost immediately. Not sure if there’s been an update but I haven’t noticed a delay or had trouble with the sensitivity. It’s fun to experiment and make tracks, and as it’s light I always bring it with me for entertainment when travelling. If you want a bigger surface, you can connect multiple ones together which is cool. I can’t wait to see what else they’ll bring out.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Fund and works well!

    Great product and enhanced my experimenting with music and sound!!

    5 of 12 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great product

    So fun to play with- touch quality is exceptional! Would highly recommend this product!

    3 of 10 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    LOVE THIS!

    I love the Roli Blocks. I received one for Christmas and my whole family had a blast playing with it... even my one year old daughter. She loves music and was playing the block/dancing all vacation. I think it is a great step up from the app and I find the touch response to be very sensitive and easy. I would highly recommend!

    4 of 9 people found this useful