Back in the day, SolidSmack was this close *makes pinchy fingers* to becoming a music site named ShellacSmack, covering news of the people creating interesting melodies with the resin secreted by the female lac bug. Fortunately for you, there are very few, if any, people doing that. There are, on the other hand, people creating many an interesting product and even fewer creating interesting mixes on musical instrument. Enter the ROLI Seaboard, 88-keys of pitch-bending beauty that squish beneath your fingers like a piano made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, without the mess.



The Seaboard GRAND is a musical instrument born from a piano-keyboard, combining the acoustic attraction of the piano, the digital flexibility of the keyboard and infused with pressure-sensitive power. Within one instrument, you can control the pitch, volume and timbre on each of the 88 keys as you play it. Take a look at the video and see if you don’t turn into 1930’s Ron Burgundy eating pie in a smoke-filled cantina getting looks from all the ladies.

YouTube video

See what I mean. From ROLI:

The patent-pending SEA Interface is ROLI’s disruptive platform sensor technology. SEA stands for Sensory, Elastic and Adaptive. SEA Interfaces are highly precise, information-rich, and pressure-sensitive, and can be built in any form factor. They enable seamless transitions between discrete and continuous input, and capture three-dimensional gestures while simultaneously providing the user with tactile feedback.

Captures three-dimensional gestures. Now that’s just magic. The Seaboard itself is a very sleek design, minimal and yeah, probably lacks a knob to cycle through 5,000 different Oboe sounds, but it also comes with a SoundDial, the Seaboard software that gives you control over the instrument sound. So maybe you will get those Oboe sounds after all.

There is a limited-edition of 88 Seaboard GRAND being produced (each named after a note on the piano keyboard, from A0 to C8) and pre-orders start in April. To get on the notification list sign up on the ROLI website. Oh, and if you’re interested, ROLI is hiring. They currently have opening for Mechanical Engineers and Software Engineers. See all their job openings here.







Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.