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ROLI LUMI Keys: The worlds most advanced portable keyboard

ROLI have launched a Kickstarter for a new portable keyboard that lights up notes in a chord. You can configure the lights to only show the keys in a scale or play along with their Guitar Hero-style rhythm game. They can also be stacked together to create a larger keyboard. If you can get in on the Early Bird deal you can pre-order one for $164, and they hope to ship out in October 2019.

Video Description:

** Back on Kickstarter and SAVE UP TO 40%: https://go.playlumi.com/youtube **

LUMI takes music from black and white to technicolor. You can see it the moment you turn on LUMI Keys. The world’s first fully modular, fully illuminated keyboard is different from any other you’ve seen.


LUMI Keys and accompanying ROLI Studio Player software speed up your composition. Smart features light up notes in a chord, helping you build chord sequences faster. Or display each note in any scale or arpeggiated sequence. Even skilled players benefit from these shortcuts, which save time and spark ideas.


LUMI Keys is modular, so you can create your own hardware controller system. Snap multiple LUMI Keys together for a 48 or 72-key keyboard! Connect them to the Seaboard Block, Lightpad Block, and others in the ROLI BLOCKS system.

And even better, LUMI Keys is fully compatible with all leading DAWs and plugins


LUMI Keys combines playability and power in an ultra-portable design. It weighs less than an iPad Pro, and it fits in a backpack. Even when you connect multiple LUMI Keys together you can easily unsnap them and carry them anywhere.

Learn more in the LUMI Kickstarter: https://go.playlumi.com/youtube

Reader Comments 4

So..... just another midi keyboard, with a few ergonomic tweaks and some daft lights that don't change? And it's 164$ and you can't get one until at least October? What a strange business plan. Think I'll stick with my seaboard rise.
Been pretty disappointed since they teased it, last week. Roland Lamb just did a kind of AMA through Facebook and some of his comments were somewhat reassuring. But I find that it’s as though the company were satisfying investors asking for a mass-market product while backtracking from their work to go beyond “pianocentrism”. Yes, it has polyphonic aftertouch, which is relatively rare for small keyboards. But the whole campaign is sending a strong signal (explicit in the promo video) that the only way to learn music is to learn the traditional piano keyboard.
Of course, the company has other plans, for new products and for new features to existing products. In itself, this product will likely be successful and it might actually bring in a new crowd to the ROLI ecosystem. But the “messaging” sounds off, to me.
If ROLI had announced that it had licensed some of its hardware technology to Smule, Harmonix, or Melodics (allowing them to use the “DNA connector” in the Blocks line), that could have been pretty cool. It would have meant that the company was able to collaborate with others so that it can focus on its key strengths (which include MPE, of course, but also their approach to modular controllers, their ownership of JUCE, and their line of softsynths from FXpansion plus Equator).
Investors with longer attention spans might figure out that it’s a strange move to bet their fragile brand equity as they diversify their business lines even further. Maybe ROLI’s investors took Gibson’s story as a success?
Lamb sounds like he’s still committed to MPE as he perceives an opportunity to leverage it with AI/ML. That’s probably the kind of language that investors would like that’d also put a smile on Peter Kirn’s face. It’s still based on hype cycles, but at least it’s a current one, instead of the Guitar Hero fad or the gamification phase coinciding with the early years of ROLI’s corporate history.

Again, it’s quite possible that LUMI has a brilliant future, teaching people how to play well-known melodies on the piano by using colour-coded keys. But it’s very unlikely to help electronic music grow out of its “on/off switches” phase through the sheer force of its polyphonic pressure.

In other words, it’ll probably succeed. I wish it didn’t.

I’m split on this. I have a Seaboard 49, the block version, and whatnot. I can bang out a few tunes on a keyboard, but I’ve never been great. The 5D touch really hooked me especially because of the “hey it’s a keyboard that thinks like a guitar” thing. But — and it’s a big one — when I started to get serious about learning to properly play a keyboard it was hard. Both in terms of config and ergonomics. Sure, I can force myself to work harder and be hyper-precise and use the extra strength, but the thought of even trying to teach my daughters on it seems crazy. I can see other beginners wanting a “normal” keyboard to develop their skills, start to like the platform and the “snapability” so they can move up to the squishy ones later.
June 18, 2019  | person_outline rbh
I can understand folks being torn about this. Some of us have been hoping for a poly-AT keyboard for YEARS (decades?).

For me, this ain't it.

I want standard keys because I spent so much time and effort building that connection. It's worth something. I'd like 49 or 61 keys. I expect that a Poly-AT or MPE keyboard will need to be my 2nd keyboard. So I could have a 76-key main keyboard and use the Poly-AT for special parts/effects/etc.

Touch Keys got really close for me. I just have a specific issue about playing between black keys and those add-on touch surfaces might cause problems for me.

KMI's K-Board has an impressive feature-set, but I can't imagine it feeling good to play. It is the same with this. Yes, I could modulate individual notes, but it would feel clunky to play.

Does anyone remember NDVR Note? It never came to fruition, but if it had been done correctly, it would have been a game changer (and I don't say that lightly). I wish Yamah, Roland, Kurzweil or even Fatar would have bought that design and built it.

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