In the past, I’ve seen a lot of accessories for the Mac which allows you to create music but I recently came across a product called BLOCKS by a company called ROLI, a modular lego-style product that enabled you to create music from just about anywhere right from iPhone or iPad using touch and gestures.
It looks particularly interesting to me because rather than aimed at only professionals, those (like myself) who haven’t even created music before can also use them by starting off with one block and going from there.
To get started all you need is the Lightpad Block which acts as the starting point to your modular music studio. This block has a glowing touch-sensitive surface which enables touch and gestures to be applied enableling sounds to be created. The block wirelessly connects to either your iPhone or an iPad using MIDI over Bluetooth providing communication to an app called NOISE.
This NOISE app is what powers the system and brings a large number of features making this product really only limited by your imagination. This also means ROLI can add and expand features in the future with an app update. Right now there’s over 100 preset sounds, the ability to make loops and sounds, and lots more but if all of this is confusing to you there’s a learning mode which will teach you to make music with BLOCKS.
Being modular you can then purchase additional blocks such as the Live Block and Loop Block to gain even more control and features turning your BLOCKS into your ultimate music-making studio. Some well-known artists like Grimes have described BLOCKS as being “The most powerful mobile production tool I’ve ever used.”.
You can buy ROLI BLOCKS exclusively at Apple including Apple online Australia from A$279.95, Apple online New Zealand for NZ$309.95, and Apple online US for $179.95. There you can also learn more about blocks, plus get free shipping and returns.