ROLI today releases Equator, a cutting-edge software synthesizer whose sounds and effects have infused the music created on ROLI’s award-winning instruments the Seaboard RISE and Seaboard GRAND. It is available for the first time as a standalone synthesizer for $179 (£149), and all owners of a Lightpad Block and Seaboard Block can now upgrade to Equator for $79.
Launched in 2015, Equator is the world’s first software synthesizer built for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). Each of its hundreds of sounds are richly textured. Pitch, timbre, and other sound parameters respond in real time to the most subtle variations of movement on a playing surface. When paired with an MPE-enabled controller like Seaboard Block, Equator is a pathway to music that is more expressive because of the variety of sounds and also because of on-the-fly modulations that are possible at every moment of music creation.
Equator Player, a version of Equator that includes much of the Equator sound library and select macros, is now bundled with every Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block in the ROLI BLOCKS system. Starting today, Equator Player owners can upgrade to the complete Equator synthesizer for $79 (£49). The upgrade will give them access to the most portable and powerful hardware-software configuration of MPE instruments ever made.
Built with a hybrid synthesis engine, Equator is packed with sounds, effects, and modulation functions that are arranged on a clean, friendly interface. Over 400 sounds range from melodious flutes to droning synths. Wavetable oscillators, multimode filters, frequency modulation, and sample playback are some of the features available for designing sounds and fine-tuning music projects. As the leading MPE-enabled synthesizer, Equator allows individual modulation of Strike, Press, Glide, Slide, and Lift — movements that can be assigned to any musical parameter.
Equator is available as a standalone application and a VST/AU plugin. While optimized for polyphonic expressive instruments such as Seaboards, it works with a range of hardware and software instruments. Its sounds remain precise when controlled by MIDI controllers with minimal or no MPE compatibility.
ROLI’s suite of software tools has expanded since Equator launched in 2015 as the bundled sound engine and synthesizer for Seaboard instruments. Based on the Equator sound engine, NOISE is a fun and high-powered music-making app for iOS and Android devices. Like its next-generation instruments, ROLI’s array of music software points to a future of more expressive music creation.