Lightpad_Block_Lightpad_Block_M-comparison

Specification  Lightpad M Lightpad Block
Dimensions 21.8 mm x 94 mm x 94 mm 20.3 mm x 94 mm x 94 mm
Surface consistency Semi-soft, smooth, textured with undulating microkeywaves Semi-rigid, smooth, and flat
Silicone layer depth 5.85 mm 4.35 mm
DNA connectors 8 8
Battery life 4 hours 4 hours
Software bundle Ableton Live Lite, Equator Player, Strobe2 Player, 11 NOISE soundpacks, BLOCKS Dashboard, Max MSP (three-month license) Ableton Live Lite, Equator Player, Strobe2 Player, 10 NOISE soundpacks, BLOCKS Dashboard, Max MSP (three-month license)
Compatible Snapcases 3/4, 3/6, 3/8 Solo, Duo, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8
Price $199.95/£189.95/€219.95 $179.95/£169.95/€199.95

The Lightpad Block M is the next generation model of the Lightpad Block. Both models have the same capabilities and software offerings. The key difference is that Lightpad Block M has a brighter, deeper and more sensitive surface featuring 225 microkeywaves, allowing you to play with added precision and expression.

Advancements of the Lightpad M include:

  • Microkeywaves. Inspired by the wave-like undulation of keywaves on the surface of ROLI’s Seaboard instruments, the microkeywaves of the Lightpad M provide additional tactile feedback on an already sensitive surface. They mark a major revision from the flat surface of the original Lightpad Block.
  • A redesigned silicone surface layer. A deeper, softer silicone layer — topped with 225 microkeywaves — enhances the pressure-responsive control of sound that defines the Lightpad Block.
  • Brighter surface illumination. The Lightpad M is 50% brighter than the original Lightpad Block. It features a higher contrast display and a much richer range of color definition.

Both the Lightpad Block and Lightpad M can be used with our free mobile app NOISE, bundled software including Equator Player and Strobe2 Player, and many other mobile and desktop apps and hardware synthesizers.

Both the Lightpad Block and Lightpad Block M come bundled with the same software, including Ableton Live Lite, Equator Player, Strobe2 Player, BLOCKS Dashboard and a three-month Max MSP license. Both Lightpad Blocks also come with ten free NOISE soundpacks — the only difference is that Lightpad Block M owners will get an eleventh free soundpack, Bass Quartet, showcasing the new acoustic sound capabilities of NOISE 3.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a Lightpad Block M?

The Lightpad Block M is the next generation model of the Lightpad Block. Both models have the same fundamental features and benefits. They are almost the same size and both of them are expressive, portable, and versatile. The key difference is that the Lightpad M has a thicker, deeper surface. The top of the surface is recontoured with undulating “microkeywaves.” Touch-responsiveness is enhanced on this redesigned surface, allowing for a more tactile and precise playing experience. The Lightpad M surface is also 50% brighter than the original Block and has a higher-contrast display, so it’s easier to move between notes and sounds on the illuminated surface.

Which Lightpad should I buy?

Both models share the same attributes, features and benefits. Lightpad M is the very newest, most advanced version of the Lightpad Block that provides the most precise and responsive playing experience. It is an enhancement of the original Lightpad Block, and the Lightpad M also comes with slightly more sounds and software of the two models: notably it includes the Bass Quartet NOISE soundpack from Audio Modeling. Lightpad M is the most premium Lightpad Block and comes at a premium price of $199.95 (£189.95/€219.95). At $179.95 (£169.95/€199.95) the original Lightpad Block is the most affordable entry point into the BLOCKS system.

I own a Lightpad Block. Can I exchange it for a Lightpad M or get a discount? 

We are not offering a discount or exchange for those who already have the original Lightpad Block. If you already have a Lightpad Block and are considering the Lightpad M, it is important to note that you can play both together. They connect to create a continuous playable surface, although the feel of the surfaces are somewhat different. Note: instruments purchased from ROLI.com have a 30-day return policy, so if you’ve purchased a Lightpad Block and wish to return it, you may do so within this period and separately purchase a Lightpad Block M.

If the Lightpad M is more sensitive, why is the first-generation Lightpad Block still available?

The original Lightpad Block is still a highly expressive and powerful music making device. It remains available to purchase for those who want to get their hands on this super sonic surface at an entry-level price.

Can I use drumsticks on either Lightpad Block model?

Both models of the Lightpad Block have been designed to be played by human hands, not with drumsticks or other devices. But the Lightpad Block is great for finger drumming!

Do they come with the same software?

Yes, the Lightpad Block and Lightpad Block M come bundled with Ableton Live Lite, Equator Player, Strobe2 Player, BLOCKS Dashboard and a three-month Max MSP license. Both Lightpad Blocks also come with ten free NOISE soundpacks — the only difference is that Lightpad Block M owners will get an eleventh free soundpack, Bass Quartet, showcasing the new acoustic sound capabilities of NOISE 3.

Can I use them together?

Yes, you can connect your Lightpad Block and Lightpad Block M together via BLOCKS DNA — and use them together with NOISE, BLOCKS Dashboard and desktop music production software.

Are they the same size?

Due to the deeper surface of the Lightpad Block M, it is slightly taller at 21.8mm, in comparison to the 20.3mm height of the Lightpad Block. They are exactly the same depth and width (94 by 94mm).

Which Snapcase can I use?

The Snapcase Solo and Snapcase Duo are designed for the first-generation Lightpad Block. The Lightpad Block M’s deeper surface means that the Snapcase Solo and Duo only fit it very snugly, so we recommend using one of three new Snapcases that fit both the Lightpad Block and Lightpad Block M:

  • Snapcase 3/4
    • 2 Lightpad Blocks + 2 Control Blocks
  • Snapcase 3/6
    • Seaboard Block
    • 3 Lightpad Blocks + 3 Control Blocks
  • Snapcase 3/8
    • Seaboard Block + Lightpad Block +Control Block

Snapcases-3-4-3-6-3-8

From left to right: Snapcase 3/4, 3/6 and 3/8

Why are the Lightpad Block and Lightpad M priced differently?

The Lightpad Block M is the next generation model of the Lightpad Block. Featuring a more sensitive and tactile playing surface, it is the premium version of our palm-sized music-making device, which is reflected in the price.

What does the M stand for?

The Lightpad M refers to microkeywaves, the 225 small undulating contours that give the Lightpad M its enhanced tactile feel.

When will you stop selling the first-generation Lightpad Block?

ROLI will continue to sell the first-generation Lightpad Block for the foreseeable future.