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FAQs / Lightpad Block

System Requirements

Does BLOCKS work with other hardware?

BLOCKS – including NOISE, the Lightpad Block, the Live Block, the Loop Block, and NOISE.fm – is a complete mobile and modular music studio. NOISE and the Lightpad Block communicate using multidimensional polyphonic expression (MPE). This means that NOISE can be used with controllers sending MPE data, such as the Seaboard, while the Lightpad Block can control hardware synthesisers that support MPE.

What kind of device do I need to use NOISE and BLOCKS?

NOISE, the musical heart of BLOCKS, is designed for iOS devices running iOS 9.0 or higher. NOISE can take advantage of Apple’s 3D Touch capabilities on the iPhone 6s or higher and the iPad Pro. 3D Touch capabilities are not required as the Lightpad Block offers 5D Touch. The following iOS devices have been tested and are supported:

  • iPhone 6 or higher
  • iPhone SE
  • iPad Mini 4 or higher
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Pro (9.7 and 12.9 inches)
  • iPod Touch 6th Generation
What about Android?

While NOISE is currently available only for iOS devices, NOISE is made with JUCE, which is a cross-platform framework, and our goal is to make NOISE as accessible as possible on all platforms as soon as we can.

At the moment, Android devices from many different manufacturers vary with regard to such things as display drivers, screen size, and aspect ratio. More significantly, Android 7 (“Nougat”) – while suitable for high-quality audio apps – currently operates on only a small percentage of Android devices, so Android-compatible versions of our apps would run on only a very limited number of devices.

We hope to see more devices supporting high-quality audio, and we look forward to making NOISE even more accessible very soon.

Sign up for our mailing list for the latest updates and news from ROLI going forward, and we’ll keep you posted on all our product news.

Features

How should I use the BLOCKS system together?

You will need to have the Lightpad Block, which is the center of the BLOCKS system. The Live Block or Loop Block will connect to the Lightpad Block. Then you may connect the Blocks to NOISE.

Is there any latency?

When connected via Bluetooth, the Lightpad Block’s latency is 30 ms from touch to sound. When connected via USB latency is 10 ms.

General Information

What is BLOCKS?

BLOCKS is the most accessible and versatile music creation system ever made. It is a modular music studio that is powerful and intuitive, offering unique capabilities that let people make music. The Blocks connect together to create customizable kits that suit any budget, skill level and musical style. Each Block has specific capabilities and connects together physically through BLOCKS DNA connectors and wirelessly through Bluetooth.

Click here for more details.

What is the Lightpad Block?

At the center of the BLOCKS system, the Lightpad Block is an incredibly powerful and versatile musical surface. Paired with the free NOISE modular music app, the Lightpad Block is totally approachable, so you can learn to make music whether you play an instrument or not.

The Lightpad Block features a 15×15 LED matrix, Bluetooth connectivity, a rechargeable 
battery and multiple playing layouts. The Lightpad Block builds sequencing, looping, finger drumming and expressive control
 into a single intuitive device.

Click here for more details.

Where can I buy BLOCKS?

The Lightpad Block, Live Block, and Loop Block are exclusively available at ROLI.com, Apple.com, and at every Apple store worldwide.

When will I be able to try BLOCKS in my country?

BLOCKS will be made available in more locations around the world over the holiday season. Check back on ROLI.COM, sign up for the ROLI newsletter, and try NOISE, the free modular music app that lets you create music in minutes.

How should I use the BLOCKS system together?

You will need to have the Lightpad Block, which is the center of the BLOCKS system. The Live Block or Loop Block will connect to the Lightpad Block. Then you may connect the Blocks to NOISE.

Does BLOCKS work with other hardware?

BLOCKS – including NOISE, the Lightpad Block, the Live Block, the Loop Block, and NOISE.fm – is a complete mobile and modular music studio. NOISE and the Lightpad Block communicate using multidimensional polyphonic expression (MPE). This means that NOISE can be used with controllers sending MPE data, such as the Seaboard, while the Lightpad Block can control hardware synthesisers that support MPE.

So Is It a MIDI Controller?

BLOCKS, including the Lightpad Block, is designed for NOISE. However, you may also use the Lightpad Block with desktop applications, including Equator, GarageBand, Logic, Max, and more – any application that supports multidimensional polyphonic expression (MPE).

The Lightpad Block sends its 5 dimensions of touch using five standard MPE messages:

  • Strike sends note-on messages in addition to velocity 0–127.
  • Press sends channel pressure (aftertouch).
  • Glide sends pitch bend.
  • Slide sends MIDI CC 74.
  • Lift sends note-off and release velocity 0–127.

Click here for more information.

Can I Change the Arrangement of the Pads?

When using a Lightpad Block with NOISE, the arrangement of the pads is integrated with NOISE’s current view:

  • When NOISE is displaying Song View the Lightpad Block shows four clips and four tracks of the Song.
  • When NOISE is displaying Instrument View, the Lightpad Block’s view is dependent on the currently selected preset and for Solo Instruments the currently selected Scale settings.

In NOISE’s Instrument View, when using a Solo Instrument you may click on “Scale” to change which pads are displayed. The displayed pads represent the pitches in the selected scale. To hide notes outside of the scale, turn “Hide notes” to On.

When using two Lightpad Blocks with NOISE, one Lightpad Block will display NOISE’s Song View and one will show Instrument View.

When using Lightpad Blocks with other applications you may change the display mode by pressing the Lightpad’s Mode button. In Cycling ’74’s Max you may also use the Max BLOCKS Package to display user interface elements on the Lightpad.

Getting Started

How should I use the BLOCKS system together?

You will need to have the Lightpad Block, which is the center of the BLOCKS system. The Live Block or Loop Block will connect to the Lightpad Block. Then you may connect the Blocks to NOISE.

Which Block Should I Get First?

The Lightpad Block, an incredibly powerful and versatile musical surface, is the center of the BLOCKS system and is required to use the Live and Loop Blocks.

The Live Block makes it easier to perform. The controls let you switch scales and octaves, play chords and arpeggios, and sustain notes in real time.

The Loop Block makes it easier to layer sounds into a song. The controls helps you set your tempo, record loops, and quantize your loops so they snap in time with the tempo.

Click here for more details.

Can you plug headphones into it?

To use headphones with BLOCKS, simply connect your Blocks to NOISE, the free modular music app, and connect headphones to your iOS device.

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