Start a new topic

Please explain like I'm 5: Roli Blocks Studio Editions?

I've seen the video and read the blog post:

Yet.. I have no idea what `Blocks Studio Editions` is referring to.

Is it updated hardware? A new production run with better quality? More consistency in pressure sensitivity etc.?

Or is it "just a label" for the better software integration? Or is it another ROLI app? 

Dashboard, Equator, Roli studio Player (beta), now they talk about Roli Studio? What's the difference to the Studio PLAYER? Dashbaord apparently can only operate when all other Roli software is closed, .. okay?

Please shed some light into all of this, thanks!

Best Answer

Hey there,

The BLOCKS Studio Edition hardware models are the same as the current ones, but as a result of considerable firmware development since the original BLOCKS launch, they now offer more accurate finger tracking, and as a result better MPE, in addition to improved multi-block connectivity.

The ROLI Studio desktop software is more powerful, extensive, and deeply integrated than anything we've ever paired with BLOCKS. So we've reoriented BLOCKS around ROLI Studio. ROLI Studio is about to come out of a 6-month beta testing period, and we’re launching Studio Editions to coincide with the desktop software release. While you may have had access to RSP Beta for a little while, Studio Edition's will launch with ROLI Studio Drums, which offers MPE drums on desktop for the first time, and features a built-in groove generator. 

In addition to getting the latest Blocks and ROLI Studio software, buyers of the new editions get a full license to the Strobe2 synth. 

If you’re already a BLOCKS owner, you can access ROLI Studio for free. You can download the full software via ROLI Connect when it comes out of beta on October 31. 

Hope that clears things up,


So did I get it right, even if I buy a Seaboard Block or Lightpad Block which were produced in 2017, I would still buying the same HW and I would update their firmware to match the firmware of the Studio Edition Blocks and the only difference would be eligibility for SW?

I asked about this info through tech support and was told hardware/firmware is the same, and for software:

"There are no hardware differences between the two Lightpad's, only in the software entitlement. The Lightpad SE comes with the full version of Strobe2 and a 6-month Max MSP License. The Lightpad M comes with the player version of Strobe2, a 3-month Max MSP License, a 3-months Melodics License as well as Tracktion Waveform 8. Both Lightpad's come with Equator and Cypher2 Player, Abelton Lite Live and access to Connect, Studio Player and Studio Drums."

What's the difference then between the GarageBand Edition and the Studio Edition, apart from the fact one has  LOOP and the other a LIVE Block?

Marcus said above "In addition to getting the latest Blocks and ROLI Studio software, buyers of the new editions get a full license to the Strobe2 synth."

Previous/non-Studio Editions only include a license for Strobe2 Player, not the full software.  The upgrade is an additional $79.

As someone who owns Blocks and recently took advantage of the Apple Store sale (Lightpad Blocks for $100), I can confirm that I updated those older blocks to the latest firmware and they work with same way as the other  ones I’ve purchased.

So, if I were to buy a new Lightpad block M now, I would have the same hardware, firmware, and software as the studio edition and wouldn’t miss out on anything? I see a few of the older one for sale still at a lower price. Sorry to beat a dead horse. This would be my first ROLI product and wanted to check before spending the money. Thanks.

I hate to extend this conversation, but here I go regardless....

A local store has some of the Lightpad M units (pre-Studio Edition) that are priced to sell.  This thread makes it sound like If I owned that, I would be able to download the same studio software once I register the Lightpad as I would have if I purchase the Studio version.  Is that true if I buy and register that non-studio M version now - or is that a "thank you" to people that have owned/registered them BEFORE the studio versions?

I'm very interested in the Lightpad studio 'system', but as with most musicians would like to stretch my $ wherever possible.  I am assuming that the non-studio versions are hard to find and thought of as an older version,  thus some places are discounting them to empty out the stock or something...


I’m considering getting the songmaker kit, and after reading this thread I have just two questions, how will I benefit from getting the studio edition and not the regular one? 2 is; can I tell them apart from packaging or branding on the hardware?

Its way past october... december now... and the 3/6 snapcase is still not available, so I can't carry my seaboard anywhere without worrying about damaging it.

I dont want the offbrand cases you're offering above, I just want to know for real when I can expect to be able to get a 3/6 snapcase

Hi Corissa,

This refers to improvements made in each iteration of the firmware that offer much-improved performance from the hardware in comparison to when the units originally released.

To try and make this absolutely clear to everyone - The Studio Editions are a new package, with the Live Block replacing the Loop in the Studio Edition Songmaker Kit, and a revised software offering. There is no hardware difference between any of the BLOCKS that come with the Studio Edition products in comparison to the previous range.

All BLOCKS owners can update to the most recent version of BLOCKS firmware, and BLOCKS firmware will continue to be developed and improved. 



2 people like this

Thanks Marcus. And the firmware/software on the Lightpad Block M will be the same as the Studio Edition? Or at least the M can be updated to match the firmware shipped with the Studio Edition?

On Synthtopia they write: "Beyond the software upgrades now available in ROLI Studio, ROLI has also improved the Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block M. Enhancements including better finger tracking, MPE expression outputs, multi-Block connectivity, and Bluetooth support culminate in Studio Editions that developers tout as the most playable Blocks yet."  That sounds like hardware changes to me?  Can you please clarify?

Hi Armen,

That's correct, the hardware is exactly the same.



So am I correct in understanding that if I buy a Lightpad Block M right now,  I am getting the same exact hardware and firmware and as a Lightpad Block Studio Edition, and it will respond the same and feel the same and there will be no difference?

Hi René,

No problem. The BLOCKS Studio Edition hardware models are the same as the current ones, so there wouldn't be any difference in the hardware. 

1a) - The BLOCKS SE editions will launch on October 31st.

1b) - The name will reflect whatever package you bought. So if the product is called BLOCKS Studio Edition, it will be the Studio Edition etc. All retailers will be required to clearly state what product they are selling. If you don't see any mention of 'Studio Edition' then the listing will refer to the currently existing product packages and not the Studio Edition.

1c) - Again, the hardware is the same so existing BLOCKS owners have already benefitted from much improved firmware in comparison to when BLOCKS originally launched 3 years ago, and these improvements are what is referred to in the marketing material for the Studio Editions. Current BLOCKS owners will continue to get firmware updates and improvements.

1d) - The Seaboard RISE is fully compatible with ROLI Studio, Cypher2, Equator etc. just as BLOCKS are. The RISE also receives firmware updates periodically.

2a) - The mentionable additions to the ROLI Studio Player that you have been using previously would be the addition of ROLI Studio Drums, which is an entirely new piece of 5D drum software with the features I mentioned previously, as well as the addition of new sounds to RSP

2b) - ROLI Studio is the name of the suite, and includes ROLI Studio Player and ROLI Studio Drums. ROLI Studio Player is for 5D melodic content, and ROLI Studio Drums is focused solely on 5D drums and percussion. They will be available as separate plugins.

Hope that clears things up for you!


Login to post a comment