Roli LUMI Keys Studio Edition adds per-note pitch bend for more expressivity

A new package aimed at pros takes full advantage of MPE.

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ROLI LUMI Keys Studio

With the launch of Roli’s LUMI Keys Studio Edition, the colourfully-lit mobile keyboard dives headfirst into the world of MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) – and with a price tag scraping $300, it’s also one of the most affordable introductions to the technology.

The controller gives you four dimensions of control over your MPE-enabled software instruments. The newest and most significant is Glide, which allows per-note pitch bend with left/right movements on each key. By bringing this to a traditional style of keyboard controller, rather than a Seaboard, it makes the MPE technology more accessible and relatable. The Press dimension affords polyphonic aftertouch, while Strike and Lift relate to attack and release velocities, respectively.

The MPE-capable hardware has keys that are 7/8ths the width of a traditional keyboard, and if two octaves aren’t enough, you can also expand the controller with a second or third unit. LUMI Keys also shares the same underlying technology as the BLOCKS series of controllers, so it connects to these via Bluetooth or physically with magnetic ‘DNA connectors’.

Aside from the new per-note pitch bend function, the LUMI Keys Studio Edition comes with a suite of software that’s distinct from its piano-teaching counterpart, the LUMI Keys 1.

Roli Dashboard gives you control over colour modes, sensitivity curves and even lets you decide which scales are highlighted, or help you avoid wrong notes when jamming.

Roli Studio software provides access to a music production suite and library of sounds based on the sound engines from Equator, Cypher 2 and Strobe 2 instruments. It also has a three-layer arpeggiator, Smart Chords function and built-in effects.

Watch a demonstration of LUMI Keys Studio Edition with artist Parisi below:

Roli is marking the launch of LUMI Keys Studio Edition with a limited-edition bundle priced at $269 (usually $299). The bundle includes Roli Studio, a LUMI Snapcase, three additional Roli soundpacks and a $50 voucher for any Roli software.

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