Roli, the makers of the Seaboard Grand audio board, have today announced the close of their second acquisition, with betaworks-backed Blend.io coming on board. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Roli is an audio company, helmed by founder Roland Lamb, that wants to change the way music is created.
“I often think about the last thirty years of photography, and the way that technology has democratized that medium and opened up access to everyone,” said Lamb. “Music creation hasn’t seen that same transformation, and that’s what Roli seeks to change.
The Seaboard Grand is a device, selling for $2,000, that reimagines the piano with all the same depth of expression as string instruments or even the voice. In short, it brings the same expressiveness found in traditional instruments (strings, brass, etc.) and translates it over to an electronic world.
Roli introduced the Seaboard Grand a couple of years ago to audiophiles, and has since spent time building out back-end services.
“There are very few music tech companies that offer amazing hardware, software, and social,” said Lamb. “It’s very difficult to do that, but that’s our plan.”
In November of last year, Roli acquired Juce, a C++ framework company that is used by leading audio companies, such as Korg, Pioneer, Arturia, Akai Professional, and M-Audio. With today’s acquisition of Blend.io, the company can begin to work on its collaborative offerings as well as user distribution of their work.
Blend.io, launched in the same betaworks batch as Dots and Giphy, lets users collaborate as they make music without ever having to abandon the software they already use. Blend debuted with Ableton, and now supports 13 of the most popular music creation software platforms.
The acquisition clearly gives Roli the opportunity to build out the software side even more, but with hardware that costs upwards of $2,000, music creation democratization requires more affordable entry-level products.
Which is why Roli has just introduced the Seaboard Rise,
Just like the Seaboard Grand, the Rise has the same pressure-sensitive keyboard style, performs wirelessly through battery and offers Bluetooth connectivity to other devices. But the Rise is hitting retail at the low price of $800.
To learn more about Roli, hit up the website here.