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Remember Roli Blocks, the modular instruments? They just got more useful

Why it matters to you

Now that Dashboard allows you to connect Roli Blocks with music software, music production might be turning over a new leaf.

If composing is just musical architecture, then Roli is really onto something. The maker of modular instruments first introduced Roli Blocks last November, but this week, the company announced an update that might make them far more useful to musicians, particularly those in the production space. Meet the new Dashboard for Roli Blocks, an app available for both Mac and Windows that let Blocks function as controllers for software like Logic Pro X, Ableton, Cubase, Omnisphere, and Kontakt.

If you need a refresher, Roli Blocks and its lynchpin, the Lightpad Block, is like an instrument panel that works very much like an off-the-shelf MIDI controller. Simply assign a virtual sound or instrument to individual Blocks on the Lightpad, and you can start making a string of instruments or sounds that play as you tap.

“Blocks Dashboard will make the Lightpad Block a versatile controller for a range of OS X and Windows programs,” Roli says.

MoreRoli’s mesmerizing Blocks illuminate the way for budding musicians

The ability to control these tools via the LED touch-sensitive pad will certainly come in handy for producers, and thank to the Lightpad Block coupled with the Dashboard, you’ll be able to upload pre-programmed scripts and edit them, too. Moreover, Roli has unveiled a new Fader Mode for its Lightpad Block, which makes it easier than ever to control the block’s parameters via its new display mode.

What’s more, Roli has a new Fader Mode for the Lightpad Block. This new feature makes it even easier to control the parameters you assign to the gadget with a new display mode. While the Dashboard won’t be available until February 16, Roli has certainly given us something to look forward to. For now, Blocks are available both online and at Apple stores. Beginning February 16, however, you’ll also be able to pick up these blocks at music and electronics chains, like Guitar Center, B&H, and Sam Ash.