Women have been pioneering the use of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) in music production and performance, and ROLI instruments have been at the forefront of this movement with them. MPE allows for greater expression and nuance and many producers have been exploring its potential in their music.
Some notable artists using ROLI instruments and MPE include violinist and producer Laura Escudé, songwriter and hip hop record producer WondaGurl, musician and recording artist Suzi Analogue, Chiptune pioneer Nyokeë, songwriter and performer Little Boots and producer Neon Vines.
By incorporating ROLI instruments and MPE into their music, these women are not only pushing the boundaries of traditional music making but also paving the way for future generations of musicians.
Laura Escudé on breathing organic life into electronic music
Laura Escudé is a classically trained violinist who has worked with a diverse range of artists, including Kanye West and Jay-Z, and has performed at festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. She has also composed music for film and television, and her work has been featured in shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul." Escudé is an advocate for using technology to enhance live performance, and she has incorporated ROLI instruments into her setup to create unique and dynamic sounds.
WondaGurl on creating Distorted Bliss
WondaGurl, a Canadian electronic musician and producer, is another artist who has embraced MPE and ROLI instruments at an early stage. She started producing music at the age of 9 and has since worked with a variety of well-known artists, including Travis Scott, Jay Z, and Rihanna. WondaGurl first discovered ROLI instruments in 2016 and was immediately drawn to their potential for expression.
In an interview with ROLI, WondaGurl explained that MPE allows her to bring a more human touch to her music. She notes that traditional MIDI controllers can feel static and lifeless, while MPE allows her to create sounds that feel more alive and dynamic.
She decsribes her motivation for creating Distorted Bliss and how MPE inspired her to make something fresh. Distorted Bliss is available in the Urban Expression collection. Blending the sounds of 80s/90s New York and LA with a modern London vibe, this collection captures the essence of classic and contemporary hip hop and grime, blending deep bass with gritty strings and synth stabs.
Erin Barra shows us how she crafted a sci-fi sound for Dawn
Erin Barra is a musician, producer, and educator who has been exploring the potential of ROLI instruments and MPE in her work.
Barra sees MPE as a way to bring greater emotion and nuance to her music. She notes that traditional MIDI controllers can feel limiting and static, while MPE allows her to create sounds that are more dynamic and organic. In an interview with ROLI, Barra explained that MPE allows her to control multiple aspects of a sound simultaneously, which adds to the overall expressiveness of her music.
In addition to using ROLI instruments in her own work, Barra has also become an advocate for MPE and ROLI in the music education community. She has conducted workshops and training sessions for teachers and students to help them explore the potential of this technology.
See how Erin crafted a sci-fi sound for Dawn.
Nyokeë performs some of the presets she created for Chiptune Bubblegum
Kirsten Hermes, also known as Nyokeë, is a musician and producer who has been exploring the potential of MPE and ROLI instruments in her work. She first discovered ROLI instruments in 2016 and was immediately drawn to their expressive capabilities. She has since incorporated them into her recordings and live performances, creating a unique blend of chiptune and bubblegum pop.
In 2018, she created the Chiptune bubblegum soundpack for ROLI, which allows users to create their own chiptune-inspired music using MPE. The soundpack features a variety of vintage arcade and game console sounds, as well as classic pop elements like vocal chops and hand claps.
Portrait XO on adding organic layers with Seaboard
Portrait XO is a musician, producer, and Seaboard artist who has been at the forefront of the MPE movement in music. She first discovered the Seaboard in 2014 and was immediately drawn to its unique expressive capabilities. Since then, she has been exploring the potential of MPE in her music and has become known for her innovative and emotive performances.
Portrait XO sees MPE as a way to bring a greater sense of emotion and nuance to her music. In an interview with ROLI, Portrait XO explained that MPE allows her to "communicate something more truthful about [her] emotions" through her music.
Suzi Analogue shares her thoughst on music and human connection
Suzi Analogue describes her sound as moodboards for different moments. She is a musician, songwriter, and producer who has released several albums and EPs. Analogue sees MPE as a way to break down the barriers between traditional instruments and electronic music. She aspires to recreate emotions using MPE.
In an interview with ROLI, Analogue explained that MPE allows her to create sounds that are more fluid and organic, while still retaining the precision and control of electronic music. She also notes that using ROLI instruments has helped her connect with her emotions in a more direct way, allowing her to express herself more fully in her music.
Little Boots shares some advice for aspiring musicians
Little Boots, also known as Victoria Christina Hesketh, is a British musician, singer, and songwriter. She first gained prominence with her debut album, "Hands," which featured the hit single "Stuck on Repeat." She has worked on major projects such as composing the music for the British film "Journey's End" and performing at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Little Boots is known for her eclectic and innovative sound, blending elements of pop, disco, and electronic music.
In this video, musician Little Boots shares advice for aspiring musicians in today's rapidly changing music industry. She emphasizes the importance of adapting and evolving to stay relevant and successful, and being brave enough to take risks and try new things. She also discusses the challenge of staying inspired and disciplined as a freelance musician, and suggests techniques like creating reference playlists and setting limitations to help with the creative process. Little Boots encourages musicians to stay true to their identity and focus on producing high-quality music that gives them and their listeners a "high."
Neon Vines stuns with epic live loops
Neon Vines is an artist producer who is known for her innovative use of technology, captivating audiences with her mesmerizing live loop performances on Seaboard and LUMI Keys. With a unique style and mastery of her studio, Neon Vines has carved out a niche in the electronic music space that is all her own.
Neon Vines' use of ROLI instruments has been pivotal in shaping her career. Her performances have garnered critical acclaim, with many praising her unique style and innovative use of technology. In addition, Neon Vines has become a sought-after collaborator, working with a range of artists and brands across genres to bring her unique sound to new audiences.
Gnarly: Recording percussion and RISE 2 rhythms
Producer Gnarly is known for her lightning-fast finger-drumming — but she's also a highly talented Seaboard player too, and was one of the first to try the new RISE 2.
In this performance, she combines the Seaboard RISE 2 with Ableton Push 2 drums and a range of percussion instruments, from rainmakers to tambourines, to record a beat that's both laid-back and guaranteed make your head bop.
Little Monarch's blissful Lofi Hip-Hop performance
As a long-term Seaboard fan, indie-pop producer and multi-instrumentalist Little Monarch couldn’t wait to get her hands on the new Seaboard RISE 2. She shares her first impressions, explains why it feels like “producer ASMR”.
Casey was also the inspiration for the Lofi Hip Hop soundpack and created a blissful performance for the launch.
OBLVYN's soaring Seaboard RISE solo
OBLVYN's Seaboard RISE 49 solo may only be 34 seconds long, but it certainly leaves a big impression! Watch her show off her Seaboard skills over a hard-edged dubstep beat below:
Follow OBLVYN on Youtube, Facebook and hear her music on Spotify.
By celebrating and amplifying the work of these women, we can help to create a more inclusive and diverse music industry. The use of technology like MPE and ROLI instruments is not just about creating new sounds and pushing the boundaries of music, but also about empowering artists to express themselves in new and meaningful ways. These women are leading the charge in this movement, and their contributions are helping to shape the future of music production and performance.
You can watch more inspirational videos by performers like Misstiq, Gnarly, OBLVN and Little Monarch on our YouTube Instagram or Facebook channels.
Keen to try MPE for yourself?
Learn more about our 4D keyboard LUMI Keys here.
Discover the full 5D experience with RISE 2 here.