Meet the Seaboard Grand, a fretless piano that uses a futuristic continuous touch or “keywaves” that allows musicians to select infinite numbers of pitches and manipulate them in a large number of waves.
Expensive, but dreamy
The Grand uses a pressure sensitive, soft-touch interface that is played like a piano but because of its ability to bend, vibrate and modulate pitches, it goes well with its infinite available pitches. All you need to do is move your finger in different directions of the key, for example if you move your finger left of a key, it bends it downwards. To the right? It rises. The Seaboard also has the ability to sound like other instruments.
Roland Lamb, the creator of the Grand said: “Sound on a piano is very pixelated, in separate discrete elements, and if you tie all those together it can feel continuous. But other instruments, like a violin, are high resolution, because the sound is continuous and changing.”
The Seaboard comprises of what is called the Sea Interface at its core. A number of 40 engineers teamed up in the company to design and construct this platform which is difficult because the sensors lay on an undulating surface.
With all the hard work and brains put into this piece of instrument, it will not definitely be cheap with the 37-keywave Seaboard Grand Studio at US$2000, 61-keywave Grand Stage is US$3000 and a brand new 88-Keywave Grand Limited First Edition will set you back at a wallet-destroying US$8,888.
Despite its hefty price-tag, many famous musicians swear by it stating that the Grand will unleash a musician’s creativity in many ways. Even Hans Zimmer, legendary Hollywood composer stated that “It behaves much more the way you imagine as a human being you would want to interact with your notes.” In the meantime, us amateur hobby musicians can dream on or stick to the cheaper, more portable ukuleles.