Equator icon

Equator is a powerful software synthesizer that unlocks the full potential of the Seaboard’s expressive capabilities. After installing the software bundle, Equator will be installed on your computer as a VST/AU plug-in, and a standalone application, which you can open from your Applications/Programs folder.

The first time you start Equator, you’ll need to sign in with your My ROLI login details. This is the username and password that you created when registering on My ROLIIf you haven’t already, you should register your hardware.

Once you have signed in, try playing a few notes on your Seaboard or MIDI controller. If you hear sounds, you are ready to begin! If you don’t hear anything, open Equator’s menu (☰) from the top right, and check that you have selected the correct output in the Audio Settings, and the correct input in the MIDI Settings.

Check Equators Settings

You’ll also want to make sure that ROLI Dashboard’s MIDI Settings agree with Equator’s MIDI Settings. Load ROLI Dashboard.ROLI Dashboard – Falcon SettingsWe have selected:

  • Channel Mode: Multi-Channel
  • MPE: On
  • A Channel Range of 2–16

Pitch bend range: 48 semitones

What about Glide & Slide tracking, and Press tracking? Those settings aren’t important for setting up the Seaboard with Equator.

Now, in Equator, click on the menu icon and then MIDI Settings…, and ensure that MPE Mode is On, Channels are from 2 to 16, and the Pitch Bend ranges are set to 48.

Downloading additional sounds

Click the preset name to access the Preset Browser. Here you may browse for sounds by device, instrument, source, articulation, or timbre, or you may enter a search term in the search bar.

To download additional sounds from the Preset Browser:

  • Set “Location” to “Online.”
  • Make sure that the “Playlists” button in the upper right corner is selected.
  • In the “Playlists” column, click the cloud (download) icon next to the playlists of your choosing.
  • Once the playlists have finished downloading, set “Location” back to “Local” so that you can now play these sounds.

Some sound navigation tips

  • Equator has many preset sounds already installed. Select the “<” or “>” preset switch buttons to hear what Equator can do.
  • Click and drag the synth parameters to edit the sound you hear.
  • Highlight a Modulation Source (such as Press) in the Equator Modulation Panel, then click and drag in the arc around any synth parameter to set the modulation amount.

Making Sounds: The Synth Panel

The top half of Equator is the Synth panel. This is where you can set your sample playback modules, Oscillators, Filters, FX and other synth parameters.

  • Click and drag from the centre of a parameter to adjust the base value.
  • Click a panel’s empty space to enable/disable it.

Equator synth panel demonstration 01

The FX module on the right has several different effects which can be activated simultaneously.

  • Click the tabs to see each effect’s parameters
  • Click and drag to from the centre of the dials to adjust the parameters.
  • Click the power button on each tab to enable/disable that effect.

Equator synth panel demonstration 02

Modulating Sounds: The Modulation Panel

All of the parameters on the Synth Panel above can be modulated by the sources below them, in the Modulation Panel.

Here are some quick tips, and a more detailed guide is available here.

  • If a Modulation Source is not assigned to any parameters, its panel will be greyed out.
  • Click a Modulation Source’s empty space to highlight it.
  • Click and drag in the arc around a synth parameter to assign the level of modulation – the parameter’s dial will visually display its value according to the modulation being applied.
  • Click and drag in the centre of the synth parameter to adjust the base value.

Equator Modulation Panel demo 01

For More on Making Sounds

For more on making your own sounds in Equator, check out these guides: