BLOCKS Dashboard is now available to all BLOCKS creators as an open beta. This means that you can try out some of the new features while our team work to finish the software, by improving the function and reliability. Click here to see BLOCKS Dashboard beta’s minimum system requirements and click here to learn how to download BLOCKS Dashboard beta.

ROLI is proud to engage with the BLOCKS community to develop new features that will make the application even more powerful and integral to a variety of workflows. You can let us know about your experience of BLOCKS Dashboard beta here.

Connect your BLOCKS

Connect your first Block via Bluetooth or USB. Subsequent Blocks can be connected by DNA – simply snap them to the first Block to magnetically connect.


Your BLOCKS must be updated to the latest firmware before it can be used with BLOCKS Dashboard beta.

Make sure you have updated each of your Blocks individually via the NOISE app or BLOCKS Dashboard, following the instructions here.


BLOCKS Visualiser

BLOCKS Visualiser represents your BLOCKS setup.

BLOCKS Dashboard Visualiser

  • Interact with your Block to see the visualiser respond
  • Click a Block on the screen to select it (outline is blue)

Creating or Loading Programs

Select a Block by clicking on it in the BLOCKS Visualiser.

You can change the behaviour of this Block in two ways; CREATE PROGRAM or BROWSE.

  • CREATE PROGRAM to write specific functionality for your Block by using Littlefoot.
  • BROWSE to load pre-existing factory programs for your Block.

BLOCKS Dashboard create or load a program

Browse

To get started, click on BROWSE. Each factory program induces different fundamental behaviour from the Block, and allows you to edit Global settings as well as program-specific settings.

Global

The Global section determines how a Block sends MIDI by selecting a MIDI Mode and on what channels MIDI should be sent.

MIDI Mode

This section can be used to optimise the Block for mono or multi-timbral or MPE compatible third-party software.

Legacy Mode

In Legacy Mode, the Block transmits data over multiple channels of MIDI. This setting makes it compatible with non-MPE Multi-timbral synths.

MPE

MPE Mode optimises the Block with any other hardware or software that supports MPE. When MPE mode is selected,  the global channel is always one channel lower than the range set.

Single Channel Mode

In Single Channel Mode the Block transmits all MIDI data on a single MIDI channel only. This makes it compatible with mono-timbral synths. Pitch bend, channel pressure, or Slide (MIDI CC 74) messages will apply to all notes equally.

Note Channel

‘Note channel first’ and ‘Note channel last’ determines the number of channels that will send the MIDI data for the notes you are playing. This range determines the expressive polyphony of your Block.

Lightpad Block with BLOCKS Dashboard beta

Go to ‘Browse’ → Factory→ Lightpad to load the factory programs on your Lightpad Block.

The Lightpad Block makes the most of what the BLOCKS Dashboard beta has to offer and it is possible to program this Block to do a lot of exciting things – from changing how it sends MIDI to playing a game on it!

Melodic Block Mode

This program sets your Lightpad Block on a 5×5 grid of notes with the ability to edit:

  1. Global: Lightpad Block’s Gradient Colour, & MIDI Mode settings
  2. Scale & Key:  The bottom-left note of the Lightpad Block, what octave it begins at and what scale the 5×5 grid displays.
  3. Performance Controls: The maximum Pitch Bend range of the notes, pitch correction and the response and MIDI message sent by the Slide dimension.

Drum Block Mode

This factory program lets you set your Lightpad Block as Drum Grid with the ability to edit:

  1. The Drum Grid’s MIDI Mode settings and what the note bottom-leftmost grid should send
  2. The size of the Grid (1×1 to 4×4)
  3. The minimum value of Strike
  4. The response and MIDI message sent by the Slide dimension
  5. The Colour of each pad on the grid

Fader Block Mode

This factory program lets you set your Lightpad Block to have 4 banks of 4 MIDI CC faders. You can change the banks by pressing the Mode button on the Lightpad Block. You can edit:

  1.  What MIDI channel the faders send messages on
  2. What MIDI CC message each fader sends

Mixer Block Mode

This factory program lets you set your Lightpad Block to have 4 fader annd 4 buttons each sending different MIDI CC messages. You can edit:

  1. What MIDI channel the faders and buttons send messages on
  2. The colour of faders and buttons
  3. The behaviour of faders and buttons – Toggle, Gate or Trigger
  4. What MIDI CC message each fader sends

XYZ Pad Mode

This factory program turns your Lightpad Block into an XYZ Pad sending MIDI CC messages.

  1. MIDI CC messages sent by X, Y and Z dimension
  2. What MIDI channel the CC messages are sent on
  3. The colour of the Lightpad Block

Have comments? Want to request a feature for the final release of BLOCKS Dashboard?

We want to know what you think! Tell us about your experience of the BLOCKS Dashboard beta, and what you’d like to see in the full release here.