Strobe2 (version 2.3.0.25 and later) offers full MPE support and includes a set of 5D-optimised patches which are instantly compatible with BLOCKS.

In this article, we’ll go through the steps to use Strobe2 with the Lightpad Block or Seaboard Block. We’ll explore using the Lightpad and Seaboard Blocks as playing surfaces and we’ll also look at using the Lightpad Block as a parameter controller.


This guide refers to BLOCKS Dashboard beta, which is available as an open beta to all BLOCKS creators. To learn more about BLOCKS Dashboard beta, including how to download it, click here.


As a playing surface

First, you’ll want to launch BLOCKS Dashboard and connect your Lightpad or Seaboard Block. By scrolling through the “Programs” list and selecting a program, you can fully customize how your Block behaves, and you can also modify a Lightpad Block’s LED display.

Lightpad Block

If you’re using a Lightpad Block, select “Lightpad Block Factory Program.” Make sure the following “MIDI Settings” are selected:

  • MIDI Start Channel: 2
  • MIDI End Channel: 16
  • Use MPE: On
  • Pitch Bend Range: 48

If you’d like you may use the “Pitch,” “Play mode,” and “5D Touch” options to control the number of pads your Lightpad Block displays, what key and scale it’s in, and the responsiveness of the five dimensions of touch.

To use a 5×5 grid of notes, for example, go to “Play mode,” and set “Mode” to 5. (You can also scroll through modes via the Lightpad Block’s mode button, and you can adjust the dimensions of touch with an attached Touch Block.)

Seaboard Block

If you’re using a Seaboard Block, select “Seaboard Block Factory Program.” Make sure the following “MIDI Settings” are selected:

  • MIDI Start Channel: 2
  • MIDI End Channel: 16
  • Use MPE: On
  • Pitch Bend Range: 48

If you’d like you may use the “Pitch,” “Play mode,” and “5D Touch” options to transpose or change the Seaboard Block’s range and control the responsiveness of the five dimensions of touch. (You can also adjust the dimensions of touch with an attached Touch Block.)

For more information about loading programs and the capabilities of BLOCKS Dashboard, check out our article, “Using BLOCKS Dashboard beta.”

Open Strobe2

Once you’ve done this, simply open up Strobe2 and select your Lightpad Block or Seaboard Block as a MIDI Input in your Audio and MIDI Settings menu (see below). Next, select “ROLI” under the “Artist” drop-down menu – this will open up Strobe2’s bank of 5D presets.
STROBE2 BD BETA FINAL

Select the 5D preset of your choice – now you’ll be able to play your Lightpad or Seaboard Block with complete 5D expression inside of Strobe2!

Using the Lightpad Block as a parameter controller

We can also use modes inside of BLOCKS Dashboard to control Strobe2’s synth parameters. In this example, we will be using the Fader Block mode to modulate the Voltage Controlled Filter cutoff with a Lightpad Block.

First, with your Lightpad Block connected and selected within BLOCKS Dashboard, select “Fader Block” under “Programs.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 3.48.49 PM

Fader Block creates 4 groups of 4 faders on your LED display. You can scroll through these groups by pressing the Mode button on the side of your Lightpad Block.

Next, open Strobe2 and select the “CC LRN” button at the bottom of the window. This will turn Strobe2’s controls green, after which you can select your desired parameter. In this case, we will select the knob labeled “Cutoff” inside the V.C.F. (Voltage Controlled Filter) window.

STROBE2 FILTER CUTOFF #1

Now, adjust one of the faders on your Lightpad Block. This will cause the selected control (in this case, Voltage Controlled Filter cutoff) to “learn” this fader signal (see below). You can now adjust your V.C.F. using this fader. This same process can be used to create any custom parameter mapping you want.

VCF fader cutoff gif strobe2

When you adjust a fader, you will see the selected parameter turn blue. This means it has correctly “learned” the fader’s signal.