Aalto is a synthesizer plugin from Madrona Labs that supports MPE instruments like the Seaboard RISE and GRAND. This guide will show you how to set up Aalto to respond to the Seaboard RISE and GRAND’s 5D Touch.

ROLI Dashboard Settings

Ensure that the MIDI Settings in ROLI Dashboard are set as shown below.

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 Aalto.

Setting Aalto to Respond to the Seaboard

Aalto is a plugin rather than a standalone application, so you’ll need to load it within a digital audio workstation that supports multiple MIDI channels per track (for example, Bitwig, Cubase, or Logic).

Once you’ve loaded Aalto into a DAW that supports multiple MIDI channels per track, open up Aalto.

  • Click on the Settings icon and change “Input protocol” to “MIDI MPE.”
  • Under “KEY” change bend to match Dashboard’s pitch bend range, 48 semitones, so that Aalto responds accurately to Glide.
  • after (“aftertouch”) receives the Seaboard’s Press dimension of touch.
  • vel receives the Seaboard’s Strike dimension of touch.
  • y is by default connected to MIDI CC74 when Aalto is in MPE mode and thus responds to the Seaboard’s Slide dimension of touch.
  • Aalto does not respond to Lift (release velocity).

Now you can assign these sources to modulate the parameters of your choice in your Aalto preset.

If you’d like to use the RISE’s MIDI Touch Faders or XY Touchpad with Aalto:

  • In Aalto, set mod cc# to the MIDI CC number in Dashboard of the controller you’d like to use. For instance, the default CC number of the left Touch Fader is CC107, so you may simply set mod cc# to 107.
  • x is by default connected to MIDI CC73 when Aalto is in MPE mode, so to use the X axis of the XY Touchpad simply in Dashboard assign the X axis of XY Touchpad to CC73. If you’d like to use the Y axis, you may use its default value in Dashboard, CC114, and assign Aalto’s mod cc# to 114.
  • Connect the mod and x modulation sources to the destinations of your choice.
An Aalto preset set to respond to the Seaboard's dimensions of touch and the RISE's XY Touchpad

An Aalto preset set to respond to the Seaboard’s dimensions of touch and the RISE’s XY Touchpad

Aalto presets can be processor-intensive, so if you hear glitches make sure that your DAW’s buffer size is set high enough.