Bitwig is a great DAW for recording and editing the Seaboard RISE and GRAND’s multi-dimensional MIDI data. Setting up is very simple, and Bitwig’s own instruments are MPE compatible so full Seaboard expressivity is easy to achieve.

In this guide we’ll look at how to setup the Seaboard RISE and GRAND to play Equator in Bitwig, and also how to fine-tune Bitwig’s built-in instruments to respond to each of the Seaboard’s dimensions of touch.

Setting up – Short answer

Open ROLI Dashboard, select Multi Channel mode with MPE on and select a channel range of 2 – 16.

Dashboard CU of MIDI and pitch with standard MPE settings

In Bitwig, create an instrument track which receives MIDI from the Seaboard and load a multi-timbral plugin such as Equator. Edit the polyphonic expression data (Glide, Press, Slide) using Note Event Expression.


Setting up – Detailed answer

The Seaboard uses multiple channels of MIDI to achieve polyphonic dimensions of touch. Bitwig is very compatible with the Seaboard because it accommodates multiple MIDI channels on a single track which can host a multi-timbral plug-in like Equator. Bitwig’s built-in instruments can also be easily setup to respond to the Seaboard’s dimensions of touch.

Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings

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

Dashboard settings for Bitwig

We have selected:

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

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

Step 2: Create an Instrument Track

Open a your Bitwig project.

Create ➝ Instrument Track

Select a multi-timbral plug-in. In this example we’re using Equator for RISE.

When using Bitwig with Strobe2, SWAM or other third-party instruments, remember to Force MPE Mode.

Bitwig Equator loaded on track

 

Step 3: Select the track’s MIDI input

In the Inspector panel, select the Seaboard as the MIDI inputIn this example we’re using a Seaboard RISE.

Bitwig select input

Step 4: Changing your Equator sound

You can open the Equator plug-in window to edit the sound by pressing the small icon Bitwig icon to open plug-in of the plug-in in the Device panel at the bottom of the screen.

Bitwig open plug-in details

Can’t see the device panel shown above? Click this icon at the very bottom of the window to show Bitwig’s device panel:

Bitwig open Device panel

Step 5: Recording

Simply arm the track and record in the normal way. All notes will be recorded onto the instrument track and audio will come from the plug-in’s stereo output.

Forcing MPE Mode

Some plugins, like Strobe2, require Bitwig to “force MPE mode.” If you’ve loaded an MPE-compatible plugin but it is not responding to 5D touch, in the Instrument Track panel right-click on the plugin name, and then select “Force MPE Mode”:

Bitwig-Force-MPE

Setting Bitwig’s built-in instruments to respond to the Seaboard’s dimension’s of touch

Assigning modulation in Bitwig’s built-in instruments is very simple. Just click on the modulator then click and drag on the parameter you wish to modulate. In the following examples, we have loaded Bitwig’s PolySynth and are editing it in the Device panel at the bottom of the screen.

Setting Strike

Strike is recognised by Bitwig as “VEL”.BITWIG VEL icon

Click VEL to start mapping. The available parameters will highlight blue. Click and drag on the parameter to set the modulation amount, then click VEL again to finish mapping.

Bitwig set Strike builtin instrument

Setting Press

Press is recognised by Bitwig as “PRES”.bitwig PRES icon

Click PRES to start mapping. The available parameters will highlight blue. Click and drag on the parameter to set the modulation amount, then click PRES again to finish mapping.

Bitwig set Press builtin instrument

Setting Slide

Slide is recognised by Bitwig as “TMB”. bitwig TMB icon

Click TMB to start mapping. The available parameters will highlight blue. Click and drag on the parameter to set the modulation amount, then click TMB again to finish mapping.

Bitwig set Slide builtin instrument