Note: This guide will show you how to load a multi-timbral instrument like Equator into Digital Performer to use the Seaboard RISE or GRAND.

Short answer

Open ROLI Dashboard and select Multi Channel mode with MPE on. Next select a channel range. With MPE mode on, channel 1 is the global channel, and channels 2 onwards are note channels. The number of note channels you select will determine the expressive polyphony.

In Digital Performer:

  • Enable Multi-Record mode.
  • Select Mono Pressure and Poly Pressure in DP’s Input Filter to allow those messages through.
  • Make several tracks to receive the global channel and note channels according to the range you have selected in ROLI Dashboard. These are your voice tracks.
  • Set the input of the voice tracks to channels 1 and up from the Seaboard.
  • Route the output of the voice tracks to channels 1 and up to the multi-timbral plugin.

Download GRAND template      Download RISE template


Detailed answer

While the Seaboard RISE and GRAND use multiple channels of MIDI to achieve polyphonic dimensions of touch, Digital Performer doesn’t currently support multiple channels of MIDI input to a single track.

To fully unlock the Seaboard’s expressive potential in Digital Performer, you will need multiple MIDI tracks in your project. Each track will receive a channel from the Seaboard and send the MIDI data to a multi-timbral instrument like Equator.

Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings

Open ROLI Dashboard from your applications/programs folder. 

Take a look at the MIDI and Pitch sections in the bottom-right and select:

  • Channel Mode: Multi
  • MPE: On
  • Channel Range: 2 – 16 *
  • You’ll see that the Global Channel is automatically set to channel 1.
  • Pitch Bend Range: 48

Dashboard CU of MIDI and pitch with standard MPE settings

* Smaller channel ranges can be selected. Fewer channels will reduce the number of tracks required in Digital Performer, but will also reduce the expressive polyphony. More details on selecting the ideal range here. In this example we are using a range of 2 – 16 (which will provide 15 voice expressive polyphony) but you can just as easily use 2 – 5 (which will require fewer tracks and provide 4-voice expressive polyphony) if you prefer.

Step 2: Activate Multi Record

Open your DP project and check Multi-Record, which is in the Studio menu. This will allow you to record-enable multiple MIDI tracks at once.

DP multi record

 Step 3: Input Filter Settings

In the Setup menu, open the Input Filter.

Check the Mono pressure and Poly pressure boxes to allow those messages into your project.

DP9 Input Filter

Step 4: Create an instrument track

Create an instrument track with the Equator plug-in by clicking:

Project ➝ Add track ➝ Instrument track ➝ ROLI ➝ Equator

Step 5: Equator’s MIDI/MPE Settings

  1. Open the Equator plugin from the host track in your your Ableton set.
  2. Click on menu (☰) in the top right of Equator and open the  MIDI/MPE Settings menu.
  3. In the MIDI/MPE Settings menu, ensure that Equator’s MIDI Settings match the ones we set in ROLI Dashboard in Step 1.
    • Channel Mode: Multi
    • MPE: On
    • Channel Range: 2 – 16 (unless you chose to use a smaller range, like 2 – 5)
    • Pitch Bend Range: 48

Equator MIDI MPE settings page standard MPE setup

Step 6: Create MIDI tracks

Next you will need multiple MIDI tracks to receive the Seaboard’s MIDI and send it to Equator. The number of channels (and tracks) will determine the Seaboard’s polyphony in your project. You can set the Channel Range in ROLI Dashboard. The default Channel Range is 1 -16 so in this example we will use 16 tracks.

DP9-Create-tracks-window

  1. Click Project ➝ Create tracks to open a window which will allow you to create multiple tracks at once.
    • Track type: MIDI
    • Assign to input: Seaboard – 1 – this is channel 1 of the Seaboard’s input
    • Assign to output: Equator 1-1 – this is channel 1 of the Equator plug-in. Channel 2 is represented as Equator 1-2
    • Click Add
  2. In the section beneath, a new entry will appear.
    • Quantity: 16
    • Select Consecutive output
    • Select Consecutive input
  3. Click OK. 16 tracks will be added to your project.

DP9 Seaboard-ready tracks armed

Step 7: Recording

You are now ready to record the Seaboard’s MIDI data. Record-enable the 16 MIDI tracks – but not the instrument track – by clicking and dragging across their arm buttons, and record in the usual way. The notes will be spread out over all 16 tracks but will play through just one synth. Editing Pitch-Bend and Aftertouch is done on a channel by channel basis.

If you are creating your own patches in other synths, remember to check that you have set the synth to respond to each of the Seaboard’s dimensions of touch in order to unlock the Seaboard’s full expressive potential.

Step 8: Keeping your tracks neat

A Track Folder can keep your project organised so you don’t always have to see the 10 input tracks. Select the tracks that you want to put into a folder, then click:

Project ➝ Folders ➝ New Track Folder From Selected Tracks

DP9 New Track folder