The Futuresonus Parva is an 8-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer, and because it is multi-timbral and MPE-compatible it works great with MPE instruments like the Seaboard RISE and GRAND. This guide will show you how to use the Seaboard RISE and GRAND with the Futuresonus Parva.

Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings

With the Seaboard on and connected to your computer, 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

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 3.39.18 PM

Step 2: Connect the Seaboard

The Parva includes a USB host port, which means that you may connect the Seaboard to it directly with a USB cable. Simply connect a USB cable from the Seaboard’s USB-B port to the Parva’s USB-A host port.

Step 3: Making the Parva Respond to the Dimensions of Touch

Now that you’ve connected the Seaboard to the Parva, you’ll want to set it up to respond to the Seaboard’s Dimensions of Touch.

With the Parva turned on, use the A knob to navigate to Global > MIDI Settings, and set MIDI Chan to OMNI. This will make the Parva listen to incoming MIDI data on all channels. Next ensure that MPE Zone is set to  02–16 (matching the Channel Range setting in ROLI Dashboard).

So that the Parva responds accurately to the Seaboard’s Glide dimension of touch, set the Parva’s pitch bend range to match the pitch bend range you set in ROLI Dashboard earlier. To do this, use the A knob to navigate to Voice, and set Bend Up to 48 and Bend Down to 48.

Next, access the Modulation Matrix by using the A knob to select “Mod Matrix.” Use knob A to highlight and select “01” (Mod Slot 01).  Now use the B knob to select the modulation source “Velocity.” Turn Knob A clockwise, and then use the B knob to select the modulation destination of your choice; “VCF FRQ” – the filter cutoff frequency – makes sense.

Now select Mod Slot 02, select “AT” (Aftertouch) as the modulation source, select “VCALEV” (VCA level) as the destination, and +63 as the amount. This will allow us to control the amplitude with the Press dimension of touch.

To also have Press affect the timbre, select Mod Slot 03, again select “AT” (Aftertouch) as the modulation source, select “VCFRES” (filter resonance) as the destination, and +63 as the amount.

To have velocity (Strike) control amplitude, use the ENV knob to select Envelope 1’s “Vel Amt” (velocity amount), and adjust the value to taste – somewhere around 80 gives a good effect.

Slide (CC74) is automatically hardwired to control filter cutoff frequency. To increase the effect, you may want to adjust the filter’s cutoff frequency by using the CUTOFF knob.

Step 4: Making the Parva Respond to the RISE’s Controllers

While by default the Parva doesn’t receive information on MIDI CC113 and CC114 (the default CCs of the RISE’s XY Touchpad), you can use ROLI Dashboard to change these to CCs that the Parva recognizes. The Parva recognizes information on MIDI CC1 (Mod Wheel) and CC2 (Breath Controller), so to use the XY Touchpad as a controller for the Parva first open ROLI Dashboard and change the XY Touchpad’s CCs from their default settings to CC1 and CC2:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.27.53 PM

Next, in the Parva’s Modulation Matrix navigate to an unused Modulation Slot, select “ModWheel” as the modulation source, and then select the modulation destination and amount of your choice. This will now assign the XY Touchpad’s X dimension to the parameter you’ve selected.

To assign the XY Touchpad’s Y dimension, navigate to an unused Modulation Slot, select “Breath” as the modulation source, and then select the modulation destination and amount of your choice.

For more details

The Parva is a complex instrument, and for more hints on using it and designing sounds for it see the Futuresonus website.