Omnisphere is a very powerful instrument which can be setup to fully respond to each of the Seaboard RISE and GRAND’s dimensions of touch, giving you an expressive polyphony of eight voices. That’s eight simultaneous voices with completely independent pitch and timbre modulations.
Creating your own patches
Using the pre-made patches above is great, but what about creating your own expressive Seaboard patches in Omnisphere? Read on…
- Set ROLI Dashboard‘s MIDI Settings to Channel Mode: Single while previewing Omnisphere’s patch.
- Use Omnisphere’s Modulation Matrix to assign each dimension of touch to a synth parameter and tweak your patch.
- When it’s ready, clone the patch across all 8 parts – see below for details if needed.
- Set Dashboard’s channel mode to Multi and Channel Range to 1 – 8 for expressive polyphonic performance.
Omnisphere is eight-part multi timbral. It can respond with a different timbre to MIDI channels 1 – 8, and calls each of those channels “parts”. There is a set of buttons across the top of Omnisphere where you can access the parameters for each “part”.
The Seaboard transmits each note on its own channel. Often you might use Omnisphere’s parts (channels) to produce a different sound on each one, but we will use them to produce eight identical sounds so that the Seaboard can take full advantage of their parameters and provide an extra level of expressivity.
Step 1 – Select Single Channel mode
- Open up ROLI Dashboard from your applications/programs folder.
- In the MIDI Settings in the bottom-right of Dashboard, select “Single” and set the channel to 1.
- Set the Pitch Bend Range to 24 semitones – Omnisphere’s max pitch bend range (why?)
Later on we will change these settings to open up the patch’s expressive polyphony, but for now it will be easier to hear the changes we make to a patch if we use Single Channel mode.
Step 2 – Glide
Glide is transmitted as pitch bend, and Omnisphere has a maximum pitch bend range of 24 semitones.
Earlier on, we set the Seaboard’s pitch bend range to +/- 24 semitones in ROLI Dashboard. Now we will do the same in Omnisphere so that they match up.
To set Omnisphere’s pitch bend range:
- Click on ‘Main’ in Omnisphere.
- Set the Bend Down and Bend Up to 24.
Step 3 – Mapping Modulation
- Select a patch from Omnisphere’s patch browser as normal.
- Open Omnisphere’s Modulation Matrix by clicking on the magnifying glass in the Modulation section of the Omnisphere Edit window.
- When clicked, the magnifying glass will reveal the Mod Matrix:
- Using the Mod Matrix, assign any incoming MIDI message (“source”) to a synth parameter in Omnisphere (“target”). Since each dimension of touch is transmitted as a standard MIDI message, just select that dimension’s message from the “Source” dropdown, and the parameter it should modulate in the “Target” dropdown. Check here to find out which MIDI message is being sent for each dimension of touch.
What about Slide?
Slide is transmitted as MIDI CC74. Omnisphere 2 allows you to use CC74 as a modulation source.
- Head to Omnisphere’s “System” tab.
- Under “User CC” select “MidiCC74”.
- Now, when you open Omnisphere’s modulation matrix “User CC” will be available in the list of modulation sources, and it will respond to the Seaboard’s Slide dimension.
Open up the patch’s expressive polyphony
Now that we have created a patch which responds to each of the Seaboard’s dimensions of touch, we just need to clone that patch across to each of Omnisphere’s parts, so that each channel will respond with the same sound and modulations.
- Right click (alt click) on the patch tab, or if you are using Omnisphere 2, right click in any area of the top part of the synth.
- Select “Clone Patch 1”.
- Omnisphere will copy your patch into the other seven patch loaders to create an 8-part multi-timbral patch.
- Go back to ROLI Dashboard and set it up as per the photo below:
Now the Seaboard will send MIDI on the channels that Omnisphere is expecting to receive them, and each voice of your patch will have fully polyphonic expression!