Start a new topic
In Progress

Proper polyphony for multiple seaboard blocks.

 I just got a second and third seaboard block, and have been very excited to have a 72-note mini-seaboard.

But when I hooked them together I had all sorts of problems.  After some reading on the topic, I learned that each seaboard needs to have it's own range of midi channels.  That is frustrating, as it limits the polyphony of each block to 5.

True polyphony for multiple seaboard blocks would be a big plus for me.  It's what I expected when I bought them.

Also, the present midi-channel-sharing situation seems like a good candidate for an faq.  The only mention I found of the issue was on the Juce developers forum.

I'm hoping that's just because you are expecting to fix it soon!  It's certainly not in keeping with the easy magnetic attachment-detachment.   (Just attach another block.... oh, and also reset all your midi channel ranges!)

2 people like this idea

+1 for this. I probably won't consider buying a second/third Seaboard Block until this has been addressed. Glad to know it's on the list.

1 person likes this

Same here, Was going to purchase 1or 2 more Seaboard blocks and a lightpad but it sounds like a pain to get to work with Omnisphere. Is it the same with Cypher 2?


I haven't tested thoroughly, but it looks like this may have been fixed?  Roli?

There is a new mode that does not require you to assign voices seperately to each board.  It seems to be working, but I haven't put it under the microscope.

If not, if you are using REAPER, I've written an MPE plugin that will rechannelize for you.  Search for MPE on the forums.  It wasn't difficult to code, which is why I'm confident it will be addressed by Roli if it hasn't already.

I don't think this has been fixed by now - at least I can't find any new mode. How would that mode be called, Eric?

Your Reaper script is very welcome, even with the current situation it lets me play 5-voice polyphony using 3 Seaboard blocks (yes, I gave in and bought a third one and I am enjoying the play range tremendously, thanks, ROLI) on Omnisphere and the like, which is not superb but good enough for me.

Actually, as said in the Cockos forum thread (I'm gofer over there), I am using a script of my own which does similar things. But I did sucessfully integrate your clever routine to tweak the pitch bend range outside of Dashboard into mine, so lots of thanks for your initiative and share.

That's not to say that ROLI is off the hook! A direct solution will triple the voice count per Block in my setup. But it eased the situation a lot for Reaper users.

Hello Red,

I purchased my second Seaboard Block and THEN read this thread (with mild horror) while attempting to prepare for the arrival of my companion Block. Your last reply was the one that settled my nerves a bit and, having just finished putting the two-Block combination through its paces with Equator, I am completely happy. While I am sure that the software capabilities of the Blocks will continue to evolve, the current limitations are not an issue for what I want to accomplish. I have as much polyphony as I can control with the two Seaboard Blocks.

Having said that, it would have been helpful to  find (on the Roli site) a simple tutorial (text or video) that would have provided information on what must be a common use case among buyers: A desire to connect two (or three) Seaboard Blocks together. As was noted earlier in this thread, I could certainly buy the Rise or Grand instead, but my purpose for buying the Seaboard Blocks is portability and simplicity. 

My site and Google searches provided this thread as he most relevant to my simple query regarding connecting two Seaboard Blocks. This was a scary place to land, having purchased, but not yet received the second unit. Also as noted earlier in this thread, the simple and seamless connection of Blocks is a major functional feature of the brand, second perhaps only to the amazing expressiveness of the technology as expressed in the design of the Seaboard Block itself. 

I would end-run this unnecessary trepidation with some proactive text or video that allay fears and clear up confusion as to what to expect when purchasing add-on devices. 

My journey to purchase my first Seaboard Block began with a search for a mini-midi keyboard controller to take on business trips. I had seen amazing video of a Rise at a NAMM show a few years(?) ago and I have always dreamed of having this level of expressiveness with a keyboard. The Seaboard Block is a realization of this dream for me, and it exceeds expectations, so confusion about connectivity is an unwanted and easily avoidable negative condition in an otherwise delightful experience.

1 person likes this

"Thanks for weighing in here. I agree with you that this is less than ideal, and we're working on improving this as quickly as possible. "

This was 3 months ago - has it now been addressed? I just bought a second Seaboard block and want to use them seamlessly together, as advertised by Roli

So, ROLI, is it fixed or not? I tried yesterday to use 2 connected Seaboard Blocks with Equator and experienced problems. And everything is up to date.

I would also like to know if this has been resolved 

seamless integration of blocks would appear to be a logical and obvious functionality to me but maybe Roli don't want blocks to compete with Rise? I was going to purchase multiple blocks and rise but not now. Waited a while and then when no fix from Roli didn't purchase anymore blocks or Cypher 2 and returned my blocks to retailer - unusable without proper polyphony

Hi all, 

While this has taken a lot longer than we'd hoped, we're edging closer to releasing an update that will include this fix. 

We appreciate everyone's patience while we approach the final round of testing. 

1 person likes this

craig sebree said:

seamless integration of blocks would appear to be a logical and obvious functionality to me but maybe Roli don't want blocks to compete with Rise? I was going to purchase multiple blocks and rise but not now. Waited a while and then when no fix from Roli didn't purchase anymore blocks or Cypher 2 and returned my blocks to retailer - unusable without proper polyphony
/end of quote

As much as I am looking forward to a proper solution, and while I am one of the participiants in this thread that kept the pressure high to finally solve the issue I'd like to point out:

ROLI purposefully hampering Blocks abilities to help Rise sales can undoubtedly be filed under conspiracy theories.


The current situation does certainly not make multiple Seaboard or Lightpad blocks unusable. Like, at all.

It is inconvenient to set them up and there are in fact extreme cases where per-block-polyphony is significantly reduced to a ridiculous level, if you push it and don't work around (using something like Eric Moon's script for Reaper, for example). If those extreme cases are the only situation where you intend to use Blocks and you don't have the means to create a workaround, then yep, don't buy in yet.

In practice, I am regularly using 3 Seaboard Blocks and 2 Lightpads all working together with great results. On the 3 Seaboards I get 5 voices per Block and I never have the feeling that I'd need more fingers on a single Block. Actually I don't even bother to set them back to full polyphony when I am not using them all.

So, while the current situation is far from ideal, the little rascals prove their usability in practical terms each and every day in this humble project studio. I love 'em, warts and all.

Can You guys tell me exactly how is this trick of dividing the voices between blocks done?

Thinking about buying another seaboard block, have you released a fix for this?

I'm curious as well. I almost placed an order for a second one.

It turns out that the recommended workaround - assign dedicated channel ranges for each connected Seaboard/Lightpad Block - is not compatible with ROLI Studio Player. RSP will forcefully overwrite the settings done in Dashboard and replace them with a version that results in the dreaded channel overlap issue between devices to raise its ugly head again - this time with no possible workaround in sight.

Effectively, playing multiple Seaboard Blocks (as well as Lightpads in Note grid mode) is currently not supported in RSP!

If that is not motivation enough to finally solve the Block's channel problem, what is? Btw, we are now  approaching 9 month without any change in neither soft- nor firmware concerning Blocks! Give them some love they deserve, please.

On a personal note:

I already raised this issue in the RSP beta, but it seems that all my RSP beta threads aren't available anymore since RSP went official. Without warning - which is something I don't like at all, to be honest. Some of those threads contained information that took my time and effort to gather and put into words! I would have saved them elsewhere if I were informed, because I'd like to use the info for future reference or future ROLI beta testing :(

Login to post a comment