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!)
This is a must! Try playing Omnisphere which has 8 channel polyphony. With two Blocks you're down to 4 note polyphony per Block, with 3 Blocks it's 3 notes and one Block is even down to 2 notes. It's a terrible design and needs to be fixed asap.
I asked support about it before buying my second Seaboard Block, having read about the issue in the old Blocks Developer forum and they said something to the effect that I "may" have to fix channel assignment "if" I run into problems and that's just a workaround needed in worst-case scenarios. I learned that this scenario can arise playing just a single note on each of 2 connected Blocks if you're unlucky, so you "must", not "may", do the workaround to avoid problems.
Well, it wasn't a worst case scenario for me, it's completely unusable without the fix.
I have to assume they are going to fix this. It would be nice if Roli weighed in on this thread.
But it may be they haven't sold multiple units to many people, and they are just figuring this out. I do hope they fix it sooner than later.
If I don't hear anything on this in the next 25 days, I may be forced to return the other 2 units....
Thanks for asking about this. Indeed, we plan to address this in a coming update to the Seaboard Block's firmware and ROLI Dashboard. In the meantime, I recommend where possible setting each Seaboard Block to use a unique channel range. I understand this is less than ideal, and we appreciate your patience in the meantime.
Excellent. It is good to know this is on the radar, thank you!
I wonder, are Noise users facing this issue, too? And if so, what are they supposed to do about it?
I can't find a comprehensive Noise manual, the info I do find doesn't hint at any means to fix individual Seaboard/Lightpad Block's channel assignments. Do they have to live with clashing channels until a solution is finally implemented?
Just in case this flies under the radar:
Seeing that you mention explicitly a Seaboard Block's firmware update, I'd like to remember you that Lightpad Blocks have the same issue, so a fix is needed for those, too.
NOISE works normally with multiple Seaboard Blocks and multiple Lightpad Blocks, and their behavior can be set in NOISE's Studio view.
As you note, multiple Lightpad Blocks outside of NOISE display the same behavior as Seaboard Blocks, and we do plan a fix for this as well.
Yikes! No wonder my 2 blocks have been acting weird, as well as Dashboard forces you to load each block separately... I didn't understand why things were weird until I came across this thread. It will be crucial for multiple Seaboard Blocks to function like a Rise...
Thanks for checking in on this. We do plan an update in the near future to resolve this behavior. In the meantime, I suggest the workaround of using ROLI Dashboard to set each Block to a distinct channel range. I understand this isn't seamless, and we're certainly committed to making this automatic in a coming update. Thanks very much for your continued patience in the meantime.
Thinking about buying another Block Seaboard. Has this issue been addressed yet?
Hey bobbob, this is planned for a future update. For now, you can use multi-channel mode and use independent channel ranges (for example, channels 1–8 on one Block and 9–16 on the other).
Rob saying "I understand this isn't seamless" is really downplaying the issue by far. It's not just extra effort to set the fixed channels up for several instruments to acommodate their respective channel count. It's a mayor hassle, for sure, but the main issue I have with this is the reduced voice count per block, because there is no way around it, whatever the effort.
The most extreme example I've come across was when I visited a friend who has a hardware synth (the name of which I forgot) that can listen and play 4 channels of MIDI. It was very nice playing it with a single Block, but we would have liked a broader note range. Connecting a second block reduced each block to 2 voices, it just didn't make sense to do that.
Think 3 Blocks - yay, you're free to pick any one single note to play on each Block and one of your Blocks - you can freely choose which one - even allows for 2 notes at the same time! WOW! Doesn't remotely sound like what you see in the official product descriptions and videos, where the presenter happily clicks them together without any issues whatsoever.
It's just ridiculous! Get on with this "future update" already, pleeeeheeheease. You are losing sales because of 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.
As you note yours is an extreme example, and when used with Equator, for example, with two Blocks you'll have 7–8 independent expressive voices per Block, and with three Blocks you'll have 5. (Also note that when used with NOISE channels are automatically shared across Blocks.)
Nevertheless, I know how important this is to you and appreciate your patience while we work on this functionality.