Please allow players to calibrate/set the minimum and maximum Strike, Press, and Lift values coming from the Seaboard sensors to whatever feels right for them. Being able to adjust what counts as a note-on and note-off would also be invaluable.
Here’s an example of how it’s done with an Arturia keyboard: https://www.arturia.com/faq/keylab/how-to-re-calibrate-the-potentiometer-based-controllers-wheels-pedals-aftertouch-breath-pads.
Here’s information on recalibrating the aftertouch sensitivity on the Linnstrument: http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/ls-global-settings.html.
I think the best user calibration interface would ask the user to demonstrate what they do when they’re trying to apply minimum and maximum velocity or pressure. It’s a little like the “Listen” function often used to map MIDI control parameters except, while the mode is enabled, it listens to the player playing lots of notes (or pressure values) to demonstrate what they do when they’re trying to achieve minimum or maximum velocities or pressure. And then, from that data, the software can statistically estimate and intelligently set a useful range of sensor output for each parameter. (The pressure sensitivity on Wacom Tablets used to get setup this way.) And then from there, numeric fields and sliders would be available to fine-tune these parameters.
Note that calibrating the range of responsiveness from a sensor is very different from applying response curves. Realistically, I’d probably be fine using linear response curves in ROLI Dashboard as long as the min and max values made sense for the way I play. I think, in general, once the min and max values are good, it's reasonable to then adjust the response curves in each synth patch instead of doing it in the ROLI Dashboard.
It’s a simple fact that players have different physiologies, vastly different levels of training and experience, and different expectations. To the extent ROLI controllers can adapt to different players, there will be that many more players falling in love with them.
Hi Robert. Thanks for the endorsement.
I'm afraid I didn't explain this well in my first post. The user interface for this isn't nearly as important as adding this capability in the first place.
At a practical level, the most important reason for wanting to calibrate the range of the aftertouch response is to allow you to play a note and sustain it without aftertouch, and then access the full range of aftertouch values with additional pressure. This is the "normal" MIDI aftertouch behavior. (It's why they call it AFTER-touch.) In most situations — even with the majority of EQUATOR patches — programmers and players want to be able to play and sustain a note without aftertouch, and then later introduce an effect by applying more pressure. (Most of the patches in the Strobe2 and Cypher2 libraries, and most of my custom patches for ROLI, are also setup this way.)
The fact is, virtually all MIDI aftertouch-enabled synths and patch libraries throughout history work with this way. But ROLI controllers can't be used effectively with them because the aftertouch output can't be adjusted to respond "normally." (The one aftertouch adjustment that's there now actually makes this situation worse; it only makes the pressure response send higher values! Does anyone actually use that?)
It almost looks as if ROLI purposely hobbled their aftertouch implementation so that their synths and patch libraries would be the only ones that would work with it. It certainly looks that way to someone more experienced with alternative MIDI controllers and synth programming. I can only hope that was never actually ROLI's intention.
It's simple. When someone invests in an advanced MIDI controller with pressure control as one of its main features, that person naturally expects the pressure response to be adjustable in useful ways so it can be used effectively with their existing synths and libraries that employ MIDI aftertouch. People also naturally expect to be able to play note and sustain it without aftertouch, and then access the full range of aftertouch values with additional pressure. Unfortunately, ROLI's current aftertouch implementation fails to satisfy either of these very basic customer needs.
I'm a huge fan of minimalism but, in this case, it appears it's been taken too far. This is a time to remember form follows function.
Over 4 months and still no response from Roli about this.
Following on the gist of the first message... It turns out the driver for CME's MIDI controllers (with poly-aftertouch starting at $99) offers an extraordinary level of user control over the device's responsiveness. If Roli Dashboard was even remotely like CME's, I'd probably buy another Seaboard and be recommending Roli to a whole lot more people than I do now. Check out some of the essential adjustments available for the CME Keyboard Controllers...
• A complete set of freely adjustable velocity curves (curves of any shape with no locked endpoints!)
• A complete set of freely adjustable aftertouch curves (curves of any shape with no locked endpoints!)
• Adjustable sensitivity per note throughout the entire range of the controller!
• Different filter settings to smooth the response from the controller's sensors
• Different speed adjustments to throttle the response from the controller's sensors
• A "noise floor" setting to limit unwanted "note on" events
• An adjustment to control the time between a repeated trigger on the same note
• An aftertouch delay adjustment to prevent unwanted aftertouch at the note onset
• A note-on to note-off delay to prevent spurious note-offs following note-ons (rebound)
• A smooth note trigger time (to ensure note-ons with very low velocity still get played)
• An aftertouch period adjustment to pace the rate of aftertouch messages
Note that most of these adjustments specifically address problems that constantly plague Roli Seaboard users, like having no way to hold notes without also sending aftertouch, having unwanted aftertouch at note onset, glitchy sensor response, spurious note-ons and note-offs, and much more. And, unlike with the Roli driver, aftertouch consistently gets zeroed out before every note-off.
Roli needs to show they understand that advanced users feel frustrated as hell when they compare the Roli Dashboard to the much more advanced drivers they see for all their other MIDI controllers — including the super-cheap mass-market ones. When people ask (and everybody does) I'm getting really tired of telling people the Seaboard looks cool and has lots of potential, but is still really limited because the driver offers no calibration and very few useful adjustments. Roli, please stop getting in the way of players getting real control over their instruments! I have a Kurzweil Midiboard from the mid 1980s with better adjustments for note-ons, note-offs, and poly-aftertouch sensitivity! Today, CME, Arturia, Roger Linn, and others are all presenting excellent examples of how to do this properly. It's time for Roli to finally follow suit.
Hi Robert. I believe you're referring to the "Preset Slide Mode" which is a global function in Equator that switches between absolute and relative mode. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, this is exclusive to Equator. Existing synths are out of luck because they only receive absolute values from the controller. I think Preset Slide Mode should be a global function in ROLI Dashboard. If it were, I'd set it to Relative mode and leave it there. I have a feeling most players would do the same. People naturally strike the "White" keys toward the bottom and the "black" keys toward the top so it'd be nice to have the same modulation control response regardless of where you strike the note.
Just like the subject of this post, Preset Slide Mode appears to be another essential global function that should have been included in ROLI Dashboard for use with all synths, but was instead made exclusive to Equator.
Cypher2 appears to be doing something different altogether... For all the patches I've tried, the Slide modulation starts at zero wherever you press, and then sends positive values from there regardless of whether you go up or down. To me, it seems really strange for this to be the default behavior.
Anyway, I think Cypher2 is a great option for those who were digging Strobe2's modulation section but felt restrained by its limited oscillator/filter palette. (Hopefully the memory leak will get fixed soon.) Still, it remains really important for ROLI to finally get these global functions can controls into Dashboard so the vast libraries of sounds for more advance MPE-capable synths and samplers (like UVI Falcon, Alchemy, and Kontakt) can start to effectively use ROLI's controllers without massive reprogramming.
The above comment from VIdeographics is strongly endorsed by me as a need. However is there a) a technical capability in the product that just needs a process and a software utility to be designed - and assuming there is - then b) is there a simple and repeatable calibration solution that could be used across the user community without an expensive test jig?
This is clearly a challenge for the product engineers!
One problem is that I'm not sure that the standard finger applying a guestimated PRESS force would cut it? To be meaningful, there would need to be a way of applying a known force vertically downwards onto the keys and acting through a known cross sectional area. This would need to be repeated for at least two forces - a 'lightest' PRESS force and a 'heaviest' PRESS force in order to calibrate the range between.
I'm not particularly wanting to be laughed at here, but to start the ball rolling maybe we could have say an unsharpened carpenters pencil (as a standard cross-section) with a couple of standard grocery items acting as known weights balanced one at a time on top of the pencil - say a small tin of evaporated milk and a large tin of baked beans. OK, now I am fully expecting to be laughed at, but it has the merit of being pragmatic and low cost.....
Hey Jay, thanks for the positive response! I was afraid Roli had completely lost track of advanced players interested in getting more out of the Seaboard. I do hope ROLI will soon start to provide more control, similar to what we're seeing on other controllers.
Hi Jay. One more thing for ROLI to consider... This thread is similar to or related to a range of other "feature request" topics where people have chimed in about this. In the aggregate, interest in (or concern about) this issue is much more substantial than it might otherwise appear — enough to make this a top 5 feature request issue for ROLI — and the number 1 feature request related to the core functionality of most of ROLI's products. In total, throughout these posts, at least 15 people have expressed concern, frustration, and even anger about this in one form or another:
Here are some of the related threads:
I feel this is very significant when you consider how many people just give up in frustration and don't bother posting about things like this. I personally know many professional players who have refused to get involved with the Seaboard Rise specifically because of its minimalist approach to controls, curves, and calibration.
It seems I forgot Lionel and Elliot so make that 17 people concerned about this.
I agree completely with Videographics. I understand that ROLI is a company and they need to make money by putting time and resources into their marketing and new products, but they will lose business in the long run if they do not openly communicate with their users and frequently update the software that makes/or breaks their instruments. The RISE, GRAND, and BLOCKS are all interfaces that rely on the software to turn them into full-blown instruments. The instrumentalist that uses any of these products should be able to customize their instrument to their playing style. Advanced users should have extremely fine tweakability within the Dashboard application, even if it is tucked away to avoid scaring more casual users and beginners.
There's some great feedback here and we really appreciate your getting in touch to share it with us.
We're aware of the request to have deeper control over how 5D touch is calibrated and are happy to look into the possibility of adding the functionality in a future update of ROLI Dashboard — apologies for not acknowledging this before now.
Thanks again for your input and if you have any other questions, please let us know!
I'm in total agreement here. I've struggled with the response of my Seaboard Blocks. If I add a midi monitor plugin or use some windows from Cypher 2 to look at real time 5 D responses, I can see a lot of jitter in note on messages when I try to sustain a chord while not applying after touch. With patches that have fast attack, this makes it almost unplayable. Also, I think this is one of the reasons that I sometimes get hanging/stuck notes. Something that would control the sensitivity or the minimum time between notes would hopefully clean all of this up and make things much more playable.
I'd like to add my voice to this. Spurious note on/off is a personal bug bear. I'm using a seaboard with melodics and its making progress slower than it needs be. The aftertouch implementation is also less than ideal - I want to be able to add aftertouch in varying quantities when I want it, not have it effectively always on to some degree or other