The Seaboard Rise could and should be compatible with more pedals. The current implementation is fine for an initial product release, but these days advanced MIDI controllers are expected to handle different types of pedal inputs.
For an example of how to properly implement a pedal input, we can look at Audiofront's latest MIDI Expression software release:
This implementation has a inverse/polarity switch, a nice scaling curve, calibration option, smoothing control (slew limiter), and data rate control. Being able to automatically recognize the type of pedal being used would be nice, but not essential. (The note/high-hat modes are probably unnecessary.)
The point I'm trying to make is that, if Audiofront can implement this so beautifully on their little USB/MIDI pedal interfaces that cost as little at $50, certainly players can expect Roli to implement something similar (or better) for the pedal inputs on their premium MIDI controllers costing 20 times more. (We also have to ask why this degree of control isn't yet implemented for the Glide, Slide, and Press parameters?)
(Hope I'm not overwhelming with feature requests. It's just that, at the moment, I'm very focused on seeing Rise finally become the refined controller I envisioned when I first got involved with it.)
I think a "Pedal Block" is a great idea, but it would be of little use if it worked anything like the pedal input on the Rise. I doubt Frank would buy a Pedal Block from Roli if he found it didn't work with any of his expression pedals and changing the CC number was the only available adjustment.
I want to encourage Roli to work on improving the pedal control in the context of finally giving players a way to calibrate, scale, and smooth the output response from ALL of their input sensors — be it from a pedal, or one of the five dimensions of touch. (BTW, I can think of at least two more very useful dimensions of touch Roli could add to the existing controllers.) After all, isn't giving players greater control the whole point of having an advanced MIDI controller in the first place? And isn't more expressive control ultimately what Roli products are all about? I see so much squandered potential.
Call it an advanced mode if you must, but professionals reasonably expect to be able to scale, calibrate, and smooth the response from their MIDI controllers. I find it sadly ironic that Roli has some of the most sensitive and capable MIDI controllers on the market matched with software that at every turn arbitrarily restricts each parameter's range, resolution, and configurability in ways that inexplicably forces unnatural playing and incompatibility with other products. (Pedal inputs that don't invert? Velocity and aftertouch curves that won't scale and only bend in one direction? Seriously?!) I'm seeing this pedal issue as just one aspect of a much more fundamental problem.
Interesting. Not sure where it should appear in the list of priorities or how it should be implemented. Maybe it could be a Block?
Been having a pretty good experience with Audiofront’s MIDI Expression iO. That update is thanks in part to Alex (Satri), who uses multiple pedals to do diverse things. At the same time, there are a few quirks to keep in mind. Rob does a great job at troubleshooting them, but it’d be inaccurate to say that it’s a complete robust solution.
Sounds to me like ROLI has been investing more and more energy into the Blocks line, especially since they came out with the Seaboard Block. They’re not leaving Rise and Grand users in the cold, but the modular setup afforded the Blocks line is likely to be “the way of the future”. Could imagine all sorts of additions to that line, including a breath controller. And a standalone hardware synth (like Equator Block). A pedal setup would make a lot of sense as well.
@Videographics: ”I'm seeing this pedal issue as just one aspect of a much more fundamental problem.”
Could this lead us to much more fundamental solutions?
Sounds like ROLI leadership is figuring out strategies for different crowds. The “pro” crowd is itself pretty diversified (some busy musicians would rather not have to tweak too many things too frequently and some hardcore synth geeks are coding in their own expression curves). Part of ROLI branding sounds like it’s targeting a different crowd, though. One with deep aspirations and enough skills to bypass some limitations of the hardware and software.
Platforms (especially iOS vs. Windows/macOS) are another axis. That’s part of the reason it’ll be interesting to watch how ROLI Dashboard on iOS will unfold.
" I find it sadly ironic that Roli has some of the most sensitive and capable MIDI controllers on the market matched with software that at every turn arbitrarily restricts each parameter's range, resolution, and configurability in ways that inexplicably forces unnatural playing and incompatibility with other products. (Pedal inputs that don't invert? Velocity and aftertouch curves that won't scale and only bend in one direction? Seriously?!) I'm seeing this pedal issue as just one aspect of a much more fundamental problem."
Good points. I agree that it would be great to have more configuration options, as mentioned above, within Dashboard. I don't know that I'd describe the current status as a "fundamental problem," more of an opportunity for further improvement. Hopefully a lot of useful changes can be made in future Dashboard updates, without obsoleting existing hardware.
I also can imagine that Roli has its R+D hands full catering to an increasingly diverse user base. It'll be interesting to see what the next 1-2 years bring in terms of product development. Hopefully the income from selling tons of blocks will in part go toward improving Equator for the Rise line, and expanding that product line as well..
Good idea! I'd totally buy a "Pedal Block" with connectivity for expression and sustain pedals. That is, assumed I could update its firmware with Win 10, which doesn't seem to be possible as of now...