Equator is a powerful software synthesizer that unlocks the full potential of the Seaboard’s and BLOCKS' expressive capabilities. If you've purchased Equator or have registered a Seaboard or BLOCKS, you may download Equator/Equator Player from My ROLI. While there, you'll also want to download the Equator Extended Library, which includes additional sounds for Equator.
Once Equator has downloaded, double-click it from Finder/Windows Explorer to install it. This will install Equator on your computer as a VST/AU plug-in and as a standalone application. If you downloaded the Extended Library, you may also install it now.
After Equator has been installed, you may open from your Applications/Programs folder.
The first time you start Equator, you'll need to sign in with your My ROLI login details. This is the username and password that you created when registering on My ROLI. If you haven't already, you should register your hardware on My ROLI now.
Once you have signed in, try playing a few notes on your Seaboard, BLOCKS, or other MIDI controller. If you hear sounds, you are ready to begin! If you don't hear anything, open Equator's menu (☰) from the top right, and check that you have selected the correct output in the Audio Settings, and the correct input in the MIDI Settings.
You'll also want to make sure that ROLI Dashboard's MIDI Settings agree with Equator's MIDI Settings. Load ROLI Dashboard.
We have selected:
- Use MPE: On
- MIDI Start Channel: 2
- MIDI End Channel: 16
- Pitch bend range: 48 semitones
Now, in Equator, click on the menu icon and then MIDI Settings..., and ensure that MPE Mode is On, Channels are from 2 to 16, and the Pitch Bend Range is set to 48. For more details, see Using ROLI Dashboard.
Downloading additional sounds
In Equator Full, click the preset name to access the Preset Browser. Here you may browse for sounds by device, instrument, source, articulation, or timbre, or you may enter a search term in the search bar.
To download additional sounds from the Preset Browser:
- Set "Location" to "Online."
- Make sure that the "Playlists" button in the upper right corner is selected.
- In the "Playlists" column, click the cloud (download) icon next to the playlists of your choosing.
- Once the playlists have finished downloading, set "Location" back to "Local" so that you can now play these sounds.
Some sound navigation tips
- Equator has many preset sounds already installed. Select the "<" or ">" preset switch buttons to hear what Equator can do.
- Click and drag the synth parameters to edit the sound you hear.
- Highlight a Modulation Source (such as Press) in the Equator Modulation Panel, then click and drag in the arc around any synth parameter to set the modulation amount.
Making Sounds: The Synth Panel
The top half of Equator is the Synth panel. This is where you can set your sample playback modules, Oscillators, Filters, FX and other synth parameters.
- Click and drag from the centre of a parameter to adjust the base value.
- Click a panel's empty space to enable/disable it.
The FX module on the right has several different effects which can be activated simultaneously.
- Click the tabs to see each effect's parameters
- Click and drag to from the centre of the dials to adjust the parameters.
- Click the power button on each tab to enable/disable that effect.
Modulating Sounds: The Modulation Panel
All of the parameters on the Synth Panel above can be modulated by the sources below them, in the Modulation Panel.
Here are some quick tips, and a more detailed guide is available here.
- If a Modulation Source is not assigned to any parameters, its panel will be greyed out.
- Click a Modulation Source's empty space to highlight it.
- Click and drag in the arc around a synth parameter to assign the level of modulation – the parameter's dial will visually display its value according to the modulation being applied.
- Click and drag in the centre of the synth parameter to adjust the base value.
For More on Making Sounds
For more on making your own sounds in Equator, check out these guides: