The Seaboard and BLOCKS transmit MIDI data across multiple channels in order to achieve polyphonic expression of MIDI control messages which would normally affect all notes equally, such as pitch bend (see more details here on MPE and ROLI instruments' handling of MIDI data).
ROLI Dashboard allows you to set a specific channel range – the channels on which the Seaboard will transmit data – which is useful for setting up with other hardware or software. These settings are saved when the Seaboard is disconnected from your computer, so you can make your choice and then connect to other hardware with those same settings still in place.
What the channel range does
When setting up the Seaboard with a multi-timbral instrument, the number of channels used defines the polyphony – the number of notes which can be played simultaneously. Since each note is assigned to its own channel, each of the dimensions of touch can be expressed polyphonically.
The ideal Channel Range
When using Equator
The ideal settings for Equator are MIDI Mode: MPE, MPE Zone: Lower, and No. MIDI Channels: 15. Equator is able to receive all MIDI channels and produce an identical timbre on each one, allowing for full polyphonic expression of each of the dimensions of touch.
When using other instruments/DAWs
The ideal channel range is the same as the number of channels which your instrument or DAW is ready to receive. For example:
- If an instrument is four-part multi-timbral, it receives MIDI and produces audio on four channels, so the ideal channel range is 1–4. This will give you four-part polyphony with full polyphonic expression of each dimension of touch.
- If you are creating a patch in Kontakt or Ableton, or any other instrument where each channel is reflected by a module or track, the ideal channel range depends on the number of tracks or modules you have created. If you only need 3-note polyphony (perhaps for a chord pad), you could set the Channel Range to 1–3, and create only 3 tracks in Ableton or 3 modules in Kontakt.
- If your instrument is mono-timbral or monphonic and you don't need to play polyphonic parts, you select Single Channel Mode to use only one channel.