Note: This guide will show you how to load a multi-timbral instrument like Strobe2 into Pro Tools.


Pro Tools is restricted to using only AVID’s proprietary RTAS or AAX format plug-ins. Currently, Equator is provided as an AU and VST plug-in for maximum compatibility with the majority of DAWs, and the restrictions in Pro Tools mean that it is not yet possible to use Equator as a plug-in with Pro Tools.


Every new Seaboard RISE and GRAND is bundled with FXpansion’s Strobe2, a powerful software polysynth which is compatible with the MPE and the Seaboard's dimensions of touch. This guide shows you how to set up your Seaboard RISE or GRAND with Strobe2 in Pro Tools.

Short answer

Open ROLI Dashboard and select Multi Channel mode with MPE on. Next select a channel range. With MPE mode on, channel 1 is the global channel, and channels 2 onwards are note channels. The number of note channels you select will determine the expressive polyphony.

In Pro Tools:

  • Create an Instrument track with a multi-timbral instrument like Strobe2.
  • Make several MIDI tracks  to receive the global channel and note channels according to the range you have selected in ROLI Dashboard. These are your voice tracks.
  • Set the input of the voice tracks to channels 1 and up from the Seaboard.
  • Route the output of the voice tracks to channels 1 and up to the multi-timbral plugin.

Use the template below to setup the Seaboard with any RTAS or AAX plug-ins, such as FXpansion’s Strobe2, in Pro Tools.


Download the Pro Tools 11 Seaboard template attached below.


Detailed answer

The Seaboard uses multiple channels of MIDI to achieve polyphonic dimensions of touch. In Pro Tools  we will need to create multiple MIDI input devices to receive that data and route it to a multi-timbral plug-in like Strobe2.


To fully unlock the Seaboard’s expressive potential in Pro Tools, you will need multiple MIDI tracks in your project. Each track will receive a channel from the Seaboard and send the MIDI data to a multi-timbral synth.


Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings

Open ROLI Dashboard from your applications/programs folder. 

Take a look at the MIDI and Pitch sections in the bottom-right and select:

  • Channel Mode: Multi
  • MPE: On
  • Channel Range: 2 – 16 *
  • You’ll see that the Global Channel is automatically set to channel 1.
  • Pitch Bend Range: 48

Dashboard CU of MIDI and pitch with standard MPE settings

* Smaller channel ranges can be selected. Fewer channels will reduce the number of tracks required in Pro Tools, but will also reduce the expressive polyphony. See more details on selecting the ideal range here. In this example we are using a range of 2–16 (which will provide 15-voice expressive polyphony), but you can just as easily use a range of 2 – 5 (which will require fewer tracks and provide 4-voice expressive polyphony) if you prefer.


Step 2: Create the host track

  1. Press Cmd-Shift-N to bring up the Create new tracks dialogue box, and create 1 instrument track.
  2. Load a multi-timbral instrument such as Strobe2 in the inserts of the track.
  3. In the MIDI From section of the new track select No Input – this is very important. This track will not be used for recording any MIDI.

Pro Tools Inst Track

You have just created your host track. The host track will produce the audio from Strobe2. The Seaboard's note data will reach this track on multiple channels via the voice tracks, which we will create in the next step.


Step 3: Create several voice tracks

Next we want to create a number of MIDI tracks, each of which will receive a separate channel of MIDI from the Seaboard.

Pro Tools Voice Tracks

  1. Press Cmd-Shift-N to again bring up the Create new tracks dialogue box, and now create several MIDI tracks.
  2. In this example we are using a channel range of 2 – 16. Remembering to include the  global channel on channel 1, we will create 16 new MIDI tracks in total. If you selected a smaller channel range, you won't need as many tracks. For example if you select a range of 2 – 5, you will create 5 MIDI tracks.

Step 4: Route MIDI

  • Launch the Mixer View by pressing Cmd =
  • On track MIDI 1,  select the input Predefined > Seaboard > channel-1.
  • Repeat this for all of the MIDI tracks, selecting an ascending channel number for each consecutive track.

Set MIDI Inputs

  • On track MIDI 1, select the output Strobe2 MIDI In → Channel-1.
  • Repeat this for rest of the MIDI tracks, selecting an ascending channel number for each consecutive track.

Set MIDI Outputs


Step 5: Record

You are now ready to play and record Strobe2 using the Seaboard. Make sure you have all the MIDI tracks record-armed by holding shift as you record-arm them.

Record Arm

Troubleshooting

If you find you are not getting any MIDI data into your Pro Tools project or if certain MIDI information such as pitch bend or aftertouch are not being tracked, navigate to:

  • Setup ➝ MIDI ➝ Input Devices, and check that Seaboard is ticked
  • Setup ➝ MIDI ➝ Input Filter, and make sure it is set to record from ‘All’.