This guide will show you how to load a multi-timbral instrument like Cypher2 or Strobe2 into Pro Tools.

Pro Tools is restricted to using only AVID's proprietary AAX format plug-ins. All ROLI plug-ins apart from Cypher2 and Strobe2 (i.e. Equator, Equator2 and ROLI Studio) are provided as AU and VST plug-ins for maximum compatibility with the majority of DAWs, and the restrictions in Pro Tools mean that it is not yet possible to use these plug-ins with Pro Tools.

Strobe2 is a powerful software polysynth which is supported in Pro Tools and customized for MPE and the Seaboard's 5 dimensions of touch. We will use this plug-in in this guide, but steps 2-5 apply to any multi-timbral plug-in that Pro Tools supports.


Short answer

  1. Open ROLI Dashboard and select Multi Channel mode with MPE on. 
  2. 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.
  3. In Pro Tools:
    1. Create an Instrument track with a multi-timbral instrument like Strobe2.
    2. 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.
    3. Set the input of the voice tracks to channels 1 and up from the Seaboard.
    4. Route the output of the voice tracks to channels 1 and up to the multi-timbral plugin.

Use the template attached to the bottom of this article to set up the Seaboard with any AAX plug-ins - such as 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. 

Under MIDI Settings and Pitch, choose these settings:

  • MIDI Mode: MPE
  • MPE Zone: Lower
  • No. MIDI Channels: 15
  • Pitch Bend Range: 48

* 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 15 note channels in addition to the 1 "global" channel. This will provide 15-voice expressive polyphony) but you can just as easily use a smaller range, which will require fewer tracks and provide fewer voices of expressive polyphony).

Step 2: Create the host track

  1. Launch Pro Tools and open a new project.
  2. Press Cmd-Shift-N to bring up the Create new tracks dialogue box, and create 1 instrument track.
  3. Load a multi-timbral instrument such as Strobe2 in the inserts of the track.
  4. 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 15 note channels in addition to the global channel on channel 1, so 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

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

Set MIDI Inputs


     4. On track MIDI 1, select the output Strobe2 MIDI In → Channel-1.

     5. Repeat this for the 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


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’.