The SWAM Engine is a platform developed by Audio Modeling for their SWAM-based instruments. ROLI Dashboard allows easy integration between BLOCKS and the SWAM Engine. This article will show you how to use the Lightpad or Seaboard Block as a melodic instrument controller with the SWAM Engine.


ROLI Dashboard Settings

  • Connect your Blocks and launch ROLI Dashboard
  • If you're using a Lightpad Block, load the "Note Grid" app and then click the "Edit" button.
  • Ensure that the MIDI Settings in ROLI Dashboard are set as shown below.


We have selected:

  • MIDI Mode: MPE
  • MPE Zone: Lower
  • No. MIDI Channels: 15
  • Pitch bend range: 48

Note: SWAM instruments earlier than Woodwinds 2.8.0 and Solo Strings 2.0.0 have a maximum pitch bend range of 12 semitones. If you're using one of these older versions, set ROLI Dashboard's "Pitch Bend Range" to 12 semitones. We recommended updating SWAM to the latest version at my.audiomodeling.com.


Setting SWAM to respond to the Lightpad and Seaboard Blocks’ dimensions of touch


SWAM is able to receive and respond to the Lightpad and Seaboard Blocks’ dimensions of touch automatically:

  • Open the SWAM instrument
  • Click “Reset” 
  • Select “Default Seaboard”
  • Start playing your Seaboard or Lightpad Block!

If you're using an older version of SWAM or would like to manually assign the dimensions of touch, read on.


The most common modulation in SWAM is called "Expression." SWAM will want you to assign a controller to the Expression parameter before producing any sound.


Press

Let's assign the Block's Press (transmitted as Aftertouch) to SWAM's Expression.

Click on Options  → MIDI Mappings  → Assign AT (Aftertouch) next to Expression


SWAM assign AT


Glide

Glide is transmitted as pitch bend, and SWAM has a maximum pitch bend range of 12 semitones. Earlier we set the pitch bend range to 48 semitones in ROLI Dashboard, so now we will do the same in SWAM.


To set SWAM's pitch bend range, in the upper-right corner of the main view set both "PB D" (pitch bend down) and "U" (up) to 48.


SWAGlide


Note: this image shows a pitch bend range of 12 semitones, suitable for SWAM instruments earlier than Woodwinds 2.8.0 and Solo Strings 2.0.0. If you're using a recent version, instead set ROLI Dashboard's "Pitch Bend Range" to 48 semitones.


Additional controllers

Mapping other controllers to parameters in SWAM is performed in the same way as Press above:

  • Go to: Options  → MIDI Mappings 
  • Each parameter has a drop-down menu. Simply select the input that you'd like affect that parameter.

For example, Slide is transmitted as MIDI CC 74. To assign Slide to "Bow Position", simply select CC 74 in the drop-down box next to "Bow Position."


SWAM slide


Now you're ready to expressively control the SWAM Engine with your Lightpad or Seaboard Block!