Note: This guide will show you how to load a multi-timbral instrument like Equator into older versions of Tracktion (7 and earlier, pre-Waveform). If you're using Tracktion Waveform (8+), see Using the Seaboard with Tracktion Waveform.

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 Tracktion:

  • Load a multi-timbral instrument like Equator into an instrument track.
  • Make several Virtual MIDI Devices 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.

Download the attached Tracktion template below.

Detailed answer

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

Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings

Open ROLI Dashboard from your applications/programs folder. 

Take a look at the MIDI and Pitch sections and select:

  • Use MPE: On
  • MIDI Start Channel: 2
  • MIDI End Channel: 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 Tracktion, 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 2–5 (which will require fewer tracks and provide 4-voice expressive polyphony) if you prefer.

Step 2: Create an Instrument track

Open a new project in Tracktion and load a new virtual instrument to an empty track. To do this, drag the blue arrow with a “+” in it from the top-right corner to your chosen track’s output window and choose your multi-timbral instrument, in this example we have chosen “Equator”.

Tracktion creating new instrument track

Step 3: Equator’s MIDI/MPE Settings

  1. Open the Equator plugin from the host track in your Tracktion project.
  2. Click on menu (☰) in the top right of Equator and open the  MIDI/MPE Settings menu.
  3. In the MIDI/MPE Settings menu, ensure that Equator’s MIDI Settings match the ones we set in ROLI Dashboard in Step 1.
    • MPE: On
    • Channel Range: 2 – 16 (unless you chose to use a smaller range, like 2 – 5)
    • Pitch Bend Range: 48

Equator MIDI MPE settings page standard MPE setup

Step 4: Create Virtual MIDI devices

Go to the settings pane, and create 16 virtual MIDI devices by selecting “Create new Virtual MIDI input”. Tracktion will ask you to name the device; name them 1–16 to reflect the MIDI input channels you will assign to the virtual devices.


Step 5: Assign The Seaboard’s MIDI inputs to the Virtual MIDI devices

Select Virtual Input 1 in the MIDI devices list, and at the bottom of the screen, click “Select MIDI Inputs” and select the Seaboard. Now on the MIDI filter, make sure only “1” is selected, this will ensure that only the data from MIDI channel one will come through this Virtual Device.

Finally select “Record Note Automation”. Repeat this step for each Virtual Device, allocating “2” to device 2, and so on.

Tracktion Setting up virtual MIDI input

Step 6: Create 16 New Tracks to Receive MIDI

Create 16 new tracks in the Project view, and assign Virtual MIDI Devices 1–16 accordingly. Set the Track destination for each track to your multi-timbral instrument track (Equator). Record Arm all the tracks, and you are now ready to record!

Tracktion select midi inputs for tracks

Tracktion select destination for tracks

Step 7: Editing Note Expression

You can open the piano roll editor by double clicking on the recorded clip for any specific channel. Select “Control” to bring up the automation lane and select “Type” to choose the parameter you are editing, for example “Pitch Bend”. Use the pencil tool to change the parameter.

Tracktion editing note expression