This article is for Ableton Live 10 and previous versions. Ableton Live 11 introduced MPE support and the built-in devices 'Wavetable', 'Sampler', 'Simpler' and 'Arpeggiator' all now support MPE . For a full guide to setting up the Seaboard in Live 11, click here.

Short answer

Open ROLI Dashboard

Open Ableton Live and create a MIDI track with Collision as the instrument:

  • Create a patch in Collision that responds to the Seaboard's dimensions of touch.
  • When you're happy with the patch, duplicate the MIDI track to match the channel range set in ROLI Dashboard. Example: if channel range is set from 1 – 5 in ROLI Dashboard, duplicate the first MIDI track until there are 5 MIDI tracks total.
  • On each track set 'MIDI from' to Seaboard.
  • Directly below 'MIDI from', set the Input channel for each track sequentially from 1 to 5.
  • Record arm each of the 5 MIDI tracks.

Detailed answer

The Seaboard utilises multiple channels of MIDI to achieve polyphonic dimensions of touch. Collision is a mono-timbral instrument capable of producing one timbre on one channel of MIDI at a time while. You'll need to create a number of identical instances of Collision to access the multi-timbral nature of the Seaboard and take maximal advantage of the polyphonic dimensions of touch.

Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings

Ensure that ROLI Dashboard’s MIDI Settings are set as shown below.

Ableton Operator Dashboard Setup

* Larger or smaller channel ranges can be selected. Fewer channels will reduce the number of tracks required in Ableton, but will also reduce the expressive polyphony. More details on selecting the ideal range here. In this example we are using a range of 1 – 5 (which will provide 5-voice expressive polyphony) but you can just as easily use 1 – 10 (which would require more tracks and provide 10-voice expressive polyphony) if you prefer.

We have selected:

  • Use MPE: Off
  • Channel Range of 1–5
  • Pitch Bend Range of 24

Step 2: Create your first MIDI track with Collision

Create ➝ Insert MIDI Track to add a MIDI track to your Set. Under MIDI From, select the Seaboard Ch. 1.

Load Collision into the track. At this stage you might want to set ROLI Dashboard’s Channel Mode to Single so that all of the notes are transmitted on the same channel while you experiment with your patch’s response to the dimensions of touch.

Ableton Collision MIDI Track Setup

Step 3: Collision Parameters

Adjusting a few settings within Collision will allow it to respond to the Strike, Glide, and Press dimensions of touch – Strike corresponding with 'Velocity', Press with 'Aftertouch', and Glide with 'Pitch Bend Range'.

Set Pitch Bend 

  • Click on the MIDI tab of Collision
  • Under the Pitch Bend  heading, next to Destination B, set Amount B to 24

Set Polyphony

  • In the lower right hand corner of the Collision window, set Voices to

Ableton Collision Set Polyphony and Pitch Bend

*If polyphony greater than 5 notes is needed, set the Voices range to match your channel range setting in ROLI Dashboard


Velocity can modulate a variety of parameters in Collision. By experimenting with the Velocity Modulation amount in each of the parameter sections of Collision, you'll find there are many unique ways to utilise the Strike dimension of touch.

To get started, try setting the parameters below:

  • Set the amount under Volume to the left of 'V'to 100% in the Mallet section.
  • Set the amount under Noise to the left of 'V' to 100% in the Mallet section.

Ableton Collision Set Velocity


In the MIDI section of Collision you'll find the Aftertouch parameter. Because Collision patches imitate struck or plucked  sounds that begin decaying immediately, you'll need to make a few tweaks to best utilise the Press dimension of touch.

  • Click on the MIDI tab
  • Set Aftertouch Destination A to Volume
  • Set a value of 100%

Ableton Collision Set Aftertouch

To hear the Press dimension of touch expressed now, set a longer decay tail on the Resonator and a longer Noise Decay value in the Excitator.

  • In the Resonator section,  set the Decay length to a higher value (in this example, 6 seconds on the Beam Resonance type).
  • In the Excitator section, set the Noise Decay to a high value (in this example, a value of 100).

Ableton Collision Set Noise and Resonator Decay

Step 3: Duplicate your MIDI track 4 times

Using ⌘ -D (Mac), or ctrl – D (PC), duplicate the first track 4 times and set the channels under MIDI From so that each track receives on a channel from 1–5.

Note: If you have set ROLI Dashboard's Channel Mode to 'Single' to build your patch, you can now set it back to 'Multi'.

Ableton Collision Duplicate Track

Step 4: Play

Arm all 5 tracks with ⌘-click (Mac), or shift-click (PC) and play!

If you change your mind about the patch, go to ROLI Dashboard and set Channel Mode back to Single. Preview the patch on track 1, and then you can copy it quickly to the other tracks by duplicating again.