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 Operator as the instrument:

  • Create a patch in Operator 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. Operator 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 Operator 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
  • Press Mode: Channel Pressure
  • Pitch Bend Range of 24

Step 2: Create your first MIDI track with Operator

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

Load Operator 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 Operator MIDI Track Setup

Step 3: Operator Parameters

Adjusting a few settings within Operator 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 Polyphony and Pitch Bend

  • Click on the Global Shell area of Operator
  • Set Voices to match the range you set in ROLI Dashboard. In this example, set it to 5.
  • Set the Pitch value to 24

Ableton Operator Set Polyphony and Pitch Bend

Set Velocity and Aftertouch

  • Velocity Connection A to Volume - Set Amount A to 100
  • Velocity Connection B to Tone - Set Amount B to 100
  • Aftertouch Connection A to Volume - Set Amount A to 100
  • Aftertouch Connection B to Tone - Set Amount B to 100

Ableton Operator Set Velocity and Aftertouch

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 Operator Duplicate and Arm tracks

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 then you can copy it quickly to the other tracks by duplicating again.