Note: this guide will show you how to load a multi-timbral instrument like Equator into Cubase.
Create an instrument track receiving on all channels, and load a multi-timbral plugin such as Equator. Edit the polyphonic expression data (Glide, Press, Slide) using Note Expression.
The Seaboard Block and Lightpad Block use multiple channels of MIDI to achieve polyphonic dimensions of touch. Cubase is very compatible with BLOCKS because it accommodates multiple MIDI channels on a single track which can host a multi-timbral plug-in like Equator.
Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings
Connect your Block(s) and launch ROLI Dashboard. For Lightpad Blocks, select the Note Grid app and click "Edit."
Take a look at the MIDI and Pitch sections and select:
- Use MPE: On
- Channel Range: 2 – 16
- You'll see that the Global Channel is automatically set to channel 1.
- Pitch Bend Range: 48
Step 2: Create an Instrument Track
Open your Cubase project.
Project ➝ Add Track ➝ Instrument
Select a multi-timbral plugin like Equator.
Step 3: Select all MIDI channels
In the inspector, select the Seaboard or Lightpad Block as the MIDI input, and set the channel to Any. (In this example we’re using a Seaboard RISE and the Equator plugin.)
Step 4: Equator’s MIDI/MPE Settings
By default, Equator's MIDI/ MPE Settings will already match those that we select for ROLI Dashboard in step one. But since a mismatch of settings in ROLI Dashboard and Equator can cause silent notes or incorrect pitch bends, it's worth double-checking them now.
- Open the Equator plugin from your instrument track in Cubase.
- Click on menu (☰) in the top right and select MIDI/MPE Settings.
- Ensure that Equator’s MIDI Settings match the ones we set in ROLI Dashboard in Step 1 (by default they should already be correct). Now that Equator is listening for MIDI on the same channels that the Seaboard is sending it, there will be no missing notes.
Step 5: Setup Note Expression
Before you record, you will want to setup Cubase’s Note Expression which makes it very easy to edit the Blocks' polyphonic touch dimensions.
All you need to do is go to the Note Expression tab in the Inspector for your instrument track.
Check that MIDI as NoteExp is ticked. Now, any expressive data recorded from the Seaboard will be editable by Note Expression in the Key Editor.
Step 6: Recording
Simply arm the track and record in the normal way. All notes will be recorded onto the instrument track and audio will come from the plug-in’s stereo output.