ROLI Seaboard Block with Logic (really)?

Discussion in 'Studio' started by Highdom, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Highdom

    Highdom Ultrasonic

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    Hey, I've recently found this amazing and innovative keyboard from ROLI. I think it could really be a big help in MIDI automation writing (such as portamento to glide between notes, velocity for dynamics of sound and pitch bend for vibrato ecc).
    I actually have a basic m-audio usb 69 keyboard and it works...but writing midi automation coulb be boring.
    What do you think about this product?

    And more important: I've seen on youtube that ROLI seems to work only with Logic's built in instruments... But I've also notice this "special midi controller" just writes down midi automation infos.
    Has anyone tried if it works with also 3rd part plugin (Spire, Serum, Kontakt ecc)? I mean does it actually writes midi automations?

    Edit: this may be the wrong category, please move it on instruments if you can!:)
     
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  3. sideshowtmc

    sideshowtmc Producer

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    I own the roli blocks songwriter kit and it is super fun to use. so off to your queestions. it will record mpe just fine in any daw (dont use logic but it has all daws in the manual with how to set up)
    look into mpe you can set up the roli to send midi to whatever you want. if you want slide to be pitch bend just map it accordingly but to get the most out of it you really need to use mpe enabled instruments. like cypher2 or strobe2 or swam or audio damage quanta. they have a whole list on their site. why you ask? because those are already ampped to roli so when you slide your finger the sound slides or changes pitch however you want to look at it. its very fun to use and trust me recording saxs or trumpets or even strings has really changed up for me since using roli seaboard or drumpad. its so much fun and you can really get expressive sounds out if it. but if you want to map the midi to kontakt or any other instrument you can. now if you just want to record midi automations I would recommend a physical fader only because the roli is a little sensitive and it can be troublesome getting your finger to hit the exact spot you want. but for jamming or recording automations while playing its a blast.
    edit: also velocity is an issue with the seaboards, its hard to get exact velocity everytime. really helps to know what you want and set ranges for velocity.
     
  4. Highdom

    Highdom Ultrasonic

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    Thanks for the reply.
    I'm not so familiar in playing classic piano, so velocity it's not a problem. Moreover it's fine for me if I need to tweak midi automation after recording. I just need a immediate and imprecise response from an external device just to set the idea of portamento, velocity ecc...

    Speaking about Logic...I've not seen video that play it with external plugin and I'd want to be sure of my purchase...could you share if you have it, the manual with us? (In the way I can see all about Logic's functions)
     
  5. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    I own ROLI Seaboard RISE 49, can't tell how much the IO implementation differs from Block,
    I have tested RISE 49 with plenty various software, so here's my observations:

    written MIDI data is serious mess, for inexperienced users crazy to even read, as there can be tons of CC written

    seaboard is configurable, so you can decide for ex. what MIDI CC is outputted by slide front/back, then how much pitch change is by slide left/right, how aftertouch reacts to pressure etc..

    various softwares and plugins react differently, even when provided by same manufacturer;
    I remember some Arturia synths were capable of mapping each seaboard key slide to different synth parameter, because it can recognize both midi cc and midi note individually;
    some others such as Omnisphere were capable of layering, despite by default - without proper configuration - they don't work at all,

    you need to forget seaboard as a piano, the way it works so expressively, it's more like string or air instrument,
    on the other hand I loved using it with piano instruments, which could produce tones inbetween keys thanks to pitch adjusting parameters of seaboard, very refreshing experience actually

    basically if a software offers "midi learn" functionality, seaboard will offer killer experience,
    if daw is really capable of handling automation data, and particularly MPE midi data, it will be a leap forward in workflow,

    most powerful thingy about seaboard is ability to send the midi data individually of anything, so things like pitch adjustments, vibratos and fades can be played (and automated) on every single note/tone you play, not entire keyboard (as opposed to traditional pitch wheel or XY-pads),

    I was even thinking about making seaboard a mixing console controller, controlling faders, but figured out there is no feedback of movement, making it quite impractical to work with (I prefer old good faderport for such purposes)
     
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  6. Highdom

    Highdom Ultrasonic

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    This observation is really nice.
    I appreciated specially this "you need to forget seaboard as a piano, the way it works so expressively, it's more like string or air instrument,"

    Summing up in less words...Seaboard is the future of making nice and pretty real melody but we are still linked to the past, where computer music "has to sound" robot-like. So, it's often a wasted super power in midi writing if you can't set up your synth correctly...
     
  7. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    it's always possible to use quantize, but thanks to the additional expression features, it may be little more difficult than basic "tapped" grid :)
    here's a track I made using seaboard for all virtual instruments (and played real acoustic drums),
    virtual instruments there are (if I remember well): modo bass (rick), musiclab real eight + amplitube (mesa ta-30 and dual rectifier), swam alto sax, rest is roli equator (space glider harp, breath flute, solo strings, strings section):

     
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