Kontakt is a multi-timbral instrument, so it is able to perform polyphonic expression of Glide and Slide by receiving each MIDI channel from the Seaboard on an individual module. Whilst not fully MPE-ready, this method will allow you to have the full MPE experience on the Seaboard in Kontakt.

In this guide, we will create individual modules in Kontakt which are assigned different MIDI channels. Each Kontakt module will produce only one note at a time so that pitch-wide MIDI messages like pitch bend and CCs can be expressed polyphonically.


Setting up Dashboard

Kontakt has a maximum pitch bend range of +/- 1 octave, so make sure you set your Seaboard's pitch bend range to the same in ROLI Dashboard.

Dashboard Pitch panel range 12

Ableton users only: Setting up your DAW 

If you are using Ableton, you will find that all MIDI information is 'funnelled' into one MIDI channel. To allow this to work in Ableton, Channel 1 needs to be reserved for Global changes.

In Ableton's Link/Tempo/MIDI settings, under MIDI ports make sure that 'MPE' is ticked for the RISE.

Right-click in the header of the Kontakt device and select Enable MPE mode.

Right-click in the header again and select MPE Channel Settings.

Change the multi-channel mode to Multi-Channel and set the range for the amount of polyphony you want. In this guide we will use a 4-channel range, so set to Channel 2-5.

Now, continue to read the rest of the guide and make note of the Ableton users sections when they are mentioned.

Setting up Kontakt and Dashboard

Step 1: Single Channel Mode

First, let's load an instrument and make it respond to the Seaboard's dimensions of touch. Later, we will duplicate the instrument to receive multiple channels.

To make this easier, first set ROLI Dashboard's MIDI Settings to MIDI Mode: Single Channel. Now all notes will be sent on 1 channel, which doesn't allow for polyphonic expression of the dimensions of touch but makes it easy to preview sounds. Make sure that the pitch bend range is set to 12.

Step 2: Make Kontakt's instrument respond

Open up Kontakt and load an instrument. You'll notice that initially it only responds to Strike, and that Glide is not polyphonic. Glide is not yet polyphonic because we are only using one channel and sending it to one instrument module in Kontakt. Glide is transmitted as pitch bend, which is a channel-wide message that will affect all notes played on that channel.

Now we will refine the patch to respond to the Seaboard's dimensions of touch. Each dimension of touch is transmitted as a standard MIDI message. Take a look here for each of those messages and set your Kontakt module accordingly. Most of these settings are hidden away behind Kontakt's spanner icon.

Kontakt spanner icon

Edit all groups

Many Kontakt instruments have multiple layers of samples, so make sure that you have selected 'Edit all groups' before you start routing modulation, otherwise the effects will only be heard on certain layers.

Kontakt edit all groups

Adding modulators

Now you're ready to add Modulators, which will send the Seaboard's MIDI messages to various parameters in the Kontakt instrument.

Kontakt click to add modulators

Modulators are added under the "Mod" tab of each section, and will have different routing options depending on which section they are attached to. For example, to send pitch bend messages, to the instrument's pitch, we will add a Mod in the "Source" section.

Setting pitch bend range (Glide)

Glide is transmitted as pitch bend. Kontakt has a maximum pitch bend range of +/- 12 semitones. Make sure that ROLI Dashboard is also set to 12 semitones, and set your Kontakt instrument to the same in the "Source" modulators.

animated gif setting Kontakt's pitch bend range to 12 semitones

Each modulator has a drop-down menu to select the source of the modulation (pitch bend) and the destination (pitch). The available destinations depend on where the Modulator has been added. A fader in the center of each modulator controls the magnitude of effect that the source has on the destination.

Note: some instruments by default have a limited up or down pitch bend range. To use the full pitch bend range, you may go to the Multi Rack view, select the Options tab, and under "PB Range" drag the "Down" and "Up" knobs to -12 and 12 respectively:

Using the same method, we can add more modulators to respond to:

Velocity (Strike) – you might want to set the destination to volume.

Mono aftertouch / Poly aftertouch (Press)  – perhaps the destination would be a filter. Open a filter FX, and select the cutoff as the modulator's destination.

Kontakt add FX and mod

CC74 (Slide) – In this example, we will also set Slide to a filter, but you can use it to modulate any parameter that Kontakt allows. Slide is transmitted as CC74, and uses a starting value of 64 (central). So add a modulator with these settings:

Slide in Kontakt setup correctly

Kontakt add FX and mod for CC74

Release velocity (Lift) – In the example below, Lift is sent to "drive" on a distortion FX unit.

Kontakt, lift assigned to drive


Step 3: Duplicate this module

Once you are happy that your patch responds to the Seaboard, save it as a patch, and load in several more of the same module with that patch loaded. Set each module to its own unique input channel. The number of modules you use determines the polyphony of your patch with the Seaboard.

Kontakt set channel

For example; you might create 4 modules for 4 voice polyphony. The first would receive Ch1, the next Ch2, then Ch3 and the last Ch4.

Ableton users: Start the first module on Channel 2 and increase the end channel by one. For example, for 4-voice polyphony, set modules to receive from Channels 2-5 consecutively. 

Step 4: Multi-Channel Mode

Now that your Kontakt patches are ready to respond to the Seaboard's dimensions of touch on a polyphonic basis, you can set ROLI Dashboard back to Multi-Channel mode and set the Channel Range according to the number of channels you have used. Do not select MPE mode.

For example; if you have created a patch of 4 modules for 4-voice polyphony, set the MIDI Start Channel to 1 and the MIDI End Channel to 4.

Ableton users: Just like in Kontakt, set the MIDI Start Channel in ROLI Dashboard to Channel 2 and the end channel one higher than the amount of instruments you created in Step 3. For example, since we're using 4-voice polyphony, set the MIDI Start Channel to 2 and the MIDI End Channel to 5.

Step 5: Make music!

For more information, check out this tutorial video on creating orchestral brass sounds with Kontakt and Logic: