Multi-dimensional control support

Hi Juce and Roli team (Jules? :) ),

read that Tracktion 5 supports the new "MDC (Multi-dimensional control)" protocol from Roli Seaboard. That sounds very interesting!

Was asking myself whether it wouldn't be possible to add support for that protocol to EigenD (the Juce based software initially developed for Eigenharps) to allow Eigenharps (and all other instruments supported by EigenD) to be able to record per-note parameters in Tracktion as they are played and send MDC streams back to EigenD for replay.

Sorry, am not sure whether that is the right place to ask (already asked in the Tracktion support forum - they advised to post here).

Roli offers a "Seaboard API" - on first sight that looks like plain MIDI poly aftertouch and per channel pitch bend - this isn't "MSC", right?

So, is this Seaboard protocol supported in Juce already - or is it directly implemented in Tracktion outside of Juce atm.? Does a freely available protocol spec exist somewhere? How (which parts) is Tracktion/Juce implementing from that spec atm.? Are there also already synths that can interpret that protocol? Is there a plan to support synths that don't?

Many questions, I know :)

Thanks and all the best,


Hi there, 

Thanks so much for your interest in MDC. MDC is a prototype of a multi-dimensional control protocol that is designed to work with plain MIDI, using the Sysex bandwidth to encode and decode 21-bits data for X, Y and Z positions. We designed it to enable full use of the Seaboard in software, while at the same time developing a multi-channel solutions that is easier for third-party to implement. 

After we've engaged with third-party developers, we found that a majority of them was more comfortable using multi-channels of MIDI rather than Sysex. So we've provided the code examples that you've seen on the ROLI community page to help developers get started writing plug-ins and apps compatible with the Seaboard. 

At the moment, we are working towards a long term solution, and we are not ready just yet to release a protocol. However, should you use the examples of multi-channel MIDI provided on the ROLI page, it will be compatible with the Seaboard for the foreseeable future. 

I hope that answers your question!



Hi JB,

thanks for your answer! I was already wondering that we don't read much about MDC anymore.

EigenD is already supporting multi-channel MIDI for years, was thinking about adding MDC support because of Tracktion. It is not that there is a big choice regarding DAWs suitable for multi-expression instruments... But I guess Juce will support your new "long term" solution - however it will look like. And if Juce does then Tracktion would be the natural candidate to follow suit first...

So I am looking forward to see how your longterm solution will look like when you are ready to disclose your plans! If technically feasable it would be self-suggesting to add support for it to EigenD. Particularly if more vendors consider to jump on the train this would make a lot of sense. The EigenD internal protocol is quite powerful - but currently there is only one system that supports it - EigenD. So if your new system is comparable feature wise a lot of the expressiveness could be carried over. MIDI was really not made with Seaboards, Eigenharps, Continuums or LinnStruments in mind...


Best, looking forward to the news :)


Thanks, and really glad that you're thinking in this direction too. We'll be in touch as soon as we have found a long term solution!