As far as I know, the expected behaviour from channel 1 (in “Low Zone” mode) is that it carries “global modulation”, for lack of a better word. For instance, the sliders on a Seaboard affect all voices at the same time. And while individual pitchbend per channel is one of the most commonly demoed features of MPE, there are some cases where you want pitchbend to affect all voices/channels at the same time.
You’re right that the behaviour you’re getting isn’t at all what’s expected in MPE.
Your ROLI Dashboard settings sound right for MPE mode. If you have some kind of MPE-compatible softsynth (say, Equator Player which came with the Block), you should get the kind of control you expect. I’m not so clear as to what it’d sound like in Rack before I try it.
When it works, MPE does give you individual per-voice/channel control for:
- aftertouch (Z-axis, what ROLI calls “Press”)
- vertical movement (Y-axis, what ROLI calls “Slide”, assigned to CC74 by default, typically used for filter cutoff or reassigned to modulation)
- horizontal movement (X-axis, what ROLI calls “Glide”, typically pitchbend)
- on-velocity (ROLI’s “Strike”)
- off-velocity (ROLI’s “Lift”)
Another thing to keep in mind is that MPE typically requires pitchbend range to be 48 semitones. In many cases, a softsynth I’m playing won’t respond properly to “Glide” because its pitchbend is set to 2 semitones or something like that. Also, not every patch uses CC74 in an interesting way. So, if you move a single finger vertically and you don’t hear any change, it might be because CC74 isn’t assigned to anything.
So… With a proper setup for MPE with the Lightpad, all the movements you make are independent of one another. It can be a bit difficult to test if the sound itself isn’t differentiated enough. For instance, it can be hard to hear a change in filter cutoff if you also have a change in volume caused by something else.
Hope this helps a bit. My MBP is still building some homebrew dependencies so I can’t test this, yet.