Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Interactive, forum-based, in-depth reviews, tips, tutorials and more!
dark water
KVRian
1184 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Post Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:14 am

@Roger

Yeah, it's a crap situation (to put it as mildly as possible) the way in which you and your customers were left in the lurch by that software developer.

Your hardware products are excellent and successful. Good luck with your future hardware products :tu:

User avatar
Roger_Linn
KVRian
1297 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:23 am

Thanks, dark.

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16025 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:09 pm

Anderton wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:51 am
That said, while few instruments can make full use of what the LinnStrument can do, as mentioned previously the expressiveness you can add to any instrument is noteworthy.
Few sounds like less than how many there are that are MPE capable (Voice per channel aware). There's something like 15 VST instruments and also a bunch of iOS synths too. There is a good diverse set to choose from and the number is growing (slowly, but growing)

tapper mike
KVRAF
5069 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:26 am

pdxindy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:09 pm
Anderton wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:51 am
That said, while few instruments can make full use of what the LinnStrument can do, as mentioned previously the expressiveness you can add to any instrument is noteworthy.
Few sounds like less than how many there are that are MPE capable (Voice per channel aware). There's something like 15 VST instruments and also a bunch of iOS synths too. There is a good diverse set to choose from and the number is growing (slowly, but growing)
Actually it depends on the host...
Bitwig will recognize mpe devices then port midi subchannels cloning the plugin
Furthermore, Bitwig Studio's unique modulation system allows you to easily assign any of these new controls to any parameter, of the built in Instruments and Effects, as well as third-party VST instruments.
https://www.bitwig.com/en/16/the_future_of_midi.html

tenfingers
KVRist
62 posts since 22 Jan, 2011

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:55 pm

Chiming in as a happy Linnstrument owner here.

I had to purchase on faith as there was nowhere to demo here in South Africa, but I had a good feeling about it which was validated as soon as I started using the instrument.

It took about a day for the Linnstrument to become my primary controller, my keyboard shaped midi controllers are now all packed away or sold.

I'm by no means a very fluent linnstrument performer yet, but as far as my daily work as a film composer goes it's been a joy to use, even just for regular "on off switch" playing.

The expressiveness of the instrument continues to lead me in inspiring directions, and I find both the key layout and settings very intuitive to use and the instrument feels great to play.

I did have a couple of initial hiccups getting it setup the ideal way for me, for example some instruments that respond to cc74 or cc1 for the filter cutoff/mod-wheel can be a little too tonally erratic because each time a note is played, the filter or mod value can change depending on where the "key" is struck, while this can occasionally have interesting results it's not always desirable.
This just takes some time to get used to or to set up to behave the way I like with various instruments.

I'm also surprised to hear that only 1700 are out in the wild, maybe us Linnstrument users need to do some kind of campaign to promote the instrument!

Thanks to Roger for the excellent service in getting the instrument to me and of course for creating it.

I'm also enjoying this "expert forum" idea on KVR and thanks to Craig for kicking it off with the Linnstrument.

fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12921 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:37 pm

tenfingers wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:55 pm
I'm also surprised to hear that only 1700 are out in the wild, maybe us Linnstrument users need to do some kind of campaign to promote the instrument!
I suppose there are various reasons why not more people are interested, for instance:

- Most people that use Midi keyboards don't usually drag their finger up or down the keyboard, so the odd key arrangement on a conventional keyboard is no problem.

- Pitch bending via the bender is linear on a conventional keyboard as well as it is set in semitones within the plugin.

- In absolute terms the price is rather steep for many people. In my country for instance it is three months of minimum wage.

- Like all those modern, fancy, alternative Midi controllers there is something toy-like about them, even if it is anything but a toy.

- Most people don't need and want that utter expressiveness, which might actually require more post-editing in the DAW. I heard that even people that do have conventional Midi keyboards with Aftertouch, don't use Aftertouch.

- It might seem too delicate for people with big hands and fat fingers :hihi:

TheSteven
KVRian
613 posts since 5 Jul, 2005 from Southern California

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:10 pm

I only became aware of the LinnStrument a couple of days ago!
If I hadn't just gotten laid off of my day gig I would pick one up on a payment plan.
Looking forward to getting my hands on one.
ImageCakewalk/Sonar Plugin Management Tools

User avatar
Roger_Linn
KVRian
1297 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:36 pm

tenfingers wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:55 pm
Chiming in as a happy Linnstrument owner here.

I had to purchase on faith as there was nowhere to demo here in South Africa, but I had a good feeling about it which was validated as soon as I started using the instrument.

It took about a day for the Linnstrument to become my primary controller, my keyboard shaped midi controllers are now all packed away or sold.

I'm by no means a very fluent linnstrument performer yet, but as far as my daily work as a film composer goes it's been a joy to use, even just for regular "on off switch" playing.

The expressiveness of the instrument continues to lead me in inspiring directions, and I find both the key layout and settings very intuitive to use and the instrument feels great to play.
Thanks for the kind words, tenfingers. Would you mind if I quoted the above for my Owner Testimonials page? And if you'd be willing to email your name to me (to sign the quote) at support[at]rogerlinndesign.com, that would be even better.
tenfingers wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:55 pm
I did have a couple of initial hiccups getting it setup the ideal way for me, for example some instruments that respond to cc74 or cc1 for the filter cutoff/mod-wheel can be a little too tonally erratic because each time a note is played, the filter or mod value can change depending on where the "key" is struck, while this can occasionally have interesting results it's not always desirable.
Are you aware of Y-axis "Relative" mode? It's in Per-Split Settings, Timbre/Y column, 4th pad from the top. If on, then Y-axis movements always start at your specified starting value (0 to 127, default 64) regardless of where you first press, then subsequent movements increment or decrement from there.

Also, you can limit the Y-axis range by (in the same column) holding the "On" button. For example, you can limit it to 50 through 83, or whatever you wish.
tenfingers wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:55 pm
I'm also surprised to hear that only 1700 are out in the wild, maybe us Linnstrument users need to do some kind of campaign to promote the instrument!
Oddly, it turns out that there aren't so many people who look beyond the ordinary. :wink:
tenfingers wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:55 pm
Thanks to Roger for the excellent service in getting the instrument to me and of course for creating it.
You're very welcome. Thank you for liking LinnStrument enough to own one.

tenfingers
KVRist
62 posts since 22 Jan, 2011

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:57 pm

Roger_Linn wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:36 pm

Thanks for the kind words, tenfingers. Would you mind if I quoted the above for my Owner Testimonials page? And if you'd be willing to email your name to me (to sign the quote) at support[at]rogerlinndesign.com, that would be even better.
Sure, I'll mail you my info.
Roger_Linn wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:36 pm
Are you aware of Y-axis "Relative" mode? It's in Per-Split Settings, Timbre/Y column, 4th pad from the top. If on, then Y-axis movements always start at your specified starting value (0 to 127, default 64) regardless of where you first press, then subsequent movements increment or decrement from there.

Also, you can limit the Y-axis range by (in the same column) holding the "On" button. For example, you can limit it to 50 through 83, or whatever you wish.
I know about relative mode & limiting the range - the issue is with some patches the initial value may be 0 or 100 etc so it takes some setting up per patch to get those settings just right.
Took me a little while initially to figure that out.
Not a big deal, just like tuning a guitar before playing it ;-)

User avatar
Pictus
KVRist
278 posts since 21 Aug, 2017 from Brasil

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:53 pm

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:37 pm
- In absolute terms the price is rather steep for many people. In my country for instance it is three months of minimum wage.
Lucky you...
Here including the abusive taxes would be +- a year... :shock:
Last edited by Pictus on Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Anderton
KVR Expert
104 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
KVR Expert

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:09 pm

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:37 pm
Most people don't need and want that utter expressiveness, which might actually require more post-editing in the DAW.
I'm gald you brought that up. On one hand, if you think of it in "conventional MIDI thought," it would require more post editing. However, as I've mentioned the LinnStrument is more like a live performance instrument. Having played guitar into a DAW for many years, I knew the odds of being able to post edit it were remote, aside from major changes like deleting a note - I'd just have to do the part over. I feel the same way about the LinnStrument. If a part doesn't work, punch it or do it over.

It's ironic that a forward-thinking controller connects with my stage/real time roots :D
My educational website has launched! Read articles, see videos, read reviews, and more at https://craiganderton.org. Check out my music at YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit my digital storefront at https://craiganderton.com. Thanks!

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16025 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:49 pm

Anderton wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:09 pm
I'm gald you brought that up. On one hand, if you think of it in "conventional MIDI thought," it would require more post editing. However, as I've mentioned the LinnStrument is more like a live performance instrument. Having played guitar into a DAW for many years, I knew the odds of being able to post edit it were remote, aside from major changes like deleting a note - I'd just have to do the part over. I feel the same way about the LinnStrument. If a part doesn't work, punch it or do it over.

It's ironic that a forward-thinking controller connects with my stage/real time roots :D
It encourages developing better playing skills :)

I also usually play a part again if it isn't quite what I want. More fun and spontaneous than editing. It is nice that the option to edit is also there though. And it is easy to do for quick tweaks!

I'm very glad that there are enough people who do want this expressivity that MPE is making space for itself. I waited 20 years for something like the Linnstrument to come along (Thank you Roger)! Pretty much any new synth I might buy today has to support MPE or be from a developer I trust enough who says they are adding it. For example Moog. MPE is not supported on initial launch of the new Moog One, but they are adding it. It's going to be wonderful to play the Moog One with a Linnstrument!! The Moog One has the modulation flexibility to make sounds that truly shine with MPE controllers.

deastman
KVRAF
7233 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:03 pm

Okay, time for a confession.

After Roger demonstrated his LinnStrument for me, I was sold. So I ran out and bought one right away. Only thing is, while I was comparison shopping, I came across a used one with very light use, at a price which was too good to pass up. So I bought a used one. I actually feel tremendously guilty about that, knowing that Roger won’t see one cent from the sale, especially after he was so generous with his time. I actually seriously considered not posting in this topic anymore because of that. Ultimately, though, I feel I can at least be of better service in sharing my experience here and doing my part to help spread the word and evangelize the benefits of LinnStrument. So rather than keep my embarrassment secret, I figured I should just get it over with and acknowledge my guilt. :oops:

So after a couple of hours playing my LinnStrument, what do I think? I absolutely love it! Something which I intellectually knew from the beginning but which didn’t click with me until I’d played for a bit is that the tuning matches that of the lower strings of a guitar. I’m a pretty mediocre guitarist, but I do know my scales. As soon as I made that connection, it instantly became much easier to play. I find that it works better for me, mentally, to translate the left hand guitar fingering that I know so well into right handed LinnStrument fingering. In fact, after a couple of hours I can say that I can play melodic lines on LinnStrument far better than I could in a guitar with the same fingering. Having the lights as a guide really helps in teaching me the patterns and repetition of notes across the keyboard in a way which I never learned quite as well on guitar. It actually makes me wonder if I would have advanced on guitar much faster if I’d had one of those silly, gimmicky light up fretboards they market to kids.

Chords I’m progressing a bit slower. I printed out the charts from Roger’s site and I’m slowly learning the patterns. I think it may take a while to be as fluent at chord melodies as I am after 43 years of playing piano, but I’m excited for the challenge. I suspect I may need to spend a little time understanding how chord fingering on LinnStrument does or does not relate to open and barre chords on guitar.

So far I’ve mostly been playing with Cypher 2 and Equator. I find that the Y-axis modulation in most presets is more annoying than useful. For the most part, I want to start with a pretty stable tone and then carefully and deliberately introduce timbral variations. With my unrefined playing technique, timbral modulation ends up being constant and all over the place. I’ve experimented with absolute vs. relative mode, but wasn’t aware of the range limiting options. In general, I get the feeling that the “5D” patches on both of these synths were specifically designed with Seaboard in mind, with its much longer Y-axis travel. By modifying individual patches, I’ve been able to gain much more satisfactory control over the delicate and subtle modulation range which LinnStrument affords.

I’ve also tried it out with a couple of hardware synths so far. I plugged it into my Behringer Neutron, which is one of my more recent shiny toys. It didn’t appear that pitchbend or any other modulation sources are automatically mapped to parameters on the Neutron. I also didn’t see aftertouch or anything of the sort available as sources in the patchbay. There might be some other internal normalization available which I’ll need to read the manual to uncover.

I also tried connecting to my Novation Peak. That worked okay, but some adjustments were necessary per patch. The pitchbend range is assigned per oscillator, per patch, which gets pretty tedious to deal with. I guess that is why the Touché comes bundled with its own set of expressive Peak patches. I also tried mapping z-pressure to control overall volume by mapping it to the oscillator mixer level. I need to go back and verify it, but I think the Peak might have a bug there. Every time I did that, the three oscillators became horribly detuned and weren’t playable. Instead I had to use three modulation slots mapped to the individual oscillator levels.

In other words, it definitely requires fine tuning of individual patches on any synth to respond optimally to the playing style and preferences of each individual and controller. I’m looking forward to exploring how LinnStrument interacts with other synths, especially MPE capable ones like Falcon and (sort of) Omnisphere. Also building my own patches in MaxMSP, Softube Modular, Reaktor, etc., as well as my hardware Eurorack modular. But all of that takes time, and right now I’m more interested in dedicating practice time to developing my finger technique on the keyboard.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

User avatar
Roger_Linn
KVRian
1297 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:56 pm

Hi deastman,

It's no problem at all that you bought a used LinnStrument, and thank you for buying it. I'm pleased that you're enjoying it so much and that it has found a new and loving home. :)

I like Equator and Cypher2 too, and it's so helpful to have a well-funded competitor like Roli making such high-quality MPE synths that LinnStrument players can benefit from. Yes, the Y-axis range of their preset sounds is optimized for Seaboards but it's not too difficult to either edit the presets or limit the Y-axis range on LinnStrument.

Bitwig's synths are also pretty good for MPE. Register your purchase and I'll send you your license.

Regarding chords, Jeff Moen's instruction videos are a good resource. It's listed on the LinnStrument Support page.

deastman
KVRAF
7233 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:50 pm

Roger_Linn wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:56 pm
Hi deastman,

It's no problem at all that you bought a used LinnStrument, and thank you for buying it. I'm pleased that you're enjoying it so much and that it has found a new and loving home. :)

I like Equator and Cypher2 too, and it's so helpful to have a well-funded competitor like Roli making such high-quality MPE synths that LinnStrument players can benefit from. Yes, the Y-axis range of their preset sounds is optimized for Seaboards but it's not too difficult to either edit the presets or limit the Y-axis range on LinnStrument.

Bitwig's synths are also pretty good for MPE. Register your purchase and I'll send you your license.

Regarding chords, Jeff Moen's instruction videos are a good resource. It's listed on the LinnStrument Support page.
Thanks Roger. I did look at Jeff Moen’s page, and I’m going to buy his video series after I spend a bit more time on it on my own.

Also thanks for the offer regarding Bitwig, but I already own a license. I already own most things. I have a real problem with GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)! I forgot to mention that in my previous post, but I did briefly test the LinnStrument out with Bitwig’s native Polysynth and it worked very well.

I’m definitely going to have to pick up the Audio Modeling instruments, which were all really impressive and a joy to play. I just have to decide which to get first- the strings collection or woodwinds collection!

Have you found any Kontakt libraries which work particularly well?
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

Return to “KVR Experts”