Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

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jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Post Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Greetings and happy new year. My Linnstrument arrived this week and I'm just getting to know it. Of course it works perfectly out of the box with the suggested downloads, and I'm already better at it than I am at keyboards (not saying much, but as a bassist and guitarist the tuning is a tremendous relief).

But of course I want to get it working with my hardware which is where things get a little more complicated.

First up: I'm trying to get it to talk with my modular synth. I watched Geert's demo with the FH-1, but I'm having some trouble getting consistent pitch tracking--especially on pitch bend--and some weird clicks on the note onset. It could be the FH-1; it could be the Linnstrument, so I'm starting here.

I've tried two different reliable oscillators, a temperature-stabilized analog VCO (Atlantis) and a DCO (Braids). I've tried the VCA in the Atlantis and a standalone VCA and the problem is reproducible. Pitch out is to pitch in on the oscillator (no wacky mults or anything), aftertouch/pressure is to the CV in on the VCA.

Linnstrument settings are:

Output on MIDI channel 9, which sends pitch to output 1 and pressure to output 4 like in the video (he didn't mention this setting but it must be what he used, unless there's something I'm not getting)

Pitch bend is set to 24.

The FH-1 is set to the factory default CVs -5 to +5 (jumpers on the back) and otherwise I haven't tried to program it. Latest firmware installed.

Do you have any other suggestions? If there's no success here, I'll try Expert Sleepers support.

Thank you!

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1006 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:09 pm

Hi jsterne,
I don't know the FH-1 but it's usually a good idea to start by simplifying your setup. If you do a Global Settings > Action column > Reset (press Notes Off + Update OS), all settings will be reset to factory-new status. (Send only over MIDI channel 1, X=Bend at +/-2 semitones bend range, Y=C74, Z=Poly Pressure.)
Then turn off Loudness/Z > On and Timbre/Y > On in Per-Split Settings. Now it should be sending the same thing as a standard MIDI keyboard-- Note On, Note Off and Bend. If it works now, put things back in one at a time until the problem reappears.
I hope this is helpful for you, and happy new year.

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:02 am

Thanks Roger. Unfortuntately, doing this doesn't seem to fix the problem. With the pressure off, I need to run out of the gate output on the FH-1 (since there's no pressure to report) and patch through an envelope. Works like a keyboard then. Turn on pressure sensitivity, and patch like in the video, and the clicks come back on no matter how I set pressure sensitivity on the keyboard. Plus back into my computer, works like it should. If Geert stops by maybe he can say a little more about how he set up the FH-1.

Happy new year, again.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1006 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:25 am

By “clicks”, I assume you’re using pressure to control VCA level and are hearing quiet jumps in volume, presumably more apparent at quiet volumes / low pressure. It sounds like the FH-1 may not handle LinnStrument’s continuous pressure stream fast enough, or isn’t smoothing the CV output. Does the same problem occur if pressure is sending Channel Pressure or a CC, as opposed to the more dense (during polyphonic play) Poly Pressure stream? And do the clicks go away if you slew the CV to the VCA, assuming you have a way to do that?

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:38 am

Hi Roger,

Wow -- fast support on a holiday! Way above and beyond. Thank you.

I'm guessing you're right that it's not smoothing the output so it's shuttling between open and shut. It's not like the "click" (or thump, depending) you get with a very fast envelope on a VCA triggered from a keyboard or something. It's more like a little blast of static at the beginning and end of a note. Channel pressure rather than poly helps with the attack a bit but not the release. It's less noticeable if I do a sort of slow onset of the note but won't work for staccato playing.

Yes, if I run the channel pressure through an AD envelope or similar it goes away but then of course I'm not controlling it as well. If I use a CC, I have to go in a reprogram the FH-1, which is a whole other can of worms, so I haven't tried that.

I may have guessed wrong about the FH-1 settings Geert was using, but unfortunately, there's no more documentation on his video. There's also been a firmware update since then (and I don't know what firmware he's on) so something might have changed there.

I'm about ready to take this to Expert Sleepers, since I think you've done about all you can do, unless you can think of something else.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1006 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:56 am

I don’t see how an AD envelope could possibly smooth/slew an analog signal. Do you have any module that can smooth an analog signal? Even a low pass filter should work if it passes DC.

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:00 am

You can slew with Maths (I maybe wasn't clear about what I was doing), but will try with a filter and report back. http://www.makenoisemusic.com/content/m ... al2013.pdf

bfuhrman
KVRer
17 posts since 4 Aug, 2015

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:16 pm

Hi jsterne-
When you say you're using the aftertouch output of the Fh-1 to the VCA CV on Atlantis, I'm wondering if that's the issue. According to their manual, Level is 0 to 5 volts, and the output of the FH-1 is -5 to +5. Have you tried the Gate Out of the FH-1 to the Gate In on the Atlantis?

I'm using a Linnstrument with an FH-1 - definitely a complicated setup! My oscillators are a MakeNoise STO and a Klavis Twin Waves, envelopes are Maths and a 2HP ADSR, VCA is an Optomix, so this isn't entirely like your setup. The Linnstrument outputs on Channel 9, with 24 pitch bend, I also made sure I was in One Channel mode as ChPerNote will overload the FH-1. I typically use aftertouch from the FH-1 to control a Disting Mk 4. I also experimented with data reduction (Global Settings, hold MIDI I/O) - full speed seems fine when only using X axis and Gate, increasing to 300 seems to make it respond better when using the Z axis, and over 350 seems to work best when using the Y axis (which seems to be sending the most data, but that could just be my playing technique).

Good luck!

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:11 am

Wow, thanks for the reply bfuhrman. Super helpful. It seems like yours is hooked up more like a regular keyboard. If I use the gate out into the gate in of the ADSR of the Atlantis, no problem, but if you check out Geert's video, he's basically using his finger pressure as an ADSR. If I can't make it work, I can't, but I want to. If I use pressure to control a filter or something that works without the annoy "static-y" sound so it's really a VCA issue, but direct finger-to-volume control is one of the things this can do, so I want to try to get it happening.

I am on single channel.

I'm going to have to read up on data reduction--haven't tried that yet.

BUT, no matter what I do, I'm only getting half step slides with the FH-1, max. What note quantization are you using, and can you get any vibrato?

Again, if I plug into a software instrument on my computer, no problem, so i know it's not the Linnstrument but the relationship between it and the FH-1.

Also, what Firmware version is your FH-1? I'm wondering if there is an issue with the latest update or if Geert's video is done with an earlier firmware. I can always revert to get it working.

Roger: I tried filtering and got the same result as the Maths, especially messing with resonance. It helps, but isn't a perfect solution.

I'm going to write Geert off the site to see if he has any insight into the setup he was showing.

Thank you both!

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1006 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:30 am

A video of the perceived problem would be helpful. I think you're saying that if you use pressure to control VCA level, you hear discrete volume steps while varying the pressure of a very light touch. However, when you use pressure to modulate filter frequency, you don't hear any such problem. If so, the problem seems to be that you are hearing the VCA instantly switching between the discrete pressure levels of the MIDI pressure messages. That's why I suggested smoothing the VCA level from step-to-step, which could be done by running the VCA CV through a lowpass filter (if your lowpass filter passes DC), but the cutoff frequency probably needs to be pretty low. You might contact Expert Sleepers to learn if the FH-1 has a way to smooth the CV signal. Either that or perhaps some module you have does smoothing. Personally, I always use filter frequency to control signal level because it sounds more natural to me.

Regarding your problem with bend range limited to one semitone, then is LinnStrument sending the maximum Bend value? For example, is LinnStrument set to a Bend Range of +/- 24 semitones and you're sliding 24 note pads? If so and FH-1 is set correctly, then you oscillator must be responding with the correct bends. To test this, do the simplified setup I mentioned earlier because problems are always easier to solve if you start by simplifying. Or you can connect a standard MIDI keyboard; does pushing the bend wheel fully forward produce the maximum pitch bend desired?

I'm not sure how tech-savvy you are, so you're welcome to contact me at support@rogerlinndesign.com and we can arrange a video call.

bfuhrman
KVRer
17 posts since 4 Aug, 2015

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:56 am

Hmm... a video would definitely help here, as Roger suggests.

For pitch quantization, I'm alternating between fast and off depending on the patch. Doesn't make a difference in terms of being able to bend or use vibrato. It could be that your FH-1 pitch bend is not set to the same as the Linnstrument. If you check their manual on how to set it, it's under Menu C, setting 1. It sounds like that could be why you're only getting small slides. Also under Menu C, make sure that setting 5 (Device Specific Behavior) is set to 1. I've used Firmware 1.8 and 2.0 with no issues. based on the date of Geert's video, I'm guessing he used 1.3 or higher as that would fit the date and the device specific behavior for the Linnstrument was introduced in that version. He appears to be using an AJH Discrete Transistor Cascaded VCA - just level and CV, so it looks like he's using aftertouch as the envelope directly.

Looking through the Atlantis Manual (since I don't have one), have you tried setting the ADR settings to 0 and Sustain to 100% when using pressure as input for the Envelope Level? It may be an overlap that's causing the disturbance. It could also be an aftertouch off message from the Linnstrument (Roger - is aftertouch continuous or on/off pairs? I'm a state away from my Linnstrument right now and can't test it). You could also try setting ENV/GATE switch on the VCA to GATE and trying it. That might not be 100% what you want, but it could be worth a try.

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:11 am

Thanks bfuhrman, and Roger, as always! I think it's time to start messing with FH-1 settings (heaven help me), and see if that works. Roger: I would happily take you up on a videoconference but let me try this first. It may take me a few days.

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Sat May 19, 2018 7:41 am

I realize this thread has been quiet for months, but I'm bringing it back after a busy semester where I wasn't particularly keen to troubleshoot in my music time.

I've fixed everything but the original aftertouch issue.

On the modular:

Here's where I'm at now. With a filter, per Roger's suggestion, I can solve the original problem around VCA clicking. I think it must be something about the VCA Geert was using in the video. Or older OS for both the Linnstrument and the FH-1. I'm getting the problem with both Intellijel and Mutable Instruments VCAs. I hate to waste a filter on this, though, so I might just give up and use it to trigger an envelope like a regular keyboard and use the aftertouch as a modulator.

I would love to be able to get it working like in the video.

On the FH-1:

I downgraded to OS 1.8. Seems to have solved some pitch tracking problems I was having, and I got the rest fixed by setting the Linnstrument to 24 semitones and the FH-1 to 12 semitones. Why? Who knows. But this has fixed it for me.

On the Linnstrument:

Everything works perfectly. If I plug it into my computer and configure a synth in Ableton Live to follow aftertouch, velocity, pitch bend, whatever, it behaves like it should.

On Bfurman's suggestion I used the USB MIDI data reduction for the FH-1, but it doesn't seem to be helping with the clicking issue, and I'd say aftertouch is not working right overall for use as an envelope.

I asked a question on the Expert Sleepers forum but only got a shrug from Os as he doesn't have a Linnstrument to test with and doesn't remember the setting they used to get them working (fair, but disappointing since it's a combination advertised as working).

If bfurman is still around, or anyone else with an FH-1, I would love to know how to get this setup actually working right -- like in the video.

I'm not set up to do a video but maybe I can just do it with my phone camera and a little speaker for the modular or something.

bfuhrman
KVRer
17 posts since 4 Aug, 2015

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Sun May 20, 2018 3:25 pm

Indeed, I'm still around - and actually have more time now that the semester is over.

Getting the FH-1 to take aftertouch without bumping at the end of each note is possible, but it's a pain. Here's the procedure I used, both Linnstrument and FH-1 are on the latest firmware versions.

On the FH-1, make sure you haven't disabled device specific behavior (Menu C, setting 5 = 0), and set you're pitch bend accordingly (I'm using 24 on both). Save that as a preset (menu B, option 1, select a slot), so you can refer back if needed.

On the Linnstrument, you will want to set up your playing surface into splits: I use left for notes, right for faders. On the notes, set it to One Channel Mode, and output to channel 9 (FH-1 will output 1=pitch, 2=gate, 3=velocity, 4=aftertouch. Send pitch to an oscillator, and aftertouch to a VCA or mixer as you'd expect). Next on the Linnstrument notes side, set Z axis to on, and select Poly Pressure. Hold down the Z On so that you can adjust Low and High output (I set Low to 20, High to 127). Go to the Faders side of the split.

Again, stay in One Channel Mode, and set it to output on Channel 1 (Global Parameters on the FH-1). Next, hold down the CC Faders button so that you can remap them. We need to enable Smoothing on the FH-1, so you will need to remap any one of the CC faders to a CC number between 64 and 71. Do that, exit, and enable split mode so you can see and use both notes and Faders on the Linnstrument. While playing, change the value of the remapped fader, this will enable smoothing on the FH-1, hopefully killing the bump. You will have to adjust that fader every time you plug in the Linnstrument to the FH-1 or restart it.

Between adjusting the Low/High of the aftertouch, and smoothing, I was able to get a decent use of aftertouch as an envelope. Video documentation is below. Good luck!

https://youtu.be/lE1jeaIHX0I

jsterne
KVRist
45 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Setting up Linnstrument for FH-1, possibly for Geert

Post Sun May 20, 2018 5:34 pm

Brilliant! Will try and report back. Thanks so much.

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