Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

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Straight2Vinyl
KVRist
168 posts since 10 Mar, 2017

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:09 pm

I think the biggest issue/obstacle of the Linnstrument is it simply isn't being sold in many music shops. It kind of sucks that it hasn't caught on more. I think theres something cool about using something so different in design when trying to make more expressive computer music. Before you even touch it you'll be in a different frame of mind when playing and composing.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12280 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:33 pm

vurt wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:08 pm
fluffy_little_something wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:45 am

1500 bucks is quite a high price.

not for a quality piece of kit.

you can spend far more on a guitar or other instrument.
and given its a new paradigm in playing, the market isn't going to be as big as a more regular keyboard.
a more niche product will always be a little more expensive than the average, because theres less made so overall manufacturing costs more.
Sure, quality has its price, and I am sure it is worth the price :)

I was merely thinking in absolute terms. Being an amateur, 1500 dollars (due to VAT and import fees probably closer to 2000 euros) for a Midi controller is a lot of money. It's about 15x what my 61-key Korg microKEY cost (which only has the usual two wheels and no Aftertouch, though) :wink:

But for ambitious, open-minded musicians the LinnStrument seems a good investment :tu:

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Anderton
KVR Expert
30 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:28 am

Following up on my previous post that showed the response for aftertouch, continuous controllers, and pitch bend wiggles, here are some more screen shots.

The Pitch Bend image shows my applying what I felt was an even amount of bend up and down. Granted, a pitch bend wheel will give an equally even response, but the main point here is that this is all done with finger motion.

LinnStrument Pitch Bend.png

Let's also look at velocity. Here I tried to hit a note with linearly increasing velocity, and I guess I did okay :D You can also see that past a certain point, the velocity "topped out" at the maximum possible value.

LinnStrument Velocity.png

Taken along with the other screen shots, these images show that the response is predictable and consistent - something that's very important in a controller, particularly when expressiveness is the stated goal.
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The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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vurt
addled muppet weed
37868 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:52 am

as straight2vinyl said, it would be nice if there was more availability in stores.
there are none around here that i (or any one else) can test before purchase. and given its a whole new paradigm it would be good to see if it works for me, it certainly looks like something id be interested in. but you cant really know till you try.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1034 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:15 pm

vurt wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:52 am
as straight2vinyl said, it would be nice if there was more availability in stores.
there are none around here that i (or any one else) can test before purchase.
I wish more stores carried LinnStrument but I unfortunately can't force them to buy. I wish I could. :)

Please write me at support[at]rogerlinndesign.com with your city of residence. With 1700 LinnStruments in the world, there's a good change that a LinnStrument owner lives there and may be willing to show you his.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
37868 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:24 pm

Roger_Linn wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:15 pm
vurt wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:52 am
as straight2vinyl said, it would be nice if there was more availability in stores.
there are none around here that i (or any one else) can test before purchase.
I wish more stores carried LinnStrument but I unfortunately can't force them to buy. I wish I could. :)
this is true, not your fault at all. sorry if it appeared i was blaming anyone, just stating why its not something i could just purchase.
i know the quality is great, some of the people who have posted here praise the linnstrument often enough it has my interest.

Please write me at support[at]rogerlinndesign.com with your city of residence. With 1700 LinnStruments in the world, there's a good change that a LinnStrument owner lives there and may be willing to show you his.

wow, thanks 8)

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1034 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:27 pm

Anderton wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:28 am
Let's also look at velocity...You can also see that past a certain point, the velocity "topped out" at the maximum possible value.
By default, LinnStrument is set for how people seem to like it best: it takes only a moderately high amount of force to produce an output velocity of 127. Given that it's more difficult to perform 3D expressive touch control while also hitting notes with high force, LinnStrument players tend to prefer playing LinnStrument with a lighter touch.

However, this can be changed. There are 3 velocity sensitivity settings: high, medium and low. (And independently, 3 pressure sensitivity settings.) If that doesn't give you what you need, there is a deep setting called "Touch Sensor Prescale" that gives continuous adjustment of sensitivity. At a lower sensitivity setting, it will require a very high amount of playing force to produce output velocities of 127, but light playing will always respond to the lightest touch regardless of any of these sensitivity settings.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12280 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:35 pm

Thomann sell it all over Europe, it seems.

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Anderton
KVR Expert
30 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:01 pm

vurt wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:52 am
as straight2vinyl said, it would be nice if there was more availability in stores.
I totally understand that with something like the LinnStrument, you really need to try it for yourself. There have been some years when Roger had a booth at Sweetwater's GearFest, where people can try the LinnStrument for themselves. If you live near Indiana, GearFest is held every year in June (usually the weekend after Father's Day) and maybe Roger will be there again in 2019.

I have a friend who thought the LinnStrument looked cool, but wasn't interested in pursuing it any further. However at GearFest he had a chance to see Roger play it and try it for himself, and he fell in love with it...he thought it was the most interesting product at the show, and last I knew, was saving up to buy one :)
The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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Anderton
KVR Expert
30 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:03 pm

Roger_Linn wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:27 pm
Anderton wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:28 am
Let's also look at velocity...You can also see that past a certain point, the velocity "topped out" at the maximum possible value.
By default, LinnStrument is set for how people seem to like it best: it takes only a moderately high amount of force to produce an output velocity of 127. Given that it's more difficult to perform 3D expressive touch control while also hitting notes with high force, LinnStrument players tend to prefer playing LinnStrument with a lighter touch.

However, this can be changed.
Yes, I should have been clearer! My point was that when exceeding the maximum velocity, there was no "bounceback" or false triggering. You just get another high-velocity note.
The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

dark water
KVRian
957 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:42 pm

The LinnStrument certainly looks like an excellent piece of hardware.

Just a shame that many of Roger's loyal software customers were left high and dry in relation to coding issues regarding Adrenalinn.

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Anderton
KVR Expert
30 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:55 pm

dark water wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:42 pm
The LinnStrument certainly looks like an excellent piece of hardware.

Just a shame that many of Roger's loyal software customers were left high and dry in relation to coding issues regarding Adrenalinn.
Yes, I'm never happy when something I used dies due to incompatibility with changing operating systems. I find this much more problematic with the Mac...Windows compatibility mode works pretty well, and the 32-bit bridges for 64-bit DAWs work reasonably well.

With respect to AdrenaLinn Sync, given that his sub-contractor didn't deliver a 64-bit version, Roger doesn't write code, and the sales were half of what the copy protection cost, I can't really blame him for discontinuing it. I think his company is small enough that trying to keep a money-losing product going would divert resources from customers of products that are still viable. (Maybe this is one of the reasons the code for the LinnStrument is open source, so anyone can work on it.)

That said...I do have a hardware AdrenaLinn, and use it as an external insert.
The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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Anderton
KVR Expert
30 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:51 am

Let's talk MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) for a bit. If you want to take advantage of the LinnStrument's ability to send MPE messages, you need a DAW that’s up to the task. Fortunately, that's not too difficult; the main requirement is being able to record multiple different channels in the same MIDI track. I tested the LinnStrument with Cakewalk by BandLab, which worked fine. However, handling MPE splits was a challenge—Cakewalk can record all MIDI channels into a track, or one MIDI channel. Ideally, you’d want something that can restrict a track to, for example, channels 1-8 with another track handling channels 9-16. To deal this with this, I put two pairs of eight tracks, each responding to a single channel, in two track folders.

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. The bottom line is that while I hope new virtual instruments will take full advantage of the LinnStrument—and some already do—it’s nonetheless an excellent controller for whatever synthesizers or samplers you already use. It’s worth taking the time to “LinnStrumentify” your patches to take advantage of the added expressiveness.

The MIDI Association http://www.midi.org ran a podcast awhile ago about MPE with Roger Linn, Geert Bevin (Moog Music), Ben Supper (ROLI) Athan Billias (Yamaha), and Pat Scandalis (MoForte). You can hear it at https://www.midi.org/articles-old/mpe-m ... at-podcast.
The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

UnWorldly
KVRist
33 posts since 13 Jan, 2013

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:53 am

Given the ranking of the linstrument in the thomann midi controller list, the high praise online and the experience of playing it, I would have suspected way more than 1700 by now. Mine is number 400 something with the original surface and panel labeling. I'm not used to being on the early side of an adoption curve. I've always been interested in unusual midi instruments. I had a tenorion about a decade ago, I was very close to buying one of those c-thru music hex layout keyboards when I stumbled upon that wired magazine article on the linnstrument a couple years ago. It was a present to myself after getting a new job, not an expense I would normally fit into my budget but feels worth the price after playing it.

I've been very pleased with the support from both the manufacturer and the community. Given the small number of us, we've resorted to helping one another learn how to play this thing as best we can. Jeff Moen has a very helpful video course on playing technique. I do find myself wanting lessons that are more structured and assume less experience with other instruments though. If melodics supported the linnstrument as a keyboard in addition to a drum pad controller that would be amazing, maybe I can trick it with midi-ox. People are trying different note layouts, chord shapes, different synths etc and coming back with opinions on the forums about what works for them. The website often updates with new articles and links to people's blogposts about how to play. I miscalibrated mine once and was directed to a video of a fix within a day. Firmware updates have been simple 2 minute steps, plug it in and press a button. We've posted ideas in the forums and seen several of them appear in updates.

I can't think of much to complain about that hasn't been addressed by learning how to use the thing better. I didn't know the button combo to turn the lights off until the website posted that tip. I wish I had more y-axis range but understand the technological obstacles behind that choice. It strikes a nice balance between configurable and easy to understand. Like many light-matrix style controllers, the LED grid can really mess with your eyes if you look at them for long periods of time. Maybe I'm just getting older, I used to party a lot and the strobes and lasers never bothered me, now I'm whining about LED's. The lights are very helpful for guidance so I don't want to turn them completely off, the low power setting dims them by half but can still leave me cross-eyed, sometimes I just put a layer of paper over it.

I like this expert review section, I don't feel like I have enough experience to be an authority on things like this but I love my linnstrument.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1034 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Roger Linn Design LinnStrument - by Craig Anderton

Post Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:38 am

dark water wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:42 pm
Just a shame that many of Roger's loyal software customers were left high and dry in relation to coding issues regarding Adrenalinn.
Sorry for the late reply. You're right and I apologize, dark water. It was a tough decision to discontinue my $99 AdrenaLinn Sync plug-in because as Craig kindly mentioned, my development partner Way Out Ware wouldn't finish a 64 bit version nor give me the source code for someone else to finish it. So with no viable options, in April of 2015 I announced to all owners that AdrenaLinn Sync would be discontinued and invited those who had bought within the previous 6 months to get a full refund, plus I continued to pay my copy protection provider their $5000/yr ransom for an additional year so that people could do new installations of the 32-bit version for another year. And this is for a product that was at the time earning me only about $2500/yr. And yes, I could have removed the copy protection on the 32 bit version and given it away for free, but by that time few people were still using 32 bit operating systems and the 32 bit version also had problems that Way Out Ware never fixed.

Ultimately the experience with making a plug-in taught me that I shouldn't be in the plug-in business. So I returned to what I know better, which is hardware products. And I promise to do my best to never again be in such a compromised situation.

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