Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

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sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Post Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:33 am

I just purchased and received a new Linnstrument after a lot of deliberation, helped by some excellent advice from several forum members here, including Roger himself. I look forward to joining the Linnstrument community, and hopefully some day making a meaningful contribution myself!

One area on on which I could use some advice/tips: successfully emulating a steel string acoustic guitar on the LS. I have an 'old' copy of Amplesound's AGM software (Martin steel string). I was wondering what if any adjustments I should make to both the LS itself as well as the software to coax the most out of the virtual instrument. Also, are there any other acoustic guitar virtual instruments that I should consider in combination withe the LS? Last, any thoughts/tips about playing technique for acoustic guitar would be very welcome. For the record, this is coming from someone who has played keyboards for many years, but 'real' guitar for a little over a year.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1489 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:22 am

Here's a video by LinnStrumentalist Tim Behrens, who I think has excellent acoustic guitar technique. In the video's notes, he states that he is using Orange Tree Samples' Evolution Steel Strings sample library:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wDy0GFgHjU

Here's another video from Tim, this time playing "Blackbird":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSshVx5LJsM

Lately it seems that whenever I find a video of high-quality samples under LinnStrument's expressive control, it's often a library from Orange Tree Samples.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:30 am

Thanks, Roger.
In return, with the hope that this might help others here (though unlikely, as I'm probably the least knowledgeable about the Linnstrument and MPE on this forum!), I am taking the liberty of posting a response that forum member ghiekorg graciously sent me about how he set up that Amplesound AGM virtual guitar for his great rendition of 'At the Gates' on the LS, shown in a YouTube video that you've included among the video clips on your website...

"Thank you for your message. Yes i used Amplesound plugin for that song.
I didn't actually do anything on the Linnstrument. I just turned off the MPE and the x/y sensitivity to avoid weird pitch shifting (i guess they would be more useful if you plan to play a fretless guitar or bass). On the plug in i turned on the keyboard mode and disabled all hammerons and pulloffs, legato and so on. I tried also to avoid playing multiple notes at the same time too: when you strum on a guitar you play the strings one after the other, not together like on a piano. More than that I can't remember. I played a bit with the chords and strumming section to make my strumming pattern (i think i used only 2-3 of them).
I hope this helps :)"

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7879 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:06 am

Orange Tree is definitely a great way to go. Their guitars can do poly pitchbend which works great with linnstrument in mpe mode (they are the only guitars that do actually). In the first video Roger posted above, he duplicated his kontakt instruments (6 copies), which is what you had to do before Orange Tree added Polybend, and what you still need to do with other kontakt instruments without that feature. So you can do independent vibrato or bends per note if you want. What I think is interesting about using these types of guitars isn't just to try to sound like a real acoustic guitar but to get that character and then be able to do things that would difficult or impossible on a real guitar.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:19 pm

To Echoes in the Attic -

I just checked out Orange Tree and thought that their Evolution Steel Strings might be the most sensible product to purchase. I presume that this one works great with the LS in MPE mode as you describe above? I say this because I just downloaded and took a quick look at their manual and could not specifically identify any reference to poly pitch bend.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:27 pm

One additional question for Echoes in the Attic -
Could you give me some idea of how you have mapped the various Orange Tree articulations to the Linnstrument? Did you specify key switches or cc or velocity range triggers? I ask because last night I attempted to use Amplesound AGM with the LS and found that their key switches were basically outside the range of the LS in its standard 4ths offset (i.e. AGM mapped them to the 0th and 6th octave). By the way, if it's not obvious, I'm new to MIDI controllers (grin)...

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7879 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:45 pm

Yes the Evolution Steel Strings have polybend. It was only added earlier in the year I think so perhaps it didn't make it into the manuals, I'm not sure. But all you need to do is set Kontakt to Omni channel and it works automatically. The current instruments only trigger legato scripted hammer-on/offs when the notes are on the same channel, so you would need to use channel per row and have a host that allows multi-channel and overlapping notes on the same channel. I use Bitwig which does not allow overlapping notes on the same channel in MPE mode, but I contacted Greg of Orange Tree and he quickly made a version of the instruments I have that do trigger the legato behavior regardless of midi channel, so I can have that in MPE mode. I'm sure he'd provide that on request and I'm sure it will be included in the default instruments as an option at some point.

As for the articulation mapping, it depends what type of performance you want to do. There are many different setups you might want. I actually only acquired some orange tree guitars a week or two ago so I'm still getting to know the functions and different ways of triggering articulations. I've mostly mapped some different ones to velocity, but if I'm not mistaken I think you can adjust the range of keyswitches. I could be wrong. But that type of set will come down to personal preference and what other gear you have, like perhaps another mini keyboard nearby. I have my linnstrument sitting on my Komplete S88 so I could use the keyswitches there as well as the other NKI stuff.

I probably wouldn't recommend Ample guitars for linnstrument currently since there is no mpe type support, but I think it's on their roadmap. Also Orange Tree will probably add some extra MPE modulations outside of just pitch bend down the road.

Good luck choosing an Orange Tree acoustic by the way! It's really hard, they have several really nice ones. I was recently trying to decide between the Jumbo 12, the Flatpick and the Steel Strings, in addition to some electrics. I'm a guitar player anyways and already have an acoustic guitar, a tele and a strat, so I went with things that are quite different to these - The Hollowbody Blues, the Rick 12 and the Jumbo 12. I probably won't get a 12 string guitar any time soon so those are great to have. I still think I might want the Steel strings or flatpick though, they sound great too.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:38 pm

Thanks so much! This was extremely helpful.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:57 am

To Roger or to Echoes in the Attic -

So I went ahead an acquired a license to Evolution Strings and was toying around with it earlier today, trying to emulate some of the bends and hammer-ons / pull-offs that Tim performed in the videos above. Would you have any tips on some of the settings I should be using on both the LS and in the software (other than I presume putting the LS in One Channel per Note mode and Evolution Strings in Omni mode)? In particular, I could use some advice on setting pitch bend range properly within both devices.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7879 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:41 am

What DAW are you using?
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:48 am

I'm been using the basic Bitwig 8 Track DAW that Roger offers with the Linnstrument, though today I was just using the standalone version of Kontakt 6 Player and setting the pitch bend range of Evolution Steel Strings inside the instrument's own 'SETUP' panel, which allows a range from a minor 2nd to a perfect 15th. Would I be better off playing the instrument inside Bitwig?

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7879 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:59 pm

You can play it outside or inside Bitwig, however you like. Bitwig is for if you want to record what you play. If you just want to play then you could use the standalone kontakt.

In standalone, you just need to make sure that you match the linnstrument bend range with that of the kontakt instrument. So if linnstrument is set to 24 up/down (which is default I think), then set the orange tree set up to Perfect 15th for both up and down. With the instruments in their current version you will want to have linnstrument in channel per row mode if you want to be able to trigger legato scripts (hammer-ons/offs). You'll have to be careful then not to bend any note where you are also holding another note on the same row. You could also have it set to channel per note and bend each note independently but you will lose hammer-ons/offs as it will always be on a separate channel.

In Bitwig it's similar - But you also need to set the track bend range to +/-24 and turn MPE on. Unfortunately when MPE is on, Bitwig will change the channel recorded of any new note that overlaps a note already on that channel, meaning that hammer-ons/offs won't play back after recorded in channel per row, because the channels will get changed so there's no overlap )even if Channel To is set to "same", which you should set also!) So it's best in Bitwig to use channel per note, losing the legato functions. However Greg will give you a modified version of the NKI so that legato scripts are triggered regardless of the channel, which is good for Bitwig (or standalone if you want channel per note there too).

By the way, you'll have the most luck getting help for Orange Tree in their forum and same for Bitwig stuff. Asking about other products here isn't always taken so well. ;)
Last edited by Echoes in the Attic on Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

sjmarano
KVRer
16 posts since 24 Aug, 2012

Re: Linnstrument and Acoustic Guitar

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:18 pm

Thanks for all the tips, including your advice about the most appropriate place to seek help on third party products. I will certainly take it to heart.

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