Best MPE controller?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
KVRAF
1604 posts since 4 Jul, 2019

Post Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:50 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:19 pm
Getting old blows goats!
Think of the alternative ! :D

KVRAF
1604 posts since 4 Jul, 2019

Post Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:52 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:19 pm
I reckon you've got Buckley's, mate.

I struggle with arthritic fingers, too. For me, though, it means I can use my Roli for some things but not others. I developed a playing style for it early on, before my arthritis was an issue, where I rest my fingers on the keywaves and gradually apply pressure, which works great for playing pads and the like. You just have to set up the Roli to respond in a way that facilitates that. Right now, though, I've been taking pure glucosamine tablets for a few months and my arthritis is well under control, so I can bash the shit out of my Seaboard without any pain. With the weather down here getting colder, it will be interesting to see if things remain under control but for now I am enjoying the Roli a lot.

Getting old blows goats!
Thanks and yeah, bummer about the arthritis. No way I would move down.south into the cold.
I've put in an offer on a roli lightpad block m on eBay, l am worried they are going broke but if the price is good it only has to last a year or so to get value.

User avatar
KVRAF
19901 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:10 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:26 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:09 am
Other benefits of the Linnstrument:
• Doesn't need a computer.
Well, it sort of does, really. It can't make sound on its own and it needs power, so it has to be connected to something to work.
I plug it into my USB power strip... or anything with USB power like my phone charger.
BONES wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:26 pm
• Has no configuration software and all the configuration is done on the Linnstrument.
I see that as a disadvantage, really. Compare it a Lightblock, where you can create and store multiple set-up and switch between them on the fly.
There are 6 presets on the Linnstrument which can be switched on the fly. Also, much of the time it is so fast to change settings on the fly, that one might not need presets unless setting up complex splits or something like that. The 6 presets themselves are done on the Linnstrument.

Split Keyboard / Strum / CC Faders- You can split the keyboard to play two different sounds, and adjust the split point as you like. You can use one split to strum notes fingered on the other split as on a guitar. Or use either split as eight horizontal Control Change Faders to adjust 8 sound parameters in real time as you play.

All the settings are fast and easy to see/edit. There is no menu diving since there are no menus. There are two foot switches/pedal inputs and there are multiple functions that can be set. Even the complex settings are readily changed. Want Timbre (Y axis) to send something besides CC#74? Easy. When changing something like a CC value, the whole surface becomes an alpha numeric screen, so everything is visual.

The bottom row has multiple modes, regular notes of course, plus it can be a mod strip (modwheel by default), it can strum held notes, sustain notes, function as a little X/Y/Z modulator, activate the arpeggiator and sliding left right changes arp speed.

There are 2 step sequencers with I think 4 presets possible (I never use the sequencer). The arpeggiator held notes still responds per note to pressure, pitch slide and Y axis.

So yeah, if you are setting up complex settings, you would want the 6 presets. On stage that would be useful too. All the usual configurations I can change nearly as fast as picking a preset anyway, so in the studio I don't bother with the presets.

BONES wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:26 pm
• Linnstrument has USB and DIN Midi so I can plug it directly into any older synth or other gear that has a midi in.
• It is designed to be repairable. For example, one can order a replacement surface and change it oneself.
These things are definitely advantages. Support with Roli is a real concern, in that they do not currently have stock of anything, so you can' t buy a Seaboard direct, you'd have to find a store that was selling them, and no music shops in Australia seem to carry them any more, although you can buy some of their range from our local equivalent of Best Buy (JB Hi-Fi). That said, if I bought a Linnstrument I'd have to order it from overseas, so getting support if it breaks would be prohibitively difficult and I'd effectively have no warranty.
You would need to confirm with Roger about the warranty arrangements for AU, but he can always ship any replacement parts to you. One way or another, he would not leave you hanging.

Another thing, the Linnstrument firmware is open source. So anyone with the skills can customize it if they want. Also, if the company ever went under, users could maintain it... but it is so solid and complete as is, doesn't seem like much if any maintenance is needed. And since it is self contained, there is nothing to become outdated or unsupported (like a dashboard app).

And same thing I mentioned to fairly... If you want to try one, Roger has multiple times connected potential buyers with local owners to arrange a demo. Whether there is a local owner near enough to you who is willing is uncertain. Maybe Covid has affected that.

User avatar
GRRRRRRR!
12342 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:51 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:10 pm
I plug it into my USB power strip... or anything with USB power like my phone charger.
But it still won't make any sound, will it? So you end up having to plug it into two things instead of one, thus making it a disadvantage compared to plugging it into a computer and getting both power and sound. Uno Synth is good because it runs on batteries and makes sound so all you need are a pair of headphones. The Roland Boutiques are better again, because they have a built-in speaker, so you don't need anything external if you have it in the keyboard housing (k25M).
There are 6 presets on the Linnstrument which can be switched on the fly. Also, much of the time it is so fast to change settings on the fly, that one might not need presets unless setting up complex splits or something like that.
Not as comprehensive as a Lightblock, which can act as a mixing console or a single XYZ pad. It's not restricted to a single paradigm like the Linnstrument. i.e. The Linnstrument has fixed size buttons, making its surface less adaptable.
When changing something like a CC value, the whole surface becomes an alpha numeric screen, so everything is visual.
The problem I see there is you'd have to keep bouncing in and out of the config mode to make sure you got the right cc no., whereas with a separate utility app, you can be more interactive with the device while you set it up. That's particularly handy with the Seaboard, where you can be playing it normally as you set the response curves for each of the 5Ds, so that it perfectly matches your playing style.
If you want to try one, Roger has multiple times connected potential buyers with local owners to arrange a demo. Whether there is a local owner near enough to you who is willing is uncertain. Maybe Covid has affected that.
I actually have no interest in it any more, now that I have a reasonable understanding of it. It is too big and it is very clearly not made for me. I may be a really bad keyboard player but at least I am used to the layout. Having to get used to a linear arrangement of notes would do my head in and I can't see any reason to put the effort in. Plus, there is the thing of not wanting to look at it while I am playing. The Seaboard Block is dead easy to feel my way around, Linnstrument is too uniform, even if you can feel individual buttons. i.e. How would you tell you were resting your finger on an F and not A without looking?
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRAF
1604 posts since 4 Jul, 2019

Post Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:49 am

managed to buy a new Roli lightpad block M pretty cheap off ebay. Hopefully will be a good intro into MPE controllers

KVRist
250 posts since 12 Sep, 2007

Post Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:39 am

@BONES It sounds like for your needs the Seaboard is a better fit.
Good on you for being able to figure it out.

The reason I lean on Linnstrument is because of many of the things you have concerns with.
Isomorphic layout is the #1 reason why I favor it. I primarily use it 1 handed, solos and melodies.
All hardly ever even looking at the Linnstrument.

There's still a Seaboard blocks and a Rise49 that I love and play all the time.

I do play other stringed instruments so the Linnstrument layout is more familiar from that background.
But I've also played traditional keyboards for a long time too.

Happy MPE to you!
Dirk

KVRAF
1709 posts since 16 Jan, 2013 from USA

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:20 pm

Argh. I was finally ready to pop for a Seaboard and I see the company is in dire straights. How much was a Seaboard Block new? I've spotted one locally for a decent price. From what I understand, there's some sort of license transfer issue?

Banned
102 posts since 23 Jul, 2021

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:23 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:20 pm
Argh. I was finally ready to pop for a Seaboard and I see the company is in dire straights. How much was a Seaboard Block new? I've spotted one locally for a decent price. From what I understand, there's some sort of license transfer issue?
It was inevitable. They charge a lot, many companies were too slow to adapt (they still are)

Just when it was getting about time to jump on board. Maybe I'll pick up a block while I can.

Edit: EEEK! Looks like I'm sol. Man, I had no idea.

KVRAF
1709 posts since 16 Jan, 2013 from USA

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:44 pm

"I've looked at Sensel Morph but I'd be concerned about how hard and unyielding its surface is - I think you'd get sore fingertips if you used it a lot. The Rolis are really soft and squidgy, you can play them for days."

The company loaned me a Morph for a review, and the unyielding surface wasn't particularly pleasant. In my case, it's a bone spur in my left forefinger that really didn't like it. Fingertips were fine but I didn't play it to death.

My biggest issue was the velocity curve. I could never get it to a state that I liked. Pretty responsive though.

Banned
102 posts since 23 Jul, 2021

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:01 pm

hitherepeople wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:23 pm
jonljacobi wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:20 pm
Argh. I was finally ready to pop for a Seaboard and I see the company is in dire straights. How much was a Seaboard Block new? I've spotted one locally for a decent price. From what I understand, there's some sort of license transfer issue?
It was inevitable. They charge a lot, many companies were too slow to adapt (they still are)

Just when it was getting about time to jump on board. Maybe I'll pick up a block while I can.

Edit: EEEK! Looks like I'm sol. Man, I had no idea.
I wonder if these guys are legit:

https://www.inadorn.com/index.php?main_ ... n80e41gjp4

Good price, if new.

User avatar
GRRRRRRR!
12342 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:19 pm

It's hard to know what Roli are up to. They seem to be laser-focused on their Lumi stuff at the moment, probably hoping that its broader appeal will provide decent revenue to support the rest of their business. The problem is that I've wanted a Lumi since it launched, so I could extend my Seaboard Blocks with one, but they still won't sell me one here in Australia, because they say they need to get past regulatory hurdles. Who knows, maybe they can sell every Lumi they make in the markets they are in now? I hope so because they make great stuff and it would be a shame to see them disappear.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

Banned
102 posts since 23 Jul, 2021

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:29 pm

Agreed. But it might a case of being too ahead of their time.

KVRAF
1709 posts since 16 Jan, 2013 from USA

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:20 pm

hitherepeople wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:23 pm
jonljacobi wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:20 pm
Argh. I was finally ready to pop for a Seaboard and I see the company is in dire straights. How much was a Seaboard Block new? I've spotted one locally for a decent price. From what I understand, there's some sort of license transfer issue?
It was inevitable. They charge a lot, many companies were too slow to adapt (they still are)

Just when it was getting about time to jump on board. Maybe I'll pick up a block while I can.

Edit: EEEK! Looks like I'm sol. Man, I had no idea.
Yeah, it's slim pickings out there at the moment. Part of it might be the current shortage of chips. Everything is backed up at the moment, though it's getting better. I also didn't realize they were in the UK where things seem a bit tougher.

Banned
102 posts since 23 Jul, 2021

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:09 pm

I'm a little pissed! American Music has it and so does the one place that might be janky for a low price, but it's terrible. For the millionth time...... It seems to be that they were ahead of their times and are now suffocating from it.

I hope I'm wrong, I personally am getting more interested than ever.

User avatar
KVRAF
19901 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:36 am

I am waiting on pre-orders of the Osmose and Erae Touch. Those 2 are new MPE controllers with fresh vision and creative development.

And the Linnstrument is a lifetime keeper. I will never have to worry about it become an obsolete piece of junk. There is no screen that can get cracked or die, and the user interface is the best thing ever. All parts are user replaceable. And if there ever were to be a Linnstrument 2 (which I doubt will happen), it would be done in such a way that current users could upgrade to the new parts. No hint of planned obsolescence! Plus the firmware is open-source.

As for Roli... they have changed direction too many times now. I have always planned to get a seaboard Rise but kept holding off due to feeling uneasy about the company future. Obviously there is no choice now as they are not currently available. If I were to bet, it would be that Roli will not survive the next two years.

Return to “Hardware (Instruments and Effects)”