The LinnStrument is designed to offer what Linn calls ‘3D Note Expression’. On Linn’s new instrument, movement of each finger is sensed in three dimensions continuously and simultaneously :
- Finger pressure for note loudness (or strike velocity for percussive sounds)
- Finger left/right position for note pitch
- Finger forward/backward position for note timbre
It’s polyphonic, so it’s able to capture this 3D note expression for all fingers simultaneously.
Why is 3D Note Expression important? Here’s what Linn has to say about it:
Software synthesizers have made tremendous advances in their ability to produce the subtle, humanlike solo note expression normally associated with traditional acoustic instruments. However, when played from midi keyboards, they tend to sound somewhat stiff and unnatural.
If you’ve ever tried to play a midi keyboard with a software synthesizer or sampler in order to simulate a convincingly human sax, clarinet, violin, cello or guitar solo, you’re probably aware of this limitation. It turns out that their key pressure and bend/mod wheels aren’t quite up to the note expression capabilities of acoustic solo instruments…
Linn’s design for the LinnStrument is flexible for it to be used in piano mode, guitar mode, hex mode or as a MPC-style controller.
Unfortunately, the LinnStrument is still in the prototype stage – no pricing or availability date is available.