LinnStrument – ‘The Ultimate Open-Source Hacker Instrument’

Developer Geert Bevin has been working with Roger Linn to developer the firmware for his new instrument, the LinnStrument.

The LinnStrument is a new electronic music control instrument that’s designed for users that want to be able to play more expressively with synthesized sounds. Unlike traditional keyboard controllers, it lets you independently control any parameter of individual sounds, while playing polyphonically.

In addition to be a powerful new controller, the LinnStrument is also ‘the ultimate open-source hacker instrument, according to Bevin. This video captures a discussion Bevin gave recently about hacking the LinnStrument, at Devoxx 2014 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The slides are embedded below:

[slideshare id=41501483&doc=linnstrument-theultimateopen-sourcehackerinstrument-141113044036-conversion-gate02]

Here’s Bevin’s summary of the discussion:

LinnStrument is a new expressive electronic instrument that was invented by Grammy award winner, Roger Linn, creator of the MPC and the LinnDrum. It is built with open-source hardware, the Arduino Due and runs with firmware that is completely open-source as well.

With its 3 dimensional touch sensor, 200 cells and multi-color LEDs, LinnStrument presents itself as an amazing playground to discover embedded Arduino development with concrete musical and visual results.

This session will introduce the Arduino development concepts, tie them back to the actual hardware concerns, provide an overview of the main algorithms in the LinnStrument firmware and explain valuable lessons that were learned during the development.

6 thoughts on “LinnStrument – ‘The Ultimate Open-Source Hacker Instrument’

  1. This may be MIDI heresy, but can we easily program a template to play any scale, with any pitch? That would be truly awesome and take full advantage of Linnstrument’s flexibility.

  2. I’m enthusiastic about this instrument, without a doubt; HOWEVER a $1500 price tag falls somewhat short of ‘The Ultimate Open-Source Hacker Instrument’ in my opinion.

    1. I understand what you’re saying, but I have absolutely no objection whatsoever to rewarding Roger Linn and co. for this development with cold hard cash; years of hard work and a completely revolutionary product!

      I actually think it’s very reasonably priced, I really thought it was going to be more before the price was announced.

    2. Open-source has got nothing to do with price, as Richard Stallman has always put it so well gratis != free. Free is much stronger and aims towards liberty and freedom, it doesn’t imply volunteering even though there’s a lot of that involved here also. Roger has a family and has to live, so do I and the others that worked on the LinnStrument. This is always going to stay a boutique device that will never sell tens of thousands of units. Unless that happens, none of the components will be cheap enough to get the prices down considerably. If the components aren’t cheap, the device isn’t either, that’s just basic economics.

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