Roger Linn Demos 3-Dimensional Synth Control With The LinnStrument

Instrument designer Roger Linn (LinnDrum, the MPC) shared this video, which captures him exploring 3-dimensional synth control, using his LinnStrument and the Madrona Labs Aalto software synth.

Linn’s demo makes use of the nascent Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE) specification, which is designed to standardize the way electronic instruments and software synths handle an expanded range of musical gestures. The LinnStrument gained support for MPE in May and it was added to Aalto last week.

In the video, the key thing to note is how the LinnStrument is mapped to control a variety of synthesis functions in Aalto:

  • Pressure (z-axis) is controlling harmonics;
  • Left-right motion (x-axis) is controlling pitch; and
  • Top-to-bottom motion (y-axis) is controlling comb filtering.

As Linn demonstrates, MPE gives musicians continuous control over each note, in 3 dimensions – so individual parts can slide at different times and at different rates, vibrato is controlled per voice, and modulation can be applied to each note differently.

You can find out more about the LinnStrument at Linn’s site and about Aalto at the Madrona Labs site.


4 thoughts on “Roger Linn Demos 3-Dimensional Synth Control With The LinnStrument

  1. I don’t know, on paper this sounds like the ultimate expressiveness in a musical instrument, but I can’t find a single performance that’s nice music.

    1. I think the point of a demo like this is to show you what is possible.

      Any electronic musician with a little imagination should understand what this makes possible.

      I was half expecting someone to say that they didn’t like the ‘sound of the LinnStrument’, though!

      Search for Geert Bevin on YouTube – he has posted several nice videos that are more jams than demos.

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