LinnStrument Hands-On Demo With Creator Roger Linn

Composer, guitarist and electronic music gear pioneer Roger Linn recently shared this hands-on demo of the LinnStrument, an expressive MIDI controller for musical performance.

Linn is best known as the creator of the LinnDrum and other seminal drum machines, and the MPC. In recent years, he’s turned his attention to developing the LinnStrument, a MIDI controller that’s designed to accurately track your fingers’ movements in five ways. Unlike traditional keyboards, the LinnStrument gives you expressive control over electronic instruments that’s comparable to what’s possible with traditional acoustic instruments.

Details on the LinnStrument are available at Linn’s site.

23 thoughts on “LinnStrument Hands-On Demo With Creator Roger Linn

  1. A legend, a brilliant designer, excellent guitarist and incredible human being. Thanks for all the incredible instruments you’ve created for us over the years Roger!

  2. reminds me of playing the people in your comments section like a fiddle

    while summoning a chorus of genius intellectuals to pour out their angry thoughts and excitement as they pontificate on their political superiority

    with one simple word

  3. I had one briefly. The silicon surface was seriously effected by temperature changes and would become wobbly. Not recommended for people who move their unit a lot between rooms with differing temperatures. I returned it in frustration when the company told me to keep it in a fridge for 20 mins before playing.

    Otherwise, it was quite a nice surface. The “buttons” were a bit too small for my way of playing, but that’s only a matter of getting used to.

    1. Happened to me once after long storage and I fixed it in 1 minute, unscrewing some of the screws and tightening them back. Thats it.
      This is described in the FAQ.
      One of the best controllers out there, a work of art from Roger Linn and Geert Bevin (the guy who wrote the MPE specs and Moog’s software engineer), I will never part with.

      1. Well, i didn’t want to do that a day after I purchased it. It was very inconsistent. Sometimes it’d be tight, mostly not. Anyway, maybe my unit was faulty or maybe I am faulty. :

          1. in very cold conditions the best fix is to loosen the screws, either way its a pain having to tighten or loosen it when ever its too cold or hot places. Luckily my last gig had a spare novation launchpad i had to rent

    1. I like the Tempest for what it is, not for what it isn’t. I’d pay for an upgrade sure (loading my own samples would be great), but I love what it can do… And you have to spend some thinking to work around its quirks. It sounds amazing. It’s basically six monosynths glued together with a near-perfect sequencer, with a stereo out for each… For me it’s a the ultimate drone machine / soundscaper. Those 400 or so samples (especially the “metallic” stuff) are terrific to to texturize the sound into something special (read: not pure synth tones).

  4. I relate to Korhan’s issues. There’s no question that its a lovely instrument, but we’re still in the shakedown cruise of MPE. The Osmose seems to have hit the mark especially well, although part of its success lies in pointing the way towards a standard interface. The Buchla Thunder was a high-water mark, being seriously tactile. The playing surface is always hugely important.

    The way its been progressing, I think there will be an “AHA!” moment where the ‘best’ interface will appear. It’ll be a cousin to bassist Tony Levin’s style, happily tapping his way across a Chapman Stick. I like how the Linnstrument offers some of that feel.

  5. The surface can be stretched tight in 30sec by loosening the screws a bit, smooth it out, and tighten them. This is a non-issue.

    Keyboards will never open themselves to the world of stringed instruments’ expressiveness, which is why I picked the Linnstrument over the Osmose; the keyboard layout is simply too restrictive for this. Being able to hit so many notes in such a small space is a revelation. Sure, there’s no cringy dramatic playing like on a keyboard, because you play by touch instead of hard press, but I can live with that while happily spidering about a grid with one hand…

    I especially like that you can set it up so that when you hit one note, the same notes will light up as well, so it’s very easy to find the note you need within reach of the same hand, instead of using the other, which, as a synth player, I rather use on something else than pressing notes.

  6. Roger Linn is for technology, what Bob Ross was for painting, when it comes to explaining, super calm listening to….

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