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Has anyone been inspired by the isomorphic keyboard to get a Linnstrument?

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manateemilitiamanateemilitia Austin, TXPosts: 69

Standard keyboards have never really clicked for me but I'm enjoying using the isomorphic layout with my Deluge. I find myself wobbling my finger in sync with the modulation frequency as thought the pads were velocity sensitive and this has me wondering if a Linnstrument is worthwhile. Anyone else followed this curiosity?

Comments

  • 0
    pbolgerpbolger ChristchurchPosts: 61

    I realise that it's a lot less elegant, but a second hand Push 1 (around $250 in NZ, so probably sub $100 in the US) will give you quite a lot of what you get from the Linnstrument.
    https://github.com/Carlborg/hardpush for a (not very recently updated) project which would allow it to work in standalone mode.

  • 0
    funktreefunktree NYPosts: 128

    @pbolger said:
    I realise that it's a lot less elegant, but a second hand Push 1 (around $250 in NZ, so probably sub $100 in the US) will give you quite a lot of what you get from the Linnstrument.
    https://github.com/Carlborg/hardpush for a (not very recently updated) project which would allow it to work in standalone mode.

    Push1 cannot touch linnstrument. The expression and sensitivity of Linnstrument is second to none.

  • 0
    hurphendalehurphendale PragueBeta Tester Posts: 32

    @funktree said:
    Push1 cannot touch linnstrument. The expression and sensitivity of Linnstrument is second to none.

    Do you use it with the Deluge? What do you think? Pros and cons? I've been considering it for some time now, but it's quite expensive so I haven't committed yet.

  • 1
    funktreefunktree NYPosts: 128

    @hurphendale said:

    @funktree said:
    Push1 cannot touch linnstrument. The expression and sensitivity of Linnstrument is second to none.

    Do you use it with the Deluge? What do you think? Pros and cons? I've been considering it for some time now, but it's quite expensive so I haven't committed yet.

    Thanks for asking, I'm setting it up but I'm not successful yet. I cannot map the "Y" but I suppose there are some linn-guys here that might help. I have great results with both MODAL plastic synths and linnstrument. But with deluge super matrix we should be able to do a great expression ride. I have done after touch and velocity pretty sweet. Since aftertouch on LinnStrument is so precise. As far as expression linnstrument is my goto controller even though I owned push1 and own push2 which is collecting dust but that is because I just hate DAW. From my point there are 3 issues with the linnstrument owning it for two years. These are related to expression (regardless at which synth you hook it up)
    and strictly looking at linnstrument like an instrument.

    1. if you play a chord with 4+ fingers your fingers cannot be pushing adjacent rows.. Meaning playing only two rows. (that is technology limitation and easy to solve by spacing you chords trough 3 rows, basically one row can play only two notes if I'm not mistaken )
    2. due to protruded squares rubbery surface the "slides" (legato) might pick another note-ON so your legato needs to be practiced a bit (Medusa has much better sliding but much less accuracy and sensitivity)
    3. you always need a visual feedback since the surface is so sensitive that you might miss trigger an out-of-scale/tune note.

    Everything else is fabulous about this controller, built in sequencer, ARP, SPLIT (!) keyboard, slider mode, presets, limitless tweaking ... basically you can fully customize it without a computer

    Deluge is supposed to be able able to power up the LS but I have not tried. BTW linnstrument takes only 200mA ~ 1W so typical USB power bank can run it for days.

    I don't work for Roger Linn I just enjoy playing with expression (came from guitar world) From my channel you see that I've tried almost all of them besides continuum and Seaboard (I Do have roli blocks though)

  • 2
    o_oo_o Beta Tester Posts: 28
    edited April 2020

    I've used a Linnstrument with the Deluge quite a bit. If you connect it to Deluge's USB port, the Linnstrument can be powered just from the Deluge, without an additional power source. I set the Linnstrument to its Low Power mode. It seemed to work fine even in normal mode, but I only tested that for a couple of seconds.

    I had the Linnstrument first, and was pleasantly surprised that the Deluge uses the same layout.

    Deluge doesn't support MPE (yet?), so you have to set the Linnstrument to its Single-Channel-Mode. In this mode, X (Pitch) and Y are monophonic, but Aftertouch is polyphonic. All of this worked with the Deluge's synth, though I didn't really use Y a lot.

    Playing the Linnstrument translates well to the Deluge's keyboard mode, with some getting used to the Deluge's smaller pads, and that you cannot slide. You also have to lift the fingers a little more when playing fast, to not stumble at the Deluge pads' "rubber". But those are very minor problems. It's like playing a hammer action keyboard, and then a 25-key controller with smaller keys.

    In my experience, "wobbling your finger" left right (vibrato) sounds most natural with synth sounds. It sounds okay with samples that have few harmonics (e.g. Fender Rhodes). With brighter piano samples, it sounds very unnatural.

    Linnstrument's main advantages from my point of view:

    • All the expression, obviously. Especially X/pitch and aftertouch is very intuitive.
    • Isomorphic layout. Learn a chord shape or scale, and you can use it in all 12 tonalities. This is a huge benefit compared to e.g. the piano.
    • It's easier to play widely-spread chords, compared to a piano. You can play chords with just one hand which would require two hands on a piano. I found that I come up with different voicings than I would play on a piano. Maybe closer to what guitar players play.
    • Playing fast arpeggiated chords is much easier than on a piano, because the hand doesn't have to travel/jump so much.

    Disadvantages:

    • When playing a lot of notes at once, sometimes slides don't work and instead retrigger a note, which can be very disturbing. Scroll down in that link to see more edge cases. Note that these issues aren't mentioned as limitations on the website.
    • Velocity is more erratic and harder to control, compared to a good hammer action keyboard. For slow-attack sounds, you can use aftertouch instead of velocity, and aftertouch is very good. But for fast-attack sounds, aftertouch doesn't work well and you need velocity.
    • The overall range (lowest to highest key) is considerably lower than on a piano.

    I sold my Linnstrument just a few days ago. I used it a lot for about 8 months. It is still great, but I have had a lifelong marriage with the piano and came back to it.

    Post edited by o_o on
  • 0
    funktreefunktree NYPosts: 128

    @o_o said:

    • Velocity is more erratic and harder to control, compared to a good hammer action keyboard. For slow-attack sounds, you can use aftertouch instead of velocity, and aftertouch is very good. But for fast-attack sounds, aftertouch doesn't work well and you need velocity.

    noticed this too, I think the continuum has this figured the best. So I've tried bring this 'issue' up to Roger but they are not like synthstrom...they are kind of done with updating LS. For this issue I think some sort of smart Velo/After touch would be needed. After touch would be ignored for 1-3 seconds when hitting the pad hard... when hitting slow the velocity would be very low so Aftertouch gains the priority.

    Thanks for this extensive pros/cons post. Excellent points

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