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

    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.


    • 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.