Roger Linn Design have announced a smaller and more affordable version of their LinnStrument. They are calling it the LinnStrument 128 due to the smaller grid of 8 x 16 note pads but otherwise has the same features as the original.
The LinnStrument is a unique MIDI controller that uses all sorts of sensors to create an expressive performance. This is very much about our old friend MPE (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression) like what you’ll find on the ROLI keyboards. The LinnStrument note pads can sense movement in 5 directions. You start with strike velocity, then pressure exerted on the pad, left/right movement (used for pitch bend or vibrato), front/back movement (often mapped to timbre) and finally release velocity. All of these movements are independent and can be expressed on multiple pads simultaneously.
The grid of pads looks very much like a groove machine rather than a MIDI controller. However, the layout is intended to be an isomorphic keyboard. It puts notes into a grid with equal spacing between semitones. This makes it much easier to play in any key, very much like a stringed instrument.
New Step Sequencer
The grid of pads also lends itself to other things. With the LinnStrument 128 they’ve also introduced a new Step Sequencer mode. Each pad can represent a note with individual velocity/duration/bend and y-axis values. It supports any time signature, step sizes and loop lengths. This builds nicely on built-in arpeggiator mode.
They don’t have any new videos on the 128 version or the sequencer as yet but the introduction to the LinnStrument video below should give you a fair idea. It’s a great looking piece of kit that could add a bit of expressive sparkle to your synth lines.
The LinnStrument 128 will retail for $999 and should ship in a couple of weeks. More information on the Roger Linn Design website.