Meet LinnStrument, an expressive MIDI controller for musical performance.
Unlike the simple on/off switches of a standard MIDI keyboard, LinnStrument's RGB-backlit note pads sense each finger's subtle movements in five ways, enabling musical performance expression rivaling that of fine acoustic instruments.
How are the notes arranged? Why not a piano note arrangement?
The piano's note arrangement is great for turning a sound on and off, but its uneven pitch intervals and rear-positioned black keys make it ill-suited for performing natural pitch bends and slides, an important element of violin, sax or guitar performance. And the piano keyboard isn't isomorphic-- for each chord or scale, you must learn 12 different fingerings, one for each of the 12 musical keys.
Stringed instruments don't have any of these problems because the physics of a string requires the semitones to be uniformly spaced and positioned. So LinnStrument's notes are arranged as on any stringed instrument. Each row is a series of consecutive semitones, and you can tune the rows like a guitar, violin or however you wish. By default they are tuned in musical fourths (5 semitones), like a bass guitar with 8 strings.
To make it easy to find the right notes, the naturals (C, D, E, F, G, A and B) are lit, with all the C notes lit in a different color. Alternatively, you can light any scale and in any of 10 colors.
About LinnStrument's smart MIDI...
Works with every MIDI synth, and even better with new MPE synths
LinnStrument sends standard MIDI messages over its USB or MIDI output jacks, and is configured by default to work out-of-the-box with every MIDI sound generator in existence, polyphonically and with the advantages over a MIDI keyboard of performed vibrato and note-to-note pitch slides.
For fully polyphonic expressive control, you'll need a synth that's compatible with MPE (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression), a new MIDI standard for connecting expressive controllers and synths over standard MIDI. It's already supported in quite a few major software instruments. We even include a free sounds file for Apple's MainStage and Logic, plus a free license for Bitwig 8-Track, whose built-in synths are MPE compatible and includes a library of MPE sounds.
We've just released software version 2.0.0 with the following new features:
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