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 LinnStrument Feedback 
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
AnDroiD wrote:
Sorry Steve didn't mean to sound so bitchy. The LinnStrument is a really cool device wish I could afford one, or anything for that matter. I can barely afford strings these days...very, very, minimal amount of income coming my way so all I can afford to do is practice on the instruments that I have (Be grateful for what I have, many can't afford a Stick). Sooo...my bitchiness comes from my frustration w/ myself. I think I'm having having my mid-life crisis at age 59-and-a-half...tic,tic,tic,...All these devices look and sound cool, gotta find my niche and generate some $$$

Ah, Marty, you're totally okay with me! At worse, I felt guilty because you were absolutely right about "nothing's better for learning to play Stick than playing a Stick" (paraphrased).

And as a musician that grew up too poor for a piano or lessons, but lived near churches that I would break into at night to play their pianos and teach myself, and then through 13 years in the restaurant industry, I totally get it. I have a lot of trailer park rage at people born into money, who no more deserve my hate for them being rich than I deserved for being poor.

Slight Hijack, but it's my thread, so I'm taking this thread to Cuba...
I have a desperate, burning desire to create music. I've never been clever enough at my music for it to support me in creating itself. It--like fusion technology at the current state of the tech--cannot support a self-sustaining combustion that will keep itself burning. I have had to use my other skills--and 2 degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing and Technical Writing and Professional Communications--for me to finally have enough free time (weekends off) and money (I'm a government employee who supervises a team of other technical writers, so I make decent money) to support my habit in the habit that I have grown accustomed to.

I used to be single, work at restaurants some 60 hours a week, and slowly buy things one pawn sale, and one desperate friend who needed cash, at a time. I had some stuff that did not suck, and then sold off or gave all of it away to go to Japan for 3 years and have adventures, teach junior high kids bad English, and meet my wife.

And had to start over from scratch, but now with a little more money. And 14 years later, the studio gets rebuilt and reconstituted, with Sticks instead of vintage keyboards. And now cheap MIDI controllers.

And the years keep rolling by (I'm 47). All the shit I bought last year and the year before, I still have and most of it still works. I have one amp to my name. I have like 2 pedals. And other assorted crap.

I now have more spare cash than self control, but that's okay. I don't go out to movies or sports, we eat at home (thank you years of cooking!), and my wife rarely spends money. And she gives me an allowance to play with. Which I blow right past, but you know....I'm addicted to making music. And new musical toys. And Sweetwater gave me a $5K credit card, which should have been the 2L;DR version of this.

So, I hear you brother Marty, and nothing but love. Be thankful for what we have, and make the most of what we got.

And I suspect that this applies to many of us Gear-Aholics:

Image

--Steve

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Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:35 pm
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
lol I am going through a "gear cleanse" right now, it is almost ridiculous how much guitar gear I have... I'd like to get down to ONE awesome electric, ONE awesome acoustic, and ONE awesome bass, same thing with the amps and effects processors and pedals and stuff. lol I can only play one thing at a time!

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Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:51 pm
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
I identify Steve. Went to two semesters of music school and been cooking ever since. My current Catererer doesn't have any work for me and I complain when I'm there 'cause my back hurts from all the years of kitchen work and Hammond organ/amp moving and general reclessness. But I don't go to movies, never cared for sports, and my girlfriend appreciates home-cooked meals, library movie borrows, and my company. I have a Stick, a couple of basses/guitars, a Nord Lead II, a Roland Handsonic, a mixer & a couple of PODX3's. COUNT YER BLESSINGS

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Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:22 am
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
I've only had a couple of days to play with my new Roli Lightpad and the Seaboard Block, and I've already done 2 new songs with it.

The Block was $300 and is 25 keys. I always thought that at $3000, the Seaboard Grand was an interesting things to watch, but not realistically worth putting down that much money without ever seeing or playing one. Not that that prevented me from getting my first Stick! But it was half that price to start out.

But the Riser 49 at a $1000 seems to be large enough to be useful for almost any situation, and there are octave controls to extend the range to the left or right. It also comes with 3 extra non-specific ribbon controllers, for assigning to anything.

But here's the kicker, for me, personally: I've been playing piano for 30 years. I can probably leverage those skills on the Seaboard more than I can leverage my newish Sticking knowledge with a LinnStrument. Which also runs at least a grand for the smaller model, and $1500 for the model I'm interested in.

I'm going to continue to play with the smaller $300 Block, and then see if I go to the Riser 49 or switch gears and go with the LinnStrument. As awesome as the LinnStrument looks, a piano-style controller would be a better fit for me personally, in light of my keyboard background. For that same reason, a LinnStrument seems to me a better-fitting form factor to the bass and guitar-playing Stick players.

Any thoughts from anyone who has experience with BOTH controllers?

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Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
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Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:42 am
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
AnDroiD wrote:
I identify Steve. Went to two semesters of music school and been cooking ever since. My current Catererer doesn't have any work for me and I complain when I'm there 'cause my back hurts from all the years of kitchen work and Hammond organ/amp moving and general reclessness. But I don't go to movies, never cared for sports, and my girlfriend appreciates home-cooked meals, library movie borrows, and my company. I have a Stick, a couple of basses/guitars, a Nord Lead II, a Roland Handsonic, a mixer & a couple of PODX3's. COUNT YER BLESSINGS


I say fuck it, make a setlist record some crazy backings on an ipod and go out and play. People will dig it, and as a result will pay. The Stick is it's own accompaniment which is even cooler, but throw a looper pedal in there and ehrmagherd the possibilities are endless. Don't gotta be Beethoven, I see all kinds of musicians at different levels out there making stuff up, getting paid...

I think just watching someone play a Linnstrument would be worth it, all the lights and stuff... Heck, I'd pay a dollar for that.

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Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:51 am
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
Jayesskerr wrote:
I say fuck it, make a setlist record some crazy backings on an ipod and go out and play. People will dig it, and as a result will pay. The Stick is it's own accompaniment which is even cooler, but throw a looper pedal in there and ehrmagherd the possibilities are endless. Don't gotta be Beethoven, I see all kinds of musicians at different levels out there making stuff up, getting paid...

you're right Scott, you're right...

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Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:14 pm
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
I had both controllers at one point and I ended up returning the Seaboard Rise 49.

The question in my mind is what do I want to use the instrument for? The LinnStrument plays the role of a lead synth in my rig. Instead of using my left hand for pitch bend and modulation controls, I can use one hand to play a note and add expression. In my youth I actually used my nose to use the pitch bend paddle on the Yamaha CS15.

I planned to use the Roli to play synth and organ sounds and found it to be unsuitable for playing organ. You cannot gliss notes on the Roli. It is a highly expressive, well-made instrument and I may pick one up again at some point.

I find it easier to control pitch bend and vibrato with LinnStrument. Side-to-side slides are easier to control, in my view. Initially, I found controlling the Y axis on LinnStrument tricky because each pad is small. But firmware updates now allow for setting the range for controlling the Y axis (and other parameters). So, you can customize how sensitive the pad is to opening a filter.

With both instruments, you need to invest time to set up the instrument and the sounds for optimal play. For example, many of the sounds on Animoog have vibrato mapped to aftertouch whereas I prefer to control vibrato on LinnStrument with pitch bend and a side to side motion.


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Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:30 am
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
jacubert wrote:
I had both controllers at one point and I ended up returning the Seaboard Rise 49.

The question in my mind is what do I want to use the instrument for? The LinnStrument plays the role of a lead synth in my rig. Instead of using my left hand for pitch bend and modulation controls, I can use one hand to play a note and add expression. In my youth I actually used my nose to use the pitch bend paddle on the Yamaha CS15.

I planned to use the Roli to play synth and organ sounds and found it to be unsuitable for playing organ. You cannot gliss notes on the Roli. It is a highly expressive, well-made instrument and I may pick one up again at some point.

I find it easier to control pitch bend and vibrato with LinnStrument. Side-to-side slides are easier to control, in my view. Initially, I found controlling the Y axis on LinnStrument tricky because each pad is small. But firmware updates now allow for setting the range for controlling the Y axis (and other parameters). So, you can customize how sensitive the pad is to opening a filter.

With both instruments, you need to invest time to set up the instrument and the sounds for optimal play. For example, many of the sounds on Animoog have vibrato mapped to aftertouch whereas I prefer to control vibrato on LinnStrument with pitch bend and a side to side motion.


Excellent response, Jeremy; exactly the kind of feedback I've been looking for. I bolded the part about not being able to gliss (glissando, or drag your fingers across the keys up or down). That's an important point, and one I had not thought of. With the tiny little Seaboard Block controller, that's not really a thing I can do anyway, but I hadn't thought about the loss of it on the larger sizes. I also don't like that I don't have a sustain pedal on the small Seaboard Block, although the larger sizes of the Rise have one.

Another complaint of the Seaboard Block is that it doesn't have what I've heard Roger Linn describe as a "pitch quantizer," for adjusting the pitch to center for when you hit the pad slightly off center, which the LinnStrument apparently does automatically as part of the firmware. One complaint I have about my current technique as applied to the Block is that I have to hit the notes directly on top of the keys, or the pitch will be off. I'm sure some further practice would refine that technique or maybe there's some pitch centering that I'm not aware of for the Block/Rise. But it's a bit annoying that I hit the edge of keys rather than the center of them (he says, just discovering that now after 30 years of playing!) To be fair, they ARE fairly narrow, compared to "regular-sized" keys.

Hmmm. I'm gonna keep playing with my Roli stuff and hold off on buying the Rise 49 or the LinnStrument. I'd love to get my hands on a LinnStrument, but I don't know of anyone local at all who has one. Maybe by Christmas time--we'll see!

Thanks, Jeremy!

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:35 am
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
You guys have to stop these posts! I just about ordered a Linnstrument last night. The only thing that stopped me was that I was having a particularly productive practice night...

:D

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Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:23 am
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Post Re: LinnStrument Feedback
The Rise has strips at the top and bottom for pitch bend but you have to get your fingers there and back again. LinnStrument does have the pitch quantizing (which can be toggled on and off). I found that the more you approach the Roli as a keyboard, the more of a challenge it becomes. If you approach it as a different instrument you can develop new techniques for playing that are more effective. There is a Roger Linn Designs forum on KVR - maybe you can find someone nearby with a LinnStrument? Sweetwater has a great return policy which is another alternative.


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Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:33 pm
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