It's been three years since Geert & I, Roli, Apple, Moog and a few others submitted a draft proposal for MPE (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression) to the MMA. They've finally finished their additions and approved it, while also changing the acronym to "MIDI Polyphonic Expression". So although polyphonic expression has existed in MIDI since its inception (for string-per-channel guitar MIDI controllers), and although there are already 70+ MPE synths and about 10 MPE hardware controllers in existence, it's nice to see the MMA add a few details and give it their stamp of approval. This should result in more synth makers adding MPE compatibility to their synths.
My patent application for LinnStrument's touch sensing system has finally been approved, a welcome ending to a long and arduous process of writing, editing, waiting and more waiting. If you'd like a truly boring read, download the patent. My thanks to patent attorney, friend and owner of the very first LinnStrument ever sold, Clif Anderson, who has a track record of having written more than 300 technical patents that were approved.
See Harmony Central's review of LinnStrument 128, written by legendary music product writer Craig Anderton. I admit Craig is a friend of mine, but it's also true that he's built a reputation for being fair and unbiased in his reviews.
New LinnStrument videos, including two-handed piano-style play
I've posted a number of new owner videos on the LinnStrument Owner Videos page, showing the variety of creative things people are doing with their LinnStruments.
I've also reorganized the Owner Videos tabs on the page, most notably putting expressive solo videos on the new Expressive Solo Play tabs, and two-handed, piano-style play videos on the new Two-Handed Play tab.
One pleasant surprise is how many people are using LinnStrument for two-handed piano-style play. Although I chose LinnStrument's Fourths String Layout as ideal for expressive solo play, it's a pleasant surprise to see people embracing its advantages for two-handed chord play as well.
Over 1400 LinnStruments sold so far
The total sales of both LinnStrument and LinnStrument 128 have now exceeded 1400 units. We're not challenging the guitar or piano anytime soon, but people who value ideas are seeing the advantages of a new musical interface that combines expressive play with an intuitive, isomorphic note arrangement.
The SWAM bowed-string and wind instruments have moved to Audio Modeling
For perfect bowed-string and wind instrument sounds under LinnStrument's expressive control, nothing comes close to Audio Modeling's SWAM instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass, saxophones, flutes, clarinets, double reeds and woodwinds). Why? Because their superb physical modeling technology delivers the sonic perfection of sampling but in a way that is completely malleable and natural, without the negative artifacts of samples like unnatural changes in pitch, dynamics or timbre.
Until recently, the SWAM instruments were sold by Sample Modeling, but now the makers are selling them direct from their new company Audio Modeling.
Note that Sample Modeling still sells their superb Kontakt-based instruments: trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba and three sax ranges. If you haven't tried their trumpet, it's wonderful and includes a variety of mutes. Using their Harmon mute, it delivers an amazing Miles Davis sound.
Any help spreading the word is appreciated
As many of you know, my company is just me working from home, albeit with outside manufacturing/shipping and the help of friends like Geert Bevin, who wrote LinnStrument's software. But as a small company, it's sometimes hard to cut through the noise to get the word out. So if you like your LinnStrument, I'd appreciate any help you can give in telling people about it, making videos, playing it in public, and posting about it on the web. Thanks!