Version 2.1.0 Software
LinnStrument Sequencer OperationLinnStrument contains a highly versatile 2-track step sequencer with the following features:
• 2 tracks, one for each of LinnStrument's 2 keyboard splits and using its settings
• Track lengths up to 32 steps, independent for each track
• Selectable step size (8th, 16th, 32nd, triplets, dotted) independent for the 2 tracks
• Swing timing for 16th notes
• 4 sequences per track, of which one may play at a time
• 3 views of the sequence data: Scales (one row per scale note), Drums (one row per drum) and Notes (same as LinnStrument Fourths String Layout)
• Forward, reverse and forward/reverse modes, independent for each track
• Independent velocity, duration, pitch bend and Y-axis values for each event
• The displayed portion of the sequence may be looped for fast editing
• Sequence rows may be viewed as scale notes or drums, or in LinnStrument's normal Performance view.
• Editing functions for clearing and copying of track sequences
• 16 memories, each with all sequences and settings, may be saved to computer via our mac/windows app
• Play both sequencer tracks, or play one while using the other split to play live over it
The video at right provides an overview of operation.
Note from Roger: The credit for this sequencer goes to LinnStrument's software creator Geert Bevin, who not only wrote the sequencer software but also did most of the design.
If you have an earlier LinnStrument without the printed Step Sequencer settings
If you an earlier large LinnStrument model without the printed Step Sequencer settings in the upper right area of the top panel, there are 3 ways to update your LinnStrument:
2) Here's a graphic file that you can print onto adhesive-backed label paper, cut out and to attach to your LinnStrument.
3) Click here to buy a set of 3 preprinted and precut adhesive labels to attach to your LinnStrument panel, available from StyleFlip for $20 + low-cost shipping.
There are 2 sequencer tracks, one for each of LinnStrument's two keyboard splits, using the Per-Split Settings (MIDI assignments, colors, etc.) from the split. Each split can be used for normal play or for sequencer play but not both. However, one split can be used for the sequencer and the other for live play, thereby permitting simultaneous sequencer playback and live play.
To turn on the Sequencer
To turn on the sequencer for either split, go to Per-Split Settings > Special column and turn on the Sequencer button (4th pad from top). Then exit Per-Split Settings and the normal Performance mode lights will be replaced by the Sequencer screen, shown below.
Here is the Sequencer screen on the large LinnStrument model:
Here is the Sequencer screen on LinnStrument 128. If no note is selected in the Sequence Display Area at left, the lower-right area shows the Page Select buttons...
...or if a note is selected in the Sequence Display Area at left, the lower-right area shows that note's 4 parameter values:
The left side of the screen contains the Sequence Display Area and Step Select Bar. The right side of the screen contains the Sequencer Controls. In the large LinnStrument model, the Sequencer Controls are printed above the right side of the playing surface. In LinnStrument 128, they are printed to the right of the playing surface.
The Screen Areas and Controls
The PLAY, SETTINGS and SPLIT buttons
While the Sequencer screen is showing, the functions of the following buttons change:
• The function of SWITCH 1 changes to Sequencer Settings, explained below.
• The function of SWITCH 2 changes to Sequencer Play/Stop.
• The function of the SPLIT button changes to toggling between displaying the left or right split. If the Sequencer is enabled on both splits, this permits fast switching between the left and right splits' sequences for displaying and editing.
The SEQUENCE DISPLAY AREA
The upper 7 Rows on the left side of the screen is the Sequence Display Area, which shows the actual note events in the sequence. If a note event has a velocity of 96 or higher, it is shown in the split's Accent color. Otherwise it is shown in the split's Main color.
There are 3 views of the sequence data-- Scales, Drums and Notes. These 3 views are explained below in the description of the View Mode buttons. The screenshots above show the default Scales view, in which each row represents a note of (by default) a C major scale. To change the displayed scale, change Global Settings > Note Lights, just as you would change the displayed scale in Performance mode.
The columns represent Time Steps. LinnStrument 128 shows 8 time steps and the large LinnStrument model shows 16 time steps. The displayed area shows you a window into a sequence of up to 32 steps and 14 rows (pitches). The Page Select buttons (explained below) permit viewing different pages within the larger sequence.
The STEP SELECT BAR
The lowest row below the Sequence Display Area is the Step Select Bar. Various colors indicate different information:
Red: This is the play head. When the sequence plays, the red light moves to indicate the playing step.
Orange: The step contains at least one note event.
Yellow: The step contains no note events.
Lime: The step is after the Sequence End and therefore does not play.
The SEQUENCE SELECT & MUTE buttons
Each of the 2 sequence tracks (left and right) has 4 sequences, one of which can play at a time. There are 4 buttons for the left split's 4 sequences and 4 buttons for the right split's 4 sequence. The active sequence (1 through 4) is lit in the split's Accent color, while the inactive sequences are lit in the split's Main color. If you change the active sequence while playing, the newly-selected sequence will play when the current sequence finishes. Or to instantly switch, double-tap the new sequence button.
The MUTE LEFT and MUTE RIGHT buttons are used to instantly mute either sequence track.
The VIEW MODE buttons
There are 3 views of the sequencer data:
This is the default view and is shown in the screenshots above. In this view, each of the 7 rows represents a note within a musical scale. In the screenshots above, the rows represent the 8 notes of the C major scale. To change the displayed scale, change Global Settings > Note Lights, just as you would change the displayed scale in Performance mode.
Drums view is identical to Scales view except that instead of the rows representing scale notes, they represent different drums, or rather the MIDI note numbers for specific drums. By default, the 7 rows are assigned to the following note numbers, which are the General MIDI standard for the following drum types:
Skaker (note nmber 69, highest row)
Tamborine (note number 54)
Hihat Open (note number 46)
Hihat Closed (note number 42)
Snare rim (note number 37)
Snare (note number 38)
Bass drum (note number 36)
However, these assignments may be changed in the Sequencer Settings (Switch 2).
This view is the same as in LinnStrument's Performance mode: rows of consecutive semitones with scale notes lit. In this view, only the note events that exist at the selected step (in the Step Select Bar) are displayed, and appear in red.
The STEP SIZE buttons
These buttons determine the time given to each sequence step, relative to the current tempo. (The Sequencer uses the same tempo as the Arpeggiator, set in Global Settings > Arpeggiator columns.) The options are:
1/4, 1/8 or 1/16
For example, press 1/16 and all steps will play for one 1/16 note each. To select 1/4, press 1/8 and 1/16 together.
DOTTED, TRIPLET and SWING
Select DOTTED to change the selected 1/4, 1/8 or 1/16 Step Size into dotted 1/4s, dotted 1/8s or dotted 1/16s.
Select TRIPLET to change the selected 1/4, 1/8 or 1/16 Step Size into 1/4 triplets, 1/8 triplets or 1/16 triplets.
Select SWING to force the Step Size to 1/16, played at a loose half-swing in which for each 1/8 note, the first 1/16 note receives 58% and the second 1/16 note receives 42% exactly half-way between straight 1/16s and triplets swing 1/16s.
For normal 1/4, 1/8 or 1/16 notes, do not select any of these 3 buttons.
The PAGE SELECT buttons
Each sequence has 32 steps, yet only 16 columns can be viewed on the large LinnStrument model and only 8 can be viewed on LinnStrument 128. Also, in Scales or Drums view, the sequence contains 14 scale notes or drums, yet only 7 rows can be viewed at a time. So the Sequence Display Area is a window into the larger sequence. The Page Select buttons allow you to reposition that window to view different parts of the sequence.
On the large LinnStrument model, there are 4 Page Select buttons, permitting viewing of 1) the first or last 16 steps, and 2) the lower or upper 7 rows.
On LinnStrument 128, there are 8 Page Select buttons, permitting viewing of 1) steps 1-8, 9-16, 17-2 or 24-32, and 2) the lower or upper 7 rows.
If either LinnStrument model is set to Notes View, there are no upper rows to view so there are no upper Page Select buttons. In this case, the Page Select buttons are used only to select ranges of steps, with buttons for LinnStrument and 4 for LinnStrument 128.
The CLEAR button
To clear (erase) any sequences, hold CLEAR while pressing one of the 4 left or 4 right Sequence Select buttons.
To clear (erase ) all notes from a step, hold CLEAR while pressing a step button in the Step Select Bar.
The COPY button
To copy one sequence over another, hold COPY while pressing the source, then destination sequence, from among the 4 left and 4 right sequences.
To copy a step's contents to another step, hold COPY while pressing the source step, then destination step in the Step Select Bar.
The LOOP SCREEN button
Turn on to loop only the steps that are visible on the screen. This is useful for quick editing of a portion of a longer sequence.
The REVERSE button
Turn on to reverse the play direction. Hold to alternate play between forward and reverse.
How Do I...
How to Insert a note
At the desired location in the Sequence Display Area, press an empty note location. The note will be entered at the velocity played.
How to delete a note
To delete a note, briefly tap it in the upper 7 rows.
How to change the sequence length
The sequence can be any length up to 32 steps. By default, the sequence length is 8 steps on LinnStrument 128 and 16 steps on the large LinnStrument model, the same as the number of displayed steps. To change the sequence length, hold SETTINGS (Switch 1) while also pressing the desired ending step in the Step Select Bar. To select a length longer than the number of displayed steps, you must use the Page Select buttons to view higher steps within the sequence.
How to select a note for editing
Hold the note for more than 1/2 second and it will blink, indicating that it is selected for editing.
Another way to select a note is to press its step in the Step Select Bar. If more than one note exists at the selected step, press the step button in the Step Select Bar again to rotate through the notes at that step or no selection.
Once selected, the note's Velocity, Duration, Pitch Bend and Y-axis values will appear in the lower right area of the playing surface, explained below.
How to deselect a note
If you wish to deselect the selected note (for example to use the Page Select buttons on LinnStrument 128), press anywhere on the unlit area in the middle of the screen. On LinnStrument, there is a single unlit column. On LinnStrument 128, there are 2 unlit columns.
How to instantly reposition the Play Head while playing
While playing, hold Switch 2 (Sequencer Play) while pressing a step in the Step Select Bar. Play will instantly jump to the new position.
How to play only the viewed sequence track
If both sequence tracks are in use but you'd like to play only the viewed sequence track, hold SEQUENCER SETTINGS (Switch 2) while pressing SEQUENCE PLAY (Switch 2).
How to change Tempo
The Sequencer uses the Arpeggiator's tempo. It can be changed in Global Settings > Arpeggitor columns > Tap Tempo.
How to sync to external devices
Simply send LinnStrument MIDI clock with Song Position Pointer and it will play in perfect sync.
Press SETTINGS (Switch 1) to adjust a variety of settings related to the sequencer. The screen below will appear. Press one of the 4 buttons at the bottom of the screen to select a setting.
LinnStrument has 16 "Projects", each of which holds all sequence data and settings for both splits. The 4x4 matrix in this screen represents these 16 projects.
Hold a Project button for more than 1/2 second to save all current sequencer data over the contents of the Project button.
Briefly press a button to replace all current sequencer data with the contents of the button's project.
The last saved or loaded project button will change to light blue to remind you which one you last saved to or loaded from.
The LinnStrument Updater app can be used to save any of the 16 projects as a file to your computer.
Settings 2 and 3:
Drums View Note Numbers
If View is set to "Drums" in the Sequencer screen, each of the 7 rows has an assigned note number corresponding to a specific drum. The default note numbers are given in the description of the Drums View above. This Settings screen permits you to change the note number for each of the 14 rows. There are 2 setting screens: 1) the note numbers for rows 1-7 and 2) the note numbers for rows 8-14.
Step Select Bar Colors
This setting permits you to change the colors used in the sequencer screen's Step Select Bar.