Getting Started

Start making sounds quickly with your new LinnStrument or LinnStrument 128.

1) Hook it up

Connect the included USB cable between LinnStrument's USB jack and your computer's USB jack. You should see "LinnStrument MIDI" among the listed MIDI ports in your computer's music software.

Important: if you live in a hot area, or the delivery truck carrying LinnStrument passed through a hot area to get to you, give LinnStrument a day to cool down before playing it. LinnStrument's touch sensor is very sensitive and be damaged if played after being exposed to high heat.

1) If you wish to use the round MIDI jacks instead of USB for MIDI output: In Global Settings > Actions column, select "MIDI JACKS".
2) To connect to an iPhone/iPad or for other types of connections, see the Hooking it Up page.
3) If you've accidentally changed some settings and want to reset LinnStrument to the original factory settings, here's now: In Global Settings > Actions column, press NOTES OFF and UPDATE OS at the same time.
4) If you are having trouble getting sounds to play, visit our FAQ Page > "Problems" tab and read the FAQ "LinnStrument is not sending MIDI. What's wrong?"
5) To prevent damage to the USB jack from cable pulls, tie your USB cable around the nearest guitar strap button to act as a strain relief, as shown at the bottom of the Hooking It Up page.

2) Select a sound in your recording software and play a few notes

Assign LinnStrument to play a sound in your music software, then play. That's it.  Try sliding your finger left and right to bend pitch. Try wiggling your finger left and right to perform vibrato.

Tip: By default, LinnStrument is configured to play nice with the preset sounds of any MIDI synth, which are usually optimized for the limitations of MIDI piano keyboards: it sends only over MIDI channel 1, sending standard Note On/Off messages with velocity, Pitch Bend messages from left/right finger movements with a bend range of +/- 2 semitones, Polyphonic Aftertouch from finger pressure,, and Control Change 74 messages for finger forward/backward movements within the note pad.

However, the sounds of most MIDI synths are optimized for conventional MIDI piano keyboards and don't respond to to LinnStrument's pressure or foward/backard (Y-axis) touch control. To learn about these limitations and to quickly play sounds that fully realize LinnStrument's potential, visit the Recommended Sounds page, and specifically the section "How to play sounds NOW that fully realize LinnStrument’s potential".

Tip: LinnStrument requires only a light touch. In general, you should play it with the range of soft to hard touch that you'd use on a MIDI piano keyboard for playing chords and melodies, not the higher level of force--often using two fingers for each strike--that is normally used for drum pad controllers, which are intended for more forceful play. Using consistent high force could prematurely wear out LinnStrument's touch sensor and possibly result in problems like notes sticking on after release. More info.

(3) Where are the notes?

Each of LinnStrument's rows consists of 25 (or 16 for LinnStrument 128) consecutive semitones, similar to the strings on any stringed instrument. By default, the rows are tuned in intervals of musical fourths (5 semitones), just like a bass guitar or the lower four strings of a guitar. And similar to a piano's white keys, the naturals (C, D, E, F, G, A and B) are lit, with the C within each octave lit in blue and the others in green. Try playing some scales, chords and melodies. To learn how to play common chords and scales, click the link at left for Chord and Scale Shapes.

Tip: You can change the row tuning to that of guitar, cello/violin or other intervals in Global Settings > Row Offset. Or change the lights to highlight any scale in Global Settings > Note Lights On/Off. Or change the light colors in Per-Split Settings > Color.