LinnStrument's Smart MIDI

LinnStrument has 3 MIDI modes, independently selectable for each of the two keyboard splits:

1) One Channel (default mode)

In this mode, LinnStrument sends all notes over a single MIDI channel and therefore works with every MIDI sound generator in existence. As with a conventional MIDI keyboard, you can play polyphonically, plus you'll have fully polyphonic pressure (using MIDI Polyphonic Pressure messages) and can play solo lines with full 3-dimensional expressive control. However, MIDI has a limitation: PItch Bend messages (used for left/right movements) and Control Change messages (used for forward/backward movements) must apply to all played notes, thereby preventing polyphonic pitch bends and polyphonic Y-axis movements. LinnStrument works around this problem intelligently:

  • If you are holding a single touch and perform a pitch slide across multiple pads, the X-axis slide and other X-axis movements will be continuous across pads and capture all pressure and Y-axis movements accurately thought the duration of the slide.
    If you perform a pitch slide across multiple pads while also holding one or more other notes, the slide will be quantized to semitones. This prevents the slide from also changing the pitch of the other held notes.
    If you vibrato a chord or vibrato one touch while holding another touch, the X-axis position will be taken only most the most recently touched pad.
  • If you are holding more than one note, forward/backward (Y-axis) movements are taken only from the most recent touch. This works very intuitively: whenever you play a new note, it has Y-axis control.
  • If your sound generator doesn't accept MIDI Polyphonic Pressure (Aftertouch) messages, you can use Channel Pressure (Aftertouch) messages to send pressure information, which permits a single pressure value for all held notes. In this case, the sent pressure data is taken only from the most recent touch.

Unless you're playing a musical part that needs polyphonic pitch bends, this mode works very well and the intelligent MIDI handling is transparent and seamless.

2) Channel Per note (also called "MPE" for MIDI Polyphonic Expression)

This adds polyphonic pitch slides and polyphonic Y-axis gestures, for fully independent control of all three dimension for each touch. Called "MPE", this is a new industry-wide MIDI standard that works by sending each note over a separate MIDI channel. For this mode, you'll need to use one of the many MPE-compatible sound generators. The standard MIDI messages for MPE mode are pressure = Channel Pressure (aftertouch), left/right movements = pitch bend, and forward/backward movements = Control Change 74.

3) Channel Per Row

In this mode, all touches on each row are sent over a separate MIDI channel. For example, all touches on the lowest row are sent over channel 1, all touches on the next higher row are sent over channel 2, etc. This mode is useful, for example, if you want each row to have a different sound.

Also, LinnStrument lets you assign pressure or Y-axis movement to use Channel Pressure, Polyphonic Pressure or any Control Change message. To learn more about LinnStrument's extensive MIDI settings, visit the Panel Settings page, then click the Per-Split Settings tab and scroll down to the Timbre/Y and Loudness/Z sections.