Recommended Sounds

LinnStrument sends standard MIDI messages and therefore works with every MIDI sound generator in existence, so in a sense every MIDI sound generator is recommended.

By default, LinnStrument sends its MIDI data over a single MIDI channel (channel 1) and with a Bend Range of 2 semitones. Why? Most synthesizers respond to a single MIDI channel, so this provides the best compatibility with the preset sounds of these one-channel synthesizers, which are intended to be played from a conventional MIDI piano keyboard. When playing such piano-optimized sounds from LinnStrument, you'll notice some limitations:

1) They don't respond to LinnStrument's finger pressure to control the note volume from silence to full. If they do respond to pressure control, they are expecting the Aftertouch signal of MIDI piano keyboards, which is only sent after the key is fully pressed, so at best finger pressure is used to add a modulation or filter effect to a note that is already playing.

2) They don't respond to LinnStrument's Y-axis (forward/backward) control. This is because MIDI piano keyboards don't have the ability to send Y-axis finger movements.

3) Left/right pitch slides will be limited to 2 semitones. This is because these piano-optimized sounds are expecting a MIDI piano keyboard's bend wheel, which isn't very useful for bending more than 2 semitones.

4) Polyphonic pitch slides or polyphonic Y-axis movements aren’t possible. This is because MIDI requires that the Pitch Bend message must apply to all notes that are playing. The same limitation applies to Control Change messages including Control Change 74 that is used for LinnStrument's Y-axis control.

To overcome all of these limitation, use a synth that is compatible with MPE, which permits 3 dimensions of continuous touch control for all simultaneous touches. (See What is MPE? at left.) And ideally, use an MPE synth that comes with good MPE preset sounds,.

Further down this page is a list of MPE synths, but the best ones are listed in the next section "How to play sounds NOW that fully realize LinnStrument’s potential".

How to play sounds NOW that fully realize LinnStrument’s potential

To play sounds now that fully realize LinnStrument's potential, here are the best choices.

* Surge XT. This is the official synth for LinnStrument, is free, open source, extremely versatile, works on Mac, Windows and Linux, and includes a "LinnStrument MPE" library of 50+ sounds optimized for LinnStrument. Click the Free Surge XT Synth link at left.
* Apple’s Logic or MainStage, with my (Roger's) LinnStrument-optimized sounds file. Click the link "Free sounds for Logic/MainStage" at left.
* Roli’s Equator, Cypher2 and Strobe2  for Win/Mac. 
* Bitwig 8-Track. Bitwig is an excellent DAW and includes a small assortment of MPE sounds. A free license for Bitwig Studio 8-Track is included with each LinnStrument. To download Bitwig Studio 8-Track and activate your license, click the link at left for Free Bitwig 8-Track.

For iOS and iPadOS:
* Roli's Seaboard 5D
* Moog’s AniMoog for iPadOS and iOS. 

To use these MPE synths, you'll also need to put LinnStrument into MPE mode:

1) Turn on Per-Split Settings.
2) On the leftmost column ("MIDI Mode"), hold "ChPerNote" (second button from top) for 1 second. The button will turn light blue and all MIDI settings will be set for MPE play. (MIDI Mode = ChPerNote, Timbre/Y = CC74, Loudness/Z = Channel Pressure, Bend Range = 48.)
3) Turn off Per-Split Settings.

To learn more about each of these synths and to find download links for LinnStrument-optimized sounds, see their sections in the list of MPE-compatible synths below on this page.

Audio Modeling SWAM: For expressive bowed strings and winds

If you want wind and bowed string instruments that sound perfect and accurately respond to LinnStrument’s 3 dimensions of expressive control, then nothing comes close to Audio Modeling's SWAM instruments for Mac, Windows or iOS/iPadOS. Audio Modeling uses a special technology that overcomes the limitations of samples for expressive control. These instruments are not actually MPE-compatible because they are solo (monophonic) instruments and therefore have no use for MPE (midi POLYPHONIC expression). However for convenience, they have a setting that accepts MPE data, internally adapting it for their monophonic voice. Audio Modeling's software instruments are available for Mac/Windows and also for iOS / iPadOS.

To setup LinnStrument and the SWAM Version 3 instruments to work together:

1) Set LinnStrument for MPE: In Per-Split Settings, MIDI Mode column, HOLD ChPerNote for 1 second. This will set all needed MIDI settings to MPE compatibility.
2) In the SWAM instrument, click the round MIDI icon, then "Presets", then "MPE Default". (This setting internally converts the MPE data into one channel data that works well with the monophonic SWAM instruments.)
3) For some odd reason the MPE preset in the bowed-string SWAM instruments doesn't assign CC74 (Y-axis) to anything. So for the Bowed Strings instruments, assign it "Bow/Pizz Position": From the main SWAM screen: click the round MIDI icon, then click the green rectangle for "Bow/Pizz Position". In the screen that follows, set "Value MSB" to "74".

Sample Modeling’s sample-based instruments for Kontakt are also good and optimized for expressive control. In LinnStrument, you'll need to set MIDI Mode to One Channel, Loudness/Z to CC11, and Bend Range equal to the same value as in their "Cents" field / 100. (A Bend Range of 100 Cents = 1 semitone.) Depending on the Sample Modeling instrument, the maximum bend range is between 1 and 3 semitones (100 to 300 cents). To select a Bend Range in LinnStrument other than 2, 3, 12 and 24: in the Bend Range column hold '+/- 24', then swipe your finger left/right to change the displayed value to anything between 1 and 96. The Sample Modeling instruments also have a Timbral Shaping feature, which you might be able to set up in a useful way for control by LinnStrument's Y-axis.

Also, any solo synths that are intended to be played by wind controllers like Akai’s EWI/EVI will work well with LinnStrument in One Channel mode. One LinnStrument owner recommends Suonopuro’s Kontakt-based instruments for this reason. 

A list of MPE-compatible synths

NOTE: As of July 1, 2022, I (Roger) have stopped updating the Win/Mac MPE and iOS iPad MPE tabs of this list, but the Hardware MPE tab has been updated more recently.. The reason is that, while this list was helpful in earlier years when there were few MPE synths, there are now so many now MPE synths that it's difficult to keep up with all the MPE announcements. So it's easier now to simply visit a synth's product page to learn if it has MPE compatibility.

Below is a list of current synths that are compatible with MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression; see "What is MPE?" at left) or are multi-timbral.

Multi-timbral synths are intended to play a different sound on each timbre and MIDI channel. So for MPE-like operation you must set all timbres to the same sound, with each timbre receiving from a different channel. Then each MPE Per-Note channel will send to a specific channel/timbre. There are two problems with this:

1) Any sound changes must be done redundantly to all timbres, which is cumbersome.
2) Unlike MPE, multi-timbral synths don't have a Master Channel (called Main Channel in LinnStrument) for messages common to all touches like sustain pedal (cc64), overall volume (cc7), Program Change, etc. LinnStrument has a workaround for this: disable the Main channel. Then all such common messages will be sent redundantly over all Member (Per-Note) channels. To do this, in Per-Split Settings, set column 2 to "Main Chan" to display the assigned Main channel in columns 3-6. Then press the selected Main channel in columns 3-6 to turn it off.

In LinnStrument, MPE is called "Channel Per Note". To set LinnStrument for MPE play, in Per-Split Settings > MIDI Mode column, hold "ChPerNt". It will turn blue and automatically set all other relevant Per-Split Settings for MPE compatibility:
* Bend Range = 48 (Before version 2.2.2 software, it was set to 24.) 
* Timbre/Y = CC74
* Loudness/Z = CHAN PRES

If you are aware of any other sound generators that fall into the above two categories, please let me (Roger) know and I'll add it to the list.

Note that for an MPE software plug-in to work in your DAW, the DAW must pass all 16 MIDI channels to the track. Most DAWs do this. The description below of Live suggests a workaround, which can also be used for any other DAW that doesn't pass all 16 channels to the track.

In addition, here is Roli's list of MPE-compatible or expressive synths that they recommend for use with Seaboard and therefore work with LinnStrument.

Ableton Live

MPE has been added to Live 11. As of January 2023, the only Live devices that have MPE compatibility are Sampler, Wavetable, Simpler and Arpeggiator. However, now all 16 channels are passed to the track, so any third-party MPE plug-in instruments will work fine.

In Live 11, click the Live menu > Settings. Then click the Link/Tempo/MIDI tab and under MIDI Ports > In, look for the "LinnStrument" entry (LinnStrument must be connected) and be sure "MPE" is selected.

Also, Live's MPE implementation is unusual. The received MIDI channel is not stored in the sequence with the recorded events, but rather Live randomly assigns one of the MPE per-note channels on playback. This was a simpler way for them to implement MPE, but it has two problems:

1) You can't record two instances of the same pitch.

2) If using Channel Per Row mode in LinnStrument, and each row uses a different sound, on playback the notes you recorded will playback on different channels and therefore use a sound intended for a different row that you originally played.

Also, there appears to be a bug in Live regarding MPE. Their online documentation states that you should be able to select either the MPE Upper (Main channel 16) or Lower (Main channel 1) Zone, as well as the specific per-note (member) channels. However, as of January 2023, if you select "LinnStrument MPE" as a MIDI track's input port (with "MPE" checked for LinnStrument in the Preferences panel), then the track's Input Channel dropdown becomes greyed out, forcing the track to always accept all channels.

accSone: crusher-x

From their web site:

"Steer the live grains with your fingertip? Let a drone take off by moving your fingers to the top of the keyboard? Let the grain drone drift left or right by sliding your fingers? This is what you can do with MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) and the MPE feature set of crusher-X!"

Apple: Logic Pro & MainStage (7 instruments, downloadable sound files)

Logic Pro ($200) and MainStage 3 ($30, same sounds as Logic) both provide fully polyphonic 3-dimensional control on 7 of their built-in instruments: EXS24 Sampler, ES2 Subtractive Synth, EFM1 Frequency Modulation Synth, Sculpture physical modeling synth, Alchemy synth, Retro Synth and Vintage Clav. Given that most LinnStrument owners are on mac and already own one of these, they are the primary sound sources we've used in our videos, and our downloadable LinnStrument-optimized sounds files for these are the most complete and versatile collection of LinnStrument sounds that we offer.

Click here for the Logic Pro sounds file and here for the MainStage 3 sounds file. The sounds in these two files are identical and are optimized for polyphonic 3-dimensional control using LinnStrument's Channel-Per-Note (MPE) mode. To play these sounds, set LinnStrument to MPE mode:

  1. Turn on the PER-SPLIT SETTINGS button
  2. In the MIDI MODE column (column 1), hold ChPerNote (2nd pad from the top) for 1/2 second. (It will turn light blue.) This will set all necessary MIDI settings for MPE play.

If you wish to create your own sounds in Logic or Mainstage using any of the 7 above-named  MPE instruments, here's how to enable MPE in those instruments: click the small triangle in the lower left corner of the instrument's window, then set MIDI Mono Mode to "On (with common  channel 1)" and Mono Mode Pitch Range to "48".

Note: If the above settings don't work correctly, you may have changed other settings in LinnStrument. To reset LinnStrument to default settings: Turn on GLOBAL SETTINGS, then in the ACTIONS column (column 16), press NOTES OFF and UPDATE OS at the same time. You will briefly see "RESET" displayed.

How to get two sounds in Logic for split keyboard play with LinnStrument:

To play two one-channel sounds. For example:

1) The easy way is to reset LinnStrument to default settings:

In Global Settings > Column 16, press Notes Off + Update OS at the same time ("reset").
Or, in Per-Split Settings:
Select Left Split, then set MIDI Mode = One Channel and Main Channel = 1.
Select Right Split, then set MIDI Mode = One Channel and Main Channel = 16.

2) Turn on LinnStrument’s Split button.

3) In Logic, click "File menu > Project Settings > Recording..." Be sure that "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" IS checked.

4) In Logic, select a track containing a one-channel sound that you want the right split to play. Then in the “Track” settings in the upper left area of the Logic window, set “MIDI Channel” to 16.

5) In Logic, select the MPE track that you want the left split to play, and also turn on the little “R” button on the One Channel track that you want the right split to play.

6) Play!

To play an MPE sound in the left split and a one-channel sound in the right split. For example:

1) In LinnStrument, set up the left split for MPE (Channel Per Note) play. For example, in Per-Split Settings, select Left Split  (column 15), then hold ChPerNote in the MIDI Mode column. Use the default settings of Main Channel = 1, Per Note Channels = 2-8.

2) In LinnStrument, set up the right split for One Channel use. For example, in Per-Split Settings, select Right Split (column 16), then set MIDI Mode = One Channel and Main Channel = 16.

3) Turn on LinnStrument’s Split button.

4) In Logic, click "File menu > Project Settings > Recording..." Be sure that "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" IS checked.

5) In Logic, select a track containing a one-channel sound that you want the right split to play. Then in the “Track” settings in the upper left area of the Logic window, set “MIDI Channel” to 16.

6) In Logic, select the MPE track that you want the left split to play, and also turn on the little “R” button on the One Channel track that you want the right split to play.

7) Play!

To play an MPE sound in both the left and right splits. This requires a Logic "script" created by "drb" on the forum, and discovered by LinnStrumentalist Joseph Ferrera:

1) Download these two files (FilterChannel 1-8.pst, FilterChannel 9-16) and put them in the following folder:

"Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Logic/Plug-in Settings/Scripter".

2) In Logic, select the track you want for the left split.  In the Inspector (the channel strip at left), click on the “MIDI FX” plugin slot and open Scripter. From the preset menu in the main Scripter window, select "FilterChannel 1-8”.

3) In Logic, select the track you want for the right split.  In the Inspector (the channel strip at left), click on the “MIDI FX” plugin slot and open Scripter. From the preset menu in the main Scripter window, select "FilterChannel 9-16”.

4) In Logic, click "File menu > Project Settings > Recording..." Be sure that "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" is  NOT checked.

5) Select one of the two tracks, then enable "R" on the second track.

6) In LinnStrument, set up the Per-Split Settings thusly:

a) Select Left Split  (column 15), then hold ChPerNote in the MIDI Mode column.

b) Select Right Split  (column 16), then hold ChPerNote in the MIDI Mode column.

7) In LinnStrument, turn on the Split button.

8) Play!

Arturia: Pigments 2, CS80 V, KORG MS-20 V, Prophet-5 V, Prophet-VS V, SQ80 V, CZ V, Emulator II V, Jun-6V, Jup-8 V, OP-Xa V, Vocoder V, Augmented Strings, Augmented Voices

Here's the Arturia site.

Audio Damage: Quanta, Continua, Phosphor 3
Audio Modeling SWAM

Please see the section near the top of this page titled "Audio Modeling SWAM: For expressive bowed strings and winds".

Bitwig Studio 8-Track, 16-Track and Full Version

A free license for Bitwig Studio 8-Track is included with the purchase of a LinnStrument. For information on how to get and activate your license, as well as how to set up Bitwig with LinnStrument, visit the LinnStrument Support page and click "Free Bitwig 8-Track".

Bleass Alpha, Omega

Here's their web site.

Channel Robot: Shapiro 2

From their web site: "Shapiro 2 has extensive CC control management and is MPE enabled."

Cherry Audio: Voltage Modular, DCO-106, PS-20, Memorymode, Mercury-4, DreamSynth, MiniMode

Here's their site.

Cycling 74: Max (and any MPE instruments created in Max)

Version 7.2.0 adds Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression support:

midiparse / midiformat: @hires attribute to output a two-byte list to set high-resolution (14-bit) pitch bend output

mpeconfig: Configure MIDI devices that support MPE

mpeformat: prepare MPE-compatible MIDI messages

mpeparse: Interpret and parse raw MPE data (similar to midiparse)

polymidiin: Output MPE MIDI data in a patcher loaded by poly~

poly~: @midimode attribute to send MIDI events to all voices

poly~: @zone attribute for setting the MPE 'zone' that the poly~ will listen to (the default is to ignore zones)

vst~: accepts 'mpeevent' message to handle MPE data

Digital Suburban: Dexed

Dexed is a multi platform, multi format plugin synth that is closely modeled on the Yamaha DX7. Under the hood it uses music-synthesizer-for-android for the synth engine. Version 0.9.5 feature list states "Added initial support for MPE performance".

East West Sounds: "Play 5" Sample Engine

The "Play 5" Sample Engine from East West Sounds contains an MPE mode as shown in this screenshot.

Erratic Instruments: Quad MPE to CV (module for VCV rack)

VCV Rack is an open-source software equivalent of a Eurorack. This free open-source module provides 4-voice MPE operation.

FORS: Chiral

Chiral is not a win/mac plug-in but rather a Max For Live device and therefore runs only within Ableton Live 11.

Fxpansion: Cypher 2, Strobe 2

See "ROLI" below, which now owns FXpansion.

G-Force Software: OB-E

Their site claims MPE compatibility. As of March 2, 2022, a LinnStrument owner has found some problems in the MPE implementation:
"The pitch bend and pressure aspects of MPE work fine in OB-E, but the pitch bend range is defined on a per preset basis. The MPE Y CC74 aspect is far from ideal, you have to map it to the knob on each SEM module and then it does work properly on a per-voice basis in the normal MPE way, but these cc assignments are not saved per-patch, they are a global config. They made a MPE video about this when version 1 first came out, but it was completely Roli-centric, they assumed thats the controller viewers would be using so it showed Roli dashboard settings to use. Its also like how we would typically setup a 'midi channel per part/voice' synth in that in their video, they limit the MPE controller settings to use 8 midi channels, one for each of this synths voices. My conclusion is that due to how wonderful it sounds, I am very happy to play this synth using the Linnstrument, but the MPE Y clunkiness means I cannot quite think of it as I do plenty of other modern fully fledged MPE synths."

Imaginando FRMS

Their site claims MPE compatibility.


Visit the IMOXPLUS website for more info.

Initial Audio: Sektor

Here's their product page, which states MPE compatibility.

JB Audio: MPEfy

This is not a synth but rather a plug-in that allows you to run non-MPE plug-in software instruments as MPE instruments. It does this by internally creating multiple instances of the actually software instrument for each MPE per-voice channel.

Kilohearts: Phase Plant

Here's their web site:

KV331 Audio: Synthmaster

From their web site:

[In version 2.8,] we've added support for “Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression”, so SynthMaster supports multichannel MIDI now! Each note SynthMaster receives can have its own MIDI channel and hence it has its separate pitch bend/after touch/CC values.

Madrona Labs: Aalto & Kaivo  (2 instruments, downloadable sound file)

Randy's Jones' Aalto and Kaivo are remarkably flexible synths in deceptively simple interfaces. I am especially impressed with the many ways to alter timbre is interesting ways. This is no surprise, given that Madrona Labs also created the marvelous SoundPlane, a superb expressive controller instrument that shares many goals with LinnStrument.

LinnStrument-optimized Sound file for Aalto

Here is an Aalto patch that I (Roger) created and which  I used in this LinnStrument video. Set Per-Split Settings > MIDI to ChPerNote Mode, then Bend Range = 24, Y = CC74 and Z = Channel Pressure. Also, set the Per-Split Channels to 2-5, because Aalto can play a maximum of 4 simultaneous voices.

Magix: Samplitude Pro X5

Their site states MPE compatibility, but doesn't explain what this means, for example is it merely passing all 16 channels to a third-party plug-in instrument, or are all or some of its included instruments MPE-compatible and which ones? 

Melda Production: MSoundFactory

The MSoundFactory site claims full MPE support.

Memorymoon ME80

Their site claims MPE compatibility

Modartt: PianoTeq

Though PianoTeq is not fully MPE-compatible, it does support polyphonic pitch bends when used with LinnStrument set to MPE settings. It does not have per-note continuous parameters that could respond to LinnStrument's continuous finger pressure or Y-axis control, but these elements aren't so useful on a piano-style synth anyway.

To use PianoTeq with LinnStrument, set LinnStrument for normal MPE play except that you must set LinnStrument's Bend Range (in Per-Split Settings) to "+/-24", because this is the maximum bend range in PianoTeq. This is done in Per-Split Settings > Bend Range column, then HOLD "+/- 24" and slide your finger to change the displayed value to 24.

In PianoTeq, the only change you'll need to make is to change its default Bend Range from 2 to 24. To do this, in the main PianoTeq window click "Options", then in the subsequent window select the "MIDI" tab at top. Then in the listing of MIDI controllers, scroll to the Pitch Bend line and set the two "Range" boxes to -2400 and +2400.

In this same listing of MIDI controllers, note that CC74 (Y-axis control for MPE controllers) is set by default to "Hammer Hardness". So by striking LinnStrument's note pads in different Y-axis locations, you will vary the hammer hardness. Note that this only affects the initial strike and subsequent continuous Y-axis movements are ignored.

MOTU: Performer 11, Bassline,Modulo, MX4, Nanosampler 2.0, Polysynth and Proton

Performer 11 adds MPE support, recording all 16 channels into tracks and passing all 16 channels to plug-in instruments. Also, MPE support is added to its included synths Bassline,Modulo, MX4, Nanosampler 2.0, Polysynth and Proton.

Native Instruments: Kontakt, Reaktor (and any MPE instruments created in Reaktor)

Kontakt does not have an MPE mode but it is fairly simple to configure for MPE use. Simply load Kontakt then load, for example, 4 instances of the same sample group into it. Each instance will automatically be assigned to a separate MIDI channel, or you can change each instance to the channel you want to match the per-note channels you've assigned in LinnStrument. Go through each instance and change the pitch bend to 12 (the max that Kontakt allows) and set LinnStrument's Bend Range to 12 to match. Because Kontakt intelligently loads samples, it will share samples between all instances and therefore not use any more ram than one instance. Of course you will need a host that passes all MIDI channels to Kontakt.


LinnStrument owner Mark Harris has created a Reaktor 6 block that processes MPE (note-per-channel) messages within Reaktor 6's new modular blocks.

Here is an MPE synth for Reaktor called Micro-Prism, written by LinnStrument forum member TJ Shredder.

Here is a semi-modular, polyphonic expression synth for Reaktor called MultiExp, created by Michael Stocker.

LinnStrument owner Eric Koch writes the following explanation of how, if you already have an MPE-compatible Reaktor synth, to set Reaktor to correctly pass all MIDI channels to it: "After first loading an MPE Synth in Reaktor, ( in stand alone ) click EDIT > Preferences [the little check box icon] > Connect tab > Channel > Omni. Also select your connected LinnStrument in the same tab under controllers, ( if it isn't already ). Then save the ensemble as such."

Newfangled Audio: Generate

Here's their site. They also make a monophonic synth called Pendulate that is not MPE-compatible (there is no such thing as a monophonic MIDI Polyphonic Expression synth) but can be played monophonically from MPE controllers without switching them into one-channel mode.

Orange Tree Samples

All of Orange Tree's Evolution guitar and roundwound/flatwound bass libraries include a feature called "polybend" which is like MPE for polyphonic pitch bends only. Set up your LinnStrument for MPE as described on the Getting Started page, then loaded the Orange Tree instrument into Kontakt and select "OMNI" mode in Kontact's settings. Then set the Pitch Bend Range to match your Bend Range in LinnStrument.

Physical Audio: PA3 Detailer

From their site:

"In Xmode, Derailer can be controlled by MPE devices such as the ROLI Seaboard.
This allows individual control of pitch when bowing, and strike force when multi-striking."

Poly-Ana from Admiral Quality

To use this analog-modeled synth in a channel-per-note configuration, set the following controls, located in the lower left corner of the panel:

  • Set Poly Mode to Poly.
  • Set Polyphony to 1. (Each received channel gets one voice.)
  • Set PB Range to 24 to match LinnStrument's Bend Range (24 by default.)

Then you can use modulation sources of:

  • "Pressure", which is fed from both Channel Pressure and Poly Pressure messages.
  • "In-1", fed by default from CC74 and therefore works for LinnStrument's Y-axis.
PPG: WaveMapper 2, WaveGenerator, Phonem, Infinite Pro

For MPE use, select VpC mode (Voice per Channel).

PreSonus: Studio One (DAW)

Here is their site.

Psychic Modulation: Phonec 2.4

Their site states MPE support

Rhizomatic: Plasmonic

Their web site: Plasmonic.

Rob Papen: Blade 2, Vecto

Here are the product pages for Blade 2 and Vecto.

ROLI: ROLI Studio, Equator, Cypher2, Strobe2

ROLI's Equator, Cypher2 and Strobe2 are all excellent synths that are designed to work well with ROLI's Seaboard MPE controller, so they also work well with LinnStrument. Each has a large number of high-quality MPE preset sounds. And ROLI Studio gives you most of those sounds from all 3 synths in one app, minus the detailed sound editing.

To set any of these apps with LinnStrument, you may need to enable "LinnStrument MIDI" as the incoming MIDI device in Settings.

Here are two sounds for Equator (Screaming Calliope, Doppler Whistles) that I (Roger) created, using Y-axis modulation of comb filters, similar to the Aalto sound I used in this video. On mac, you can copy these files into Documents > Roli > Equator > Presets.

SoftTube: Modular

From LinnStrument software creator Geert Bevin:

Softube Modular has a ROLI Seaboard RISE module which enables MPE for it. It also ships with 18 ROLI (MPE) presets. To make this work with LinnStrument, simply enable MPE mode with channels 2-5 as per-note channels and pitchbend 48. Sadly they don't handle MPE in the modular automatically and you have to duplicate the configuration of each voice.

Spectrasonics: Omnisphere & Trillian (sound file)

Omnisphere and Trillian are real powerhouses that combine well-recorded sample sources with highly malleable synthesis and a very versatile modulation routing. Though they are not MPE-compatible, they are multi-timbral with 8 different "parts", each of which receives on a separate MIDI channel. So you can make them work as semi-MPE synths by assigning all 8 parts to the same sound, then assign the 8 parts to receive on the same 8 per-note channels that you're sending from LinnStrument.

The other nice thing about Omnisphere's synthesis is that the source waveform can be fundamentally altered in a variety of useful ways, making it a good match for LinnStrument's Y-axis control.

One more thing: because these aren't true MPE synths, there is no Master (Main) channel for MIDI messages common to all notes like sustain pedal, volume, etc. However, LinnStrument has a mode that sends such messages redundantly over all Per-Note channels: In Per-Split Settings when using Channel Per Note mode, press the selected "Main" channel button to deselect it.

LinnStrument-optimized Sound file

Here is an Omnisphere "multi" patch that I (Roger) created. Load it somewhere in your Omnisphere "multi" directories then set LinnStrument's MIDI Mode to ChPerNote, PerNoteChs to 1-8, Z to Channel Pressure, Bend Range to 24, and Y to CC74.  In this patch the Y-axis controls oscillator sync for a radical timbral variation.

Spitfire Audio: BT Phobos

BT Phobos

From their site's Features section:

"MPE Compatible (for use with multidimensional controllers such as ROLI Rise or Roger Linn Linnstrument)"

Stagecraft Software: Addiction Synth, Infinity Synth
Steinberg: Cubase (5 instruments)

Contributed by principal LinnStrument software writer Geert Bevin:

Channel-Per-Note is supported as part of VST Note Expression in Halion, Halion Sonic 2, Halion Sonic SE2, Retrologue & Padshop.

In real-time, you can use it with third-party VSTs just as any other DAW by streaming MIDI straight to the plugin when the MIDI input channel for the track is set to Any. Note that the per-note recording I mention below also works with this.

If the track MIDI Channel is set to 1 though, and you host a VST3 software instrument like Padshop, Halion, Halion Sonic SE, Retrologue, then you can transform ChannelPerNote MIDI in real time to VST Note Expression. To do that, instantiate the VST3 plugin and go to the Note Expression tab for the track. There you have to enable "MIDI as NoteExp" and "Channel Rotation". This will then allow you to assign MIDI CCs and Pitchbend to the Note Expression parameters in the same tab. Thanks to channel rotation support, it will properly keep all the MIDI expression in the same channel tied to the note that's playing.

The nice thing now is that Note Expression directly shows the acoustic parameters of the synth and is very easy to work with. Also, when you record, it stores all the per-note MIDI information together with each note and shows it  in the GUI. So you can edit the expression of each note separately and play it back in full detail later.

Here's a video in which Geert describes using LinnStrument's Channel-Per-Note mode wth Cubase and U-He's Diva plug-in.

And here's information from Roli about using their Seaboard with Cubase, which should be similarly helpful in using Cubase with LinnStrument or any MPE controller.

In January 2023, a LinnStrument owner reported a possible bug in Cubase related to recording and editing MPE data in Cubasse: "When you set LinnStrument to send MPE information and you record an MPE musical part into Cubase, the software’s editing tools don’t show the pitch bend values assigned to the correct notes. This occurs when recording globally, but when recording with the track midi window open, everything works fine."

In March 2023, a LinnStrument owner reported this tip for playing two MPE splits on LinnStrument to two MPE sounds in Cubase by using the Cubase 'input transformer':
a) On the Linnstrument, assigning channels 1-8 on one split and 9-16 on the other;
b ) In cubase (using the input transformer), screening out each of the above channel groups on two respective tracks, setting overall midi channels to 'all'.

Surge XT

Surge XTis an extremely versatile, windows/mac/linux, open source, plug-in or standalone, FREE synth. It's the official synth for LinnStrument. Click the Free Surge XT Synth link at left to download it, as well as a growing collection of LinnStrument-optimzed sounds that I (Roger) created for it.

Symbolic Sound: Kyma 7

The wonderful Kyma 7 fully supports LinnStrument's MPE mode. Click here for a page on Symbolic Sound's site containing details.

Synapse Audio Software: Obsession, The Legend

Their web site claims MPE compatibility for both products.

From their online manual for the Legend:

"When in POLY mode, The Legend supports MPE. This means that each note played can be controlled individually with the performance parameters set up in the performance matrix. Typical MPE source controllers are Aftertouch and Timbre (CC 74).

In addition to the performance controllers, The Legend supports polyphonic pitch bend."

TAL Software: TAL-U-No-LX, TAL-BassLine-101 , TAL-Sampler, TAL-MOD, J-8

Their web site claims MPE compatibility for these products:

Tracktion: Abyss, Biotek 2, F.'em, Spacecraft, Novum

Product pages:





U-He: Bazille, Ace, Diva, Hive & Repro-5 (5 instruments, downloadable sound files)

Though these instruments implement the Channel Per Note aspects of MPE, they don't implement a Master Channel, used for messages common to all voices like Sustain Pedal [cc64] or overall volume [cc7]. For this reason, you'll need to set LinnStrument to send such common messages over all channels redundantly. To do this, in Per-Split Settings, simply press the selected Main Channel button to turn it off.

LinnStrument-optimized Sound file

Here are 6 sound files for Bazille (zipped into one file for download), submitted by LinnStrument owner Michael Kedzierski. The text comments in each patch describe how they are mapped, which is pressure = Channel or Poly Pressure, X = Pitch Bend and Y = CC1, with a bend range of 24. Set Per-Split Settings > MIDI Mode to ChPerNote for polyphonic expression. In the Patches tab, Cntl-click (or right-click) on the User directory and select Reveal In Finder, then drag the patches into that directory.

Unfiltered Audio: Lion

Lion is a synth that Unfiltered Audio claim to possess a highly versatile oscillator architecture and MPE compatibility.

UVI: Falcon, Drone

The Falcon site states support for MPE devices like ROLI Seaboard or LinnStrumente, with ‘MPE’ section in preset library with dedicated sounds.

VAST Dynamics: Vaporizer 2

Their site claims MPE compatibility.

Vital Audio: Vital

This free synth claims MPE compatibility.

Woodman's Immaculate Maple Syrup Studio: Woodsynth
Xfer Records: Serum

Serum is MPE compatible. Here's a video showing how to set it up for use with the Roli Seaboard Block, which should also be helpful in setting it up for LinnStrument.

Also, LinnStrument player Sarmad Ghafoor offered this setup help in a Facebook post:

"X is pitch bend by default on Linnstrument. Serum in MPE XYZ mode (macro 123) has X from Pan Y from Timbre and Z from pressure. You can make serum respond to whatever macro 1 is controlling by assigning pitch bend to it. You'd be controlling both pitch and that parameter with it. If you're okay without pitch bend, you can set both pitch up and down to 0, so you only control that one parameter."

Apple: GarageBand

As of February 2017, GarageBand is MPE-compatible.

To enable MPE use, open the iOS Settings App, then scroll down and click "GarageBand", then turn on "Support MPE Controllers" at right. Now all sounds will receive per-note messages on channels 2-16, with common messages (sustain/CC64, volume/CC7, etc.) received on channel 1.

In LinnStrument:

  1. Select MPE mode: In Per-Split Settings > MIDI Mode column, hold ChPerNote. (It turns blue).
  2. Set Bend Range to 48 semitones: In Per-Split Settings > Bend Range column, hold "+/-24", then swipe to the right to change the large "24" to "48".
  3. Garage Band's sounds are optimized for standard MIDI keyboards, and therefore use pressure only for an occasional added effect instead of controlling continuous note volume from lightest to heavy touch. So it's best to turn on LinnStrument's Aftertouch mode, which simulates  now a MIDI keyboard's Aftertouch feature sends pressure messages only after the note pad is pressed at least 80% of full pressure: In Global Settings > Pressure Sensitivity column, turn on "Aftertouch".
  4. Garage Band's sounds are optimized for standard MIDI keyboards, and therefore none respond to CC74,  MPE's standard Y-axis message. For this reason, you may consider sending Y-axis messages on CC1, but for many sounds with modulation on CC1, that will make it difficult to avoid playing without modulation. Another option is to turn off Y-axis messages but set the Low Row to send CC1, using it as a standard Mod Wheel.
Audio Damage: Quanta, Continua
Audio Modeling: SWAM instruments

Audio Modeling's plug-in SWAM instruments for Mac and Windows are unquestionably the best software instruments for acoustic winds and bowed strings. As of 2021, they are now aavaible on the iOS and iPad OS platforms. Click here to learn more.

Beep Street: Drambo

Drambo is described on their site as a "modular groovebox and sound processing environment", but its modular environment permits the creation of pitched synth sounds with MPE capability, not unlike modular patching environments like VCV Rack. However, it does not contain any pitched or MPE synths or sounds by default; you must create any such pitched synth (by connecting modules together) as well as implementing MPE capability in the created synth and making MPE sounds for it.

BLEASS: Alpha, Omega

Here's their web site.

Bram Bos: Mononoke

Here's their web site.

Delta-V Audio: Spacecraft

Delta-V Audio's Spacecraft is a granular synth that claims MPE compatibility.

iFretless Bass, Sax, Guitar, Brass
Imaginado DRC, FMRS

Their site states MPE compatibility for both products.

Moog Music: Model 15 Modular, AniMoog, AniMoog Z, Minimoog Model D

To enable MPE mode, in the Settings page set Input Channel to MPE, Pitch Bend Range to 48, and turn off Load From Preset. Then set LinnStrument to MPE mode by holding Per-Split Settings > Midi Mode column > ChPerNote. (It will turn blue.)

Note that LinnStrument software creator Geert Bevin was the lead engineer and product manager of all of these apps.

Numerical Audio: Volt

Their web site claims MPE-compatibility.

PPG Apps: WaveGenerator, WaveMapper, Phonem & Infinite

To enable Channel Per Note function, in the Setup screen > MIDI section, set the Mode field to VpC (Voice per Channel).

ROLI: Seaboard 5D, Noise

Unlike all other iOS synths (at time of writing), the preset sounds in this app are all optimized for MPE, providing 3 dimensions of touch control, polyphonically. The down side is that you can't edit the presets, but the presets are pretty good. My (Roger's) favorite preset is "Mellow Duduk". After you start the app, you'll need to press the little circle icon in the upper right corner (weird icon for settings) then press "MIDI Setup" and 1) "LinnStrument MIDI" as the source controller, and 2) set Bend Range to 24 instead of the default 24. Also, be sure to set LinnStrument to MPE mode as described in section 4 of the Getting Started page.

Sonosaurus: ThumbJam, DrumJam
Synclavier Digital: Synclavier Go!

A LinnStrument user has reported that this app is now MPE compatible.

TAL Software: TAL-U-NO-LX

Here is their site.

VirSyn: Cube Synth Pro, Tera Pro

Here is their site.

Wizdom Music: GeoShred, Geo Synthesizer, SampleWiz

Here are the pages for GeoShred, Geo Synthesizer and SampleWiz,

Note that GeoShred permits in-app purchases of 5 of Audio Modelings superb SWAM instruments-- violin, flute, tenor sax, cello, clarinet and oboe, for $15 each or

Woodman's Immaculate Maple Syrup Studio: Woodsynth
Yonac: Magellan 2

Their web site claims MPE compatibility

Thanks for LinnStrument Forum member FranklyFlawless for compiling the list below on February 27, 2023.
Also, see the Forum Topic "List of MPE Hardware Synthesizers".