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Has anyone tried a Linnstrument with Kyma?

+1 vote
Can it plug directly in the USB port on my pacarana? Does it work similiarly to the Madrona soundplane?
asked May 12, 2015 in Controllers, OSC & MIDI by gregorycichoracki (200 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote

please see my comment below ..

Mine will arrive tomorrow or on Friday. Can't wait to try it out!!

From the infos on Rogers side it  should work via USB because it is a class compliant device and only uses standard MIDI messages. I already managed to drive my Novation Launchpad connected through Kyma Connect  via Kymas internal MIDI Output Prototypes in a "colorfull" bi-directional way, so i guess it will be possible to make the Linnstrument work the same way too but directly via USB.

All the best

answered May 12, 2015 by christian-schloesser (Adept) (2,890 points)
edited Jun 3, 2015 by christian-schloesser
Looks very cool! Can't wait to hear how it goes!
Any updates ( or better yet videos) about linnstument?
I worked for some days now with the LinnStrument + Kyma combo.

You can use it with Kyma but it is not as easy "Plug and play" as it is with a Firewire Continuum for example.
With the current firmware it is not recognized by the Pacarana "yet" as a MIDI input device when connected directly to USB.
It should ... but it doesn't.
Anyway you can connect it to your MacBook and use KymaConnect or connect it simply via MIDI which works fine too.

The MIDI implementation of the LinnStrument is basically very similar to that of the Continuum. Horizontal Notes send Note On/OFF messages on Channels 1-16 and corresponding Pitchbend messages with a used configurable range from 2 - 24 notes.
By default the playing surface is configured as 8 rows of  25 "Cells". The rows can be configured to be offset from each other ... for example 5th(default) or 7th, octaves etc.  a bit like the offest between the strings on a stringed instrument like a guitar/violin/bass etc.

A very cool thing is that you can configure it to send on different channels for each Row and switch off the offset of the rows for example! A kind of "Mulitmode" keyboard mode but play-wise!
Very cool for the Multigrid to play 8 ! different sounds at the same surface on different MIDI channels.

Pressure or "Loudness/Z " as it is called on the front-panel  can be configured to be MIDI POLY Pressure, CHANNEL Pressure or MIDI Controller 11.

With the current standard Firmware the Y direction (Up/Down) is configured by default "per Cell" which means it is as if you would bend a string on a guitar up and down... so you don't use the whole area between bottom and top of the playing surface like on the continuum. For me as a continuum player this was actually the trickiest part to master at the beginning. Y can be assigned to MIDI Controllers CC1 or CC74 and "Relative".

It also features a "Split Mode" to use 2 absolute independent configurations at the same time.

The LinnStrument is running on an open-source software. Basically it is an arduino duo with an very well build case, surface, a multicolor LED Matrix display, MIDI + USB interface. The software is really cool so far but i think there are some improvements to be made in the future.
All in all think this is the most promising controller for Kyma so far!

With a small Kyma firmware it's multi color LEDs would perfectly pair with the mulitgrid or sounds using lots of VCS faders, switches and buttons etc. and it is ALREADY much more feeling like an instrument than a Wacom or an iPad for example but it also features VISUAL feedback which is very usefull espacially with KYMA.
my 5 cent so far...

Sounds very promising indeed! Thanks for the extensive commentary.
Thanks for the reply. Hope SSC is working on integration, especially since I am on a PC platform, no kyma connect possible.
It would be amazing to get an adaption of the feature-set of the Kyma Control App for iPad for LinnStrument. In addition to that i would like to get the  features from the original open source firmware with the excellent 3D multitouch and the ability to highlight scales etc.
It would also be amazing get Kyma specific "Pages" like for the Multigrid, Auto VCS Faders, switches etc.

I guess SSC and Roger Linn would both benefit from a cooperation since i personally think that Kyma and the LinnStrument are a perfect combination in almost any aspect.

@ gregorycichoracki:
You can use the LinnStrument already via a standard MIDI connection with Kyma. If you are on a WinPC just connect the LinnStrument directly to your Pacaranas Audio Interface MIDI port. If you got no MIDI on that you can use a cheap USB 1.0 a class compliant MIDI interface which should work with the Pacarana too.

The LinnStrument also receives Controllers or Note On messages and the corresponding Cell LEDs are set to on/off. So with some work in Kyma and the use of the MIDI Output prototypes you already can create some switches etc. which should work interactive.
Oops missed the part about the midi interface , thought it had to be usb. I have a cheap class complient  hooked up already. Thanks!
I found the documentation for the ´╗┐LinnStrument User Firmware Mode:

sorry it is to long to post as a comment...

Since is does only uses MIDI commands for communication similar to the old Motormix or the Continuum it should be a good starting point for some experimentation together with Kyma.

Kind regards,
Hi Christian-- thank you for owning a LinnStrument. I haven't yet spoken to anyone at Symbolic Sound but I'd be interested in maximizing compatibility with the wonderful Kyma system. Here are a few minor corrections to the messages above:
* LinnStrument's Bend Range can be set anywhere from 1 to 96 semitones.
* LinnStrument's Pressure data can be sent using Channel Pressure, Poly Pressure or any CC.
* LinnStrument's Y-axis data can be sent using any CC.
Also, the User Firmware mode is a separate development mode for people who wish to use LinnStrument only as a dumb controller without changing the stock firmware. However, there are few needs for this because the stock firmware sends nearly any MIDI message you need in nearly every way people want, and receives CCs to light the 200 RGB lights on the playing surface independently in any of 6 colors.
One thing that would be a nice addition to the Pacarana would be for its USB port to recognize class-compliant MIDI. This would be good because LinnStrument sends MIDI 3.7 times faster over USB than over DIN MIDI.
If there's someone at Symbolic Sound I should speak to, please let me know.
I saw the Kyma and Linnstrument combo at KISS2015 in Bozeman, and loved it so much I ordered one for myself.  I am just now playing with it.  Carla mentioned that to get it really working well requires a bit of fancy tweaking, but I am using it in a "dumber" way, and it is still fun.  To wit, I have it set to send all data on one channel.  The smart way is to use channel per note, and then each note can respond independently to the controls.  That requires more work with the replicator though, or for SSC to come up with a new mode (like continuum mode ... but a bit different, because the Linnstrument is set up differently).  For the "dumb" mode, just set the Linn to send CC11 for pressure, and cc74 for timbre, then you can right click on a VCS controller, and set it to one of those.  Fun!

I am looking forward to a Kyma update that makes the control per note stuff easier though.

BTW, I am using the Linn with a Midi cable to a MOTU interface (USB Midi is not working for me for some reason) and KymaConnect to run that port into Kyma.

Plug-and-play support for the LinnStrument is now part of Kyma 7!

+3 votes
Plug-and-play support for the LinnStrument connected through USB port is now part of Kyma 7!
answered Nov 11, 2015 by ssc (Savant) (115,030 points)
+1 vote

The new Kyma version is a big step forward for LinnStrument users!

Kyma works now out of the box with the Linnstrument and works also still perfect as ever with the Continuum (even with my old Firewire one)!

Excellent work!

The best thing is that we can now use the same sounds for both Instruments!

Sure they are totaly different aproaches and can not really be compared, but somtimes different player perspectives give different results even from the same sounds!

No more need for replicated MIDI Voices with the LinnStrument! Jippie!
Absolute amazing!

Thank you so much!


P.S: And i saw that you also made it possible to disable MPE in the MIDI preferences ! Excellent thinking!  That is great because i already wrote some "custom" interface sounds with the help of the MIDIOutputEventInBytes prototype. Here is a simple sound to get into User-Mode and X-Mas Disco mood -> LinnStrumentUserMode.kym



answered Nov 16, 2015 by christian-schloesser (Adept) (2,890 points)
edited Nov 16, 2015 by christian-schloesser