What are you doing with your Linnstrument?

That’s true, and that’s how I play the NS/Stick so far too. And “normal” bass guitar if I have to play anything more complex. It just feels kind of easier to start slowly relying more and more on hand position + the feel of frets and look down a bit less, whereas with Linnstrument, at least on the table, I have to keep my eye on the instrument most of the time.

(Full disclosure: have only occasionally tried playing Linnstrument in a guitar-like position, so I don’t know if a similar muscle memory actually comes with practise. I just worry that it would keep being a bit too constant for me. :slight_smile: )


Disclaimer: my playing is still clumsy and not ready for primetime, so please take anything I write with a grain of salt.
Looking down is getting less for me when I keep my thumb fixed somewhere. Muscle memory kicks in because of the motor rotation. Many bass and guitar players rely on this as well.
Left hand thumb is on the fretboard while the opposite fingers grab the strings.
Right hand thumb stays with the bass strings opposite fingers arpeggiate.
The problem on linnstrument is that it is larger then 6 strings. What I do to keep orientation while playing lines across the “strings” is trying to always keep a finger on the surface. Over time, muscle memory learns the intervals.
Sorry for the long winded explanation.
on a side note: I recommend practicing Bach. The pieces are often moving around a single scale, up and down, but not too complicated. Perfect for getting familiar with any instrument. It does not matter if you go by ear or by score.


This was the (obvious in hindsight) tip I needed!

1 Like

If I have to play it in a guitar-like position, I might as well get a guitar midi controller and take advantage of existing knowledge and muscle memory. There’s probably a guitar synth thread on here someplace…

What I’m going to do with my Linnstrument is Kasey Musgraves synth covers AND NOTHING ELSE.


Here’s me playing amazing grace on LinnStrument, using my DIY surface with speedbump rows:


I’ve had the small linstrument for a couple years. I play it flat, tabletop.

I find I create different parts on the Linnstrument than on a piano keyboard. I make bigger jumps. Bigger intervals that I can see on the layout. On a piano style kb I play notes closer together.

I’m a very primitive keyboardist, rarely more than 3 fingers involved. Much better on guitar and bass.

Some close grouped phrases/runs are significantly easier to play on a keyboard than the Linnstrument. I have trouble playing very fast on Linnstrument.


that sounds awesome! What are you using for the synth? It reminds me of this old review of minibrute by once upon a synth Arturia Minibrute 2 quick tour and first impressions - YouTube

1 Like

Thanks! Using a Deckards Dream mk2 in that clip. It’s really impressive under MPE control


A new version of my bumpy LinnStrument surface is ready to share! It helps you play by feel. Please check out the video for a description:


Wonderful! I just ordered one. This seems like it would alleviate my main complaint about the Linnstrument of not being able to orient by feel. I actually think having the non-uniform spacing as you have now may be the way to go. That way you can feel which hand position you’re in.

D’oh. In my excitement I didn’t realize it is for the 128. Have you made any full-size ones?

1 Like

Ack I planned to make 5 small and 5 large (I pour both at the same time) and all the larges sold first. Last time I did this the small sheet was more popular.

I’ll add 2 more larges to the inventory and message you on reverb


Thank you! Really appreciate it.


@watney_sw I got the surface you sent in the mail. Excited to try it out. Just to double check: this replaces the current surface and doesn’t go on top of it, right?

I got mine as well. I love the feel of it and hope to get to use it.

That said: I couldn’t get it to work reliably. Seemed like no matter what I did with the faceplate screws adjusting the tension I couldn’t get the exact middle column of keys to work relaibly. I spent about 2 hours trying various things and just couldn’t get it to work… feels like the prssure on the top and bottom for that column just wasnt quite right.

I will try again when I get back from travelling in january, but i was going to mess around with some shims.

Let me know if there’s something I need to know that I’m not doing, maybe?

EDIT: needed to note that my OG keybed works fine… only having issues with the bumpy surface.

I recommend sending an email to Roger, the address is listed on his website (not sure if I’m allowed to post it here). He’s super response and there’s likely a simple fix

Not sure what you mean. My original membrane works great. I’m having trouble with the replacement that I bought from you on Reverb. No matter how I place it and line it up I end up with a dead zone in the middle column. I think that there are some pressure issues that are confusing the sensors. The OG keybed works fine. My guess is that Roger wouldn’t know how to support issues with an aftermarket surface.

Hi g4b3 this is a full replacement sheet. You can lay it on top of the factory surface to get a quick feel for it. Actually replacing the sheet will make it more responsive and and better fixed in place.

@n9n9n9 Oh sorry!! When you said “I got mine” I thought you were talking about a new LinnStrument! I didn’t read the whole message.

I sent you my phone number on Reverb, want to have a video call when you’re back from traveling? Also, I sent an installation guide video as well. If we can’t get it to work I’ll give you your money back.

1 Like

thanks! I’m pretty committed to getting it to work! I’ll give it another try when I get back. I really like it and felt sad switching back.

1 Like

(Sorry for the cross-posting to several fora, I’m trying to reach as many users as possible.)

Custom firmware: smoother playing in One Channel modes with non-MPE synths

The Linnstrument firmware resets pressure data at note on/off, and only sends pressure data for the most recent pad held. For non-MPE synths (or any synth played in One Channel or Channel per Row mode), this causes an abrupt jump in Z-values from 0 to/from the value of whatever prior pad is held. This behavior is similar for Y-values.

I fixed it in a non-supported and no-promises-made custom firmware, with the result that playing non-MPE synths is more predictable, and Z-data and Y-data is more usable to control synth parameters. The changes do not negatively impact MPE function, or other mode use-cases.

This change was prompted by a discussion on KVR.

The binary release is on Github:


Again, this is unofficial firmware, use at your own risk.

Then again, everyone is welcome to try it, and I’d appreciate any comments. Thanks.