Roger Linn Design LinnStrument MIDI Performance Controller

200-note USB MIDI Controller Keyboard, with Polyphonic Aftertouch, Pitch, and Modulation
5/5 4 Write review Item ID: LinnStrument
Roger Linn Design LinnStrument MIDI Performance Controller image 1
Roger Linn Design LinnStrument MIDI Performance Controller image 1
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Roger Linn Design LinnStrument MIDI Performance Controller
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Highly Expressive, Adaptive MIDI Controller

Roger Linn Design decided that modern keyboardists and synthesizer fanatics deserve a new way to interact with their instruments, and the LinnStrument USB/MIDI controller was born. Each of the eight rows covers a two octave range, and you can "tune" each of the rows in relation to the others just like you would with strings on a guitar. And you can modulate each note in three ways simultaneously just based on your touch. We've gotten our hands on countless MIDI controller keyboards here at Sweetwater, and we can safely say the Roger Linn Design LinnStrument is a genuinely unique way to play.

Roger Linn Design LinnStrument USB/MIDI Controller at a Glance:
  • An amazingly expressive way to play your synthesizers and software instruments
  • Unlimited musical potential with string-like tuning
  • Color LEDs give you instant visual note feedback
An amazingly expressive way to play your synthesizers and software instruments

When you get your hands on the Roger Linn Design LinnStrument you'll notice that each note responds to your touch, polyphonically, in three ways: loudness via pressure, pitch via left/right finger movement, and timbre via forward/backward finger movement. Of course, you can assign each of these to whatever MIDI parameters you prefer.

Unlimited musical potential with string-like tuning

Look at the eight rows of notes on the LinnStrument as strings on a guitar. Each row gives you access to two octaves, and you adjust the range for each row. You can tune them just like a guitar if you want, or tune them in fifths like a violin or cello. You may even discover new intervals and chord shapes that may inspire you to create music that you couldn't normally play with a traditional piano keyboard.

Color LEDs give you instant visual note feedback

Under the playing surface of the LinnStrument are colored LEDs that will always show you the location of "natural" notes (C, D, E, F, G, A, B), no matter how you have tuned the different rows. You can also choose to highlight specific notes in one of six colors, making it easy to see scales or every "C" for example. This smart color coding scheme makes this unique instrument easy to become familiar with, and takes the guesswork out of switching between whatever custom tunings you've come up with.

Roger Linn Design LinnStrument USB/MIDI Controller Features:
  • 200-note USB/MIDI controller
  • Control note on, aftertouch, modulation and pitch bend with a single touch
  • Eight rows of notes can be "tuned" individually like strings on a guitar
  • Discover new chords and intervals you may not experiment with on a traditional piano keyboard
  • Assign notes and scales different colors to quickly find the notes you need
  • Easy to integrate into your rig with USB and MIDI I/O
  • Powered via USB, optional power supply sold separately
Experience your synths and software instruments in a whole new way, with the Roger Linn Design LinnStrument!

Tech Specs

Pads 200 velocity sensitive, pressure sensitive with X/Y axis movement
Pedal Inputs 1 x 1/4"
USB 1 x Type B
Height 1"
Width 22.4"
Depth 8.22"
Weight 5 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number LinnStrument

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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amazing NEW instrument

I've had my Linnstrument for about a week, so here's my quick, initial response:I've really enjoyed getting into it and learning to customize some settings, etc.So amazing to be able dial it to my style of playing, and even be able choose the colours of lights I want, and how I want them arranged.Great design, craftsmanship and overall layout. Roger's customer service is unprecedented.(fast, concise email responses with the answers I needed)It's great to be able to quickly change settings on the fly, have some modulation strips set up for parameters , all aid out with visible feedback, etc.Lots of innovative features and ideas. A new software update came out last week that added all sorts of new features and options - beyond even my imagination of how I'd use them (for now).This instrument seems to continue to evolve, and because they've utilized open source - you can do some of your own design ideas if you have those skills.Very expressive and enjoyable to explore. I bought a 200, and when it arrived, it was a bit bigger than I had anticipated, a great size for 2 hands...I found it's been a great instrument to help push me into new directions, especially because I can't just rely on habits and chops.The more challenging side is trying to learn and perform music I already know. Not so much because of the places my hands and fingers want to go by default, but primarily because the Linnstrument doesn't have physical references like a traditional music keyboard, and because the pads are quite small.I've noticed that so far, I've never seen a video where the performer is just playing without looking at the instrument. On other instruments, I can quite easily play with my eyes closed. This controller requires more attention. I'm not saying that as a negative, just an observation...Will Chapman


This is the best midi controller I've used, period. I write in alternate tunings so the usual 12 key controller is often limiting. This controller blows the doors open and lets your imagination run wild with the right kind of software - such as Dimension Pro or Pianoteq, both of which are Windows softsynths that support the multinote expression built into this controller. And at its heart is a processor that Roger and company keep refining. This is a controller that will be ready for the next version of the midi standard. Other isomorphic controllers like this start at twice the price with less features. If you can go to Sweetwater, try it out and judge for yourself!
Music background: Composer


I'd been looking for a powerful but expressive controller for years. I first tried the LinnStrument at Winter Namm 2015, and I had to have it. It's a total blast to play, but the key feature for me is having a deep enough feature set to allow substantial customization. Let me tell you, the LinnStrument can go as deep as you want to go. Very cool!
Music background: Composer, Sound Designer, Educator

Liking Linnstrument

It is a very solid device. I can see all that has gone into it by learning how to set it up. I love the controls and setup parameters being right there in the device and the way they have the pages laid out. Roger Linn and Geert usually responds to me quickly on the web forums. This is a big deal to me. Clearly, they are in it to make a great instrument and there is a lot of integrity in their way of going about this. The website is so great and the information seem current. The silicone pads feel very good and the feeling of control is very good. I feel like I have good control with pressure and sliding. And I don’t mind the keys being in a grid layout even though I know standard keyboard layout primarily. I think I enjoy not knowing which keys I’m hitting! Its kinda freeing. So all in all I love everything about it except this one thing :) It was modeled after the paradigm of a guitar so you can only slide notes on rows not diagonally or up and down. The hardware is limited to this so there are no software mods to add this functionality. I really wish I had the option to allow this! Much like the Madrona Labs Soundplane. I think I would have gone for the Soundplane but I understand that it sends pressure messages, not MIDI. I think it might be using OSC. I like having direct MIDI connectivity with the Linnstrument. Its been super easy to work with many synths I already have (Aalto and Kaivo and Wavemapper 2, Synthmaster, Bazille, ACE etc.) I believe the Soundplane expressive features only work with Madrona Labs synths. There are several DAWs which already allow multidimensional expression, like Logic Pro X, Bitwig and Cubase 8.x. Also works with some IOS synths including Animoog... Its a little expensive but I think considering the support and ongoing development through software and firmware, I will have this for a very long time. These things add to the value for me. Another thing that adds value for me is that this is not a product that will be obsoleted. There will be no version 2. It is now as it was designed to be.
See also: Controller Keyboards, Roger Linn Design, Roger Linn Design Sequencers, Roger Linn Design iPad/iPhone Keyboard Controllers, Roger Linn Design MIDI Controllers