Panel Settings

Version 2.2.1 Software

Global Settings

Global Settings are settings that apply to both of LinnStrument's keyboard splits. For example, Velocity Sensitivity is a global Setting it affects both the left and right splits. Same for selecting whether to use the MIDI Jacks or MIDI over USB.

To view or change the Global Settings, press the Global Settings button and the button will light. Now notice that the lights on LinnStrument's playing surface have changed:

Now the lower four rows of lights indicate the status of the Global Settings printed directly below each column. For each column, the status of the lowest printed setting is indicated by the lowest note pad; the status of the second-from-bottom printed setting is indicated by the second-from-bottom note pad; etc. For example, if the lowest note pad in column 1 is lit, this indicates that "Main" is selected.

The Global Settings button has both momentary and toggle action:

If held for more than 1/2 second, it is momentary, staying on only as long as you hold it. This is use for fast changes: hold Global Settings, change a setting with your other hand, then releasing Global Settings.

Or if tapped briefly (held less than 1/2 second), it toggles between on and off with each press. This is better for one-handed use: turn on Global Settings, change a setting, then press Global Settings again to turn it off.

Each of the Global Settings is explained below.

Note Lights On/Off
(Columns 1 - 4)

While in Performance mode, the notes of the C major scale are lit in the Main color (green by default) and the C within each octave is lit in the Accent color (light blue by default). All accidentals (notes not in the scale) are not lit. The Note Lights On/Off settings permit you to light any scale that is based on 12 equal divisions per octave, and to light each scale note in either the Main or Accent colors.

The Note Lights settings consists of the 1) View column and 2) in columns 2 through 4, the 12 on/off switches to turn on or off the 12 notes of the chromatic scale.


The VIEW column has 3 options: Main, Accent and Scale Select:

If Main is select, the 12 settings at right (C through B) display the notes within each octave that are lit in the selected Split's Main color. By default, the natural notes (C, D, E, F, G, A and B) are selected. Press any of these 12 note pads in order to turn it on or off.

If Accent is selected, the 12 settings at right (C through B) display the notes within each octave that are lit in the selected Split's Accent color. By default, only C is selected. If a scale note is selected in both Main and Accent settings, the Accent setting overrides the Main setting.

Note: to change the Main and Accent colors of the scale notes, go to Per-Split Settings > Color column > Main or Accent.

If Scale Select is selected, the 12 settings at right (C through B) are used to select one of 12 Note Lights memories, each containing a unique set of both Main and Accent light settings. This permits quickly changing the lights of one musical scale to another. Though all 12 presets are editable, the default contents are:

C: Major (default)
C#: Natural minor
D: Harmonic minor
D#: Major Pentatonic
E: Minor Pentatonic
F: Major Blues
F#: Minor Blues
G: Diminished
G#: Whole Tone
A: Spanish (Phrygian Dominant)
A#: Gypsy (Hungarian Minor)
B:Arabic (Major Locrian).


Hidden setting: LEFT HAND MODE
In column 1, the 4th button from the bottom enables Left Hand Mode.
If on, the pitch of each row increases in the right-to-left direction..
If off, the pitch of each row increases in the normal left-to-right direction.
Hold this button to alter its function to one of 3 options:

1) REV: reverse pitch direction of both splits. (Default)
2) REVL: reverse pitch direction of left split only, for mirrored outward-increasing pitch in Split mode.
3) REVR: reverse pitch direction of right split only, for mirrored inward-increasing pitch in Split mode.


Setting the note lights remotely via MIDI messages

You can set any of LinnStrument's note pad to any color by sending LinnStrument a series of three MIDI Control Change messages:

1) CC20: Column number of note pad to change (control key column is 0, left play column is 1, right play column is 25)

2) CC21: Row number of note pad to change (bottom row is 0, top is 7)

3) CC22: Color to change it to (0=as set in Note Lights settings, 1=red, 2=yellow, 3=green, 4=cyan, 5=blue, 6=magenta, 7=off, 8=white, 9= orange, 10=lime and 11=pink).

First send CC20 and CC21 to select the column and row to be lit, then send CC22 to light it.

LinnStrumentalist Ben Fuhrman has created a Max patch--as well as standalone mac and windows apps-- that allow you to graphically set each of LInnStrument's note pads to any color. Click here to download it.


Changing LinnStrument's rows to contain consecutive scale notes instead of consecutive semitones

LinnStrument's rows always consists of consecutive semitones and cannot be changed to consist of consecutive scale notes, skipping notes outside of the scale. The reason is explained in the first FAQ on the FAQ page, General tab. If you wish to change LinnStrument's rows to contain consecutive scale notes, skipping accidentals, that FAQ contains a link to an Win/Mac application that will do that.


Row Offset
(Columns 5 & 6)

This setting determines the pitch offset between rows, like tuning the strings on a guitar.  The default setting is +5, so that the leftmost pitch of each row is 5 semitones (a musical fourth interval) higher that the leftmost pitch of the row below it, just like the 4 lower strings of a guitar or a bass guitar. This tuning is called the Fourths String Layout and is the default tuning on LinnStrument.

There are 8 tunings options:

1 - 5) "+3" through "+7"
These set the Row Offset to 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 semitones.

This sets the Row Offset to an octave.

Hidden setting: ANY ROW OFFSET
Hold +Octave and the screen will display “12” in large letters. Swipe left or right to edit the value from -16 through zero to +16, including the leftmost value "-GUIT" (upside down guitar tuning). If set to any value other than the default 12, the +OCTAVE pad will light in light blue instead of the normal blue.

This sets the Row Offset to
guitar tuning on the upper 6 rows, plus 2 extra bass strings below on the bottom, each tuned 5 semitones below the row above it.

Hidden setting: Independent Row Tunings
Hold the GUITAR button to view the Independent Row Tuning screen. Select one of the 8 rows at left, then edit that row’s pitch by swiping left or right.

This sets each row to start at a pitch one higher than the pitch at the end of the previous row.  In this way, there is no pitch overlap between rows. This can be useful either for non 12-ECO tunings, or for control surface applications where it is desirable for each note pad to have a unique note number.

Note: To select no offset (all rows start with the same pitch), press the lit selection to turn it off.


Assign Foot/Panel Switches
(Columns 7, 8 & 9)

LinnStrument has a 1/4 inch tip/ring/sleeve jack for connection to any single or dual foot switch. (See the Hooking It Up page for details.) It also has two assignable switches to the left of the playing surface called Switch 1 and Switch 2. The Assign Foot/Panel Switch settings are used to assign these 4 switches to Sustain Pedal, Arpeggiator On/Off and a variety of other useful functions.

Note: connect your foot switch before powering on your LinnStrument. When powered on, LinnStrument senses whether you are using a Normally Open or Normally closed foot switch, which is necessary for correct operation.

Note: the 2 foot switches have momentary action, while the 2 panel switches are both toggle (if pressed for less than 1/2 second) and momentary (if held for more than 1/2 second).

To assign a switch's function:

1) In the SELECT SW column (column 7), select the switch to be viewed or changed. Its current assignment will be display in the ASSIGN SWITCH columns (columns 8 and 9).

2) To change the selected switch's assignment, press the desired assignment in the ASSIGN SWITCH area (columns 8 and 9).


Here is a list of the available assignment options:

Tap 1/4 notes to set the tempo for the Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer.

Hidden settings: Extra switch assignments.
Hold Tap Tempo to view or change its function to one of the following, shown in large text on the playing surface. Select by swiping left or right:

a) TAP: Tap Tempo (default).

b) LEG: Legato. While switch is on, notes or chords are sustained after release until the next note or chord is played.

c) LAT: Arpeggiator latch. If Arpeggiator is on then while switch is on, each pressed & released note will be added to the arpeggiated chord.

d) PR+: Preset +. The preset number in the Preset screen is incremented.

e) PR-: Preset -. The preset number in the Preset screen is decremented.

f) PCH: Pitch slide on/off. Reverses the selected state of Per-Split Settings > Pitch/X column > On. This is useful, for example, to quickly switch between smooth pitch slides and semitone slides as on a guitar.

Plus the following 3 assignments are available only for the 2 Foot Switches:

g) PLAY: Start or Stop the internal step sequencer. This can also be controlled by MIDI NRPN messages.

h) PREV: Previous Sequence, of the 4 sequences in the Step Sequencer. This can also be controlled by MIDI NRPN messages.

i) NEXT: Next Sequence, of the 4 sequences in the Step Sequencer. This can also be controlled by MIDI NRPN messages.

j) CLK: Start/Stop sending MIDI Clock from LinnStrument.

k) MUTE: Toggle the Mute status of the selected Split's sequence.


This is the standard Sustain Pedal assignment, using MIDI Control Change #64 messages. To change the control change number sent for this assignment, hold the Sustain button to see the assignment is large digits, then swipe left or right to change the displayed value. If set to any value other than the default 64, the “Sustain” button will light in light blue instead of the normal blue.

5) CC65
Choose this assignment to send Control Change #65 messages with a value of 127 when pressed and 0 when released. To change the control change number sent, hold his button to see the assignment is large digits, then swipe left or right to change the displayed value. If set to any value other than the default 65, the “CC65” pad will light in light blue instead of the normal blue.

Choose this assignment to enable the Arpeggiator while the switch is on.

Choose this assignment to quickly alternate between the left and right split playing across the full playing surface.


Because the foot switch assignments are global settings, there is a single assignment that applies to whichever split is selected, left or right. And if the Split button is on (split keyboard play), then the foot switch only affects the Selected Split. (The Selected Split is the split selected in the Per-Split Settings screen, and is also indicated by the color of the Split button.) For example, if Split is on and the Left Split is the Selected Split, the sustain pedal will only sustain notes on the Left Split.

However, if BOTH SPLITS is on, then when the Split button is on (split keyboard play), the foot switch will affect both splits. For example, if Split is on, the sustain pedal will sustain notes on both the Left and Right Splits.


HIDDEN SETTING: Virtual Third Foot Switch.
In addition to the 2 foot switches, a third "virtual" foot switch exists, actuated by pressing both left and right foot switches together. To assign it, in the Select Switch column, press both FOOT L and FOOT R together, then select an assignment in the Assign Switch columns. If an assignment is made, then the actions of the Left or Right Foot Switches will occur when releasing the foot switch instead when pressing it. To remove the assignment for the virtual third foot switch (and return the 2 principal foot switches to normal actuation on the press), press its selection to deselect it.

Velocity Sensitivity
(Column 10)

There are 3 levels of velocity sensitivity, plus "Fixed" to disable velocity sensing:

1) LOW (for players with a heavy touch)


3) HIGH (for players with a light touch)

Hidden setting: Low and High Velocity Limits
Hold either Low, Medium or High to access the Low and High Velocity limits, shown in large characters. All velocities played will be scaled between these two values. Swipe up to view the Low Velocity Limit (L1 by default) or swipe down for the High Velocity Limit (H127 by default). Swipe left of right to adjust the displayed value.

Note that even with a Low Limit of 1, LinnStrument's velocity curves rarely produce a value below 20, even with very light touches. This is because LinnStrument's velocity response was tuned based on feedback from users who felt this produced the most consistent response. Perhaps this is because rubber pads lack the helpful momentum of a piano key's travel.

Regardless of how hard or soft you play, a fixed velocity value (96 by default) is always sent.

Hold the Fixed Velocity pad to adjust the fixed velocity value that is sent by swiping left or right. Default is 96.

Pressure Sensitivity
(Column 11)

There are 3 levels of pressure sensitivity:

1) LOW (for players with a heavy touch)

2) MEDIUM (for most players)

3) HIGH (for players with a light touch)


This setting scales the raw output of LinnStrument's touch sensor before pressure and velocity processing, so that the Low, Medium and High Sensitivity settings for both Velocity and Pressure will be optimized to your unit's touch sensor, but can also be used to fine-tune the touch sensitivity to your personal playing style. This setting is calibrated at the factory in LinnStrument units from 888 up, and LinnStrument 128 units from 122 up, so you should not need to change it. If it shows a value of 100, it has not been calibrated and we suggest changing it to 60 for LinnStrument or 75 for LinnStrument 128.

To change the setting, hold Calibration (col 16, row 4) while pressing the "Medium" button to see a number in large digits. If it doesn't show "100", write it down because that's the factory-calibrated value, and you may wish to return to it. The displayed value can be changed from 50 to 100 by swiping left or right on the lowest row only. 100 = highest sensitivity, requiring only a medium pressure or strike force to produce high output pressure or velocity values close to 127. 50 =  lowest sensitivity, requiring a much harder pressure or strike force to produce high output pressure or velocity values. Very light touches are unaffected by this setting. Note also that the lowest row acts as a pressure meter when you press any of the note pads in the upper 7 rows, visually indicating the output MIDI pressure value (0-127) for how hard you are pressing.

The upper right note pad appears in light blue and is used for calibrating the displayed value. If you wish to try calibrating it to your personal style, first write down the calibrated value so you can set it back if you want. Now hold a note pad in the center area with a pressure level that you feel is appropriate in your playing style to produce the maximum output MIDI pressure value of 127, then also briefly press the upper right note pad with your other hand. The displayed value will change to a value that will produce MIDI pressure of 127 at the pressure you were holding. At the factory, this value is calibrated by placing a 500 gram weight with an 11mm diameter rubber foot on the center of the note pad at column 9 (from left) and row 5 (from bottom), then pressing the upper right note pad. This results in a value of approximately 60 for LinnStrument and 75 for LinnStrument 128.


If on, LinnStrument's sent pressure messages behave like the traditional Aftertouch on MIDI keyboards: they only exceed zero once you've pressed the note pad approximately 80% of its normal finger pressure range. If off, it behaves as normal with pressure values exceeding zero with a very light touch.


(Columns 12, 13 & 14)

LinnStrument's Arpeggiator works similarly to arpeggiators in MIDI keyboards, arpeggiating the individual notes of a held chord in various ways. However, this arpeggiator is unique because of LinnStrument's expressive control:

1) Varying pressure while holding a chord will vary the velocity values of the arpeggiated notes.

2) Varying x-axis while holding a chord will vary the pitch of the arpeggiated notes.

3) Varying y-axis while holding a chord will vary the y-axis values of the arpeggiated notes.

Here are two videos that demonstrate this 3D arpeggiator control: polybend arpeggiator, expressive beat box.


To use the Arpeggiator, set these settings as desired, then turn the Arpeggiator on in the desired Split (left or right) in the Per-Split Settings / Special column. You may also assign the Low Row (in Per-Split Settings) or the Foot or Panel Switches (in Global Settings) to momentarily turn the Arpeggiator on or off. The settings are:

Column 12: Arpeggiator direction

UP arpeggiates in the upward direction though the held chord, DOWN arpeggiates in a downward direction. Hold UP and DOWN simultaneously to select UP & DOWN.

This setting picks the notes of the held chord randomly for arpeggiation.

Choose this setting to restrike the entire held chord on each repeated time interval of the arpeggiator. Here's a video that demonstrates this feature.

Column 13: Arpeggiator rate

1/8, 1/16, 1/32 (Arpeggiator rate)
Select the Arpeggiator rate (1/8, 1/16 or 1/32 notes) relative to the tempo.
Hold 1/8 and 1/16 simultaneously to select SWING for 1/16 note half-swing time, a relaxed and natural swing feel with a 58%/42% ratio between the odd and even 1/16 notes, halfway between straight and triplet swing 1/16 notes.

If on, the "1/8" button becomes 1/8 Triplets, the "1/16" button becomes 1/16 Triplets, and the 1/32 button becomes 1/32 triplets.

Column 14

The button's light will flash 1/4 notes at the current tempo. Tap 1/4 notes on the button to change the tempo for both the Arpeggiator and the Step Sequencer. When the button is pressed, the numeric tempo will be displayed in the upper half of the screen, which you can change by sliding your finger left or right over the displayed number.

Select one of these to add one or two upper octaves to the arpeggiated notes. Deselect both for normal operation.

Note: If MIDI Clock is being received, the Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer will sync to received tempo and Song Position Pointer. The Global Setting button will blink 1/4 notes to indicate that external sync is being received.
LinnStrument sends MIDI Clock only while the Step Sequencer is playing, and only if not also receiving MIDI Clock, in order to avoid a MIDI Clock feedback loop in your DAW.

(Column 15)

The two lower choices are used to select whether to send and receive MIDI over the MIDI jacks or USB. By default, USB is selected, which is 3.7 times faster than the MIDI jacks.

Note also that if UPDATE OS (explained below) is ON, no MIDI data will be sent over USB.

If USB is selected, your computer should show "LinnStrument MIDI" as the name of the MIDI device.


MIDI Thru (hidden setting)

Hold “MIDI JACKS”. Swipe right to select “THRU”. Now the DIN MIDI OUT jack will both send MIDI OUT data and also echo received MIDI IN data.

USB MIDI Data Reduction  (hidden setting)

If LinnStrument's high volume of MIDI data sent over USB is overloading your computer or sound generator, you can slow down the transmission rate of MIDI  messages. Hold the "USB" button to display a screen showing the delay time (in microseconds) that is added between sent MIDI bytes. Swipe left or right to change the value. Default is 235. As a point of reference, a value of 300 slows it down to the speed of the MIDI jacks, and a value of 600 slows it down to half the speed of the MIDI jacks.

Low Power mode:

If ON, LinnStrument is placed in a special Low Power mode that permits it to be powered over USB from any Lightning-equipped iPad or iPhone. While on, the panel lights will be dimmed.

If OFF, LinnStrument is in normal full-power mode and the panel lights are full brightness.

When connecting an iDevice to LinnStrument for the first time, you can force LinnStrument to wake up in Low Power mode by holding the Octave/Transpose button while connecting power.

Sleep mode:

Press to enter Sleep mode. Pressing any note pad turns them back on. You can also enter Sleep mode by press Per-Split Settings and Global Settings simultaneously.

Hold this pad to adjust two Sleep parameters. Swipe up/down to select the parameter and left/right to edit its value:

1) Sleep display select:

“SLP”: all lights off. Note: you can immediately enter Sleep mode at any time by pressing Per-Split Settings and Global Settings together.

“STR”: a looping promotional animation, intended for stores.

"XMS": a looping Christmas animation with snow falling on Christmas trees.

2) Timer select:

“NOW”: Pressing Global Settings > Sleep immediately enters Sleep mode, or

“D1-D30”: The Global Settings > Sleep button is a toggle. If on, then after the selected number of minutes of Delay after not touching LinnStrument, Sleep mode is entered.

(Column 16)

UPDATE OS: Select before receiving an OS update from the LinnStrument Firmware Updater.

NOTE: No MIDI data is sent while UPDATE OS is on.

OS VERS: Select to see the current OS version.

NOTES OFF: Select to turn off any stuck notes.

RESET: Press UPDATE OS and NOTES OFF together to reset all settings in LinnStrument (except Calibration) to factory status.

CALIBRATE: Your LinnStrument is calibrated for accurate X- and Y-axis precision at the factory and never needs recalibration. The green color of the Calibration button indicates that it is calibrated. If it is green, there is no reason to do a new calibration unless we instruct you to.

If the Calibration button is red, this indicates that the Calibration data has been reset, which can happen as a result of modifying the source code, installing a beta software or by reverting to an earlier software version. If so, then you should do a calibration.  The calibration is a simple two-minute process and is demonstrated in this video.

Hidden Setting:
Audience Messages

While Global Settings is on, pressing the note pads in column 1 through 16 of the top row will cause one of the 16 text messages below to scroll across the screen. The text is upside down so that if you're holding your LinnStrument as a guitar, the messages will appear correctly for the audience to read.

To edit any of these messages:

1) Hold the button of the specific message to be edited for 2 seconds. This will enter Edit Mode.

2) Slide your finger up or down within a single column over a letter to change it, or slide your finger left or right within a single row to scroll other letters of the message onto the screen. The maximum message length is 30 characters.

3) When finished, exit Global Settings.

Note that your edits remain after powering off and on, as well as after an OS Update.

















HELLO (blank)

Roger Linn Design

Los Altos, CA