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Roger Linn Predicts Death of Keyboards


WillNeverPost

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Was searching for stuff on the CS-80 and came across this:

 

http://www.wired.com/2015/03/linnstrument/

 

"Because [the keyboard] relies on basic switch technology, it lacks a compelling instrumental voice. PMCs are the future.

 

Of course, he wants you to buy the LinnStrument, his own version of a polyphonic multi-dimensional controller (PMC).

 

And "Is there any famous virtuoso player of electronic instruments you can name?"

 

Say what? Jan Hammer, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, etc, etc....They don't count? They did pretty good IMO with a keyboard and a couple of control wheels.

 

Personally, I don't see a lot of people moving to a new interface for electronic instruments to replace the old black and whites. There have been so many kicks at that can in the past.

 

 

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Key boards will likely be around for the next 100 years at least. 200 years from now who knows if kids will have 10 fingers still or will have evolved enormous thumbs from constant texting. Then the African thumb piano will be king.

FunMachine.

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Specious and self serving. Not Roger Linn (I don't know the man), but his argument.

 

Yes, the keyboard is (choose one): 1) parochial, 2) antiquated, 3) constraining and limited, 4) polarizing in concept (things are either black or white), 5) blah blah blah.

 

Unfortunately for Linn's argument, folks who grow up with some modicum of musical instruction as kids still encounter piano keyboards along the way, not PMCs (and certainly not the Linninstrument). Thus, they grow up accepting the keyboard's limits as the normal gateway to musical expression. A few grow frustrated with the inherent limitations, and then a few of those few start exploring alternative controller formats.

 

Just as the Von Janko keyboard eventually replaced our standard piano keyboard in the 1900's (oh wait that didn't happen) and the Dvorak keyboard replaced our QWERTYs in the office (oh wait that didn't happen), I can envision in 50 years how the LInninstrument interface will replace our parochial, antiquated, constrained, non-expressive black and whites. Or not.

 

Jaded cynicism aside, there is a big part of me that would love to see something like the ROLI Seaboard take the world by storm, as well as Linn's creation. It's just this pesky thing of having spent my entire adult life learning how to express myself in one format, and then being tempted to start from scratch on a completely unfamiliar bicycle...

..
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Spoken like a non player. Don't get me wrong, I love and respect hardware and software engineers - and they love music and many of them play. With that said, we all know engineers have to devote so much time and effort to problem solving and overcoming obstacles to build the types of instruments and technology we have today. Similarly, for a human being to express his/her musical mind freely - it takes just as much time and effort to learn the language and work out the physical aspects of controlling the elements of music in real time on an interface like the keyboard. Organists and pianists, even synthesists have been pushing what we thought was humanly possible on this interface for centuries now. We won't just drop the piano keyboard at a whim. They'd have to come up with something that literally went straight from thought to sound to compete. And even then - when I play solo piano, stride for example, I don't even know if I'm thinking every pitch I'm hitting as much as thinking beat and shape on the left side while thinking linear pitch sometimes harmony sometimes who knows what on the right. YMMV

 

 

re: Tim's post. Exactly. And the Seaboard, it's just an added dimension to the layout of the keyboard, so in my mind, it's a still a piano keyboard. The technique would be an adjustment, but not a whole new paradigm.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Non-player?

 

Roger used to tour with Leon Russell.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Playing guitar.

...like his friend Dave Smith.

 

When I started working with Dave in 2004, he had the Evolver, and used to demo it with no keyboard - always the step sequencer and "new" sounds. His line to people who asked about it was that he didn't want to look back - only forward. Obviously, we changed that... ;)

 

I used to joke with him that he wasn't the target customer because he a) didn't really play keyboards, and b) had never bought one - just made 'em. The original Evolver factory set didn't even really have very many "player" programs. We changed that, too.

 

I've had the opportunity to hang with Dave and Roger more than once. There's times the two of them sound like Statler and Waldorf. :D

 

http://www.tvinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Muppets-Waldorf-Statler-cropped.jpg

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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Jaded cynicism Clear, pragmatic, analysis aside, there is a big part of me that would love to see something like the ROLI Seaboard take the world by storm, as well as Linn's creation. It's just this pesky thing of having spent my entire adult life learning how to express myself in one format, and then being tempted to start from scratch on a completely unfamiliar bicycle...

Fixed

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Out of the 15,000 people in my FB synth group I know of ONE person that owns the LinnStrument - and he's a collector, not a player (not even keyboards). The Seaboard doesn't seem to be any more popular, while the Kboard/QuNexus fares a little better.
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Interesting the way guitarists are always working out new things for keyboard players to do, and make it easier, the naturals are lit, with the C's in a different colour. Just like the Thomas color glo organ.

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Roger WHO?

 

I predict the end of controlled manipulation by and for the masses and the powers that be now that everyone and their grandmutter and grandkids are 'Autocrats' and 'Authoritarians' of all manners & types . . . we will all get so sick of each others behavior - it will just end! :rawk:

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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Non-player?

 

Roger used to tour with Leon Russell.

 

I don't believe we have a different definition of a "player ", CEB. - certainly not a keyboard player. At least I don't have that impression from posts over the years regarding your early experiences, especially on organ where you did the dirty work of hand and finger independence via Bach (and I'm sure many other keyboard greats that are the lineage in all styles of this highly effective musical input device).

 

I'm sure Roger is a nice guy, and would love to make a second dent in the electronic music world. I could be wrong, the Linnstrument could be what does it... Maybe 50 years from now the kids are all working at it and there will be virtuosos giving master classes and webinars, some solid pedagogy will be proven... who knows. But I'm not inclined to think so at this time.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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It seemed that a lot of pioneers liked alternative control surfaces. Don Buchla prefered non keyboard controllers , the original EMS stuff. Even Bob Moog's started out building theremins. I guess they liked to play between the cracks.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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There's no doubt that there are different camps of synth users, the two most obvious being those that use it like a (for want of a better word) conventional musical instrument, and those that use them more as tone generating devices, often relying on LFOs and/or step sequencers to drive their music more than traditional keyboard performance.

 

I'm not saying one is better than another, nor am I saying that being more of in any way excludes the other (or any other approach one might take), just saying different strokes, etc. Lots of in between as well, obviously.

 

I always thought Isao Tomita was amazing in his ability to be able to fully hit both the "musical instrument" and techno geek side at the same time. Same with JMJ.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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I own and use a Linnstrument. Roger will be correct the keyboard as we know it will eventually become obsolete - once the technology (materials, sensors, software inc the midi spec) Photography catches up.

 

http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k619/sca964/Public/linn_zpsh9izvdrt.jpg

Fixed. :2thu:

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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The Linnstrument looks neat, but the Artiphon has a similar appeal as a guitar-oriented MIDI controller at lower cost. It, too, has poly aftertouch and can respond to finger vibrato and slides.

 

Not really the same thing but it's cool nonetheless. Artiphon has a hard plastic surface with what appear to be plastic buttons and a limited feature set. Linn has a very elegant and slick rubber surface that needs to be touched to be appreciated. Linn can respond to touch in 3 axis: X is pitch (R-L), Y is timbre(up - down) and Z is loudness (pressure). Y & Z gestures have adjustable range limits per preset. Transmitted CC values are somewhat assignable. Splits can be assigned and there are 128 presets that also send program change. Assignable controllers for sustain pedal and arpeggio on/off. Note color & scale all programmable and saved within a preset. MIDI I/O connections and dual footswitch input. All housed in a metal case with real wood trim. Everyone that has personally seen and touched my Linnstrument has been blown away.

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I own and use a Linnstrument. Roger will be correct the keyboard as we know it will eventually become obsolete - once the technology (materials, sensors, software inc the midi spec) catches up.

 

Nah,

 

Here's examples of what the Linnstrument does well. Melodic lines with the ability to slur and bend - like a string instrument or brass for example.

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]

 

 

Here's an example of what the "zebra keyboard" does well... whole band in a box, bass, harmony and melody simultaneously - one musician.

[video:youtube]

 

 

Here's some examples of instruments that do what the Linnstrument does, but better - and far far cooler.

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4BC3vErvpc

 

Just sayin'. ;)

 

 

I think the Linnstrument is cool in the studio where you might be working on movie/tv/game scores and you are going to use virtual instruments - in other words you aren't going to budget for live musicians.

 

As far as keyboard players are concerned - and their opinion is paramount as they would be the ones deciding to "move on" or not - I believe the majority of us are more likely to ask for poly aftertouch, pitch and mod wheels, all sorts of expression controllers in addition to the tried and true "zebra" keyboard. Something like the ROLI seaboard is more likely to appeal - and even that hasn't been catching on in a big way.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Thank you, yes I live.

 

Among a number of other things I've worked (although without that it yet created revenue) on automatically putting mathematical functions through a modern silicon compiler such as to implement for instance a sine function in FPGA programmable logic chips. The rationale is that that is a certain way to be able to interact with oscillators and modifiers/modulations on for instance a strict per-sample basis with high input/output bandwidth for controllers that can if needed be directly be connected per fast logical input/output pins (running easily at 100 megabit or more per second). That means I hope to be able to interact with synthesis primitives at the same time as with guitar strings: immediate, and with the ability to experience feedback control within the tenth of a millisecond or even faster, with no latency more than say a few samples (possible at very high sample rate). Nothing keyboard plays as natural as acoustic instruments unless there are actually good tricks in there, like some quality instruments develop (in the meanwhile) to usable musical instruments when the design of the digital logic is properly put to (deeper) use.

 

What I mean to say is: I have faith in it that Roger Linn created a nice instrument that is worth while to use, and that there is an amount of interest in the software that, if I'm not wrongly informed, comes with it. Like some keyboards have built in to lesser and better extends of success, I have the idea, without (unfortunately) having tried the Linnstrument out, that there are sound dimensions that fall into place because they are designed to. I've heard most of the videos up till a while ago and feel there's a good vibe possible with the instrument, but I like to get those waves on those guitar strings accurate even by feeling and per-cycle and phase control (i.e. I have a high ambition of accuracy as guitar player), and I think that's not necessarily a compatible view.

 

So, I don't like keyboards to play with note timing after it's own rules, and it might be the Linnstrument's interaction processor, in a musical way, does this, too. That would be a consideration for speedup, if that's possible. Because it would be cool to have an electronic fret board and string sensor interacting with an accurate real time version of my string simulator, no matter how humble the amount of sound variation coming from it as of yet...

 

T.

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Well, it's certainly interesting with the colored lights and wood panels. But way too expensive for a controller.

 

Now if you could download apps and watch YouTube vids with it... :snax:

 

 

 

roger_linn_design_linnstrument_midi_performance_controller.jpg

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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