Words escape me, this looks so amazingly interesting I can’t wait for it to come out of the prototype phase. The video features Linn playing with an early prototype and a very simple synth patch but makes it sound like a clarinet. The expression he plays with would be difficult (to say the least) to recreate in any other way. Wow. #mindblown

The latest iteration; image courtesy Roger Linn Designs.

Moving beyond touching a screen as two-dimensional plane, Roger Linn’s concept music controller, the Linnstrument, adds tactile response and expression. Roger calls it “3D Note Expression,” but in lay terms, it means pushing harder on the controller makes it respond differently, as you’d expect from a physical instrument.

Roger this week posts an update on how his development is going and what he imagines – good timing, as this week we also saw another design on the same lines, the Soundplane. The sensing methods are different, enough so that I can easily see room for both, but the upshot is the same. Randy Jones in that story also reflects that, once these things are invented, what will really be essential is musicians to play the things and develop lots of interesting software that can use the controllers. See, previously:

A Glimpse of the Soundplane Controller, Innovative Tactile Multi-Touch, in the Lab; Call to Action

The major change in Roger’s latest update, apart from adjusting the form factor to something longer and more spacious, is the addition of different overlays, including traditional keyboard “manuals,” fret-style grids, and honeycomb-patterns hexagonal grids like the one at top.

It isn’t just a blank slate any more – certainly not in Roger’s mind, at least. Linn, a guitarist by training, has an extensive schema worked out for a grid that would function like the frets on a guitar neck. Movements in any direction can make an adjustment, impacting timbre (perpendicular to the front edge), pitch bends (parallel to that edge), and loudness (pressure).

It’s still all concept, with one working prototype; Roger’s professed style is to work in big-picture concepts. But I’d love to see some of these ideas reach fruition.

I’m still hopeful that a simple, inexpensive, open source option could evolve from this landscape. I hope for that not necessarily even because of a philosophical belief in open source so much as the sense that such an open field could lend itself to experimentation by, say, the people who read this site, not only in creating software but building the instruments. In the case of Roger’s design, unlike the more novel approach used by Randy, patent questions are less of an issue. And a community of people experimenting in such a way could simultaneously yield software that could be compatible with the proprietary and commercial projects.

Lots more ideas and reflections – including detailed notions of how you’d play this thing – on Roger’s site:
Preview: LinnStrument – A New Musical Instrument with 3D Note Expression

And here’s a new video, entitled, cheerily, “Gloomy Sunday” (the music of Rezső Seress):

via Create Digital Music


This little thing is pretty sweet. I remember having a little Casio keyboard as a kid that was little more than a toy. At nearly the same size, the OP-1 from http://www.teenageengineering.com is a full blown production unit (albeit an extremely limited one). I have to admit, it sounds pretty good too. It would be nice to have a little device to tap out song ideas on w/o having to get out my laptop and firing up Ableton Live. At $849 USD I will have to just admire from a distance for now.

Neu Sex by Sasha Grey

I bought this book for my girl as soon as it came out (she has a thing for Sasha Grey). I must say, it’s very much not what I was expecting…, in a very good way. Sasha Grey has only recently ventured from the adult film industry to mainstream film and TV. This book of photos seems to span the period of the change of one to the other. Candid shots of varying stages of nudity are through out but mostly its a rare look into the daily goings on of a woman who doesn’t really give a damn what you think of her career choices so why should she be shy to show her bare body? I dig it, and unless you are a stuck up prude I’ll go so far as to say you might find it enjoyable too. I probably won’t leave it on my coffee table for our 5 year old to find but a nice addition to our book collection all the same.

Neu Sex by Sasha Grey | Cool Material.

Wow…, lot of realness in this one. Adult content….


Oh hells yes. Just came across this little gem. Having been a skater since I was able to stand I feel much more comfortable in a pair of roughed up Vans than a fresh pair of Nikes. Get them in my size (13 US) for less? Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Clearance Skate Shoes – Cheap Skate Shoes – Discount Skate Shoes.

Forget Camp Cupcake, introducing the Ibiza of prisions…

Available: free lodging with frequent bikini parties, drugs, and guns. All you have to do, is get caught smuggling into Venezuela.

Welcome to the infamous San Antonio Prison on Margarita Island, where the inmates run the show and prisoners can do anything, except leave:

On the outside, the San Antonio prison on Margarita Island looks like any other Venezuelan penitentiary. Soldiers in green fatigues stand at its gates. Sharpshooters squint from watchtowers. Guards cast menacing glances at visitors before searching them at the entrance.

But once inside, the prison for more than 2,000 Venezuelans and foreigners held largely for drug trafficking looks more like a Hugh Hefner-inspired fleshpot than a stockade for toughened smugglers.

Bikini-clad female visitors frolic under the Caribbean sun in an outdoor pool. Marijuana smoke flavors the air. Reggaetón booms from a club filled with grinding couples. Paintings of the Playboy logo adorn the pool hall. Inmates and their guests jostle to place bets at the prison’s raucous cockfighting arena.

“The Venezuelan prisoners here run the show, and that makes life inside a bit easier for us all,” said Fernando Acosta, 58, a Mexican pilot jailed since 2007.

Simon Romero of The New York Times has the story: Link (Photo: Meridith Kohut)

via Neatorama