"Speedbump" surface for LinnStrument to improve tactility and play by feel

I’m an enormous fan of the LinnStrument. One drawback of it is that the ability to play by feel is limited. You can feel for the gaps between the pads, but that’s usually not where you want your finger to be during play. When you jump your finger back to the correct position, you loose the tactile feedback.

I think that adding a speedbump shape to the rows could allow you to feel the rows without interfering with pitch slides. So I 3D printed a mold and made my own sheet with speedbump rows. Images and video below. I think it helps a lot, especially when doing long pitch slides. What do you think?

(In the video I’m playing some music origianlly written by Connor Golden for LinnStrument)


cool idea…looks like the waves of a Roli :slight_smile:

I guess it moves a little away from the continuous surface idea… but I can see how it would give a better sense of spatial positioning.

how does the Y axis feel? does it change?
did you have to have to adjust the sensitivity to cope with the different surface?
(great thing is the Linnstrument firmware is open source, so potentially you have the option of altering)

anyway great idea, and if it feels better to you … that of course, is the only thing that matters !

btw: have you reached out to @gbevin and Roger, I’m sure he loved to hear about what you’ve done, and your experiences !

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Thanks @thetechnobear ! Yes I agree it moves away from the continuous surface idea, but it leans toward the idea of having 8 strings. On LinnStrument the X-Axis and Y-Axis are fundamentally different, so if they feel different as well that helps the user build a mental model of the instrument. I think it’s also more interesting for the audience to see the speedbumps, because they can see the player’s fingers are running along these “strings”. With the flat surface sometimes it’s a little hard to make a visual connection between the fingers and the sound for those not familiar.

Oh I actually haven’t checked the Y axis yet, my synth doesn’t use Y yet. I expect there will be some loss in precision. I’ll report back on that. Right now I’m looking for a firmer and less sticky rubber.

I haven’t contacted @gbevin yet, but I’ve talked Roger’s ears off about this! We’ve been discussing it on the LinnStrument forum and he shared 3D models for the 128 and 200 surfaces. The 128 model saved me many hours. Geert I’d love to hear what you think!

For funsies, here is a surface using a two shot mold to create black boundaries and lean more into the string metaphor.


I hated the Roli 49, but maybe the bumps wouldn’t have bothered me if the surface hadn’t been mushy.


As mentioned on Roger’s call a few days ago, I want this. I use my 128 in Channel Per Row mode, following the string metaphor, and some additional tactile feedback would be welcome.

I’m willing to buy a custom surface from you. Will you make one for me?

Thanks in advance.

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@teknico after lots of trial and error, I’m finally ready to share these surfaces! Please check out my post on the LinnStrument forum for more details on how to buy one.

Here’s a video of me making and playing one of the latest surfaces:


I made a video focusing on the bumps to better show what they feel like:

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