Tool that opens the door to the future of electronic music
Photo by Roger Linn in his home office, made March 19, 2015 i>
Why is the music in the movie "Blade Runner" has on the viewer such a strong impact? Because mad genius-Greek Vangelis, wrote and performed the music for the film, almost never used any other tools besides YamahaCS-80 .
So this special synthesizer era 70s makes a wonderful feature called «PolyphonicPressure». Model CS-80 was one of the last, which supports the functions of volume change notes by clicking on the button with different force. As a result, it was possible to achieve the acoustic effect, in which the music was dark and incredibly expressive. Pressing the keys with different force, Vangelis could create a plaintive moans unicorns foil or crying lovers replicants. Sadness and melancholy has never been sounded so good.
However, as the heroes of "Blade Runner" and Roy Preece, model CS-80 was doomed. In 1980, when nerds financiers declared too high cost of production synthesizer and reducing profit margins, the company ceased production of these models. Since then, the function is no longer supported PolyphonicPressure synthesizers Yamaha.
(drum machine, designed with the assistance of electronic musical instruments guru Dave Smith), Lynn continues to influence the sound of music hits to this day.
Photo workshop where instruments are Linnstrument, made in the house of Roger Linn i>
In an interview on Skype (he does not use Face Time, because the sound quality with the "poor"), Lynn evaluate its contribution to the music industry as follows: "It seems that each of my drum machines found its rightful place in the industry creation of popular music. " In his response is not a drop of boasting or job satisfaction. His words sound like a statement of fact, almost detached, just as the veteran professor would give a lecture on the recording device at the end of the 20th century. "I'm just trying to create a device that does not require any great technical skills to manage them - he explains. - When I was a musician, the use of electronic devices require optimization of various options and knowledge of technical terms. I do never liked. "
This may explain the success of Lynn. Before becoming the "father of all drum machines," he was a professional composer. In 1976, Leon Russell hired him as a guitarist for the tour and part-time studio engineer. He has also been in good standing with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), taking part in the recording of one of the 10 best songs of Eric Clapton («Promises») and Mary Chapin Carpenter («Quittin 'Time»). As a former studio sound engineer, who is no stranger to the activities of the touring group, he knows exactly what tools are needed musicians. And today he believes that musicians need a PMC-controller from Roger Linn.
Product Introduction h4> LinnStrument has a luminous base of the LEDs, covered with milky white silicone - type of instrument plays disco dance pad for Barbie dolls. The design is based on a system of notes on the fretboard of guitar, made in different colors, with a rectangular surface of the tool is divided into 200 equal-sized squares fingertip. This ingenious solution. Lights resembling colored lollipops show special arrangement of notes, and the notes have the ability to assign different colors. Eight horizontal rows (and 16 vertical) keys can be configured as a guitar break by fifths as a violin or cello, or use some other interval. To make it easier to find the right music, the basic notes (from "before" to "B") in different parts of the instrument burn a special color.
On LinnStrument can be played on a flat surface or hung on a strap slung over his shoulder like a tool wear keytar . As in the case of a guitar, and sorting processes form "strings" are the same, regardless of the pitch. You can also perform a crescendo and staccato, or change the pitch, "stretching" sound, like clay. The musician is possible to even change the sound of two notes in different directions - a trick that can not be done on traditional synthesizers. Instead of the usual restrictions there are many more possibilities. In this video, programmer Geert Bevin creates a melody for his dog Drop reminiscent of the soundtrack of a film by Wes Anderson.
To Play LinnStrument is a cross between playing guitar and connection points in the plane coordinate system. Notes and strings marked pinpoints of light paths that cross the sensor surface. It is necessary to move the finger back and forth along the X axis and voila: it turns the vibrato effect (change in pitch). For tremolo (volume modification) - just change the playing strength by sliding your finger along the axis Z. The timbre (tone quality) of psychoacoustics-a term that describes everything that is not pitch or volume - can be changed by sliding your finger along the axis Y.
When we asked Lynn to spend a little demonstration, he smiled at and adjusted the webcam lens, so that we could clearly see LinnStrument. Even connected to the computer via USB MacBook Pro (which was Launched Logic Pro X - Apple main program to create music), the instrument is very compact. Compared to the 220-pound Yamaha CS-80, LinnStrument, which weighs five pounds, is the epitome of Moore's Law. Quickly check the operation of sensors, Lynn flexed his fingers and began to play. He performed "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin clarinet, composition «Someone To Watch Over Me» in sounding alto saxophone, fast classical solo violin and incredibly powerful and uncompromising bass line.
When it came to the CS-80 synthesizer, Lynn recognized its importance for the development of musical instruments. Without it, there would be no LinnStrument. These two tools occupy every place at opposite ends of the history of polyphony touch, like two pillars of music - both are vivid examples of sensor technology from various periods. To pay tribute to the old tools, Lynn played something similar to the composition of Vangelis. Familiar motives "Blade Runner Blues" floated the studio in Berkeley, California, like a couple - it was chamber music for replicants.
Kate Mc Millen, engineer and inventor whose device QuNeo for $ 249 is the best-selling in the market cost PMC, admires LinnStrument, but argues that there is no guarantee that this tool will gain popularity. "People create these controllers for over 100 years. They are superior to conventional keys, just like DVORAK layout exceeds the QWERTY keyboard when typing. PMC-devices offer a simpler and more logical approach to playing music. You can play an instrument and sing without any unnecessary and awkward finger movements. " So will there PMC those controllers that finally will gain widespread popularity? "I hope that this will be the case with the invention of Roger - says Mac Millen. - His instrument - a real fantasy ».
Professional musicians learn RGB-controller Lynn with stunning rapidity. In this video, keyboardist of the band Dream Theater Jordan Rudess plays improvised melody on LinnStrument, in the first minutes of acquaintance with the instrument. "Roger has created a great tool that musicians can afford - with fervor says the star of progressive rock. - The sensitivity of the instrument to the touch is incredible. For me it is - a dream come true. " Rudess, which tests all the new digital tools, and that Lynn describes as "a living embodiment of musical instrument PMC», every day practicing the game on LinnStrument. This is not just a temporary fad unusual novelty. The musician is going to record songs on it for the next album, Dream Theater, as well as to play with him in the upcoming world tour group.
Music tomorrow h4> In Dzhullyardskoy school does not want to hear it, but Lynn says that traditional musical instruments place in the garbage. "The young musicians do not buy a violin, cello or saxophone. For better or for worse, these tools are becoming obsolete. Instead of them, the musicians are buying a lot of different controller - mixers and similar instruments - and create them using a variety of music. They can buy a music keyboard controller and use it with the program Ableton Live as a playback device. Musicians copy small sound bites and glue them together to create the original track. "
Lynn convinced that this will be music in the 21st century: the instruments PMC, software and music controllers. "If I need to get the sound of the violin, I do not want to keep any piece of wood between the chin and neck. I wish I had on hand were the keys by taking into account the peculiarities of human fingers, and not to hold the instrument with the neck, which is so small that I can not well enough to play the violin, if I did not study for five years. "
Lynn said a MIDI-keyboard the same outdated as Stradivarius violin and calls it even more hopeless tool. "Fifty years period of time, ranging from the 70s to the present day will be considered a strange era, during which people were removed from the musical sounds of office electronic devices: all the ON / OFF button, switches and a variety of regulators. People run the numbers by pressing keys. This is the nightmare interface. Violin, saxophone, cello and clarinet provide more opportunities than MIDI-keyboard. Since it works on the basis of a simple switch technology, it lost the necessary instrumental sound. Devices PMC - is the future ».
To verify the low quality sound is achieved using MIDI-keyboard, it is enough to recall the substantial absence of musical solo. Summing up his lecture, Lynn brings a convincing theory: "Can you think of virtuoso musicians playing electronic instruments? It is best to fit this definition DJs behind the remote control at the disco, which in fact did not play a single note. The concept of instrumental solos almost disappeared in modern electronic pop music. I doubt that the case in the absence of talented performers ».
There is no doubt that Rudess be able to play high-quality solo LinnStrument. But by and large, it is not the game will be the criterion of whether a new tool Lynn next chapter in his impressive career. Instead, people like Mark Rosengarten will determine whether Mr. New Drum Machine grand event in the history of music.
Compared with professionals, Rosengarten is a newcomer. He had never in his life did not attend music classes. He also does not possess some special gift from birth. He is a 48-year-old chemistry teacher, living on the outskirts of New York. He does not know musical notation and is not going to study it. However, like many others, he is interested in news technologies that allow to compose and play songs just for fun. In a recent videos on YouTube , Rosengarten unpacks his LinnStrument and immediately gives a good song playing on it. Like any other good teacher, his enthusiasm is contagious and absolutely natural.
Anyone who watches this video can be assumed that play LinnStrument as easy as on a kazoo or tambourine. According to Rosengarten, is far from the truth. He says that, in reality, a generation raised on touch screens and monitors do not even have to learn too much. «LinnStrument he plays almost all the music - with fervor he comments. - You do not need any musical education. All you need - is to connect the instrument to the iPad, and you can start having fun. "