CatSynth pic: The Tempest

From Joe Bielawa and that same treasure-trove post in the Facebook group Synthesizer Freaks. This cat has not one but (at least) two DSI Tempests. The Tempest is a collaboration between Dave Smith and Roger Linn that we have discussed in previous posts.

NAMM: Roger Linn and the LinnStrument

Our visit to Roger Linn Design featured both the man himself as we as the LinnStrument.

Roger Linn

The LinnStrument is an expressive controller with a grid of continuous sensors that capture independent velocity, X, Y and Z-axis position for each of multiple touches. As such, it is an extremely expressive instrument that can afford control as dextrous as a traditional piano keyboard in some ways more versatile between all the degrees of freedom and abstract layout. It is also quite compact.

LinnStrument

While the LinnStrument is primarily MIDI, it would be interesting to see it in a CV-based environment as well.

We were also treated to a demo by Roger Linn, including several of the featured sounds and programs.

We definitely appreciate his time talking with us and showing his invention.

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest and Mopho at NAMM

Another perennial stop at NAMM is the ever-growing booth of Dave Smith Instruments. I had a chance to talk with one of the senior representatives on my regular use of the DSI Evolver in my live shows and my fondness for the instrument (despite the tendency of the knobs to fall off). I of course also had to play the Mopho because it was there:

But the real star of the booth this year was the Dave Smith Instruments Tempest, a collaboration of Dave Smith and Roger Linn.

I started with an existing pattern in the sequencer and immediately used the drum pads to subvert the pattern while attempting to remain in the tempo and meter. The pads are very comfortable and playable, and I found it quite intuitive to get different effects of each even without knowing in advance that they would do that.

This would be a great instrument to have in a live performance (and for recording as well), but probably something to ponder for a later time given its retail price of USD $1999.