Based on a forum post, I created a quick and dirty (and very inelegantly coded) Max patch to allow control of the individual LED cells on a Linnstrument – both versions should work on either the Linnstrument 128 or 200. Both standalone versions will work with other DAWS and softsynths running (tested with Reaper running UVI’s Falcon, and Ableton Suite running a bunch of Max4Live devices).


Linnstrument Lights – MaxMSP version of the two below

  • Linnstrument Light Controller – Let’s you set the LED color for any individual cell in a Linnstrument and save/recall presets. Comes in MAC or PC application versions
  • Linnstrument Light Matrix – A slightly less CPU intensive version, but limited to only one color of LED. Also MAC or PC

Update – for MacOS 10.14 (Mojave) and above, downloading the standalone app may give errors that the app is “damaged and can’t be opened.” You can instead use the full MaxMSP version to not have to deal with that.

10 comments on “Linnstrument LED Controls

  • Ben, please forgive my ignorance! I have downloaded and installed the LED Maxpatch for PC. It seems to have installed ok and I can open it up. Set midi device as the LinnStrument, both input and output. Set me keypad lights and believe I have written a preset file to a folder in my pc. However I can’t seem to get the Linnstrument to “play” in Bitwig. I believe the device settings in Bitwig are correct. What per-split, preset and global settings do I need to have on the Linnstrument? Also not sure if the maxpresets file needs to be in a particular folder to function correctly? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bruce

    • Hi Bruce-
      I’m not personally a Bitwig user, but I’m pretty sure that you’re running into an issue with two different programs fighting for control of the Linnstrument. I’ve replicated the same behavior in Ableton Live and Reaper. Unfortunately, it looks like you can’t use both at the same time.

      As for per-split and global settings on the Linnstrument, they don’t really have any effect on changing the LED color. The maxpresets file can be anywhere on your computer as long as you know where it is. I usually leave it in the directory with the Max patch itself.

  • Well let’s try again…I just tried to post a comment and got a 404error…

    Several things seem to happen when using your program. 1) when I open the app and read a saved preset file I seem to be able to consistently change the Linnstrument’s lighting pattern. Still not sure exactly the best order of operations to do this, but I do eventually get the lights adjusted. I exit your program and am able to launch Bitwig and use the Linnstrument perfectly. 2) when I’m finished and turn off the Linnstrument, the next time I fire it up, a random pattern of cyan LEDs appear (looks like the Cs, or something). this pattern will not go away until I reset the Linnstrument, to retrieve the default lighting scheme. 3) I believe that you and Roger are suggesting that lighting schemes cannot be saved on the Linnstrument, so apparently I need to run your program every time I wish to use a custom pattern. Am I understanding you correctly? So I need to develop the most efficient way to setup these LED patterns…any suggestions you can offer to minimalize keystrokes here would be greatly appreciated. I am very excited to use your program as it is extremely helpful in working with my atypical scale of 16 tones per octave. Thank you for your efforts here! Best wishes.

    • Hi Bruce-
      Glad that it opens and you can read the preset to adjust the lights. I’m not able to replicate the cyan LED change – possibly since I don’t have Bitwig and have no idea what data that’s sending to the Linnstrument or what your setup is. All I can tell you is that something is sending the Linnstrument a value of 4 on CC 22 to those cells. The only solution is to reset the Linnstrument – on mine, that just requires unplugging it.

      Correct that there is no way to save the lighting schemes to the instrument. That would involve updating the code in the firmware, which I have not tried as of yet (too many classes to teach!). Maybe in the summer – I’d love to be able to load scala files in place of the default [hidden] scales!

      Best of luck!

  • Great! Please keep this updated. Thank you. I note that changing the name from Linnstrument_Light_Controller_Mac to anything else (no underscores, e.g.) seems to prevent the LinnStrument from appearing.

    • Definitely have no plans to stop this one – in fact, I’m working on a new/advanced version for microtonal tuning that I’ll release if it ever gets to a stable point. It mostly works pretty consistently, but when it doesn’t, it’s a huge pain. And the Max4Live version keeps running into a lot of issues that I hadn’t anticipated…

      As for removing the underscores in the name, that’s due to the fact that it’s a compiled MaxMSP application – change the name, and you break internal links to included code.

  • Thank you for your kind reply and explanation. I fulfilled a life-long dream by means of your delightful application: coloring each degree of the scale uniquely — based on charts for scales and chords that I made aeons ago. Fantastic visual aid for learning the LinnStrument.

  • Unfortunately, the Linnstrument can save only one light configuration — across all/any of its 6 preset slots. Still, we can fire up your Light Controller any time and store light settings reliably that way. Thank you.

    • Works fine for me on Mojave, but I’d definitely run the actual MaxMSP code and not the standalone app due to how they won’t allow unsigned apps anymore.

      If it opens, make sure you select your Linnstrument from the drop down menu, then try new colors on the LEDs, and of course “Clear Grid” to reset it to normal.

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