Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

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mek42
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Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by mek42 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:53 pm

I plan on buying a Linnstrument or a pedal steel guitar after moving and selling the old house. I am trying to decide which one to go with. If you all had the opportunity to get one, how would you decide which one to go with?

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m0rb1d
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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by m0rb1d » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:12 pm

Recently discovered Daniel Lanois recently. Really makes me want a pedal steel, and a Lexicon Primetime.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by mek42 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:32 pm

That was amazing. Beautiful.

And, right after watching a Roger Linn expressiveness video, completely unhelpful to my decision making process, lol! :)

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Ockeghem » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:44 pm

Linnstrument is good for journeys to musical destinations the pedal steel isn't likely to go.
However, if you want that particular sound....
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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:50 pm

m0rb1d wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:12 pm
Recently discovered Daniel Lanois recently. Really makes me want a pedal steel, and a Lexicon Primetime.
Check out his work on Eno’s Apollo.
“no matter how fine you grind the dead meat, you’ll not bring it to life again“

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by mmp » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:23 am

If you get the Linnstrument, this Kontakt library is pretty remarkable in it's authenticity:

https://impactsoundworks.com/product/pedal-steel/

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by elmerfudd » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:38 am

m0rb1d wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:12 pm
Recently discovered Daniel Lanois recently. Really makes me want a pedal steel, and a Lexicon Primetime.
Korg SDD-3000 is his go to delay, has been since the U2 days......He always coaxes such haunting tones from pedal and lap steels. Made me appreciate an instrument I always hated.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by strettara » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:32 am

Personally I’d always go for an electroacoustic instrument because nothing beats playing a real instrument rather than a controller. Not to deny that controllers can be very expressive these days, but the experience of real strings or a proper keyboard or your breath and fingers is another level entirely.
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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Ears » Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:04 pm

Just realize that learning pedal steel is a major commitment. It’s not a simple instrument to learn and it is physically huge. But if you are into the commitment it’s so amazing.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by poladark » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:27 am

I got a similar urge many years ago, but for whatever reason, I got a pre-built single string diddley bow, instead. Not really the same thing but it was a lot of fun and was quick to learn and didn't break the bank.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Standup » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:44 am

Everybody’s different, but this makes me want to give my experience: I bought a used pedal steel years ago and spent some time with it, but never had a breakthrough, personally, to where I was able to play it well. Sold it to someone else, even though it looked cool sitting around in my house!

Linnstrument looks very interesting to me too, but I have never very seriously considered actually getting one.

My advice, FWIW, is to get a cheap lap steel, which can get Some similar sounds, and get a used Linnstrument so it all ends up costing about the same.

One thing I notice watching video of Lanois playing steel is that his right hand seems to barely touch the strings. A couple of times I’ve put a clean gain pedal after my lap steel to try to approximate that.

Lap steels are fun. I have a vintage magnatone, and I built a lap steel couple years ago with 8 strings and a hip shot bender setup to try to get more pedal-steel-like chordal shifts. It’s kind of a pain, since I didn’t do a good job with the wiring and it’s noisy. Also used crap tuners and it’s a pain to tune. But still kinda fun.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Delta T » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:47 pm

Quite a few years ago i used to work in the Marine Electronics industry and would often find myself driving back from a repair site at very early times in the morning. One such time my coworker and I were driving back from Baltimore (our office was near NYC) and around 4-5am we heard a pedal steel player come on the radio and both of us were really taken with the music. It was a hauntingly beautiful ambient style - and the pedal steel was perfect in it. We never knew who the performer was or what the program was that we were listening to. Fast forward several years later and I came across Bruce Kaphan - Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar. That was the album!. I've always liked pedal steel but felt it would be too much to take on to learn...however I've always tried to imitate it with different synths and such...not even close, lol. A couple years ago i purchased a Linnstrument and coupled with Omnisphere I'm a lot closer now. Besides the obvious physical differences, one needs to learn the playing style to imitate it well. This wasn't really possible with traditional keyboard controllers. But it's a lot closer now with the Linnstrument. Hmm..if i get a chance and find a place to put it, I have a short WAV/MP3 file showing the patch in use (it's just a short jam I've been working on). I think you can only post links here, not files.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by onthebandwagon » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:35 am

Would it make sense to try to become proficient on a lap steel first or does not much technique translate between the two?
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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Fedor » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:07 am

linnstrument is fairly compact and probably easier to learn. Pair it with an ipad and headphones, and you've got yourself a mobile expressive rig that fits in a backpack. (128 version at least)
But most likely having a linnstrument won't cancel the urge for a pedal steel and visa versa. I love my linnstrument 128 to death, but it doesn't overlap with let's say my electric cello, even if there are cello sample libraries and synths like audio modelling, nothing beats the real deal. Tho maybe pedal steel libraries are closer to a real one, cello ones always sound horrible to me.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Standup » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:06 am

onthebandwagon wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:35 am
Would it make sense to try to become proficient on a lap steel first or does not much technique translate between the two?
There is some technique overlap, but my barrier was grasping the chordal stuff on a pedal steel with multiple levers and pedals. I personally never got there.

But the basics of using the slide, moving and staying in tune, those translate.

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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Standup » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:12 am

Daniel Lanois has some cool ambient steel stuff. Also, speaking of Baltimore, look for Susan Alcorn.


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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by sduck » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:34 pm

This thread made me stop and scratch my head. These two instruments are so apples and oranges, with very little or no overlap. Personally I think I might slightly lean towards the linnstrument, as I already have some nice MPE capable synths here. And I live in Nashville, and have had several close friends and family members who are pedal steel virtuosos, so it would be impossible for me to approach it in the creative, fresh eyed way that I'd like to.
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Re: Linnstrument or pedal steel guitar?

Post by Delta T » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:41 am

Here’s a bit of Bruce Kaphan’s Slider.



Thinking about that trip from Baltimore - it may have been a Hearts of Space broadcast or possibly Echoes out of Philly.

I agree the instruments are two completely different animals... if I had the time and funds I would pick up a pedal steel but for me, I just don’t have that kind of commitment that would justify it. Perhaps when I retire - maybe. For now the Linnstrument is filling in nicely. I just replaced the surface on mine with the current version, which is much slicker then my original was, and its helping quite a bit. I think one of the neat things about PS or lap steel is the slight pitch variations when played. This can be simulated on the Linnstrument to some extent depending on the synth/sound source used.

As for transferring technique...I don’t think that would be possible since the PS and Linnstrument are physically played so differently. However learning how the PS voices chords, various ‘signature’ type riffs, etc. should be possible and practiced hopefully resulting in a more convincing performance. Something missing with the Linnstrument is the physical feedback between the steel, strings, body and amplifier (if not going direct) that contributes to the overall sound and playing experience. This goes for all imitated instruments like strings, brass, woodwinds, guitars, etc...

Thanks for the heads up on Susan Alcorn! I’ll have to check out some of her other material.

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