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The LinnDrum (or Linn LM-2, the company's official designation) was a drum machine manufactured by Linn Electronics and the successor to the Linn LM-1. It was introduced in 1982 at a list price of $2,995. The LinnDrum had 15 drum sounds sampled from real drums played for the machine specifically by noted Los Angeles drummer Art Wood, good friend of Roger Linn who also played with Linn as well as Peter Frampton, Gary Wright, Cher, Tina Turner, Bette Midler and James Brown to name a few, and, as with the LM-1, provided a sequencer for programming rhythm patterns, a built-in mixer and individual output jacks for each sound.
Improvements on the LM-1 included the addition of crash and ride cymbal samples, five external trigger inputs and the ability to replace the built-in sounds with new sounds on EPROM chips.
A notable difference compared to the LM-1 was that only the snare, tom and conga samples could be tuned, whereas the LM-1 allowed every sound to be individually tuned.
Nevertheless, its high-quality samples, flexibility and affordability made the LinnDrum hugely popular. Approximately 5,000 units were sold between 1982 and 1985 and it was used on countless recordings throughout the 1980s, including a-Ha's international hit “Take on Me.”
Although there have not been any official virtual instrument versions of the LinnDrum, several manufacturers have either emulated its interface and/or included samples of it. Such notable examples are as follows:
- Steinberg's LM-4 drum machine plug-in;
- Arturia's Spark, which includes samples of both the LM-1 and LM-2; as well as its successor, the Linn 9000.
- and the "Lend Drum" patch from Native Instruments' Battery drum machine, which was sampled from an actual LM-2.
The Linn 9000 was the successor of the LinnDrum.
Katrina Wood, wife of Art Wood, updated and confirms information regarding data of who imputed the majority of the sounds into the Linn Drum Machine. Roger Linn concurs.
- Roger Linn Design
- LinnDrum at Vintage Synth Explorer
- Classic Linn Drum beats on YouTube part 1: pop
- Classic Linn Drum beats part 2: slow / midtempo
- Classic Linn Drum beats part 3: disco / high energy
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How to clear all memory: Hold Erase & Press Load. You should hear a Beep. Syntronics