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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.

Notable users[edit]

Artist Album Songs Year
a-ha Hunting High and Low "Take on Me" 1985 *Alternative LinnDrum samples
Al Corley "Square Rooms" 1984
Alphaville Forever Young "Fallen Angel", "The Jet Set" 1984
Bad Boys Blue "You're A Woman", "Pretty Young Girl" 1985
Bananarama "Cruel Summer" 1983
Berlin Top Gun "Take My Breath Away" 1986
Billy Idol "Eyes Without a Face" 1983
Billy Ocean "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" 1986
Bobby Orlando Freedom in a Unfree World 1983
Bonnie Tyler "Holding Out for a Hero" 1983
Bronski Beat "Smalltown Boy", "Why?", "Hit That Perfect Beat" 1984/1986
Bruce Springsteen
Charlie Peacock "Lie Down In The Grass" 1984
Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" (kick drum), "Time After Time" 1984
David Van Tieghem "These Things Happen" 1984
Dead or Alive "You Spin Me Round" 1984
Deniece Williams "Let's Hear It for the Boy" 1984
Devo Oh No, It's Devo! "Explosions" 1982
Diana Ross Eaten Alive "Chain Reaction" 1986
Digital Emotion "Go Go Yellow Screen", "Get Up", "The Beauty & The Beast" 1983
Don Henley "Boys of Summer" 1984
Exposé "Come Go With Me" 1987
Falco "Rock Me Amadeus" 1986
Frankie Goes To Hollywood "Relax", "Two Tribes" 1983
Freddie Mercury "Love Kills", "I Was Born to Love You" 1984
Genesis Invisible Touch "Invisible Touch", "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", "Domino" 1986
George Michael "Faith" 1987
Giorgio Moroder Scarface OST "Push It To The Limit" and all the others. 1983
Giorgio Moroder Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder "Together in Electric Dreams" 1984-1985
Harold Faltermeyer "Axel F", "Fletch Theme" 1984-1985
Hooked On Classics "Hooked On Classics" 1981
Irene Cara "Flashdance...What a Feeling" 1983
Jan Hammer "Crockett's Theme", "Payback", "Marina Theme" (First Version) 1984
Jean Michel Jarre Zoolook 1984
Jermaine Jackson & Pia Zadora "When the Rain Begins to Fall" 1984
(John Luongo world-renowned producer/mixer on John Waite's "Missing You" and Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart" amongst many others)
Kenny Loggins Top Gun "Danger Zone" 1986
Kraftwerk Electric Café 1986
John Foxx
Leonard Cohen Various Positions "Dance Me to the End of Love" 1984
Limahl "The NeverEnding Story" 1984
Lindsey Buckingham Go Insane "Go Insane" 1984
Madonna "Lucky Star", "Borderline", "Burning Up", "Physical Attraction" 1983
Miami Sound Machine "Dr. Beat" 1984
Michael Sembello Flashdance "Maniac" 1983
Mike Mareen "Love Spy" 1986
Mr. Mister Welcome to the Real World "Broken Wings" 1985
Pat Benatar "Love Is a Battlefield" 1984
Paul Mauriat "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" 1985
Peter Brown "They Only Come Out At Night", "Classical Dancing", "Love Is Just A Game" 1983/84
Peter Gabriel So "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" 1986
Propaganda "P:Machinery" 1985
Queen "Radio Ga Ga", "I Want to Break Free" 1984
Savage Tonight "Only You", "A Love Again", "Radio", "Tonight" 1984
Samantha Fox "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" 1986
Sparks "Popularity", "Rockin' Girls" 1983
Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" 1985
The Cars
Vince Clarke
Yazoo You and Me Both "Nobody's Diary" 1983
Wham! "Last Christmas", "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", "Everything She Wants" 1984


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.

External links[edit]

How to clear all memory: Hold Erase & Press Load. You should hear a Beep. Syntronics