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LinnDrum digital drum machine front panel .jpg
LinnDrum digital drum machine
ManufacturerLinn Electronics
PriceUS $2,995
Technical specifications
Polyphonypolyphonic 12 voices
Timbralitymultitimbral 15 voices
Synthesis type8-bit digital samples, 28–35 kHz
Storage memory56 user patterns, 42 preset drum patterns, 49 songs
EffectsIndividual level and pan for all sounds, tuning for snare, tom and conga only
Keyboard15 hard plastic "pads"
External controlDIN sync (pre-MIDI), third-party MIDI Retrofit Kit, trigger inputs x5

The LinnDrum, also referred to as the LM-2,[1] is a drum machine manufactured by Linn Electronics between 1982 and 1985. About 5,000 units were sold.[2][3]

Its high-quality samples, flexibility and affordability made the LinnDrum popular; it sold far more units than its predecessor (the LM-1) and its successor (the Linn 9000) combined.[3] Roger Linn re-used the moniker on the LinnDrum Midistudio and the Roger Linn Designs' LinnDrum II. The LinnDrum was used on many recordings throughout the 1980s, including international hits such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax", a-Ha's "Take On Me", Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F", Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face", Deniece Williams's "Let's Hear It for the Boy", Paul Davis's "'65 Love Affair" and Madonna's "Lucky Star".

When Linn Electronics closed in 1986, Forat Electronics purchased its assets[4] and offered service, sounds and modifications for the LinnDrum.[5] The LinnDrum was pre-MIDI, using a DIN sync interface,[6] but MIDI Retrofit Kits were offered by JL Cooper[7] and are currently offered by Forat Electronics.[5]


The LinnDrum was designed by the American engineer Roger Linn.[8] His first drum machine, the Linn LM-1, was released in 1980; it retailed for $5,500,[9] making it affordable only to wealthy musicians and studios.[10] Early adopters included Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Wonder,[9] and it became a staple of 1980s pop music, used by acts including the Human League, Gary Numan, Michael Jackson, Giorgio Moroder, ABC, Devo, John Carpenter and particularly Prince.[9][11] The LinnDrum was cheaper and more widely produced than the LM-1.[8]


  1. ^ French, Josh (15 March 2019). "An introduction to the Linn LM-1 and 10 records it helped define". The Vinyl Factory. Retrieved 20 June 2021. The models also had some teething issues, but those were addressed with two revisions of the LM-1, before a cheaper successor, the LinnDrum – not the LM-2, as it is commonly mis-titled – was introduced in 1982.
  2. ^ "Linn Electronics LinnDrum". Vintage Synth Explorer. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Past Products Museum". Roger Linn Design. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Forat History". Forat Electronics.
  5. ^ a b "The LinnDrum". Forat Electronics.
  6. ^ Dormon, Bob (26 August 2013). "Happy birthday MIDI 1.0: Slave to the rhythm". The Register.
  7. ^ Matrix (29 June 2010). "LINN LM-2 Drum Machine with JL Cooper Midi Mod & Instructions". Matrixsynth. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b French, Josh (2019-03-15). "An introduction to the Linn LM-1 and 10 records it helped define". The Vinyl Factory. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  9. ^ a b c McNamee, David (2009-06-22). "Hey, what's that sound: Linn LM-1 Drum Computer and the Oberheim DMX". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  10. ^ French, Josh (2019-03-15). "An introduction to the Linn LM-1 and 10 records it helped define". The Vinyl Factory. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  11. ^ Wislon, Scott (2016-09-22). "The 14 drum machines that shaped modern music". Fact. Retrieved 2018-04-21.

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