24 February 2008

dave smith and roger linn reveal linndrum 2

Dave Smith and Roger Linn are collaborating on a pair of new drum machines that they hope to release later in 2008. Before we discuss the LinnDrum 2, let's discuss the two main people involved in this project.

Dave Smith is a synthesizer designer known for products such as the Prophet 5, the Prophet VS, and more recently, the Evolver and the Prophet '08. He was also instrumental in the creation of the MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) standard in 1981.

Roger Linn developed successful percussion sequencing products such as the LM-1 drum machine, the LinnDrum, and the Akai MPC60 midi production center. The Akai MPC product line continues today -- Akai introduced the top-of-the-line MPC5000 earlier this year.

Dave Smith and Roger Linn's new drum machine was formerly called BoomChik and is now called LinnDrum 2. The product will be available in two versions, with Roger Linn Designs selling the all-digital LinnDrum 2, and Dave Smith Instruments selling the LinnDrum 2 Analog, which adds 4 analog voices to the base model.

I am eagerly awaiting the release of these two new products. I'm pleased to see two innovative electronic music instrument designers continuing to work in this field after their initial successes in the 1980s. The LinnDrum 2 Analog seems like the best of both worlds, although I am concerned about its reported large size. Elektron's machinedrum mk2 is smaller than the original product; perhaps LinnDrum 2 will go through a similar size reduction in time. Of course, they have to ship the thing, first.

Here's a YouTube video showing a LinnDrum 2 Analog demo unit, but the machine isn't producing sound (at least, not in this video.)