Linn Electronics LM-1 Drum Computer

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This is THE classic drum machine of the 80's - it launched the drum machine revolution! The Linn LM-1 Drum Computer was created by guitarist Roger Linn and he used samples of acoustic drum sounds. At the time, they sounded great and much more realistic and they were a fresh alternative to the analog drum sounds of the '80's drum machines. About 500 LM-1's were made before the LinnDrum model appeared in 1982.

There are twelve 28kHz samples including: snare, kick, three toms, hi-hat's, tambourine, congas, claps, cowbell, and rimshot, but no ride or crash. There are also 100 memory patches! Patterns can be created in real or step time. An innovations of the time was the swing and quantize functions that appeared on the LM-1. The LM-1 is an historical synth that has a place in the sound of music from the heart of the '80's. Only 500 of these things are out there so don't count on finding one easily. It has been used by Phil Collins, Thompson Twins, Stevie Wonder, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, John Carpenter, Todd Rundgren, Prince, and The Art of Noise.

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Demos & Media

Audio Clip 1 A couple demos of the Linn's various drum sets. From the Future Music CD, issue 49.


Polyphony - 12 sounds
Samples - 28kHz Samples: bass, snare, rimshot, hihat, 3 toms, cabasa, tambourine, high and low congas, cowbell, claps.
Patterns - 100
Songs - 8
Keyboard - none
New & Cool Functions - Quantizing, real-time programming and digital metronome
Control - Tape sync and Clock
Date Produced - 1980-83


Images from Benjamin Ward and Perfect Circuit Audio.