The LinnDrum II (once the BoomChik) has become a somewhat mystical beast, looming over the horizon and taunting fans of synth and beat hardware. The collaboration between beat machine guru Roger Linn (of LinnDrum and MPC fame) and synth guru Dave Smith (of Dave Smith fame), the box has gone through various design revisions, each leaked and dissected by, well, people like me. Saturday brought a new set of news, as spotted by Tony Mission on Gearslutz.
Here’s what we know now:
We know that the LinnDrum will be a combination of Dave’s synthesis know-how and Roger’s approach to real-time sequencing and beatmaking. We know it’ll have digital and analog synth voices. We know it’ll do MPC-style real-time and 808-style step sequencing. It’s almost certain to retain onboard sampling, too. In fact, presumably the specs on Dave Smith’s site are still reasonably applicable.
What we don’t know is what the design will look like, or when it’ll ship. It won’t ship in 2008, so … 2009? The image above is not what the new LinnDrum II will look like. Roger released these images over the weekend, but they’ve already hit the wastebasket in favor a new design. On the design elements:
We’d prefer not to release details of the new design because it’s so cool that I don’t want to show our cards to the competition. However, I do want to thank all those who wrote in with suggestions because this interactive design process has very much helped to change what we thought the product originally should be into what we now know you really want.
Roger does tip his hand a bit in regards to what the philosophy of the new design is:
For those of you who are new to LinnDrum II, its new subtitle is “Beat-Centric Digital Audio Workstation with Integrated Analog Synthesis”. Inspired by how the MPC product line that I (Roger) originally created for Akai has evolved a new genre of musical instrument, LinnDrum II aspires to raise the bar beyond the current crop of high-end pad-oriented music production station products in order to enable musicians around the world to better realize the next wave of beat-oriented music.
“Beat-Centric Digital Audio Workstation with Integrated Analog Synthesis” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but I like the philosophy here. It sounds a bit like the feedback people sent was that they want the finished design to stand on its own. (The passionate audience for the MachineDrum certainly suggests there’s a market out there for something different from the Akai and Roland units for all-in-one production.) I’ll certainly be the first to defend the delays. We can’t judge the LinnDrum II itself until it’s in our hands, but it is clear to me that if you want something different than what’s already available, you do have to be prepared to wait.
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