Tempest Analog Drum Machine, in Action: Roger Linn Quick Start Video

Roger Linn, he of the MPC and AdrenaLinn and Linnstrument, sends us his friendly walk-through video showing you how to get started actually using the upcoming Linn/Dave Smith Tempest analog drum machine. We’re awaiting details on when this unit is actually shipping; I’ll update this post once we hear. What you get instead, though, is nearly twenty minutes of Roger walking you through every single function – this is as much a video manual as it is a “quick start.” It’s nice to see some clever workflow features in action, and you get some very in-depth looks at how the …

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The Father of Drum Machines and the Father of MIDI Talk About Design and the Tempest

In songwriting, there was Rodgers and Hart, Gilbert and Sullivan. In music gear design, it’s hard not to assign a similar degree of expectation to the pairing of Dave Smith and Roger Linn. Between them, these two designers have been a major part of what music technology is today. Dave Smith pioneered MIDI (even giving it its acronym), the first microprocessor-based instrument (the Prophet-5), the first programmable polyphonic synth, and other innovations at Sequential Circuits. Add to that landmarks in physical modeling research (at Yamaha) and the first PC soft synth. Roger Linn built the first programmable sampled-sound drum machine …

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Tempest, Roger Linn + Dave Smith Analog Drum Machine, is Official

Genuinely new drum machines don’t come along very often, but that’s precisely what the Tempest is. It has the analog soul of a classic Dave Smith synthesizer, with the user design of a modern drum machine conceived by Roger Linn, the man who many believe fathered the genre. After fits and starts in this collaboration, most importantly, it’s real – not an early, non-working prototype . A finished version will ship mid-year, with an expected list price of US$2000. (That’s steep, perhaps, for a drum machine in a recession, but it’s a very fair price indeed for one with six …

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NAMM Picks: Dave Smith Mopho Keyboard, $800; Video

Dave’s got a new keyboard, and the headline gives it all away: it’s a Mopho, but adding keys and more control, all for $800. There’s a myth out there that the computer music user and hardware synth lover are two different people. Au contraire, mon ami. Thanks, indeed, to Dave Smith himself, the computer and the synth get along just fine. But if you’ve got scant few dollars, which synth is really unique enough, elegant enough in use to justify those dollars? Dave Smith Instruments is on the top of the list. They’ve got personality, accessibility, and terrific sound. And …

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NAMM 2010 Preview, and Beyond: Get Your Latest Music Tech News Here

NAMM, the trade group that includes music manufacturers and vendors, holds its flagship conference every January in Anaheim, California. It’s the biggest music trade show in the world, and even the biggest trade show of the year in Anaheim, home to Disneyland. But, of course, we’re about more than just pre-packaged industry news. So, we’ll do things a little differently this year. As always, we won’t cover every last bit of news, just the stuff we really find important. And in a twist, we’re also looking to volunteer participants to help us cover the community around music technology, not just …

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Dave Smith Tetra4 Synth: Compact Size, Quadruple the Mopho Pleasure

Quadruple quadruple your refreshment, quadruple quadruple your enjoyment… sorry, I started quoting old Doublemint Gum jingles. As expected, Dave Smith has released his Tetra (“Tetr4” in the l33t speak on the case). The name says it all: the Tetra takes the popular Mopho synth and packs four of them into a single, compact case. The Mopho was featured in the CDM Winter Guide and was one of the favorite reader products of 2008. Its strength is that it’s a great-sounding synth in a small box with all the basic analog goodness. The Tetra simply takes that design and squeezes four …

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Roger Continues LinnDrum II Work, But Release Slips

The Linn 9000 shipped way back in 1984, but could nearly pass for a shipping product today. So, since the LinnDrum II mock-ups look nothing like the current design, let’s feast our eyes on this instead. Roger Linn, father of the modern drum machine and creator of some of its greatest models (including the MPC60 and MPC3000), really is working on a new generation. I’ve seen some of that design work, and I’m confident it’ll ship in some form. But announced yesterday, that shipment won’t happen third quarter this year. Also, it seems that, while this was always a LinnDrum …

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Arturia Origin, Guest Review: From Soft Synth to Hard Synth, at a Price

Ever wished you could pack the sonic goodness and programming power of a soft synth into a hardware box? Dreamed of software that lived in a road case and had the stability and power-on capability of your outboard gear? You’re certainly not alone. That meant many of us were intrigued when soft synth emulator house Arturia showed off the Origin, a DSP-based hardware box that put their emulations in a box that wasn’t a PC. There’s plenty to recommend this device, with an onboard step sequencer and terrific sounds. And then you hit the US$2500 street price – hardly recession-friendly, …

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Mopho, the $400 Dave Smith Analog Synth: Extra Details

Hot dog purveyor Gray’s Papaya in New York is beloved for its “Recession Special”: two dogs and a drink. Their champagne is made from coconuts. And you don’t just scarf these down in bear markets; you enjoy them any time. Dave Smith’s monophonic Mopho synth is perhaps the greatest recession special in the history of synthesis. It’s got the soul of a single voice from the Prophet ’08 analog synth, but with sub-octave generators, distortion that they claim ranges to “extreme skronk,” and the ability to process audio input. Interestingly, that means its “skronkiness” and input processing address some of …

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LinnDrum 2: New Design, New “Beat-Centric” DAW-Synth, 2009?

The treachery of mock-ups: Roger Linn Design today released a new image of a design that Dave and Roger won’t be using. 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 …

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