Roger & Dave Smith with products_2

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

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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Synced Effect Goodness, in Software: Roger Linn AdrenaLinn Sync Plug-in V2

With modeled amps and synced effects all in one box for US$400, Roger Linn’s AdrenaLinn III has earned a cult following of dedicated users who appreciate its low-budget, rich sonic satisfaction. That has simultaneously shifted the Linn reputation from fans of drum machines to guitarists, though, naturally, clever players of other instruments, including keys, can get a lot of sonic goodness out of the AdrenaLinn, as well. (Want to make your own, shipping Dave Smith – Roger Linn combo tool? Plug a Mopho into the AdrenaLinn and go to town!) But what if you don’t want another box? The US$99 …

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Roger Linn Imagines a New, Multi-touch Instrument, And — HELP!

We’ve lived so long with a musical world dominated by the piano keyboard that it can be hard to look beyond it. But for some time, musicians have desired a set of common requirements for what might replace it: The ability to hit specific pitches in a convenient layout, perhaps one more convenient than the piano, but also… The ability to express pitch between pitches (as most other instruments provide) Continuous pressure for expression, not only when a note is struck, but as it is played (again, as on most other instruments) I’ve been talking to Roger Linn for a …

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Drum Machines Have Soul: araabMUZIK on MPC, with Visuals

araabMUZIK Live MPC Set Part 1 from Death by Electric Shock on Vimeo. I have exactly zero interest in entertaining the tired hardware versus software argument that surfaced, inevitably, with the discussion of the upcoming Beat Thang drum machine. But behind that question is a very relevant question: why do people love drum machines? Why do they love particular hardware, like the MPC? What can you learn about digital performance and design from these devices and their master virtuosos? Watching videos like this one, featuring araabMUZIK, gives me all the answers I need. This is one musician among others. I …

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DAW Day – SONAR 8.5 Production Tastiness, and the Smooth 64-bit Transition

SONAR’s AudioSnap now has cleaner markers, and an understandable interface – and does quite a few things Logic 9’s new Flex Time does not. SONAR 8.5, I’m sure at some point, was to be SONAR 9. There’s an enormous amount of functionality in this release. But I think the surprise is some of the stuff that won’t necessarily appeal to the widest audio production audience. Here’s a DAW that’s adding unusual new features for arranging tracks, putting an integrated arpeggiator on every track, beefing up its step sequencer (really), and dumping a bunch of class LinnDrum samples into the package. …

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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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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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A Brief History of the MPC in Video, by Current TV

Sometimes in technology, the design of a product can have an impact beyond just the tool itself, and that’s easily the case with the Akai MPC. Even if you aren’t part of the device’s cult-like following, you’ve likely worked with software influenced by its approach to musical interaction. While we await the coming of creator Roger Linn’s new collaboration with Dave Smith, the LinnDrum II, it’s great to look back at the MPC itself, and the artists who stretched it to its musical limits, from hip-hop to classical. Current TV has a short documentary they’ve just sent us. Current’s Parisa …

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Dave Smith/Linn LinnDrum II Pre-order List Now; Specs

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the LinnDrum II since it was called the BoomChik. We called the non-functional prototype one of the best products of this January’s NAMM – reasoning being that, based on what we heard from showgoers, a silent LinnDrum still beat more evolutionary blandness from the rest of the industry. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say some of us were getting a wee bit impatient waiting for some kind of news. Now that news appears to be here — a rough estimate on availability and pre-order details. (Updated: Specs had been posted previously, as Cory observes …

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