Moose has taken a fantastic gallery of images from NAMM, found at, and clearly is attracted to a lot of the same stuff as Team CDM. Now, here’s a tantalizing banner for fans of analog synths and early MPCs.

If you had to pick a dream team to build an analog/digital hybrid drum machine, you’d have a tough time beating Linn and Smith. Roger Linn essentially invented the modern drum machine, as the creator of the first commercial programmable sampled-sound drum machine (the LM-1), the Akai MPC60 and MPC3000. (See the Roger Linn Museum.) Dave Smith founded Sequential Circuits, created the legendary Prophet line, and spearheaded the creation of MIDI. (See the Dave Smith Museum.)

Dave Smith Instruments revealed at NAMM that the two are collaborating on a new drum machine, in the form of a banner that teased the upcoming “BoomChik.” Bizarrely, the various MPC-loving online forums immediately criticized the exterior look. I wouldn’t read too much into that; these are just early mock-ups and the finished product may be substantially different. (Besides, who cares what it looks like? Paint the thing if you don’t like it.)

The mock-up revealed some of the basic features planned for the BoomChik, though these may change in development. Most exciting: it’s a hybrid digital / analog drum synth, with four analog voices and one digital voice. Half of the unit is a 4×4 set of pads, while the other half handles sounds and recording facilities. The front panel also shows effects (delay with feedback, resonance, reverb, etc.), a resonant low-pass filter, and distortion.

Pricing/Availability: A represent of Dave Smith has confirmed to CDM that the product is planned, with an expected release in about a year and a price range somewhere around US$1000-1500. The BoomChik is described as “very early in development,” though, so all features, product design, pricing, and name are subject to change.

That said, this looks well worth waiting a year. A lot of us have lost interest in MPCs, given greater production flexibility using tools like Ableton Live. But nothing differentiates hardware like boutique gear, brilliant designers, and analog sound production. So, Dave Smith / Roger Linn: we’ll be waiting patiently, and eagerly await what you cook up!

Elsewhere: Music thing got the jump on this, but for some reason most of the readers there hate it. Linn lovers in particular, shield your eyes.

  • Nick

    Adrenalinn! You forgot the Adrenalinn from Roger Linn Design. I have version II and it's totally brilliant! I sold the two PODs I had and never looked back. Simple, elegant, and self-documenting (all the opertion details are printed on the front).

  • The one hope I have for future design changes is that the isolation of the Roger and Dave sides of the machine are only there as a mock-up gimmick and that the final design has everything better integrated into a seamless whole. I think it's a fun idea they've come up with, but as gear, it looks awfully silly as is.

  • The blue stripies seem to be a riff on the old Oberheim cosmetics on OB8, Matrix 6, and Expander era blue on black design.

  • No, I agree that the current mock-up isn't exactly integrated in design. But I do like that you have all this hardware control over synth parameters. If you look at the Dave Smith blog, you can see how other devices have evolved over time. I think this is a very early mock-up; Dave Smith Instruments hasn't even officially released it. It was just there for the banner. I'm glad they teased us with it, though, just because I like the idea.

  • I love the feel of Linn drum machines and have been in the market for a tricked-out Linn 9000 for a few years. Since I would generally be loading samples of my own synthesized percussion into a 9000, the BoomChik would be much more immediate synthetic fun, and without the floppy drive, too!

    The Hebrew in me keeps mistaking the "Chik" as a diminutive form, though, as in "cute little Boom".

  • bliss

    Heck yeah! That looks awesome. I'm droolin'… Not on the looks but the idea. Besides you know those guys aren't going to release some un-intuitive jive. Based on their past performance you just gotta know that once the machine is delivered they will deliver.

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  • me

    According to Roger Linn there are plans for this machine to also feature variable bit depth sampling.

  • hey, thats my picture… AND credit as well!! cool! };-)