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 in comments, but let’s savor them one more time.)

Availability: Late 2008 (“our best estimate,” so that’s not set in stone)

Cost: US$1400 for the all-digital LinnDrum II, or $1800 for the LinnDrum II Analog with the addition of four analog voices as seen in the Prophet ‘08 and Evolver, plus 32 dedicated encoders

Pre-order list: No commitment, no money down; just email support@rogerlinndesign.com and you’re in. Will there be a baby shower at some point?

Dave and Roger have also posted updated specs on the two units. Highlights include:


  • A real-time optimized operating system – do lots of stuff without stopping play
  • Modulated filters and resonators
  • Real-time and step recording – think MPC and 808, respectively – with visual animation on the pads
  • Record to Compact Flash
  • Lots of controls, including buttons and assignable sliders, and foot switch and expression jacks for pedals, in addition to the pads (in fact, it looks like there’s less mucking around inside menus than on competing boxes from Akai and Roland, one thing that kept me off those units)
  • Eight outputs – so you could do some interesting effects routing, or do some crazy surround sound drumming. (In fact, I could see using multichannel outs to a computer and doing effects in the computer…) Four more outputs for the analog voices on the Analog model.
  • MIDI and USB, with USB storage operations

I imagined the Analog model would pretty much steal the show, but the Digital model is cute and compact and still pretty unique, so I think we’ll see interest in both.

June 20 LinnDrum II Update [Specs and an explanation of the status of the design]

Via The Chip Collection, who caught me napping out in Chicago

Yep. I still want one. And I don’t very often want hardware.

Here’s the analog model, with a close up on its additional control section. Things are laid out in a really friendly way across the whole design. Promising stuff.

  • ernesto (costa rica)

    i love the amount of outputs and find de analog model really promising, it would be cool to actually listen to it. does it use VCOs or DCOs?

  • Very cool device!

    But I think that today its kind of equipment must be more "interactive" and more "computer friendly" such as virus ti

  • Just to be nitpicky– this is the same info they've had up for months now, as you can see at the top of the page the june 20th update was not really any more than adding the pre-orders list and saying: "We've made quite a few improvements to the design but waiting on a number of decisions before releasing new information"

    I'm looking forward to that new info!

  • vack

    "does it use VCOs or DCOs?"

    Evolver and Prophet 08 use DCOs (CEM-series, apparently they've made special batches for Dave Smith) and the analog model is supposed to have their voice architecture, so I'm pretty sure they'll be DCO too.

    This is something I could see myself buying… I have to think about it.

  • @Cory: good point. I'll talk to Roger and make sure we're in the loop when they do start talking(!)

  • Adrian Anders

    I think it will be bad-ass to real-time sample the outputs of the analog voices. Live electronic performers will eat this up. Create a analog sound, sample, add to the groove, repeat. I imagine this will be a serious boon for experimental artists along with the more conventional hip-hop heads.

  • Danny V

    I read the specs and I see no mention of recording automation of synth/fx parameters.

    This is an essential feature for unlimited sound design and a key part to the success of the Machinedrum (which they call parameter locking)

    Are they implemented but I did not see it?

  • bizzaro lord ZOOL!

    i like the blue lights

  • Adrian Anders

    Well, I assume if they have live audio input sampling that one could run the seperate synth outputs and route the back to the audio inputs and sample that way.

  • Sick…can't wait for the real thing.

    I emailed Roger a few months ago and mentioned the idea of open sourcing the OS, so we could gain the benefits of it, like the JJOS for my beloved MPC1k. He might be swayed if more people do the same.

    Hope they end up doing that…

  • I can't wait to try these, especially the analog model, but man, I'm afraid of what the price will be here in Europe :/

  • bresk

    ye stiff … time to take a tour in the states ;=

  • Thomas Cermak


    I would love for the Linndrum II's OS post-shipment development to go open source. However, even the wonderful JJOS (which I use) is not open source. It's still a lonely person (or persons) who managed to hack and further develop the Akai OS, and then sell it to the general public – some believe this guy actually works for Akai secretly. I would still be interested in paying for OS updates myself, but of course, open sourcing it would be spectacular and largely unheard of for a commercial release such as this.

  • Hi,

    I was torn between waiting the linn drum 2 (begining 09 certainly) and the jomox 888. I decided to go for the jomox on the next weeks.

    I wonder how the linndrum spec are versus jomox ? some ideas ?


  • Jersey Jim

    isham…I'd think the Linndrum is more MPC / analog groovebox, while the 888 is simple an analog drum machine.

  • Sheabe

    As a former Akai employee and a beta tester on the MPC series i can definitely confirm that the JJOS guy DOESN'T work for Akai.

  • HI Jersey, thanks for your comment, don't know what does it conclude in the final sound results đŸ˜‰

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