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 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.

While you wait, you can sign up for updates:

Request for LinnDrum II or AdrenaLinn III Product News

LinnDrum II Product Page / News

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

LinnDrum II: Former BoomChik Gets More Delayed But More Mature

  • bresk

    DROOOOOP IT !!!!! 😉

  • note the "ethernet" port on the rear view. nice.

  • Thomas Cermak

    This will be king of the broken-beat, glitch-hop and dub scene without doubt.

  • Thomas Cermak

    This will be king of the broken-beat, glitch-hop and dub scene without doubt. I will purchase it without hesitation.

  • Emil

    what we need is an ableton hardware DAW combined with jazz lemur, kaosspad and this one.

  • yeah this could be really cool

    a friend of mine wrote to em with suggestions and actually got email back from rodger lynn asking him to elaborate on his idea..

    i can imagine em doin the same with OS revisions as the machine matures…

  • Adrian Anders

    +1 to what Thomas Cermak said. If Linn/Smith was smart they would get a bunch of people like Kirk Degiorgio, Bugz In The Attic, John Arnold/Jeremy Ellis, Prefuse 73, edIT, Tipper, Si Begg, and Machinedrum to endorse it.

    My hope is that this doesn't become the "Duke Nukem Forever" of drum-machines tho.

  • @Adrian: Ha! No, I'm assured it IS coming out. And if they nail I don't think getting endorsements is going to be a problem.

  • @seismo: what about the usb ins for keyboard, mouse and monitor? that's got to be a new one for a drummachine!

  • @Veqtor: Actually, Roland's MV-8800 does just that, albeit with a PS/2 jack instead of USB (oddly, maybe for power or firmware reasons). I have to admit, though, I hated the fact that the hardware did that. The parts of the MV-8800 I liked all had to do with using the hardware itself. I think what's great about the legacy of the MPC and the original LinnDrum is the way they're unique hardware … and I do expect that to be the focus here.

  • '…DAW Synth' uggg. let's hope they shoot for innovation and not just a linn/dsi sandwich w/ unnecessary i/o. seeing this new renders makes me leery. ethernet? usb? video out? is that what people really want? eek!

    Akai has been thriving off Roger Linn's innovation for almost 22 years. the mpc line hasn't really evolved that far imo. the mpc 60 and 3k are still the most refined and flawless OS:es to have come from Akai. that's not to say the whole line isn't incredibly capable but 22 years…oof!

    i have hopes for this collaboration but am also pessimistic. for me it's all about the end user experience/OS. the machine should get out of the way. i put the experience and pleasure of writing above a long spec sheet and clunky workflows. …don't fail me now

  • I've been waiting all my life

  • i am getting one

  • J. Phoenix

    I'm amazed that I now have some reservations about the machine formerly known as LinnDrum II, now apparently the B.C.D.A.W.w/I.A.S.

    Like the crazy acroynym, I have to say that it looks as if there's too much going on with the LDII. Simplify, simplify, simplify, I say stealing liberally from Thoreau.

    I'm really not interested in a DAW. There are many, many DAW's on the market already (although ProTools still somehow manages to make itself unavoidable in the process nonetheless).

    I was personally looking forward to an instrument that would sound unique on its own which I would then use as an instrument…not another workstation.

    A simple, intuitive, easy to use & reconfigure sampler + analog synth as drum machine was the hope–but wait…why am I saying this here? I could be writing Linn myself!

  • Front panel – 'Drums/Midi/Audio Recorder'

    Does this mean audio tracks? Better than the JJ thing or akai's direct record, I hope so. 4 ins/8 outs! plus ADAT out, I hope so.

  • aaaaand re. VGA, mouse + keyboard connections,

    I really fancy that. As an MPC user, naming things with a keyboard, selecting and moving things with a mouse and being able to see what you're doing would be a total joy. Then unplugging them and just taking the LDII to the gig and impressing girls with your flashing pads and fingertip dexterity.


  • Pingback: LinnDrum 2: New Design, New “Beat-Centric” DAW-Synth, 2009? | Veritrope()

  • J Biz

    Adrian Anders,

    They don't need people to endorse it. They won't be able to keep them in stock just on David and Roger's names alone.