Amazing how time crawls when you’re eagerly awaiting something. Such is the case with the BoomChik: it seems like ages ago that drum machine legend Roger Linn and synth legend Dave Smith “pre-announced” this synth/drum machine. It was actually just this time last year. Unfortunately, you’re going to be waiting a little longer: feedback from musicians and the release of Linn’s AndrenaLinn III and Smith’s Prophet ’08 (easily two of the biggest products of last year) has delayed the BoomChik.

Now the good news: in addition to a new name, the new design looks far more mature. And it’s going to be eminently affordable: street around US$1000 for a basic model, and $1500 for a fancier model with four analog voices as shared with the Prophet ’08 and Evolver.

Full specs are available on the site and a bunch o’ other sites, so here’s the Cliff’s Notes version. (Kirn’s Notes?)

  • Real-time, no-stop, no-drop OS for live performance
  • Pressure-sensitive, backlit (with animation) pads
  • Modulate, filter, and resonate everything, digital or analog voices
  • Step record like an MPC and like an 808
  • Compact Flash storage, USB for MIDI, audio, and sample transfer with a computer (plus real MIDI jacks, don’t worry)
  • Ridiculous number of performance controls, simplified menus, plus foot/expression pedals. (Having seen how much menu jockeying the current Akai and Roland models have, this sounds great. When I want to use a computer, I’ll use a computer with a 23″ display, not a 1″ display.)
  • Stereo inputs let you sample, process audio, or trigger sounds
  • “Analog” version adds analog voices, 27 encoders for voicing, and four direct outputs — one for each voice.

I say, get a day job now so you can quit it when this comes out.

Now a bit more bad news: I hear a prototype may not actually make it to NAMM, which dashes my hopes of getting to show you an actual unit when we’re in Anaheim next week. But we will be talking to Dave and Roger, and hope to have more details soon. And if you focus really hard, maybe one will magically make it there. (Say it with me … ommmmmmm … booooooommmmmm … chikkkkkkk)