The Linn 9000 was the last in the line of drum machines put out by Roger Linn in his own company. There were two other drum machines and a sequencer that bore the name Linn. Each of these used the same eprom type system for sampled sounds (a great innovation of the time) and offered slightly different features. In addition to Linn machines, other companies picked up on the eprom idea and put out their own versions of sampled drum machines. Oberheim, Emu, and MXR all have products that are cousins to the original Linn product the LM1.
Upon the demise of Linn the company, Roger Linn went on to create the now equally innovative and famous MPC drum machine series which was release by AKAI. The MPC60 was an updated Linn 9000 with more midi and sequencing ability and more memory. In a trade the MPCs lost the hands on features (Slider for each sound, direct tuning per sound) that the 9000 and it's family implemented so well.
Here in all their glory are pictures of the Linn 9000's parents and offspring:
The LM1. The very first Linn product and the first drum machine ever to offer sampled sounds in a consumer instrument.
The first LM1s were actually built in Roger Linn's home by hand and are considered less stable than the later ones.
The LM1 sound can be found all over almost anything by Prince ("When Doves Cry" is a perfect example)
The LinnDrum. This machine has volume and panning sliders for each sound, tuning knobs for most sounds,
and a multi pad system that gives a different velocity attack for the Bass drum, Snare, etc. This was the most stable and
the least expensive of all Linn products and later versions even had midi. The quintessential use of this instrument
can be heard on Peter Gabriel's songs "Shock the Monkey" and "Kiss of Life" from his album Security.
The MXR Drum Computer. This uses eproms and has individual sliders for volume.
In a similar move both Oberheim and Emu created the DX and Drumulator (respectively) which were more boxlike and used small knobs for volume and tuning instead of sliders. The Obie DX (The DMX and Stretch DX had midi) is the drum machine made famous by New Order on their hit "Blue Monday".
The AKAI MPC60 drum machine is the instrument that Roger Linn created combining 9000 features and
the new world of growing technology in the late 80s early 90s. It has 12 sample pads and uses regular DD disks but
added a world of stability, midi features, and a full grown and updated hardware system complete with a large screen and
detailed on-line help. The sequencer from this was available separately as the ASQ10 and is widely regarded as the
best hardware based midi sequencer ever made. other AKAI versions of this include the MPC60II, and the MPC2000.(Incidently the
Teledisk program found elsewhere on the 9000 homepage will also work for saving MPC samples to a PC.)
The EMU SP1200 is another similar machine. It will load samples in via diskette, has sliders, and is
well known for it's magical Hip Hop properties and ease of use. The 1200 and SP12 (an earlier version) are used almost exclusively
by many artisits including the Beastie Boys. As you can see from the picutre below the SP1200 is light years ahead of
the earlier EMU Drumulator just as the Linn 9000 was a much more involved elder to the LM1.
Finally if you want to create new "samples" for your Linn 9000 or other eprom based machine you
can do so using an Oberheim Prommer. This machine samples sounds in and will burn that
sound onto most eproms (2732s were used by the Linndrum, 2764s are more common on the other machines).
I once had an 808 kit mixed with sound effects and moog bass sounds on my Linndrum. All velocity and tuning
features still work so this is an excellent way to breathe new life into these old machines.
Back to the Linn 9000 Homepage
Back to Electronic Music Resources at Help Wanted Productions