Tuesday is Prince Day: Pt 2: The Linn LM-1

This man is responsible for most of the records I love. He’s Roger Linn, who invented the MPC sampler (used by Dre and Timbaland and everyone else). But his first invention was the Linn LM1 drum machine, which Prince used on ‘Ballad of Dorothy Parker’ and ‘When Doves Cry’ and pretty much everything else he made during the glory years. By the time he made ‘Sign of The Times’, his LM-1 was already a retro rarity, and it already sounded ironic. The LM-1 was the first drum machine to use samples (Roger Linn approached his friend Jeff Porcaro from Toto to provide the samples), and when it was launched in 1979, it cost $5,000. Only five hundred were ever made, and they don’t crop up on Ebay too often. But don’t worry, all the LM1 sounds are available in Akai sample format at the wonderful Hollow Sun archive. And they’re free.
There’s a great, epic, discussion of Prince, his customised Linn collection, and the mysterious ‘Kuh’ sound here. (That site is now completely dead. Here's the relevant discussion, culled from the Google cache. The format is all messed up, but it should work: LINK)


really,the ultimate drummachine,despite being the first.

i got the LM1 mint condition,first owner with PRINCE mods(increased pitch trimmers to do the KUH sound with rimshot,detunable extra crash and cymbals sounds romchips on another card,miami vice congas...)

only eight really usable sounds,but MASSIVE sounds.lm1 was on thriller album too...

if somebody is interested,due to personnal problems,I SELL my LM1
in europe,or elsewhere leave a line here and mail if interested.
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Dare? the human league? donna summer? grand illusion? altered images? i could be happy? martin rushent trevor horn? john foxx ultravox, sharon redd ,heaven17 were all using it way before prince did! and yet get no bloody credit for doing what i consider much more interesting things with linn lm1...
I wish people would stop posting that Hollow Sun offers free LM-1 samples. They don't. It is part of a pay package.
Alright, this is a long shot - I'm making comments to a post that was created four years ago!

Thanks, Tom, for the great insight into Prince's work and the excellent link to the legacy posts about the LM-1. For such an obscure topic as Prince's "kuh" sound, which I have been trying to mimic unsucessfully, the information was excellent.

I think that your post made me realize that I am actually looking for a different sound - a "knock" that he used throughout the song "1999."

Can it be assumed that this is an LM-1 sound as well?

Thanks for your help and for a very interesting blog.

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