The Linn Sequencer

The Roger Linn legacy

Everybody in the recording business has probably heard about the LinnDrum. A series of high end drum machines, developed by legendary instrument designer Roger Linn. The drum machines appeared in various permutations – the LM-1, the LM-2 and the Linn 9000. With the LM-2 as the most widespread and recognizable. The meaty drum sounds on Michael Jacksons “Billie Jean” is a good example of the power of these machines.

Pass on the OS

But Roger Linn designed more than just drum machines. The Linn 9000 drum machine also contained a very ambitious MIDI sequencer, that was later boxed and sold as a separate 2U rack unit, launched in 1985. The unit is reassuringly heavy, and well built. And fit very well into a rack or small recording space.

The user interface

The interface design is quite excellent, and makes it possible to work very fast. You can record and play back separately across a single MIDI wire (16 MIDI channels). But the OS inherited from the Linn 9000 has flaws that makaes some areas shaky and some important features impossible to implement properly. E.g. the all-important SMPTE sync facility is unreliable and the unit occasionally drops its memory. So you better save your work frequently, which thankfully is easy, due to the built-in 3,5″ floppy drive.

On a side note the small “flatbed” click buttons are a little awkward to operate, as you are often in doubt whether you actually clicked a button or not. And the backlit LCD display quickly fades in light intensity, as on many other units with this type of display.