Geek Of The Week: Roger Linn

Geek Of The Week: Roger Linn

In the electronic music world, Roger Linn is a respected name. In fact, his name is synonymous with drum machines (even though he’s made other contributions as well). His company, Linn Electronics developed the LM-1, the world’s first sample-based drum machine, in 1980. It’s successor, the LinnDrum, was released in 1982, followed by the Linn 9000 in 1984. All 3 of these are sought after and still used today. Alas, the company went out of business in 1986 and the remaining assets were sold to Forat Electronics.

linndrum Geek Of The Week: Roger Linn
LinnDrum, circa 1982

In 1988, Linn collaborated with Akai, a Japan-based musical instrument manufacturer, and the MPC60 was released. It too is a sought after instrument these days. Linn severed ties with Akai in the 1990’s, but started a new company, Roger Linn Design (RLD), in 2001. RLD is still in business and making new products. The AdrenaLinn, a digital effects unit, was RLD’s first product. Linn later collaborated with synthesizer guru Dave Smith (former GOTW) to create a new drum machine and the Tempest was released in 2011. He also unveiled the Linnstrument, a revolutionary new controller for electronic instruments, in 2014. Linn is seen playing a Linnstrument above.

Tempest Geek Of The Week: Roger Linn
Tempest drum machine, circa 2011

At 63 years old,  he is busy working on LinnDrum II, the long awaited sequel to the 1982 model. For his contributions to electronic music, and music in general, we proudly declare Roger Linn our 461st Geek of the Week.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.