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Drum Machine Supplement

Machines £2500+

Article from International Musician & Recording World, October 1985

After the LM-1 came the LinnDrum...


Successor to the LM-1, the LinnDrum is a studio standard around the world and still has claim to sounding better than anything cheaper. Still, it is a little on the expensive side, but it's being constantly updated — most recently with step time compositional software — and a vast library of alternative chips is available.

Dump to cassette, auto correct, tape sync, clock in and out, stereo panning of sounds and individual tuning (non-programmable) are all attractive, but it's the basic sound quality that really appeals. A status symbol.

D 23D
P 100
S 49
O Multiple
X Clocks, tape
£ 2650

...and after the LinnDrum came the 9000

LINN 9000

Probably the best drum machine on the market today, but that's partly because it's much more than a drum machine — it just happens to be a sampling unit, a SMPTE reading clock and a 32-channel MIDI sequencer as well.

This makes it hard to compare the Linn with its opposition price-wise or any other wise, but as a drum machine it's got 13 sounds operated from velocity-sensitive rubber pads, full MIDI, programmable triggers, tape sync and tape/disc dump of both sounds and sequences, step time and real time recording (if you have the latest software, user sampling, programmable drum repeats and much more. Expensive of course, but it doesn't seem to be the best, and the MIDI recorder makes it ideal as the very heart of a studio.

A few surprising problems though — no tuning control though MIDI, for instance, but software updates will probably take of those.

D 180D + usersounds, tape & disc
S 24,000 beats
O Multiple
X MIDI, triggers, tape, SMPTE
£ 4675


The new release from E-Mu, and the most obvious competitor for the Linn 9000 despite the fact that it lacks the Linn's MIDI sequencer facilities. The SP-12 does offer user sampling however — you can use eight user samples totalling five seconds of recording times, plus 24 factory sounds which are exceedingly bright and life-like. Very modern, too; a predominance of powerfully processed effects and Simmons sounds, with full control from velocity sensitive buttons.

The SP12's sliders have multiple functions; either mixing the level of the individual sounds, or giving alternative tunings to one sound, or giving alternative levels to one sound. The SP12's fully MIDI-compatible and can dump sounds and patterns to disc or tape; compositional facilities are typically comprehensive and include real and step time recording, auto correction and full editing. The LCD display is also a big selling point, acting one minute as a bar graph for tunings, the next as a sampling input level meter. Very visual! The standard SP-12 offers 5,000 beats recording and 1.6 seconds of user sampling, while the Turbo expansion gives you 15,000 notes recording and five seconds sampling.

D 24D, 8 user samples plus disc
P 100
S 100
O Multiple
X MIDI, SMPTE, Tape, Clocks
£ 2675 (Turbo £3395)


The Anvil is an unusual beast, a user-sampling drum machine which, it's intended, will be supplied devoid of any sound to avoid the development of clichés. There will instead be a sound library which can be loaded through its built-in disc drive and once that's done you have access to 16 sounds of exceedingly high quality.

Software updates will also allow the Anvil to synthesize its own drum sounds and a large LCD display shows you exactly what's going on. MIDI is fully implemented and can control pitch, volume and tone from keyboard velocity.

The Anvil we saw was by no means complete and it'll be interesting to see how the system develops. Bit pricey though!

D 16 user sampled
P 100
S 100
O 16
£ 5000

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Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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International Musician - Oct 1985

Donated by: Mike Gorman, Neill Jongman

Scanned by: Mike Gorman

Drum Machine Supplement


Buyer's Guide

Previous article in this issue:

> Machines £1500 to £2500

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> Six That Got Away

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