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Linn Lm-1

Roger Linn Drum Computer (1980)

Linn LM1

"First official Digital drum machine in history using 8 bits samples encoded in chip instead of analog synthesis,  manufactured by Roger Linn Electronics .  LM-1 is a cult and  rare machine which caused a revolution in the music industry at the time.  " 

 Main Data 

Linn LM1



Company: Roger Linn Electronics
Model: LM-1
Class: Drum machine
Dates: 1980
Country: United States
Weight: / Kg
Dimensions: / mm
Price: 5000€

Display: LED, Numeric
Technology: digital PCM (eprom)
Multitimbric: 12 part 
N.instruments: 18
Oscillator: samples
Memory: 100 patterns
Midi: none, third part mod is available on the market
Storage: magnetic tape
PSU: internal (generally 110V)
DAC: AM6070 DAC
CPU: Z80



3 different revision version: Rev. 1.1  is recognizable by its engraved buttons and lack of Shuffle and Auto-Correct LED diode.  Standard main panel features a 13 parts mixers (one channel for each sound plus the click) and LM-1 also had individual tuning pots for each voice.

Rear panel connectors (both rev1/rev2-3)
- main stereo out (high/low extra on rev2-3)
- 12 instruments analog outs
- 1 click out
- 12 pitch adjust trimmer
- 1 footswitch control
- Tape tempo sync I/O
- Tape storage I/O
- memory protect (rev2)
- pulse sync I/O (with variable divider on Rev2)
- memory protection "safe" (rev2)



NONE

- No official VST plugin
- samples are still copyrighted


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 The Lm-1 in details 

Lm1

VOICE  Main CPU is a classic Zilog Z80 which handles 12 instruments based on EPROM stored samples plus a 48 PPQ 12 tracks sequencer.

Special typic Low fi DAC is a IC AM6070 8-bit companding (also  used in E-MU Emulator I/II/Drumulator). 

 CPU / DAC

-Z80 Zilog 

-AM6070 DAC at 8 bits, especially appreciated for low fidelity sound.

12 PCM instruments

PCM, EPROM stored at 8 bit 28 kHz frequency samples.
Note: that there's not no ride or crash cymbals as memory samples was too expensive at the time, following Linndrum model (also wrongly called "LM2")

18 Sounds

kick hi + low
snare hi + low
hi-hat hi + low + open
cabasa hi + low
tambourine hi + low
tom (x2) + congas (x2)
cowbell
claves
hand claps

Tune / Decay / Pan

 - Pitch setting for each instruments. Low tuning percussions were characteristics on Prince album "Purple Rain

-  hihats have "decay" trimmer. 

- 3 Stereo pan settings: center, left or right.

Lm1

Sequencer characteristics

The LM1 records  the beats  at 48 PPQ  resolution by tapping on the keys situated below the level fader

Time Signature

4/4 or variable odd time signature

Shuffle

Swing mode 50-70% shuffle 

Linn LM1

Quantisize (auto correct)

1/8th  triplet, 1/16th , 1/16th triplet, 1/32nd and 1/32nd note triplet modes. 

Patterns RAM:

Patterns User: up to 100 can be chained and linked

Lm1

LM-1 Memory

Sequencer

- 100 patterns with 8 chains for songs

Battery

-3 Nicads at 1,2 V 1500mA rechargeable batterie

Our Verdict 

"Everything changed thanks to Roger Linn. About 500 machines were produced and today getting a working LM-1 is an expensive task but this  is a piece of history. For collector " 

Sound 
quality

Interface

Build
 quality

Rarity

Quality / 
price

Overall

CONS

- No midi
- Storage
- price
- maintenance

PROS

-History
- Design
- Sound

Are you a LINN Lm1 user? do you like it? You do not agree with our review?  Let us know in the comment field just below 

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