What Would You Ask Roger Linn?

Roger LinnRoger Linn is a musician and industrial designer that has helped shaped the evolution of electronic music for the last 35 years.

He created the modern drum machine in the 70’s with the LM-1 Drum Computer. In the 80’s, he created the Akai MPC, which helped define hip hop and other genres.

More recently, he’s designed innovative guitar effects pedals, co-designed the Tempest analog drum machine and created a new instrument, the LinnStrument.

We’re working on setting up an interview with Linn and want to include some reader questions. So leave a comment and let us know what you’d like to ask Roger Linn!

40 thoughts on “What Would You Ask Roger Linn?

  1. I’d like to know what’s going on with the LinnStrument. It’s been under development for a long time – what’s keeping it from moving beyond the prototype stage?

  2. My question: Many people were very exited to hear of your collaboration with Dave Smith in creating a new instrument, (the Boom Chik?). The Tempest was eventually released, as an analog drum with machine with no sampling ability. At one point, you stated that there would be two machines produced; the second would be influenced more by your design ideas. Is there any hope for the many of us who were hoping for a new sampler, ala MPC? A new sequencer to replace our aging(but still solid) production centers?

  3. The 8-bit and 12-bit machines, like the Linndrum and MPC60, sounded phatter and had more character. So did vinyl and tape. Do you think high definition audio has been an improvement?

  4. That’s a funny bumper sticker he’s holding but there are just as many idiots like that today saying essentially “digital has no soul”. people living in the past will always be with us.

    1. Similarly, there are just as many idiots implying that people that don’t like the sound of digital gear must therefore be “living in the past.”

      Why are you still wearing pants? They are so dated and retro.

  5. Will you try to keep the price down on the LinnStrument, or, perhaps build a smaller less-featured model for the experimenters? (I am personally looking forward to this controller)

  6. why does native instruments maschine suck so much and is there any way you could help them develop a cure for that disease of a sequencer?

    1. just curious. have you ever even used one? how can you sustain such a claim? the sequencing on Maschine is perfect, the pads are ultra responsive, software has plenty more options and features then you’d find on older machines and it all works flawlessly. it’s all down to your talent as a producer, as always. i repeat, as always! the rest is pure mythology!

  7. How has your experience (and success) with the LM-1 Drum Computer and Akai MPC influenced your further endeavors in hardware inovation and manufacture? What is the “philosophy” (if you will) of Roger Linn?

  8. What kind of sound you aimed for when recorded samples for LM-1? Any special drummer/band/style? Please tell how the machine and it’s sound changed through the development.

  9. I’d ask him if he could find it in his heart to ditch Dave Smith, press pause on all other projects and just get on with the Linn Drum II already.

    MFB Tanzbar, Elektron Rytm, Aira-Shmira and Akai Rythm Puppy…

    Please Sir I implore you; render the above, obsolete and craft for us, the Excalibur of drum machines…

    … Or you know, just make it not suck like the Tempest.

  10. the MPC has been to hip-hop what the electric guitar has been to rock. could you have imagined that the MPC would be used in the way it has, helping define a genre and a still thriving beat culture?

  11. Open hardware and software has created a plethora of great-sounding diy and small company designed synths, drum machines, and noise boxes that often fall short in the user-interface department. Do you have any tips for designers to create a smoother user experience in software and hardware? Do you think the massive amount of feedback on such things that the internet has enabled helps (democracy!) or hinders (fascism!) the user-design process?

  12. hi there,
    i would like to know,
    – from all the instruments he designed, is he still using one of them?
    – what is his favourite instument for making musik?
    and what other company or product does he admires or makes him what know more 🙂 exampe analog Rythm from elektron.
    – when desighning an instument who is he asking for advices or who is hetting the prototypes to test them? future plans on making instruments, colaborations?

  13. Hi Mr Linn,
    Everybody (almost) waits for your LinnDrum 2.
    A lot of side projects, however very interesting for sure.
    But, we’re waiting for that beast.
    Will it be an analog drum synth, AND a sample host ?
    Will it be standalone AND linked to a soft for editing ?
    Will you have more answer for further questions ?
    Will it be your 2014-2015 masterpiece ?
    Will it be ?
    Thanks, Mr Linn.

  14. Will he be continuing developing sample upload for the Tempest since many users would like to have this feature and it was opted by DSI as a possibility in the near future?

  15. Q: The MPC has been quite heavily associated with HipHop, was that the original thought behind the concept? If not what was the thoughts?

  16. Do absolute definitions of some of the parameters make an signature instrument or should all of the parameters be as limitless as possible, even if they do not produce a musical output?

  17. Today we all have access to sample acurate timming and tons of options right inside the daw. For those of us who live in the real world, the computer – more then anything else – has become the production centre. All active companies selling drum machines these days are focusing more and more on integration with software while using physical layouts that resemble older drum machines. Your prototype for the LinnStrument does look like a more daring approach, focusing only on this physical interaction, on reaching a higher level of expression from a controller. So my question would be: what about knobs and fadders? How do you see those evolving in the future?

  18. I would like to add to the number of people excited to learn more about the features and manufacturing timeline for the Linnstrument.

  19. When will you bring out the ASQ 20…standalone unit with 8 midi in’s and outs and at least 3 decimal places on tempo, plus few rotary encoders…more modern O/S and saving capability…export import etc.

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