Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

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knolan
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Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by knolan » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:47 am

Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

I can't decide.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by desmond » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:59 am

I’m not sure why it has to be a competition - they are both important, but for slightly different reasons...

I’d say the 808 probably has more cultural resonance, but the Linn changed popular music more.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by knolan » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:37 pm

There's always to to be a winner :-)

One has got to edge it. If I had to choose, I'd say the LM1 was more important overall.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by Z » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:03 pm

The LM-1 was probably more important in the beginning since it started the shift from unnatural, electronic "home organ" sounding drums to realistic samples of real drums. But at $5k, not many could afford it. Even the $3k LinnDrum and Oberheim DMX was only affordable to professionals.

The $1k TR-808 & TR-909 were more affordable to "weekend warriors" and home enthusiasts (Still cost more than a used car). As digital technology became more affordable, musicians started dumping their analog gear for more realistic sounding digital gear. The cheap analog gear started falling in the hands of underground musicians that paved the sound of the future.
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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by desmond » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:55 pm

Z wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:03 pm
The LM-1 was probably more important in the beginning since it started the shift from unnatural, electronic "home organ" sounding drums to realistic samples of real drums.
Agreed.
Z wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:03 pm
But at $5k, not many could afford it. Even the $3k LinnDrum and Oberheim DMX was only affordable to professionals.
Sure. But this is true of all, high end new technology. Samplers, digital delays, digital reverbs, analog polysynths, digital drum machines, 24-track tape machines etc etc - all these things were important, but none of them were affordable to the bedroom hobbyist. Affordability isn't really a factor of how important new technology is, it's only really a factor later when the prices come down.
Z wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:03 pm
The $1k TR-808 & TR-909 were more affordable to "weekend warriors" and home enthusiasts (Still cost more than a used car).
Yes, but both were failures at the time. If you read the reviews, the 909 was almost regarded a failure before it even landed in the shops - nobody thought it sounded "good", or useful. At their time of release, *unlike* the Linn, they were mostly overlooked and certainly weren't "important", and they didn't change anything, or really offer anything new.
Z wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:03 pm
The cheap analog gear started falling in the hands of underground musicians that paved the sound of the future.
And like I say, they gained their cultural importance later, and certainly shaped certain styles of music, long after people had moved on from the Linn to more sophisticated machines...

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by knolan » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:12 pm

I wouldn't have called the LM1 a failure (perhaps financial failure (?) but musically surely overwhelmingly successful?). It, and the LinnDrum, surely radically altered the way drums were placed on pop and rock hits throughout the 80's. That famous statistic - 7 of the Uk to 10 hits being Linn drums at one juncture, and all of that...From Peter Gabriel to Stevie Wonder to Jean Michel Jarre, the Linn were instantly all over the charts.

I think Desmond you are right - along with the likes of the Fairlight, the LM1 (and LinnDrum) heralded the digital age; while the TR 808 took longer, but did become centrally important to dance music genres.

I ask as I just bought a TR-08 - and it's brilliant. Meanwhile there are two TR808's and aTR909 on an online sales environment here in Ireland called adverts.ie for 4000 and 45000 Euro. Staggering!

I would love to see a true 'clone' of the LM1 or Linndrumm.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by desmond » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:10 pm

knolan wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:12 pm
I wouldn't have called the LM1 a failure
Neither did I - when I said "both were failures" I was immediately responding the the quote I put immediately above, where the 808 and 909 were mentioned, and that's the "both" I meant.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:32 pm

You need both.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:43 pm

No question...the Linn. It created the sampled drum machine paradigm that remains dominant today. Plus it led to the MPC.

But if you can't decide for yourself, don't listen to us. ;)
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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:41 pm

I think the Linn for sure. Not just sonically, but in the way it could be programmed. The 808 was severely lacking in any kind of realistic drum programming. The better theoretical question could be, "What drum machine today will have the impact of the Linn LM1"?

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:20 pm

I would have to go with the TR-808.

Tr-808 samples are almost obligatory, even if you don't own or use physical a drum machine. The Linn Drum is not quite as widely distributed or sought after as the 808.

The Tr-808 is the gold standard of pure analog drum machines. When someone makes an analog drum machine or set of drum modules, it's always held up against the 808, either in terms of how it sounds, or how it's supposed to be "not just another 808 clone." The same is not the case for the Linn Drum, especially to the same degree.

The TR-808 has many, many emulations, and has been modeled in every format: Analog stand alone, virtual analog stand alone, eurorack, software, phone apps, sample sets, etc. No matter what format you're working with, there's a Tr-808 designed in that format. The same is not true of the Linn Drum.

The Linn Drum is largely important for pop-styles, and perhaps new wave or industrial styles, though of course it can be used for anything. In the styles it's mainly famous in, it's just the drummer. The TR-808 plays a much heavier role in the styles it's famous for, such as techno, hip hop, etc. The TR-808 can be the only instrument used in a techno song without being a gimmick. While it's been mentioned that it's popular for dance styles, it's influence in all branches of techno, trance, acid, ambient, not to mention rap, hip hop, and also pop. While the 808 can match the Linn's influence in pop music, the Linn cannot match the 808's influence in niche genres. In hip hop, techno, etc the 808 is practically worshipped. The same isn't really true for the Linn Drum, or at least to the same extent.

Songs and albums are named after, and use the 808 as a musical theme: my heart beats like an 808, 808's and heartbreaks, etc. People who know nothing about music at least know the word 808. Non-musicians have no clue what a Linn Drummond is.

For these reasons, I think the TR-808 is more historically important.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:21 am

Even though the 80s sounds are still popular, if the Linn Drum hadn't come along we wouldn't be able to use all those 808 samples ;)
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Which is historically more important: The TR-808 or the Linn LM1?

Post by ninja6485 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:30 pm

The importance of the 808 is not dependent on the LD, or sampling. Even if we didn't have sample based rythm, the 808 would still be influential for all of the other reasons mentioned. In fact, it might even be more important and influential in that scenario, if the only technology would be derived from it.

Also, that's not neccesarily true about the Linn Drum. The need for sample based drum sounds was there, and likely would have resulted in the development of the technology in other ways and through other machines.

Regardless, the Linn Drum does exist, and we have sampling. The 808 is influential not only for the development and sound of non-sample based drum machines, but also for the development and sound of sample based drum machines and rythm software. Since the 808 is influential in both arenas, whIle the Linn Drum is only an early step in the development of one, the 808 has greater influence.

In addition, I forgot to mention the TR style UI for drum machine programming, which had become the standard, and UI of choice for decades. As a solution for visualizing and programming drum rythms, this UI is second to none. The Linn Drums UI is not influential to the same degree.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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