LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

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desmond
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LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:04 pm

Hey guys,

I'm doing a deep dive on something, and (while I'm Googling around in the meantime) I wondered if anyone knew of any resources that have catalogued or sampled the various replacement drums chips for the LinnDrum (LM2)?

I will trawl through my own archives (and sample libraries) for various companies offering Linn-compatible chips, but just wondered if some Linn fans had already done this work?

I don't know offhand yet whether Linn made alternative sound chips available, but certainly third-party companies did, and it was of course possible to make your own with the right gear - but I imagine most Linn users just bought a range of available chips with alternative sounds until the Linn's became unused relics.

Any info is useful, thanks!

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:28 pm

Linn itself had a decently large replacement soundchip library for the Linndrum that you could buy sounds from.

SYCO in London also had a sound chip collection - I'm not sure yet whether they were offering the factory Linn sounds, and/or whether they were also making their own custom sounds (which wouldn't surprise me, given the gear they had access too - they were basically the premier UK dealer for all the high-end stuff - Fairlights, Kurzweil K250, DX1's, Emulator IIs, Linn 9000s etc).
Alternative percussion sounds are now available for the LinnDrum from Syco Systems, who've set up a special demonstration computer program to play any of the 100 available sounds on demand. Prices range from a single chip at £35.00, two at £45.00 and four at £65.00 (all prices plus VAT).
Then there was Digidrums, which became Digidesign who started by creating and selling soundchips for the Drumulator et al:-
Labelled from N101 to N108, these are Electronic kits 1 and 2, Latin and African percussion, Rock drums, Analogue drums, Jazz drums and sound effects.
Digidrums opened for business at the January NAMM show, with several alternate sound sets for the Drumulator. They've rather expanded since then. Now they offer 15 sets for the Drumulator, and 35 individual sounds for the Sequential Circuits Drumtraks. Coming soon, they say, are alternate sounds for the Oberheim and Linn drum machines.
133-Figure14-1.jpg
While the chips weren't identical, they were similar enough that, eg, the Oberheim Prommer could burn chips that would work in Linn, Oberheim and Sequential drum machines.

Image

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by madtheory » Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:35 pm

I have *some* binaries that I downloaded from http://www.electrongate.com/dmxfiles/dr ... index.html IIRC he got a cease and desist years ago from Forat about all the other bins he had up there. I will check my archives!

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:32 pm

Thanks - while searching around I did come across references to that Electrongate site and while I hadn't been to that particular page (I'll check those out - thanks!), there's a similar one for the DMX I think (http://www.electrongate.com/dmxfiles/eproms.html) which I did listen to, but that's cool as I'd like to check out as many eproms as I can while trying to find the sources of some sounds.

Given that Forat presumably still has this library, you'd think they'd do a better job of documenting what they have available, but their site is like a relic from 1996 unfortunately, with very little actually hard info...

Edit: Ooh nice - the LinnDrum page from Electrongate (which was taken down by request of Forat) is still available via the Wayback Machine, including the sample downloads - so I'll have a look through those too. ;)

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:32 pm

I just realised I should really have put this thread in "Samplers" - I've asked for it to be moved there.

I've been chatting with Paolo@Synthmania who's been super-nice and helpful.

He posted here a scan of the alternative chips from Linn:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electro ... -stab.html

Image

It seems the particular sound I'm looking to source is *not* a factory/Linn sample. So it's either a sample from another soundset source, or a chip with a sample from another drum machine, *or* it's a custom chip (while it's possible, I think that's less likely).

Anyway, Paolo's been super helpful to help me rule out whether this was a factory sound or not.

The search continues!
Last edited by desmond on Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:07 pm

This is interesting:-
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/so-you-say/8474
"I had a complete set of my own drum sounds put on to Linn chips for me by Roger Linn prior to the recording of our first album. I went into Air studios for a day with our producer, Vic Coppersmith, recorded each of my drums individually and had those sounds encoded on to the chips. The recording process is very straightforward except that because the chip won't accept any ambience on the recorded sound you have to gate it very heavily. As the maximum sample time is something like one second, then obviously that's not enough to be able to do cymbals or anything else with a long decay. I did Octobans – which I don't think anyone has ever done on Linn – and then I did all the toms, bass drum, snare and cross-stick (which again I don't think has been done). Then I also did a complete set of backwards toms – I think I'm the only person in the world with those. So then I was in the position where I could set up a complete pattern using backward toms on the Linn. There's no limit to the different sounds you can make up the chips for, and then you just open up the machine and slot them in and use them as you wish."

How come most records done with the Linn have a decent sounding snare?

"What everyone is doing these days is setting up an ordinary snare drum in a stone room, and then putting two drum sticks across the snare drum. Then you place a small speaker, like an Auratone, face down on the sticks so that the speaker is maybe two inches from the snare drum batter head. What they do then is to feed the snare drum sound of the Linn through the speaker so that it's 'banging' on the snare drum in the studio. And then they mike up the snare drum and record that back on to the track as it's being mixed. That's very common these days. All the Heaven 17 stuff, the 'Luxury Gap' album, has the snare drum sound done like that. And when I did it I had the pitch of the Linn signal high, and the actual snare drum tuned low, which gave me a really big, wide sound."
I'm not saying this is what they did in my case, but it's interesting he talks like this was common practice.

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by madtheory » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:52 pm

A bunch of stuff in here:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing
desmond wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:32 pm
Edit: Ooh nice - the LinnDrum page from Electrongate (which was taken down by request of Forat) is still available via the Wayback Machine, including the sample downloads - so I'll have a look through those too. ;)
Ooh, please add those to the above folder :D

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:46 pm

Thanks - I'll take a trawl though those as I root though my various sample libraries... :thumbleft:

Re: the above scan - it's amazing that $130 would get you three low quality drum samples back then... :lol:

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:41 am

Samples and patches were really expensive back in the 80s, especially when sold as chips, cards or cartridges rather than tapes or floppies.
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: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:48 am

memory chips of any kind were not cheap in the 80s.

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by madtheory » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:39 pm

desmond wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:46 pm
Thanks - I'll take a trawl though those as I root though my various sample libraries... :thumbleft:

Re: the above scan - it's amazing that $130 would get you three low quality drum samples back then... :lol:
I love the "Silent Chip" for $20. Is that for programming rests?? :lol: :lol:

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:37 pm

Yes, that made me chuckle too.

Cue M&S advert voice:
"It's not just silence... it's gorgeous 8-bit, noisy, grungy, distorted and frequency reduced silence, for that luxury true vintage 80s feel that's impossible to replicate any other way..."

(Or, "Boss, what should we do with all these broken sound chips..?")

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by madtheory » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:15 pm

:lol: :lol:

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Re: LinnDrum alternative soundchip resources?

Post by desmond » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:48 pm

desmond wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:28 pm
SYCO in London also had a sound chip collection - I'm not sure yet whether they were offering the factory Linn sounds, and/or whether they were also making their own custom sounds
So, chatting with Kendall Wrightson (who worked at SYCO) confirms that they weren't making any custom chips back in the day - they were selling the official Linn replacement sounds, and also the Digidrums sounds for the Drumulator, which were apparently very popular, particularly the well-known "Rock Drums" set.

This is helpful as it's one less potential source of commercial sounds, but it's looking more like the thing I'm looking for might be a custom chip, meaning the source might not be able to be uncovered.

I've even been through the various big sampler libraries in case it might have come from another source like the Fairlight, or other drum machines, without success so far.

I'll have one more trawl through the Linn library and my other various sources, and if I can't find a match, I'll probably have to be happy to leave the source undiscovered...

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