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Roger Linn

Roger Linn

Roger Linn is a creator of electronic music products, starting with the 1979 LM-1 Drum Computer, the first sample-based drum machine. Other notable instruments include the LinnDrum drum machine, the Akai MPC series of drum machines, the AdrenaLinn Beat-Synced Effects Processor for guitar, the Tempest Analog Drum Machine and now the LinnStrument Expressive MIDI Controller. He is the recipient of the 2011 Technical Grammy award.

In 1988, he designed the innovative MPC60 MIDI Production Center for the Japanese Akai Company, with his signature appearing on the product’s front panel. Combining a sampling drum machine with a real-time MIDI sequencer, this product gradually became the industry standard in the production of hip-hop, dance and related music styles throughout the 1990s, and has been credited as a significant influence in the evolution of hip hop music. This was followed in 1994 with the enhanced MPC3000 and others. In addition to these designs for Akai, he also helped design products for a variety of companies during the 1990s, including the Japanese Roland company.

In 2002, he returned to manufacturing his own products—as well as his love of the guitar—with the release of a groundbreaking guitar effects product called AdrenaLinn. Used on hit recordings by artists such as John Mayer, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers, AdrenaLinn transforms a guitarist’s tone by using variety of innovative rhythmic filtering methods, all in sync to an internal drumbeat. This was followed in 2003 by the enhanced AdrenaLinn II, the M-Audio Black Box (containing many AdrenaLinn features) in 2005, and the AdrenaLinn III in 2007. In 2011 he released the Tempest Analog Drum Machine, designed in collaboration with Dave Smith Instruments. In 2014 he released the LinnStrument, an expressive MIDI performance controller.

Apart from his music product career, Roger is a guitarist and songwriter, having co-written hits for Eric Clapton ("Promises", 1979) and Mary Chapin Carpenter ("Quittin' Time", 1989), and having served as touring guitarist and recording engineer with pianist/songwriter Leon Russell in 1976 at age 21. Here are some video, audio and text interviews he has done over the years. In February 2011, the Recording Academy presented him with the Technical Grammy Merit Award.


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