Designers of Innovative Electronic Musical Instruments
About Roger Linn Design
Roger Linn Design is a small business engaged in the design, manufacture and sales of high-tech products for musicians, based in Berkeley, California. Our current products include the AdrenaLinn III Guitar Processor, AdrenaLinn Sync Software Plug-in, Tempest Analog Drum Machine and LinnStrument Expressive MIDI Performancer Controller.
About Roger Linn
Roger Linn is a designer of electronic music products, best known for his invention of the LM-1 Drum Computer, the first programmable, sampled-sound drum machine in 1979. Manufactured by his company Linn Electronics, the LM-1 and its successors the LinnDrum and Linn9000 provided the drums for countless hit records during the 1980s by artists including Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Devo and Bruce Hornsby, and are considered a major influence on the music of the era.
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, and winning numerous international music product awards, 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.
If you're interested in hearing the music of his father, the late composer and USC professor of music Robert Linn, please visit www.robertlinn.org.
About Ingrid Linn
Roger's wife Ingrid holds a Dipl.-Ing. (Master's degree) in Electrical Engineering from Technical University in Munich, specializing in Audio-Communication/Acoustics. Though she is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Roger Linn Design, she has contributed greatly to our product development, involved in the creation of the reverb, tube modeling, amp modeling and compression of the AdrenaLinn, co-writing with Roger the original AdrenaLinn Sync plug-in and aiding in the design of LinnStrument. She also acted as general manager of Roger Linn Design, directing the day-to-day operations and is still involved in our strategic planning.
However, while studying engineering in Germany, Ingrid had always dreamed of working for one of the big silicon valley companies, and has followed that dream. She is currently an Engineering Project Manager for Apple, Inc. Before that, she was Global Test Coordinator for Dolby Labs, and before that performed international site localization for Sitecore, a large maker of content management web sites. She has also served as director of communications for the San Francisco chapter of the Project Management Institute.
Regarding Ingrid's personal interests, she is a cellist (having performed in San Francisco's Community Music Center orchestra), scuba diver, Ironman triathlete, marathon runner, archer, champion rower, motorcycle enthusiast and an instrument-rated private pilot, serving on the board of the SF bay area's NRI Flying Club. She speaks German, English, French and Spanish. You can read KVR Audio's interview with Ingrid here.