Prince's Drum Samples: Now, at Your Fingertips

Francis Preve's free 'PurpleDrums' sample pack puts the immortal LM-1 and Linn Drum machines in your hands.
May 3, 2016, 5:05pm
Prince at Coachella. Flickr: Scott Penner

Prince wasn't just a master songwriter, he was also a prolific multi-instrumentalist, bouncing between bass, keys, guitar, and drums without skipping a beat. Now, you can turn that crippling purple hole in your heart into something creative, with a custom drum rack loaded with all of Prince’s signature drum sounds. PurpleDrums is a free, downloadable sound pack from sound designer and teacher Francis Preve. Armed with 10 sample files taken from Roger Linn's immortal drum boxes—the LM-1 and Linn Drum—PurpleDrums gives you access to the claps and kicks that defined a decade of popular music. In addition to the samples, Ableton Live users will also have access to an interactive menu that goes through some of Prince’s principle drum production techniques.

Screencap via

In a blog post describing this tribute project and his love for Prince, Preve writes, “From '1999' to 'Sign ‘O’ The Times,' Prince incorporated these drum machines, with specific sounds—like the Rimshot and Clap—wildly detuned to create giant clacks and booms. From there, he added compression and when feeling extra freaky, a flanger pedal, on the drum machine’s output. The resulting grooves became a hallmark of the 'Minneapolis Sound,' utilized by The Time and Apollonia 6, as well as hits like 'Oh Sheila' by Ready For The World. Prince’s approach to drum machines was just as unique as Hendrix’s revolutionary guitar work—and just as versatile an ingredient in other artists’ work.”

Linn Electronics. Successor: Forat Electronics - Bruce Forat, president - "LinnDrum" (Press release). Linn Electronics. 1982.

Listen to a preview of the soundpack below:

The drum pack is available for free download at digital sound boutique, Symplesound, on their website, here.


Be sure to read maker Francis Preve’s blog post explaining his tribute project, here.

Via Create Digital Music, Fact Mag


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