Prince will always be remembered for his skills with a guitar, but he was also an innovator with a drum machine.

The late artist’s signature “knocking” sound has been the subject of much debate, but Texas-based sample boutique SympleSound has released a free custom drum rack for Ableton Live that recreates his signature Linn LM-1 drum machine sound.

The pack contains 16 drum samples with effects that recreate what was dubbed the “Minneapolis Sound,” which you can hear on 1999 and went on to be used by Prince associates The Time, The Family and Apollonia 6 among others.

SympleSound’s Francis Preve, who created the pack as a tribute to Prince, unlocks the secrets of his technique in a blog post, noting how he detuned rimshots and claps and utilised a flanger pedal to create his hallmark clacks and booms.

“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,” believes Preve, who made sure not to infringe the notes or beats of the artist – who was notably vocal about copyright issues.

“Some people are surprised that I’m not charging for this pack, but the last thing I want to do is cash in on the legacy of one of the most important musicians of the 20th century (and probably beyond),” Preve says. “I respect him far too much to use his passing that way. This one’s for the fans and students.”

The pack is available for free download at the SympleSound website, and also comes with an interactive manual about how Prince used the drum machine in the studio. You’ll need Live 9.5, but it also comes with 10 Prince-inspired MIDI drum loops to get you started. [via Create Digital Music]

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