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  • Hot In Namm 2016

    January 21, 2016 5 min read

    What's hot at this years NAMM?

    There have been some really exciting announcements from a number of key manufacturers. We have had a bit of a look and put together a few product releases that we think are a bit special. 


    Korg Minilogue

    I guess the most talked about product so far has been the new Korg Minilogue (try saying that without thinking Kylie Minogue) 4 voice fully analogue poly synth. The thing I like about Korg is that they don't mess about with long marketing build up between product announcement and release. The Minilogue must have been in the making for some time so the people at Korg are seemingly great at keeping their lips sealed.

    The Synth looks pretty tasty with a release date in Australia for early February 2016 - yes only a couple of weeks away. Moog really should pay attention here - the Mother 32 still hasn't arrived in Australia and it was announced over 4 months ago. The main thing about this synth is it's retailing for Sub $1000. That's incredible value given it's a 4 voice analogue poly synth with metal chassis and timber ends.

    Korg NanoKey Studio

    Korg also have some nifty little wireless controllers coming -  The nanoKEY Studio and the nanoKONTROL Studio. You have to wonder why this hasn't been done before. We are curious how good the wireless connection works. We don't have pricing or eta on these units just yet! Stay tuned. 


    Roland System 500

    Roland System 500 Kit

    Recently Roland have been busy with their Boutique Series Synths and you have to admit they got this range to market fast and the product range is great! However you have to wonder what has happened to the System 500 Eurorack modules

    A little over 6 months ago Roland announced the fully analogue System 500 series Eurorack modules. We saw photos and got product info but we still have not seen product. It's only frustrating because we are so eager to see these units as they look fantastic. Roland's big announcement at this years Namm is that they are releasing all System 500 modules in a case as a complete system. Again it looks impressive and  I can't wait to hear it. The story goes that prototypes were handed to Roland Japan and because they wanted a product that reflected their high level of build quality Japan kept knocking them back. Roland products vary rarely break down (this is due to high level of quality control) and they just want to get it right, and also to pay respect to the original System 100 and 700 units. Fair call Roland but please, please  - release the System 500 series soon!

    Check out this great video that features the System 500 and co designer Malekko 


    Waldorf kb37 

    Waldorf have been pretty quite over the past few years with only a couple of releases of note. However this looks to change with the recent release of the nw1 wavetable series Eurorack module and the Namm announcement of the kb37 Eurorack keyboard controller, dvca1, cmp1 and mod1 modules. This system looks amazing! This is the first time we've seen a keyboard controller with blank slots to add your Eurorack modules - Nice! 

    The kb37 provides perfect connectivity to all your modules to serve both the player and the sound designer’s desires with an array of real-time control elements such as pitch and mod wheels. The professional, full-sized 37-note keybed transmits velocity and aftertouch. 



    Apogee Symphony MKII

    The Apogee Symphony audio interface system has been kicking around for some time now, and for good reason - it's solid, reliable and sounds fantastic. Apogee have just announced that after many years it's time for an upgrade - enter the Apogee Symphony MKII - So what has changed?

    The first thing that is noticeable is the new look. It's gone from silver to black. This is not a big deal until you notice that part of that black front panel is an Intuitive touchscreen display and front panel control. Nice! The other noticeable difference is the choice of Thunderbolt, Pro Tools® HD (Mac/PC) or Waves SoundGrid® connectivity - Sound Grid coming soon! You will no longer need to purchase an external box for connection. It boasts the best AD/DA conversion of any Thunderbolt audio interface on the market. Big call as there are many great sounding thunderbolt audio interfaces - but Apogee always seem to deliver and nobody can question the quality of their sound.

    Check out the new Symphony MKII System here.  


    Melodyne 4 has arrived. 

    This constitutes the most extensive update to the entire product family in the company’s history, with the emphasis on Melodyne 4 studio. Highlights include the Sound Editor with its totally new sound design possibilities, DNA Direct Note Access – at last, on an unlimited number of tracks – and ultra-accurate tempo detection. The smaller Melodyne editions – editor, assistant and essential – have also been enhanced.

    All users who registered their Melodyne after Nov 1, 2015, get the update to Version 4 free of charge.


    Aston Halo Reflection Filter

    New on the scene is Microphone manufacturer Aston. We have just taken delivery of the first producing condenser microphones -The Origin and Spirit. The Origin is a large diaphragm cardiod condenser while it's bigger brother, the Spirit boasts a multi pattern capsule. These mics look cool! We should have some recording of them in action soon.

    The Aston team, led by James Young, Philip Smith, Alan Gavin and Jack Munro, have re-invented mic design, taking breathtakingly gorgeous concept pieces, and cutting edge engineering techniques, and producing beautifully crafted works of art. The microphones have been developed working with a listening team of the top producers and mix-engineers in the business, with blind AB tests and focus groups at every stage of R&D meaning that the sound of each of the new microphones has been honed to perfection, not just by the design team, but by the professional users themselves. Both these microphones have be designed and built in house in the UK.

    Following hot on the heals of the Aston Microphone range is the Aston Halo refection shield (filter). 

    Halo looks distinct and claims better isolation, linear absorption, stable hardware for mounting, is lighter and is purple! 

    Stevie Seems to like it - How cool is this!

    Stevie Wonder Halo


    Arturia Matrix Brute Analog synth

    And this crazy looking beast from Arturia! The MATRIX BRUTE - I'm sure it is!

    3 Oscillator fully analogue Mono Synth with Matrix Modulation. The question on everyones lips is "why not poly?" I guess the reason is poly is very expensive and EURORACK is mono and people are going nuts over EURORACK so let's stick to that. It does say Mono - Paraphonic though. Good to see how this is implemented.

    It does look pretty incredible and I'm sure is sounds great. Nice tilted back panel, and the matrix modulation is curious. Shades of AKS Synthi perhaps? Analogue effects are always good. 

    Check out the Video - Arturia always seems to put a big amount budget into their promo video and they certainly look slick, but to me they always come across as a bit Euro cheese. Sorry Arturia I'm sure the Synth will sound great but maybe look at some more instructional or feature video - Punters will be much more excited by that.


    Modal Instruments

    Famed for their 002 and 008 polyphonic analog synths, Modal have just announced they have taken their Oscillators, and Filters and made them into EURORACK format! We have a 002 and it's the best sounding Synth I've heard and we have a lot of synths here to play with. Given this these modules are sure to sound awesome! 

    Modal Instruments eurorack modules


    We will try and add more products as they get announced but all in all 2016 is looking like an interesting year! 

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