NAMM 2018 – New Gear to Be Excited For
The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2018 convention just kicked off this week and we’ve already heard some exciting announcements, we’re going to share with you some of our favorite things to look forward to:
1. Speak and Sample – Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators
Teenage Engineering, the company behind the infamous OP-1 Synthesizer, is releasing some new additions to their calculator-sized Pocket Operator line up – Speak, and Sample. The Swedish company’s Pocket Operator series already includes 7 various drum, bass, and lead synths that offer incredible fun with their bleeps and bloops. The new additions include a sampler and a voice synthesizer with extremely impressive features for tech that fits in the palm of your hand (and costs under $90).
Check it out here on the Teenage Engineering website with the rest of the Pocket Operator series too.
2. Boss GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor
Boss is well known for its lineup of guitar pedals and loop stations, and at NAMM this year it has announced the latest update to its floorboard guitar multi-effects pedal. The GT-1000 is “the first-ever guitar multi-effects processor with 32-bit AD/DA and 32-bit/96 kHz internal processing,” which means that you’ll be able to stack effects on effects while accurately modeling your favorite amps. The new AIRD processing system is the beast behind the machine for seamlessly recreating amps, preamps, and any combination of the like available onboard. Keep your eyes open for the pricing announcement soon and get more details here on the Boss website.
3. Pioneer DDJ-1000 Controller
Pioneer’s launch of the Rekordbox DJ controller marks a step forward for their jogwheel form factor with the addition of in-wheel displays. In those screens, you can see tempo, time, and waveform displays like you would from your Rekordbox screen. What also makes this controller different from the rest of their lineup is the effects are no longer placed above the jogwheels but have been instead replaced by a Beat FX stripe right of the mixer with 1o beat fx taken from the DJM-900NXS2. Anyone interested in the Pioneer lineup looking for a relatively more compact solution and prettier pricepoint ($1200) will find their match here. Check it out on the Pioneer website.
4. Phase DJ Wireless Vinyl Tracking
MWM the same company that brought you the wireless Mixfader system has introduced Phase, a wireless vinyl tracking system. Phase works through a patented wireless technology stated to be more stable than a bluetooth connection, and it has stood its ground at the NAMM show so far. Seeing as DVS technology hasn’t changed for more than a decade this is a very exciting product to see, and watching DJs scratch and cut without any issues was extremely impressive. Phase is set to launch in a few months and will be priced between $200-$300 for a set (a pair of remotes + the dock/soundcard).
Learn more here.
5. Universal Audio Arrowhead
Universal Audio made the announcement shortly before NAMM but we were so excited to hear about it we had to include it in this post, the Arrowhead Thunderbolt Interface. This is UA’s most recent addition to its array of audio interfaces which include their amazing DSP technology and allow the interfaces to process the effects so your computer does the rest of the lifting. The Arrowhead has many of the same specs as the Apollo Twin except the Arrowhead is bus-powered, and only has a single DSP core which will put a lower limit on how many effects you can use at once. Nonetheless, having a far more portable and beautiful sounding audio interface at your disposable is something to be excited about! Priced at $499 this thing hits the sweet spot for mobile musicians who are aiming for high-quality, check out the details here.
6. Alesis Keytar Vortex 2
This list wasn’t meant to be a contest but Alesis may have won us over with the coolest product here, its new keytar the Vortex 2. The USB/MIDI keytar has 37 keys, 8 backlit faders, and 8 backlit pads not-to-mention the collection of buttons on the neck. It is priced modestly at $299 and comes with a strap and a suite of software including a MIDI editor and some other plugins. Available soon from Alesis.