The NAMMage Is Done: The ULTIMATE Guide To What Happened at NAMM 2013

Scott McGrath gets NAMM dunked   25-Feb-13

Nick Batt catches up with the team from Sonoma Wireworks, who’ve developed a low latency interface for Android that could well be the proverbial game changer for Android for music apps:

We need more Android innovation for music technology, and this is promising.

For musicians who are treating iOS devices as a serious medium, iConnect products now manage both audio and MIDI connectivity between Mac/PC apps and iOS. Last year’s MIDI interface looked interesting, but this year’s devices allow exporting of iOS audio data to DAW enviroments via an easy, and affordable, connectivity box and seem pretty groundbreaking:


Second big theme: Controller innovation is off the hook at this year’s NAMM

I’m not covering synths in this post, but I am very interested in control surfaces.

I’ve been quite captivated with Cubase 7, released in December 2012 and have a few posts upcoming on it as a subject of scrutiny. (Also, be sure to see Gaz Williams and Nick Batt’s review of Steinberg’s iOS sub-variant, the $49 “Cubasis” and Cubase IC Pro controller apps on SonicTouch).

This isn’t so much guitar related perhaps, but the upcoming integration between Cubase and the Nektar Panorama keyboard controller (and a future version coming soon sans keyboard) make this the single most desirable product of show for me:

First, can we just say that these Nektar controller keyboards are to keyboards what the most exotic Apple hardware is to laptops: design milestones of hardware and software working in harmony. But prior to the development of deep Cubase integration, these keyboards were really focused on Propellerhead's Reason – which is great, though personally I’m not a heavy user of Reason.

Well, I was stunned with the level of detailed control supported in Cubase, and the Panoramas are a great example of the power of uniquely combining hardware and software to reach new levels of workflow.

(Note: I’m working with a P4 keyboard and will test out the Cubase integration for myself very soon and report back in my posts). If you’re similarly inclined and a Cubase enthusiast, do watch this substantial demo. I can’t really justify a new keyboard controller… but given the amazing Cubase integration offered by the Nektar Panorama P4, I had to clear out some desk space.

That’s all the more painful, because that cuts into the desktop and budget for the 5 March 2013 release of Ableton Live 9. Besides the major software milestone, with unique audio-to-midi features the biggest draw perhaps, the Ableton Push control surface, developed by Ableton and Akai in combination, demonstrated here: -- looks just haywire.

Task-built hardware tied deeply into software workflow is a great trend at this year’s NAMM.

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