NAMM: The Peake of Overviews - Part 1

Mike Peake gives us his overview of the show      16/01/04

Buying Choices
We bumped into Mike Peake on the show next on the Sweet Noise booth. Here at Sonic State we value his contributions and when I spotted his NAMM report on TGS I thought it would benefit from being brought to a wider audience. So I rushed around today and took photo's of the kit he described. So Mike's words follow: Hello to Dave, Nick, Albert and all of the Sonic State crew. Hitting NAMM directly after a 16-hour flight isn't fun… Then again, I hit Messe setup right off of the jet a couple of years ago myself. I just don't remember much after that ;-) I hear that Dieter Doepfer will only be showing at Messe from now on, or for a while, whichever. It's a shame as it's always a pleasure to see his enthusiasm for the gear and the music, as well as all of the neat modules. I was hoping to see a touch keyboard/sequencer in final shipping condition. Korg: Only heard the WS software for a moment but there must be resonant filters. It sounded sweeter and cleaner than the WS (IIRC, the amp envelope of the WS isn't the best at several milliseconds, just a touch dirty). The scaled MS20 controller is an absolute hoot-It really tweaks to see it, having seen the original when it was new in stores. It has 1/8" jacks IIRC that I'd heard as scanned and reflected in the software. How incredibly fun. How cool that they actually did this as a lead-in to the software. Those who are looking for MS endcaps and knobs are still SOL-so close, so far away. Yes, Kurzweil have a VA, and It's a large machine. Didn't get a chance to hear it, but it's named the VA-1. It's 16 voices and is 4-part multitimbral. Each multitimbral part has its own FX. External signals can be processed. The anadigm "analog synth" is a developer mock-up using their field programmable analog array chips, which have four blocks each, and each of which can be used to build filters, oscillators, etc. One chip can produce an oscillator and a 12dB filter, each with a 7-octave range, self-oscillation, etc. (a bi-quad based oscillator, BTW). More range, deeper slopes, etc. use more blocks, and of course, the more chips you use, the more potential is provided. They can also do non-linear functions such as EQ, compression, etc. It's a 5V unipolar part. They will be producing the chips for the market, not developing a synth. IIRC they're $5.00 each. They're downstairs in booth 1790. Marc of MESI show the EOS "bug" modular analog stompboxes, with artwork designed by AH member Denis "lepetitmartien". The BodyWave CV->MIDI converter will be a great companion to the Nord Modular G2.. The prototype "Persephone" is a single-oscillator synth whose control section is the kicker-a "ribbon" to determine pitch and a wooden disc that you press to produce both velocity and gating of the audio. The ribbon can override the disc if desired. CV outs will be provided. Possible target price-500E. Come to the Sweet Noise/Big City Music booth and point at the geeks. I mean, check out the great gear, and say hi to Peter Grenader, Erik Barbour of Metasonix, Bob Williams, Roger Cordell and myself.

Studio Electronics are showing their line, including the Omega 8, SE stuff, ATC, etc. as well as the analog pedal effects, including a new one, the Wolf Tone…and the mic pre and 1176-type stereo compressor. Bob Williams is showing the new 6-voice DCO additive synth module from his Analogue Systems line, featuring the large 8500 series modular(?). The new Analogue Solutions Oberheim SEM clone is there, and it's named the SEMBLANCE. It sits in a sloping, self-contained metal case, has MIDI, two small, light blue LEDs for the triggering of each envelope, adds a noise source to the original stand-alone SEM concept, and is supposedly 700E. The Filtered Coffee module, Red Square monosynth, Black Coffee monosynth, and VOSTOCK modular are available for tweaking as well. Bob Moog celebrates 50 years in the music business! Congratulations and Thanks! The new Voyager with the blue back-lit front panel text and graphics is sex. No more excuses regarding not being able to use something onstage in the dark. This is so obvious that it's changed my expectation of other gear. Alesis show the multiple, international award-wining Andromeda A6 polyphonic analog synthesizer. And some other stuff too. Okay, the ION is on display, as well as its kid brother, the Micron. It will be a bit unusual to play due to the wheel position etc., but it looks fun and will probably have a great price point as well as ION program cross-compatability, IIRC. Alesis also showed a couple of FX devices, more details in other reports. Akai show the MPC1000, a very small unit which seems to have "that" MPC feel. The interface was a bit obtuse as you may expect from something small enough to force several controls from the front panel into menus. It's 32 voice, and each voice has a pair of 12dB filters. There are two MIDI in and two MIDI out jacks. It comes with 16MB standard, and can be expanded to 128MB. It has internal FLASH memory. It'll do drag-and-drop transfer with a USB computer. The type 2 compact flash memory card slot allows use of 32Meg to 2Gig cards. It's a 44.1KHz/16-bit machine. Mackie have several new analog mixers, the ONYX line, IIRC. New mic pres, etc. as well as a big knob controller for your audio outputs (switching, volume, etc.) Apple have a long booth right next to the long Digidesign booth. Definitely a statement. That's all I saw today, as it was a quick run-through. Hello to forum member Steve Fortner; didn't mean to chase you off of the Kurzweil, and David Bryce as well, showing the ADAM monitors in the basement at booth 1633. The S3a and below are there. Yes, I'm an ADAM owner and enthusiast and want you to hear them ASAP. I don't get a kickback, just the joy of knowing that you're going to enjoy the experience. Come on, you know you will.

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