NAMM 2020: Show Awards

US And the winner is....      24/01/20

NAMM 2020 is done and it does feel like some kind of milestone - the first NAMM of a new decade and all that. The show itself was the usual overstimulation bomb with many many hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of products. This year’s awards were given out on the Sunday with a mad show tour with editor Nick Batt and contributor Gaz Williams.

If you want to watch the whole thing, we filmed our epic award tour (see above)

So without further ado, here they come:

Best Mono Synth NAMM 2020

Sequential Pro 3 is the new  analogue three oscillator synth. With analogue oscillators, three switchable analog filters, plus plenty of modulation and a sequencer. For many it was the star of the show. For us it was the clear winner.

Sequential winners Gerry Basserman, Chris Hector, Joanne McGowan, Tony Karavidas,Andy McGowanPictured: Gerry Basserman, Chris Hector, Joanne McGowan, Tony Karavidas,Andy McGowan (+2 unidentified)


Best Poly Synth NAMM 2020


The UDO Audio Super 6 had it's first ever NAMM show outing, together with designer George Hearn’s first NAMM. People were wowed by it's sound and George’s enthusiasm for the instrument is infectious.

A worthy winner, it will be available  very soon.

George Hearn UDO AudioPictured:  George Hearn

Best Newcomer NAMM 2020


This one goes to Electrosmith’s Daisy platform - a DIY hardware platform which allows the creation of custom PureData, C++ and code to be written to hardware with access to ports and interfaces, depending on the flavour you decide. It's a bit like an Arduino, but specialised for music production, effects, modules etc.

Pictured: Richard

Best Controller NAMM 2020

Arturia’s long awaited Keystep Pro, incorporates features from the ubiquitous Keystep keyboard and the Beatstep Pro, but with additional features. Designed to be the heart of your beats and melodic sequencing setup.

Available now priced at $399


Frederic Bruin Arturia CEOPictured: Frederic Bruin

Pro Audio NAMM 2020

Lewitt Project 1040 - 10 years in the making  - the goal is to make the best microphone ever made - lofty!
Lewitt’s idea being that the ultimate mic should have the flexibility to sound great for every application. With a tube based system, it has controls for clear, warm, saturated and dark plus an FET sound character too.

Separate outputs for FET and Mix or Tube.

Aimed to be released by the end of the year

Mike Van Der Logt, Moritz LochnerPictured: Mike Van Der Logt, Moritz Lochner

Best of Show NAMM 2020

Korg are killing it this year with multiple releases that his the spot - so we gave them the overall award. Arp 2600 remake, Wavestate, MS20 - all solid products for NAMM. As well as the mysterious 6OP - which appears to be an FM synth - we’ll be seeing this at Superbooth so we’re told.

Nick KwasPictured: Nick Kwas

New Technology NAMM 2020


Boss Waza Air. A great concept for the guitarist, but we can see this working for an entire band setup. Guitar transmits audio to the all-in-one headphones and DSP for guitar tone as well as positioning the play into a virtual space with 3D audio movement based on the players actual position. We heard it and were very impressed. 


Sean Kelly BOSSPictured: Sean Kelly

Available in limited supplies priced at £378

Best Plug-In NAMM 2020

Krotos Audio Concept - on the face of it a relatively simple synth plug-in with modulation at it's heart. But the thing that made it more interesting, indeed worthy of an award was the way that audio inputs can be routed directly to modulation destinations. The results are pretty unique and can give very organic sounds.

Available now priced at €99


Matt CollinsPictured: Matt Collins

NAMM 2020 Best Music Software


Dorico SE - a fully functional score editing and printing application based on the Dorico Pro engine, but free.
Enables writing and scoring for two instruments, but also allows for opening and printing of full Dorico Pro scores. And yes it's free!


John Barron, Greg OndoPictured: John Barron, Greg Ondo

Best Modular NAMM 2020


4ms Ensemble Oscillator, picked by our modular specialist Edd, it's a complex oscillator module with 16 oscillators, additive synthesis,  wave folding and much more. Designed in collaboration with Matthias Puech.



Sonicstate NAMM awards 2020 4msPictured: Naomi Mitchell, Lauren Bousfield and Sam Loper

General Award NAMM 2020


MIDI 2.0 - perfect timing as the standard was voted on and passed the very morning of our awards. The new 2.0 standard can now be implemented in new gear (Roland’s A88 mkII being amongst the first).

We bumped into Amos Gaynes, who as well as being one of Moog’s top boffins, heads the technical standards committee at the MMA.


Sonicstate NAMM awards 2020 Amos Gaynes MIDI 2.0Pictured: Amos Gaynes

NAMM 2020 Nifty Award #1

Goes to Singular Sounds Aeros Looper. They call it the "the world’s most advanced looper" and they may well be right. A lot of thought and advanced features gone into this, including a song mode - which we think may be a first.


Sonicstate NAMM awards 2020 Nifty - Singular Sounds AerosPictured: David Packouz

NAMM 2020 Nifty Award #2

Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal - incredibly quick pitch detection, low latency and complex synth functions in a tiny pedal. Some very clever DSP work from the people who brought us the legendary Ventris Dual Reverb.


Sonicstate NAMM awards 2020 Nifty - Source AudioPictured: Paul Candilore, Niko Pappas,Jeff McAlack, Brett Gildersleeve

And that friends, is it. See you next year.

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