Blimey! That was a trip - as the dust settles on our NAMM experience, our published video count is at over 100 - which of course you can view on the dedicated NAMM 2020 playlist. We didn't get to write stories here for all of them, so here’s a few gems you may have overlooked:
Akai Force - an excellent demo of some workflow ideas from Nick Trikakis on the Akai Force. Granted, he’s put a lot of time into his techniques, but the way he split up the 64 pad grid and uses note repeat for multiple triggers was pretty cool. The Akai Force is a standalone production platform, with an alternative OS and methodology to the MPC series.
Bandlab - the DAW and collaborative platform in the browser seems to have quietly grown to more than 12 million users, one reason being that it runs under Android which outnumber iOS users significantly in the global user base. Bandlab is a free platform with some powerful compositional features, together with a bunch of content.
Artiphon Orba - the puck-like hand held MIDI controller / standalone instrument looper. Seeing this in the flesh, it makes a lot of sense as an alternative input controller for both notes and continuous controller. Can be connected to your DAW via direct USB or MIDI over Bluetooth.
Source Audio C4 Synth pedal - winner of one of our NAMM 2020 Nifty Awards, this pedal has a ton of synthesis inside including up to four Oscillators, sequencer , but perhaps most impressively they seem to have figured out some very low latency pitch tracking from the audio input. As with many Source Audio pedals, the heavy lifting of the editing is done externally with computer control, with patches stored in the pedal along with two assignable control knobs.
Roland GO:LiveCast - not really music creation gear, but a really powerful mini video production system which leverages your handheld - phone or table (android or iOS) to create a compact video production system with up to two cameras, media playback, overlays and stills as well as audio mixing to be either recorded or streamed to the platform of your choice.
Lab4Music Sipario Expanded - a very nifty MIDI utility which was originally reviewed by us, some time back. The new Expanded version adds additional MIDI ports (3 in and 3 Out), USB Host - which also recognizes devices attached to a USB hub. It can routed and filter and transform MIDI signals, with patch changes, keyboard zones/layers (up to 16), plus an on board pitch wheel. It's very customizable and can be the heart of a complex MIDI system for live performance. Currently in prototype but will be available soon - and will support MIDI 2.0 too.
Presonus ioStation - combining a Faderport single channel of MCU or HUI with 100mm moving fader and a 2 in 2 out Audio interface. Simple but might just be what you need for a compact setup
We're Sorry We Missed You...
You can't see everything, and here's a couple that got away...
Modal Electronics Argon8X - 61 key version of the Argon8 (which we reviewed just prior to NAMM) and the Argon8M - a desktop module - both of which were suggested in in our review summary as something desirable. We’d like to take credit but it seems it was already in the works.
Here's NoiseGate's video at their executive hotel suite - yeah, the one we didn't manage to get to..
Moog Sub 25 Not sure how we missed this one, but repeated attempts to arrange a demo seems to have gone in vain - of course Moog not having a public demo booth may have been a factor, but this one is more if an update to the Sub Phatty, rather than a lesser Sub 37 even though it gets some of its looks from there. Its a Duophonic with two oscillators and a multi-drive filter. Loopop got a first look.
A very early preview of the upcoming filter and Envelope modules
Analog multi effect unit with real tape delay and oodles of dirty character
Limited edition black synth plus a new audio interface and four FX pedals
To Thorsten Quaeschning
Gaz gets his hands on the tiny but powerful synth
Chip tune chaos
We take a look