NAMM 2013 – Media Preview Day
Another year, another NAMM, and we’re back at it. Today was the Media Preview Day. If you don’t know what that means- today is the day to get the first scoop on products at the show, and also a great day to go ahead and get through the whole “hey, bro, where’s my badge at?” situation. Currently, my badge is secured, and I have been and seen a few things worth mentioning.
My first stop was to meet up with Ben from Dubreq, who announced their new Stylophone S2 with a cool video from Brett Domino recently. We got to talk to Ben a bit about how he and his father (who designed the original) came to realize they needed to release this all analog, British powerhouse into the world. Having gotten my hands on one, I can self-assuredly say I am getting the hell out of one ASAP.
Meanwhile, just over from the Stylophone, we found a couple of other Brits from Nu Desine demoing the Alphasphere, which we talked about a few months ago in our Musikmesse roundup. We had them run through some very cool features, including the ability to set scales and some crafty uses for aftertouch. It may look as simple as a spherical controller, but watching someone use one with confidence, I see a very interesting performance tool and light show coming to stages very soon. It also looks like a pretty great way to inspire some new composing methods.
We also got a minute to catch up with Numark/ Akai/ M-Audio (inMusic) about some of their offerings this year. Where last year they had a lot of items under glass, many of which still haven’t made it to retail, this year they had some very ready to go items. The Numark Orbit is a wireless, accelerometer enabled, pad controller that looks to set DJs free to launch into the audience. Projected to hit the streets in Spring and coming in at $99.00, it appears to be unique and flexible addition to rigs from Traktor to Ableton and back again.
Also very interesting, the Axiom Air 25 looks to set a new standard for the line. Clearly influenced by their new owners, the Air 25 includes 16 (finally) drum pads and is squarely aimed at studios looking to consolidate controller space with a nice looking centerpiece in a compter based studio. Alongside it, the Max 25 represents a smaller desktop answer to the the step sequencer toting Max 49.
Finally, the NS7 2 (mkII? wil confirm…) brings touch responsive rotaries, MPC pads, and spinning platters to the Serato party. We’ve got a video with Eric from Numark talking out the finer points of the device, but I must say it was an impressive looking and feeling controller with a bit of meat to it.
A lot of things were still being set up, but we did our roaming, and got to talk to the lovely gentlemen plotting the “30 Years of MIDI” events for this year’s show. There is clearly going to be a lot of iPad stuff going on… I heard a rumor that something to do with Traktor and iPads is even happening. Personally, I love hardware, and that’s what I am here to see… (including a new Dave Smith device), but we’ll be posting all about all of it in the next few days.