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Taylor

Taylor
January 27, 2012

Top 10 Products Announced at Winter NAMM 2012

The Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California is always a lot of fun for the UniqueSquared Team.  We have captured content for the last 2 years, specifically to cover and report on the hottest and latest gear in the realm of remix, recording, live PA, and DJing.  Not surprising, there were some huge announcements from a lot of the major manufacturers and some from those that are less well known. In addition to running around the show floor with cameras, our team got a chance to talk at length to some of the product specialists at their booths. After the same memorized overview and sales pitch that they recite thousands of times for the whole week, they got down to the dirt of what they were trying to hock. After careful consideration, the UniqueSquared team has put together their Top 10 Product Announcements from NAMM 2012.

10. Numark MPC DJ

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Taylor

Taylor
January 25, 2012

Winter NAMM 2012 – UniqueSquared Awards

So, as we come to a close with our NAMM coverage, we feel a strange need to complete this in the time honored tradition of so many who have gone before us: with a crocked up awards ceremony! We aren’t wasting time trying to cull some kind of authoritative top ten either. This is a quickly slapped together list of things that made surprise impressions on us or just made us scratch our heads and say “oh… um… yeah.” You might say “um, whatever happened to awards shows with high standards?” We simply point to the Academy and shrug. Let’s present some awards with practically no prestige and definitely no monetary value!

The Gadget Most Resembling a Sex Toy Award:

Given the sordid history of the music biz, one would think this field was filled with contenders. Shockingly, no, it isn’t. So you can write it off to thoughtful design …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 24, 2012

Casio XW-P1 and XW-G1 Synths – Announcement at NAMM 2012

So, in the weeks leading up to NAMM, there was a bit of eye rolling about Casio’s announcement that they would be re-entering the world of professional synthesizers. This is an unfortunate side effect of Casio’s exit from this market in the 80s. At some point Casio set their sites on the consumer market and have been firmly occupying from rooms and dorm room closets with their home keyboards for so many decades that a large enough percentage of folks have completely forgotten their influential CZ synths. The Casio CZ synths were based on a synthesis method known as Phase Distortion Synthesis. I am not going to get too deep into this, but Phase Distortion had some similarities to FM synthesis and Casio’s synths built during this period are classics that fetch good money from eager collectors on eBay.

That said, as one of those geeks who does remember, after …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 24, 2012

Alesis Vortex and DM Dock at NAMM 2012

Alesis were on the floor peddling their wares with all the other folks at NAMM. While they didn’t jump in on the spectacle hogging DJ controller bonanza (2012 Namm was all about iPads and DJ Controllers if you haven’t figured that one out yet), they were front and center on the iPad, and are a solid reminder that DJ controllers aren’t the only controllers out there.

The Alesis Vortex Keytar

Alesis Vortex at NAMM 2012 UniqueSquared

While one has to lean on technicalities to call it the “first USB keytar controller,” the Alesis Vortex Keytar certainly has one feature that is new to the device. With their accelerometer control built to wire to any midi controllable parameter, it is to be assumed that the keyboardist who has always wanted to charge other players on the stage while triggering pitch bends with their aggression will finally have their day. While I …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 24, 2012

Numark Mixdeck Quad and Mixdeck Express at NAMM 2012

So, apparently the folks at Numark have met some DJs with pretty poor planning. I personally keep my set all on a hard drive alongside the rest of my library, but Numark picture DJs showing up to a show with their set spread across a series of thumb drives and iPods and CDs. This seems to have been the driving force behind the Mixdeck series and its capabilities. Now, I would take some kind of indignant stance and say “Hey, Numark, give us some credit, we put our iTunes on one drive at a time just like anyone else.” As it happens, the MixDeck has been very popular; so much for my indignation. It turns out a sizable amount of folks do have these kind of multimedia situations happening on the fly during their sets. I like to picture a DJ being fed his tunes like he/she works for a …