March 22, 2013
Controllerism is beginning to move from the static world of desktops and counters, to the mobile world where microphones and guitars traditionally belong. One of the arguments against controllerism in general, is that the devices seem so lifeless. Turntables constantly spin, so the crowd has a clue what the DJ is doing. Motion behind the decks equals motion on the dance floor. A controller with buttons cannot achieve the same effect without much more effort. Colored buttons sort of helps to show the crowd what the DJ is doing, but not completely. You may have noticed a trend where controllerists like to tilt the controller towards the crowd, as if they are playing to them, rather than to the machine itself.
I like that idea.
An old idea may be what is needed to refresh the community – how about the old Keytar? For a split second in the late …
December 12, 2012
inMusic, the parent company that owns Numark, Alesis, and Akai, has been pretty busy this year. All three of their leading companies have been releasing much of the gear featured at Winter NAMM 2012 and teased through YouTube videos and company press releases. Gear like the Numark 4TRAK, the Alesis QX line of MIDI keyboard controllers, and the very popular Akai Synthstation 49 and MPC Renaissance. In addition to releasing tons of new gear this year they also acquired formerly AVID owned M-Audio to round out their line of professional audio equipment. We will likely see more from inMusic this year at Winter NAMM 2013 in January and we will have plenty to report from the show room floor.
We first saw the Akai MAX 49 almost a year ago at Winter NAMM 2012 and our first impression was that the MAX 49 was a collection of improvements …
March 30, 2012
Once a year, around this very time, all eyes in the pro audio / music world find themselves drawn to Frankfurt. You’re thinking it’s some kind of sausage thing, and why not? However, I am actually talking about the European equivalent of NAMM known as Musikmesse. In addition to having a rad Euro name that makes me think of the average synth goon’s noodle infested studio, Musikmesse is often regarded by those in certain quarters as the trade show where vapors become real and all the coolies trot out the next enviable piece of tech candy.
I always dream of attending it myself, but there seems to be some reason I can’t go every year. Last year, I believe I was in Germany not too long before, not too long after, but not at all during. This year, I was in Miami, watching the culmination of years of EDM erupt …
January 25, 2012
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 …
January 24, 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 …