Wire to the Ear’s Summer NAMM 2008 picks.

The National Association of Music Merchants otherwise known as NAMM met for their summer event last week in Austin, Texas Nashville, TN. Here’s the new gear and software I personally thought was interesting. I know some of these are not actual NAMM debuts but they fall in the “outed summer 08″ category and were featured at the show.

Korg nanoSERIES. These small, flat and inexpensive controllers are just what a lot of musicians have been waiting for. These are perfect to toss in a laptop bag. The nanoKEY, nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL will be available in October and will each be under $150. link

The Moog Guitar. Some people are scratching their heads on this one. A Guitar from Moog? Would Bob approve? According to Moog (the company) this was being planned when Bob was still with us. Personally, I have no problem with the idea. My main gripe so far is that all the video demos I’ve seen of the M.G. in action are not too impressive. The first of the Moog Guitars available is the The Paul Vo Collector Edition which will cost you $6,495.00. link

Arsenal Audio. A new brand from API. A few years ago a friend of mine brought a filled API lunchbox into my studio and hooked it up to my microphone. My voice never sounded so good and never has since. API as a company knows what they are doing so when they launch a new division I’m ready to give it a chance. I’m not totally sure why they need to branch off. Are these built in China or something? If they sound good I won’t care. Three products kick it off: the V14 4 Band VPR 500 Format Equalizer (fits in a lunchbox), the R 20 2 Channel Mic Pre and R 24 2 Channel 4 Band EQ. link

MOTU Digital Performer 6. I’m an Ableton Live fanatic but competition is what keeps the sequencer space evolving at high speed so DP6 is very welcome. This is the true Mac sequencer. Was born on a mac and always lived there so let’s give the guy some respect. What are the new tidbits DP6 has to offer? A new interface, Track comping, Masterworks Leveler plug-in, ProVerb Convolution plug-in, Final Cut Pro Integration, Enhanced Pro-Tools HD support and Direct Audio CD burning. Not bad! link

SPL Phonitor. Imagine you could mix solely in headphones. Imagine you wouldn’t have to pay for a studio space somewhere far away from cranky neighbors. The Phonitor could be the first product that could make this dream a reality. This is a high end piece of hardware costing about $2k. You spend a few minutes dialing in parameters to match the sound of your speakers with your headphones and viola! I can’t wait to read reviews and hear from users of this product. We need this to work! link

So those are the new things that really peaked my interest. Roland continued to bore me with it’s new Juno Stage and of course there were more amazing Melodyne Direct Note Access demos. Sonic State and Sound on Sound have some great videos from the show floor worth checking out. Did I miss something you really liked?

7 Comments

  1. NAMM was in Nashville, not Austin.

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  2. the nanoKontrol is just what i’m after – the only similar thing i’ve seen in the space is the kenton killamix – and i just couldn’t face spending £200 for 9 pots. ideal for messing with ideas on the train, coffeeshop, pub… where the trackpad just won’t cut it.

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  3. That SPL Phonitor is an awesome idea. Funnily enough I was thinking about existence of a similar device few days ago. Sometimes late at night mood strikes to mix, but everyone is a sleep and so can’t use monitors. This can really help out. Darn expensive though. Why can’t they just make VST plug-in that you can drop onto the master, will be much cheaper and portable. Then you can even mix at coffee shops or trains :)

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  4. Can the SPL Phonitor really copy these: http://www.valutronic.se/sq50E.html, I doubt it. Have you ever heard a good amplifier being defined as “a copper wire with gain”, nothing added or cut? Well, this is the loudspeaker to connect to that wire.

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  5. I have one pair of SQ-50 (H) at home, connected to a NAD amplifier. I also have a pair of Sennheiser studio headphones, and they sound almost identical to the sound from the SQ-50´s, which I suppose must mean that the SQ-50´s sound reproduction is very precise. Of course there must be other equally good speakers, but definately not in this price range.

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  6. Those Nano keyboards are slick looking. Only I wish they made a flexi one that rolled up.

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