Wire to the Ear’s Winter Namm 2010 picks

The NAMM Show acronym stands for “National Association of Music Merchants”. The event takes place twice a year. There is a summer event in Austin, Texas but the bigger of the two happening this week in Anaheim, California. There are many websites covering NAMM down to the very last detail. I’d like to only list here what I personally think are the most interesting new products. So without further ado here is Wire to the Ear’s Winter NAMM 2010 hot picks:

Soundcloud Integration With Audio Software. I’m a full on web junkie and I like my stuff in the cloud. I think redundant servers spread out around the world are far better places to store my precious files than my own home and Lacie hard discs. I also love to share. That’s the point of being a musician no? Soon you will be able to render and send a file from Ableton direct to SoundCloud. My music from me to you faster than ever. I like it! link

Mungo Enterprises State Zero. A giant hardware interface full of knobs. 8 voice polyphony. Anything to anything patching. Patches store in memory. If this is real analog and less than a price of a car I’m sold. If it’s digital or crazy expensive I’ll play with the one you buy. link

Jomox M.Brane 1_1. Wicked snappy sharp analog snares and percussion. I have the Jomox Mbase 01 kick module and it’s wonderful so as soon as the M.Brain is available it’s mine. I’ll trade gigabytes of snare samples for one real analog snap. link


Dave Smith Instruments Mopho Keyboard.
(photo credit: Synthesizers) The spiritual descendant of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One has arrived. The Pro-One was the main keyboard used by Vince Clarke on the amazing Yaz albums so you know the Mopho’s got mojo! Why waste desktop space with a empty Oxygen 8 or like controller when you can slap one of these new Mopho’s in its place? Thanks to internet nagging the price will be right on this new guy too. link

Akai iPK25. A real hardware piano keyboard for the iPhone. If other Apps can access the keys then this is nice. If not it’s a full on dud. link

Teenage Engineering OP-1. Here’s a product that looks like special care has been baked into it’s DNA. A small super stylish hardware TAPE sampler with a FM receiver, G-Force Sensor (Wii), OLED display, speaker and USB connectivity. TAPE mode is awesome. The graphics on the display are awesome. If you’re a musician with a sole you have to want one. If you want to show up your hipster friends with microKorgs this is the guy to do it with. The bad? It’s still away off and who know’s what the price will be. link

So how are you going to spend your money in 2010? Do any of these or other NAMM new releases tempt you?

Dave Smith Instruments Tetra

Dave Smith Instruments - Tetra

If you want a true analog multi-voice multritimbral synthesizer your options have been limited and expensive. Today Dave Smith Instruments drops the price of entry into this field to $799. The new Tetra is essential 4 DSI Mophos in a black box.

“Tetra is our next-generation analog poly synth. Tetra takes the award-winning sound and features of Mopho, multiplies them by four, and packs them in a box less than half an inch larger! Tetra has multiple personalities. It is a four-voice, analog poly synth, a sort of “mini Prophet.” It’s a four-part, multitimbral synth with separate outputs, essentially four Mophos in one very compact box. And it’s a voice expander for other Tetras or the Prophet ’08.” – www.davesmithinstruments.com

Dave Smith Intruments - Tetra Rear View

You can check out the Tetra operation manual: click here

For more info: www.davesmithinstruments.com

Dave Smith Instruments Mopho

Dave Smith has now officially released his new synthesizer the Mopho. It’s got a 100% analog signal path and it retails for $399. At this price it’s competition for soft synths.

Here are the specs: Two oscillators, One classic Curtis low-pass filter (switchable 2- or 4-pole), Analog VCAs, Three envelope generators (ADSR plus delay), Two sub-octave generators (one octave down and two octaves down), External audio input with feedback, Four assignable performance controls per program, Gated 16 x 4 step sequencer (one sequence per program), Arpeggiator, Fully programmable (includes free downloadable software editor for Mac OS and Windows), 384 programs, I/O: MIDI In, MIDI Out/Thru, Audio In, Left and Right Audio Out, Headphone Out.

Here’s some videos from the keybdwizrd:


DSI Mopho Demo #1 from Michael Walthius on Vimeo.


keybdwizrd – DSI Mopho Demo #2 from Michael Walthius on Vimeo.

Considering the price of this thing if your a person making music with only software you should consider grabbing one of these. Bringing audio into your DAW from the outside world really expands your color palette in interesting subtle ways. I’m going to pick one up for sure.