Wire to the Ear’s Winter NAMM 2014

So The NAMM Show 2014 is kicking off today. Usually I wait until the show is over then do a post about the stuff I like. However, this year I think I will keep this post up and just add to it as I find cool things I like. Refresh and re-vist this post if your interested to see my own thoughts on the new stuff!

HEXINVERTER.NET DRUM MODULES

HEXINVERTER.NET DRUM MODULES – About a year ago I contacted Stacy of Hexinverter.net. I wanted to know if I could buy his DIY HiHat Kit pre-built. At the time the answer was no. After some begging here we have not only the Hi Hats but a Kick Drum. Tiptop has the TR series nailed down (he used to repair those units I believe). Stacy is bringing some new flavors and just like synths we need variety in electronic drums. Very nice!

MOOG SUB 37

MOOG SUB 37 – Even though I am very much into my modular this Moog does look really great. Nothing in my studio has the bass of my Slim Phatty and I have a lot of equipment in there so there’s something to be said for the Moog sound. The SUB 37 really looks beautiful. I’m in love with my Microbrutes SH-101 like sequencer and the SUB 37 has one too. Even though it’s a simple little feature on a $1500 synth its the workflow that makes all the difference.

SSF ULTRA RANDOM

SSF ULTRA RANDOM – Sample and Hold is really important. I like old detuning oscillators. Using S&H and some other tricks I can make my new stable Eurorack oscillators sound bad. Bad meaning good. So I welcome the SSF Ultra Random!

IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER

IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER – They key to liking this is to think about using your own content in it. Once you do that you see there is some really cool stuff in this plug-in. The built-in sequencer allows you to use different tempos and time signatures for each channel. There is also a “generator” that gives you wavetable sequencing over parameters and MIDI control over everything. This looks to be another good remix tool.

ARTURIA BEATSTEP

ARTURIA BEATSTEP – An analog sequencer for a DAW, iOS and… Eurorack! No brainer awesome!

KORG GADGET

KORG GADGET – Nostalgia crack for musicians! No one can dispute you can use iOS for real music these days. I recently bought an iConnectMIDI2 just to do so. Here we have Korg making cool little retro inspired software gadgets on the most impressive gadget of all.

ELEKTRON RYTHM

ELEKTRON RYTHM – I know Elektron stuff is highly regarded but this is the first E box I want to own. I don’t think there is an analog drum machine I don’t want to own. I like how you can have parameter settings per sequencer move. It even has DIN Sync!

MAKE NOISE

MAKE NOISE – Six new modules! Rosie, Teleplexer, CTRLSEL-V, CTRLSEL-G, Mysteron and the Erbe-verb enter the amazing Make Noise world. The Teleplexer and Erbe-verb will surely end up in my studio.

More Wire the Ear picks coming as NAMM goes on over the next few days!

“The NAMM Show is the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry. It is held once a year, namely every January in Anaheim, California, USA at the Anaheim Convention Center, and is one of the two largest music product trade shows in the world. Its European counterpart is the Musik Messe in Frankfurt.” – Wikipedia

For more info: namm.org

Make Noise RXMX

Tony Rolando’s Make Noise Eurorack modules are usually noted as the best or in the top few on people’s lists. The 6 channel RXMX which comes out this summer will surely be awesome for some wild panning, pinging and much more. Thanks to Nick and his team at Sonic State for the video.

“The RXMX is a concept we are working on with Grant Richter. It stands for Richter’s Exquisite Mixer. The concept behind is a to apply the surrealist techniques of the exquisite corps game to patching.” – Tony Rolando (Make Noise)

For more info: wikipedia.org/Exquisite_corpse and makenoisemusic.com

English Tear

When I saw the new Korg MS20 Mini I should have out $600 aside for it. There was one problem though. My heart now belongs to my Eurorack modular. But wait The Harvestman has come to the rescue! Scott has announced the English Tear which is an attenuverter and Eurorack interface for the Korg. He says it will be available in April and be inexpensive. Spend. Spend more now!

“I announce with great satisfaction ENGLISH TEAR, the first in a line of small utility modules. This module features the expected “voltage processor” attenuverter and big offset knobs, but also includes a full set of functions for interfacing to an MS-20. Easy conversion from exponential volt-per-octave to linear hertz-per-volt and back, as well as V-trigger to S-trigger conversion. Jack normalling fixes the voltage processors to these converter circuits, so you may scale the input voltages as desired. The log/expo converter ciruits also have many other uses in your modular system beyond the conversion of pitched voltages.” – The Harvestman

For more info: https://www.facebook.com…6344336&type=1&theater

via Matrixsynth

Trigger Riot

The Trigger Riot is one of three new sequencers from Gur at Tiptop Audio. If you read this blog you know I am really enjoying the TTA drum modules. Very simply you hook some modules to the Riot and as you change knob positions you get different patterns of all sorts. I’ll be getting this one for sure.

“From a conceptual view, the Trigger Riot generates 16 clock streams consisting of multiple time manipulation functions (division, offsets, etc) that interact to create the trigger output, and direct access to each parameter via individual knobs allows for quick manipulation. The 8 outputs are the sum of those manipulated streams per row. The outputs of the module are arranged as either a 4×4 matrix, where each of the 16 knobs affects both row and column, or as a set of independent outputs for each row or column. This allows forming 8 complex musical interactions in a ‘Matrix’ mode or 8 independent streams in ‘Independent’ mode and is switchable from one to the other on press of a button for some unexpected results. Since each of the 16 knobs represents a real time tweakable trigger generator/modifier the Trigger Riot is extremely playable and can result very complex patterns with only few knob turns; patterns that would otherwise take much longer and in some instances be almost impossible to produce using grid based step sequencing. Patterns can have unique time signatures that can repeat or be randomized through probability, time shifted and phased, divided, multiplied and counted, it’s unbelievable how complex this module can get with minimal input.” – Gur (Tiptop Audio)

For more info: tiptopaudio.com and muffwiggler.com/viewtopic…

Pittsburgh Modular Cell

Richard Nicol’s Eurorack modular synth company Pittsburgh Modular has released some great stuff this year at NAMM. To start off there is Cell which is a very inexpensive complete synth voice. From there everything grows into multiple systems. Some 48HP some 90HP. The systems are well thought out such as the System 2 which focuses on sequencing and effects. What also has me really excited are the new cases which are inexpensive and look great with nice wood ends and can be built vertically. Every studio should have 90HP of Eurorack sitting in between their computer monitor and keyboard angled toward them!

“Two complete synthesizer product lines and a pair of desktop eurorack case and power supplies.” – pittsburghmodular.com

For more info: pittsburghmodular.com

Moog MINITAUR

Minitaur Quick Demo from Moog Music on Vimeo.

Could it be a $600 100% analog Moog with MIDI based on the Taurus pedals will be announced at Namm? It seems so!

“The MINITAUR is a compact table-top monophonic MIDI-and-CV-controllable analog bass synthesizer module with a 100% analog audio signal path, based on the design of the Taurus 3 bass synthesizer.” – proaudiostar.com

For more info: moogmusic.com

via Matrixsynth

Wire to the Ear’s Winter Namm 2011 Picks

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest. An all new analog drum machine. Awesome. If you listen carefully the demo goes from all the way from 606 to 909ish with some nice Simmons tom emulation and synth stabs. There are a lot of specs but does it matter? A lot of buttons and analog stuff. $2000. link

Avid Torq 2. I secretly always liked Torq better than Traktor. I don’t know why I’ve keep it a secret. It’s just more fun to use and I like the flat interface a lot. I’m not sure 4 decks is better than two. Can you say tiny things to see in a big display? The new Traq Morph feature “blends music tracks in exciting new ways by intelligently applying audio effects during crossfade.”. That could be cool right? Lastly, the software is decoupled from any hardware so you can use it stand alone or with any controller. $250 link

Akai Synthstation 49. I want my car dash to be an iPad. Just the same let’s make my keyboard interface and sound source and iPad too! It’s from Akai so a few MPC pads are included. This will win or loose depending on quality. link

Alesis Studiodock. Professional audio and MIDI I/O for your iPad. Oh… and composite video out. I’m getting very close to being able to play an entire live show off my iPad! link

Izotope Stutter Edit. I love plug-ins like this. Stutter, a Stutter Matrix, Buffer Tricks, Bit Reduction, Pan, Gate, Delay, Filters and more take normal audio and mess it up. $149 link

Arturia Spark. I’m going to tell you right now that this new drum machine from Arturia won’t sound as good as the DSI Tempest. Your going to pay a lot less though and it does have a super fun TR style roll by sequencer. All drum machines are awesome. All of them. $600. link

Rob Papen Punch. I sense a theme at this year’s Namm. I remember it used to be work making killer electronic drum sounds, loops and patterns. Boy to kids have the toys today! If your not an analog purist Dutch Papen’s new VST punch could be of use to you. Will it compete with products like uToniq? Time will tell. link

Introducing Venom from Avid on Vimeo.

M-Audio Venom. I wasn’t excited about a new VA synth. Then I learned the price would be $499. I also learned it came with a VST editor. The marketing hype is pretty good for the new Avid synth too. link

MORE UPDATES TO COME. I will be adding things I find worthy to this post as the weekend continues.

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?