The Audio & Musical Gear that Made the ShowArticle
Best of NAMM 2010: The Top 11
As the dust is settling in Anaheim, and the post-buzz is gathering wind, us here at Audiofanzine present to you our Top 11 gear picks from NAMM 2010. Why 11? Well, it's one louder isn't it?
With the hundreds of new products revealed and displayed last week at NAMM 2010, it is quite a battle for manufacturers fighting for attention space in the minds of consumers and partners. It is always a challenge, and everyone of course has their favorite category, brand or particular gear need that directs their attention to this booth or that piece of hot news. It is also extremely difficult to say hands down- this is the most innovative product to come out, because invariable each product can only fairly compete within its own category. Furthermore, like I said, innovation is the outcome of a particular unfulfilled need, and not everyone will share this need. Some products at the end are not groundbreaking but are just 'cool'. And that's cool too.
Hence, without further ado, the editors of Audiofanzine present to you the Top 11 picks from NAMM 2010, in no particular order- as the products present a mixture of categories that cannot be compared.
OP-1" width="182" height="101" />1. Teenage Engineering OP-1:
It may look like a Japanese toy, but the OP-1 is the all-in-one portable Synthesizer, Sampler and Controller. With additional features like the FM Radio and a G-Force sensor for pitch and bend effects. Beside a creative approach to sequencing with multiple choice of sequencers, it also has a built-in Tape feature. Check out all juicy details on Teenage Engineering . This one is a keeper.
2. Pearl E-Kit:
What makes the E-Pro Live drumset truly different from other electronic drumsets, the company says, is the "real feel and response from the pads". Pearl's Tru-Trac Electronic Heads feature dual-zones that reproduce all of the intricacies the drummer is used to hearing when playing an acoustic drum. The smooth coating on the heads makes moving from drum to drum fast and easy, Pearl says. And of course, let's not forget the obvious: the real sizes of the drums. The set features 10", 12" and 14" toms, a 14" snare drum, and a 20" bass drum. Say goodbye to 8" practice pads.
Baritone 8 Strings" width="267" height="103" />3. Taylor Baritone 8 Strings:
Taylor decided to add 2 octave strings to each of the A and D strings. The resulting 8-string baritone GS complements the baritone’s lower tonal range, adding a touch of upper-octave brightness without too much 12-string jangle. The result is a guitar with great tonal range, perfect for walking basslines and rich melodies. How does it sound? Simply divine.
OctoPre Mk II Dynamic" width="343" height="52" />4. Focusrite OctoPre Mk II Dynamic:
The Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic, features eight channels with single-dial, VCA-based compressors derived from the Focusrite Red 3 on every channel. Digital inputs and outputs are designed to let you make the most of often-neglected ADAT i/o; ideal for expanding the number of mic-pre inputs on your interface or for providing analogue monitoring from any digital ADAT feed. This entire package fits into a single 1U chassis complementing Focusrite’s Saffire PRO range, and all controls are adjustable from the front fascia.
5. Fender 50th Anniversary Jazz Bass:
Although remarkably unchanged since its introduction half a century ago, the Jazz Bass did see a very gradual succession of subtle design refinements over the course of the past five decades. Accordingly, the limited edition 50th anniversary Jazz Bass is a distinctive instrument in that it boasts design touches from several periods in Jazz Bass history, including '60s-era lacquer finish, headstock logo, chrome bridge and pickup covers; '70s-era thumb rest and bridge pickup positioning; and modern-era high-mass bridge and graphite neck support rods.
A massive upgrade of the guitar and bass tone gear-modeling software including: Over 160 gear models included (with nearly 100 added models), 51 Stompbox effects, 31 Amps, 46 Cabinets, 15 Studio Mics and 17 Rack effects. 30 brand new models and 70 re-worked and models from packages like AmpliTube Metal™ and AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix™. Plus, a new collection of bass gear models.
7. SSL X-Patch:
X-Patch is designed to deliver the flexibility of plug-in style routing to boutique analogue processing. Developed from technology at the heart of SSL's Matrix console, X-Patch provides a 16x16 SuperAnalogue routing matrix that can be Ethernet controlled remotely from a standard computer.
8. Ableton + Serato The Bridge:
The Bridge is designed to span the gap between music production and DJing, creating a natural link between Ableton Live and Serato Scratch Live/ITCH.
- Ableton to Serato: The Bridge provides Ableton Transport Control (ATC), giving DJs turntable-style control of their own multitrack productions. DJs can simply drag an Ableton Live Set onto one of the decks in Scratch Live or ITCH and use their turntables, CDJ or ITCH controller to control the transport.
- Serato to Ableton: The Bridge provides the ultimate mixtape creation tool. DJs can perform mixes in Serato Scratch Live or ITCH and save them as an Ableton Live Set. This way, the DJ can still perform the mix—better than cut and pasting it together in a DAW—but also has detailed editing options.
9. Korg Kaossilator Pro:
The new Kaossilator Pro is packed with features that make it great for both live performance and premium productions. Main features:
- KAOSS X-Y touchpad offers realtime control
- 200 sounds covering modern synth sounds such as lead and bass, and diverse acoustic sounds from piano to trumpet and beyond
- PCM samples provide dramatic drum kits and rock percussion patterns
- Vocoder programs deliver scintillating vocal effects
- Loop Recording can layer both internal Program sounds and external audio overdubs
- Gate Arpeggiator repeatedly triggers sounds in sync with the tempo.
- Choose a key and select one of 31 musical scales to easily create musical phrases. Limit the X-Y pad's note range for even more control.
10. Guitar Pro 6:
We crawled the internet looking for a press release or something, describing the new features. All we found was an Arobas Music yet-to-be updated site which still boasts Guitar Pro 5. Still, we forgive them- development takes priority and what counts is the greatly improved Guitar Pro 6 which was demoed at NAMM. What exactly has improved? Watch and learn.
11. Marshall JMD1 Series
I suppose it is only fitting that our number 11 belongs to no other than Marshall Amps. Marshall releases new amps every year, but this time we feel it's different and we decided to give the JMD1 series a respectable nod. Tone purists may scoff at Marshall's entering the modeling amp category, but we think this is a good thing both for business and for innovation.
The JMD1 is a guitar amplifier with both hardware and software jointly developed by Softube and Marshall. It features a digital pre-amp and a 50W or 100W valve power amp. The digital pre-amp houses 16 complete topologies from a variety of Marshall's amps and pedals, both past and present. The power amp section of the JMD1 is of course pure Marshall, featuring its proprietary EL34 section that beats at the heart of Marshall's many all valve-amps. We like it.