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NAMM Show 2019 - New Product Announcements

NAMM Show 2019 - New Product Announcements

The NAMM Show has been and gone for 2019 and as usual we were over in Anaheim to check out all the goings on! NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to strengthening the global music and audio technology product industry. The winter NAMM Show is the biggest music equipment trade show in the world. It gives manufacturers a chance to showcase their latest and greatest wares, and retailers (us) a chance to meet the minds behind the brands and get a first-hand look at all the new gear! So as the Store DJ representatives have just returned home, we figured it would be a good chance to round up some of the biggest NAMM 2019 product announcements.

Some of these products are already online and available to purchase/pre-order on the Store DJ website; others have been confirmed by the manufacturers but not made it online just yet.

Arturia MicroFreak

This one came out of left field and definitely caused a stir when it was announced at the show. Many have touted this as their favourite new product to emerge from NAMM 2019 and if you're a synthusiast it's not hard to see why. Taking oscillator algorithms from the Mutable Instruments Plaits eurorack module and adding five bespoke engines of their own, Arturia have created a unique synthesizer capable of wide-ranging sonic possibilities. Add to that it's analog state variable filter (based on the iconic 12-dB Oberheim SEM filter) a 64-step sequencer, mod matrix, cycling envelopes and a rather eccentric PCB keyboard and you've got a synth that we (and a lot of others) are very excited to get hands on with.

Moog Sirin

Another unexpected and pleasant synth surprise was the Moog Siren. Based upon the classic Moog Taurus engine and sharing the same design as the Moog Minitaur, the Sirin keeps the Minitaur's layout and control architecture but adds extended oscillator range, so it can now produces pitches above that of what the Minitaur is capable of. We're big fans of the Minitaur (especially after all the additions it received with its firmware update) so getting that classic Moog oscillator sound and iconic Moog ladder filter in a compact desktop module has always been appealing. It's now even better with the extra usability that the Sirin adds, plus it looks great with its colourful 70's style front panel.

KRK Rokit G4

The iconic yellow coned monitors have received an update! The Rokit series from KRK has to be one of the most popular monitor options around today. The new Generation 4 models have been re-designed from the ground up, with modern music production in mind. Featuring a matching Kevlar® tweeter and woofer, onboard visual DSP-driven EQ and a scientifically designed low resonance speaker enclosure, the G4 Rokit has been engineered to work with all genres and production practices. No doubt the Generation 4 series of Rokit monitors will prove to be as popular as it's predecessors and with good reason. The KRK Rokit G4 range is available to pre-order now.

Komplete Kontrol M32

Native Instruments have continued down the path they started last year with the release of the A Series keyboard controllers, by announcing more additions to their range of affordable production gear. The M32 keeps many of the features of the A Series, but swaps out smaller keys for an overall smaller size, making it ideal for transporting. This is further backed up by a rugged build and the substitution of mod/pitch wheels for touch strips, meaning it's a great option for throwing in your backpack. A multi-function push encoder and a small OLED screen allow you to navigate on the unit itself. Like most NI product it comes bundled with some fantastic software to get you up and running or just add to your production arsenal - Monark, Komplete Kontrol, Maschine Essentials, Komplete Start and Ableton Live lite 10

Komplete Audio 1 & 2

These are the first audio interfaces from NI since the Komplete 6 in 2011! The Audio 1 & Audio 2 offer different I/O configurations with both aimed at the more affordable end of the market. he Audio 1 gives you two different inputs (XLR for vocals, and jack for guitars or other line-in sounds), plus stereo RCA outputs. The Audio 2 features two combi-XLR/jack inputs and stereo jack outputs to play everything out loud. They're also bundled with some great Native Instruments software (Monark, Maschine Essentials, Komplete Start, Ableton Live lite 10) so whether you're new to the production game or just looking for a high quality interface at an affordable price, the Audio 1 & 2 will be a great option.

Elektron Model:Samples Six Track Sample Based Groovebox

The Model:Samples offers something slightly different to the existing Elektron range. For starters, this is the most affordable Elektron instrument that's ever gone to market and secondly, it offers a more accessible version of Elektron’s powerful sequencer. Model:Samples is a six-track, sample-based groovebox with a resonant multimode filter, assignable LFO per track and delay and reverb effects available on master sends. Winner of MusicRadar's "Best of NAMM 2019 (Best studio gear)", it's looking like a great piece for the studio or live setup.

Korg Minilogue XD

An updated version of Korg's extremely popular Minilogue, the XD version keeps the analog heart of its predecessor (2 analog VCO's, 4-voice polyphony) and adds the 16-step sequencer from the Monologue. The XD also features the digital multi-engine from the Prologue, giving you a versatile third oscillator which supports user-designed oscillator creations. You can also now use multiple effects (up to three) simultaneously and there's stereo output as well, to get the most from the reverb and delay engine. The Minilogue also has additional connectivity with two CV IN jacks to compliment the CV/Gate, for easier interfacing with other analog equipment. Overall the Minilogue XD gives you everything great about the original, but adds some of the best features from the Mono and Prologue...can't argue with that! The Minilogue XD was awarded MusicRadar's “Best of NAMM 2019 (Best hardware synth)” award.

Volca Modular and Volca Drum

Another big announcement from Korg was two new additions to the Volca family - Modular and Drum. The Volca Modular is a semi-modular synthesizer consisting of independent analog synth modules, digital effects, and a sequencer. Each module is connected so you don't have to, but can use the included pin cables to do some routing yourself. Sporting a very Buchla-esque design it looks like an awesome and affordable West-Coast style synth in the handy Volca form-factor. On the other hand Volca Drum is the third rhythm-based instalment of the Volca range, but the first digital entry in this category. It's a digital percussion synthesizer. Based on a simple trigger waveform, wave folder and overdrive are used to add overtones and distortion, and a waveguide resonator effect brings the sound to life. The brand new DSP engine was designed to generate a wide range of different and often unexpected sounds, so it's definitely looking like more than a drum machine!

New Behringer

Behringer arguably had the biggest NAMM of any major manufacturer (or at least they generated some of the biggest talking points). Most of that talk surrounded the displaying of some of their upcoming clones of the industry’s most well-known synths and drum machines. So far they've shown clones of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One (Pro-1), the Korg Odyssey (Odyssey), Roland's TR-808 and 909 (RD-808 and RD-909) and officially announced the MS-101 and VC-340, their versions of the Roland SH-101 and VC-330 respectively. By all accounts these analog re-creations look, feel and sound great! And some of the reservations surrounding Behringer's series of clones, seem to have abated after the success of their Model D synth in 2018. We're hoping to have stock of the MS-101 and VC340 in April (fingers crossed). An unexpected showing was their new synth: Crave. We haven't seen an official announcement of this yet, but what we have seen looks very tasty: semi-modular, Prophet 5 style oscillators, Moog-ladder filter, step sequencer from the MS-101 and a host of patch points to customise routing. They seem to have taken some of the best elements from their clone series and mashed them together into something that we're very much looking forward to, and if the talk is correct it will be quite affordable as well.

Akai Force

Force is Akai's impressive new offering. The idea here is pretty obvious, remove the laptop from the DJ/Live performance environment by providing a fully featured, stand-alone unit. Quite unlike anything else out there, Force combines clip-launching, step sequencing, sampling, synth engines and tactile touch screen control into a standalone, performance-driven device. Features such as a multi-touch display, eight capacitive encoders with screens, loads of storage and control connections, Force is set to take hardware jamming to a whole new level. It feels like a continuation of the production trend we've seen for a while now, with Akai's Ableton specific controllers and Native Instruments' push towards "Stem" style remixing, but this is the first time we've seen a single unit that's this comprehensive!

Denon Prime 4

Speaking of standalone, Denon announced (and displayed) the Prime 4, a standalone DJ system with a staggering feature set. Giving you the best of Denon's SC5000 player and X1800 mixer, the Prime 4 crams in four decks across two zones/rooms and a multi-touch screen for easy browsing (the two multi-effects engines have their own dedicated displays)! It can handle multiple massive libraries at once, with four USB slots, SD and even a 2.5" SATA drive bay (and record your set to any of these). It also supports lossless file formats, can read rekordbox libraries. The unit includes Denon's awesome timestretch technology, 16 trigger pads for Cues, Loops, Slices and Rolls and touch-capacitive jog wheels. This is a big one from Denon! MusicRadar gave it their “Best DJ Gear of NAMM 2019” award, we can't wait to get hands on when stock starts to arrive in April.

Audio Technica AT-LP140LXP

NAMM also gave us the chance to check out the new DJ turntable from Audio Technica. AT have made some excellent turntables in the past, and the LP140XP looks no different, offering a host of DJ-centric features and a high quality build. It operates at three speeds (33/45/78), with forward and reverse playback. It also comes with an S-shaped tonearm (height and tracking force and anti-skate adjustable), quartz controlled pitch lock, pitch slider with +/-8%, +/-16% and +/-24% range options and damped base construction for reduced low-frequency feedback. Another massive plus is the detachable dual RCA output cable! And it comes standard with a removable, hinged dust cover. Available in black and silver, the LP140XP is looking like a great addition to the DJ turntable market.

Obviously, there were A LOT more product announcements made at NAMM and we couldn't cover them all here. If there's something you're interested in that's not mentioned above feel free to get in touch with us (1300 858 394) or stop into your local Store DJ and we can help you out with any questions or further information.

Check out some pics we snapped at the show:

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