We rounded up our favourite pieces of new gear from NAMM 2020.
There has been a growing trend for brands to find new and innovative ways to cut through the noise when promoting their products. Novations’s Peak was released at Superbooth, Teenage Engineering use their travelling van and Behringer appear to avoid events choosing instead to make a splash on YouTube.
However, it’s testament to the power of NAMM that this year a whole host of companies chose the winter conference to unlease their latest products. This list could comfortably be double in length with the huge amount of new products and it certainly felt like one of the most exciting shows in recent years.
What follows is in no particular order but rather a round-up of gear we were most impressed by on the floor and the gear most likely to end up in a studio near you soon.
Arturia KeyStep Pro
The brain of any serious hardware setup
Arturia have really done the business with their KeyStep Pro and it comes close to being one of the most impressive releases at NAMM. The French company has had a remarkable few years and this latest product is made in perfect response to their community requests – always a good sign of a company with their finger on the pulse. This device could easily become the brain of any serious hardware setup.
Arturia’s new multi-channel polyphonic sequencer, the Keystep Pro is a 37-key controller that lets you take control of your DAW, MIDI-enabled hardware synths and modular rigs all at the same time. It’s packed full of features including 4 independent polyphonic sequencers, 24 part integrated drum sequencer, aftertouch enabled keyboard and 7 arpeggiator modes.
The KeyStep Pro is the choice for live performance control. Fingers crossed for a black version in the not so distant future and if you’re playing in a band, perhaps you can now survive without as many members!
Price: $519. Find out more over on the Arturia website.
SEQUENTIAL PRO 3
Dear Techno producers…with love, Sequential.
This latest release courtesy of Sequential is likely to find it’s way onto many records. Boasting three oscillators, three vintage filters, three LFOs, four loopable envelopes, a massive 32-slot mod matrix, and a 16 x 16 x 4 sequencer this multi-filter monosynth sounds incredible. Once you find the sweet spot with the huge and massively fulfilling big filter knob you’ll be grateful for every pound of the £1,500 it’s going to cost you to acquire one.
The Pro 3 even has a 3-voice paraphonic mode with individually-gated envelopes per oscillator – which means you can play triads on a monosynth! The wide variety and quality of sounds is mind-blowing though as it’s Dave Smith the latter should come as little surprise.
Price: $1599 for the standard edition or $2099 for the SE edition that has the wooden Sequential branded case unit. Find out more on Sequential’s website.
DENON DJ PRIME GO
Assigning the laptop to the history books
Denon has consistently impressed over the past few years and NAMM 2020 did not disappoint. They have their work cut out if they are to reduce the dominant market share held by Pioneer but judging by recent results, the battle for the booth is heating up.
But in this case, it’s not just the booth that Denon is targeting but the mobile DJ. The new DJ Prime GO is a portable standalone 2 channel DJ with 4-hours of built-in, lithium-ion battery power, a 7″ HD touchscreen with a digital media library navigation, waveform views plus track search and load. It offers familiar ‘touch/swipe’ control over WiFi streaming of premier music services and enables direct, onboard recording to connected USB/SD media.
Whilst it’s linked with Tidal, for now, you can expect integrations with Beatport and Soundcloud in the near future.
Price: $999. Find out more on the Denon website.
California knows how to party
Can’t sing? No problem. This fun and well-engineered new plugin from Waves is sure to inspire people to find their voice.
One of the issues with traditional talkboxes is that they require a level of keyboard proficiency to really realise their full potential. With the Ovox you can simply sing or hum (or even play an instrument) into the mic and it does all the hard work for you.
OVox is powered by Waves Organic ReSynthesis® (ORS) technology to deliver its impressive sound quality. ORS takes the original vocal signal and breaks it down to its core ‘DNA’ elements—amplitude, pitch, and formant. It then re-synthesizes these elements to create the new vocal sound, which is free of unwanted artifacts and preserves the expressiveness of the original vocal. Sounds good? It does.
Price $69.99 (for a limited time only). More available over on the Waves website.