Jan 14

WINTER NAMM 2011

The Winter Namm 2011 show started yesterday in Anaheim California showing hundreds of new products to the world. It runs from 13th Jan to the 16th Jan and provides us all with a promising start to the year. Below you will see the top 10 items that have grabbed my attention from the show. On a personal level I was hoping for a little bit more from Roland and Yamaha. Yamaha seem to have their own timetable nowadays and announce new products when it suits them rather than trying to meet the January deadline. So I think NAMM 2011 for me goes to KORG and the launch of the KRONOS which appears to look very inviting. Korg have also revealed a couple of other gems in the form of a new Wavedrum and Kaoss Pad.  I will try and cover some of the items in more depth later but for now here is my top 10 – I hope you approve:-

1.  KORG KRONOS


Please see here for full details:- http://www.tonylongmusic.co.uk/keyboards-and-modules/korg-kronos-winter-namm-2010/

2. DAVE SMITH AND ROGER LINN – TEMPEST

ANALOG DRUM MACHINE

The design of Tempest reflects a rethinking of what a drum machine needs to be in the current era. It’s not so much a drum machine as a new musical performance instrument for the creation, manipulation, and arrangement of beat-oriented music, with an intuitive and efficient use of human gestures.”

Tempest’s 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads are arranged in an 8 x 2 array to facilitate both real-time and step entry of beats. Two pressure- and position-sensitive Note FX slide controllers provide a unique new method of performance and control. It is expected to be available by June 2011

3. CUBASE 6 AND CUBASE ARTIST 6

Cubase 6 is here with us encompassing refinements and new capabilities, such as extended composing features available in VST Expression 2, phase-accurate multitrack drum editing,  plus a wealth of effects and instruments.

Both new Cubase versions offer 64-bit support for Windows and Mac operating systems, enabling a performance boost for using more tracks and bigger sample libraries. A few of the enhancements that round out Cubase 6 and Cubase Artist 6 are global project compatibility between Cubase 6 derivatives, the new time-stretching algorithms and more than two hours of in-depth video tutorials in high-definition quality.

Cubase 6 comes with an impressive arsenal of high-quality instruments and effects.

Cubase 6 and Cubase Artist 6 are now shipping and will be available at dealers and in the Steinberg Online Shop for EUR 599  /GBP 508 and EUR 299 /GBP 253,  respectively.

4. KORG WAVEDRUM ORIENTAL

The Limited Edition WAVEDRUM ORIENTAL boasts a massive infusion of popular, unique, and accurate Arabic percussion sounds, all eminently playable from the dynamic rim and real drum head surface.

The WAVEDRUM is distinguished by its revolutionary synthesis technology, and by an interface that allows a direct physical method of performance, making it the ideal instrument for replicating and articulating these exacting Arabic sounds. Arabic percussion – indispensable to belly dancing, world music, and other popular genres – owes its groove and exotic atmosphere not just to its non-western musical theory and unique performance techniques, but also to the distinctive sound of specific percussion instruments including the doumbek, darbuka, riq, def, and tar, even the bendir. The striking surfaces of these Arabic percussion instruments are extremely simple, yet they are able to produce a wide range of timbres, one of the essential requirements for playing these inimitable Arabic sounds.

5. ZILDJIAN ELECTRO ACOUSTIC CYMBAL GEN 16

While electronic drums and percussion have been around for years, the AE Cymbal is a completely new twist that uses established technology to create essentially a completely new instrument.

“The Acoustic Electric Cymbal is capable of creating a wide range of sounds, from that of a classic Zildjian cymbal to some very non-traditional sounds,” explains Zildjian’s VP of New Business & Product Development, John Roderick. “For drummers, it will have an inspirational impact akin to what the acoustic electric guitar has done for guitarists.”

Unlike most existing electronic percussion systems, the AE Cymbal is not a sample trigger device. Instead, it’s an actual cymbal, and plays like one, but at reduced volume levels, utilizing a unique dual microphone and DSP engine to amplify and model the cymbal’s output.

One of the most important things in creating the AE Cymbal was that it had to feel and play like a real cymbal. The original concept for a low-volume acoustic cymbal was proposed by Korg. “They came up with the basic perforation pattern and approached us to perfect the design.”

“We did extensive testing to create a perforation pattern that would maintain the integrity of an actual cymbal. We also worked to develop the right alloy formula that could deliver the feel, sound and durability we needed, and could be manufactured in a wide range of sizes and shapes.”

Amplifying the cymbal was a challenge of a different magnitude. “We came up with a dual microphone system we liked, but there were other challenges,” says Product Specialist Chris Ryan. “One of the biggest was to determine how to best implement signal processing into the mix, as well as how to make the microphone work with most cymbal setups and hardware.”

The Gen16 team began a painstaking process of designing the pickup housing and refining the tone modelling and signal processing system that would ultimately become the AE Cymbal System.

6. KORG KAOSS PAD QUAD

Kaoss Pad Quad Highlights

* Brilliant, colorful LED touchpad illuminations move in sync with your performance

* Control multiple effects in realtime using the intuitive Kaoss X-Y touchpad

* Create your own Kaoss combinations and use up to four effects at once

* Choose one of five effects from each of four effect groups; a total of 1,295 combinations!

* Freeze button holds the effect settings after you release your finger, for dazzling hands-free use

* Versatile and highly playable effects control, delivering unimaginable expression

* New Looper effects – Forward, Reverse and Slice – add new audio intensity

* Mix it up with new DJ emulation Vinyl Break and Ducking Compressor effects

* Auto BPM engine detection and Tap Tempo functions keep your Kaoss locked to the beat

7. ROLAND ATELIER COMBO ORGAN AT-350C

The ATELIER Combo sports a traditional double-manual configuration, with 49 keys on the upper, and 64 keys on the lower. Optional 20-note or 25-note pedalboards are available for those who choose to play with their feet. An optional keyboard KS-G8 stand is suitable for the ATELIER Combo.

With its intuitive design, the ATELIER Combo can be broken down into three separate pieces, making it easily transportable.

Designed for real-time performance, the ATELIER Combo incorporates a variety of expressive controllers for even more exhilarating performances. ATELIER Combo is equipped with full authentic harmonic bars including a unique red Solo bar. With D Beam, players can create sound effects or manipulate pitch, filter, and volume using an infrared light beam for dynamic performance on stage.

Complete backing tracks can be added to any performance with the built-in library of Musical Styles and MIDI- and audio-file playback via USB key, all with interactive control.

8. NORD STAGE 2

The Stage 2 Series contains the latest piano sampling technology from the multi award-winning Nord Piano, including String Resonance, Dynamic Pedal Noise, and a completely user-replaceable sample memory (twice the size of the Stage EX) compatible with the new Nord v5 Piano library.

The Stage 2’s Organ section features 3rd generation organ modelling derived from the C2 Organ together with advanced rotary speaker functionality. The Stage 2 has an all-new synthesiser section with the genes of the Nord Wave. Additional tone-generating options, a powerful arpeggiator and, critically, compatibility with the Nord Sample Library. The Stage 2 now has access to the existing library and thanks to the included Nord Sample Manager software users can create their own sample-based programs.

9. M AUDIO VENOM


Leading pro-audio specialists Avid have released the M-Audio Venom Synth at NAMM 2011.

The aim of Avid’s new synth is to combine the warm sound and character of vintage keyboards with the intuitive control and workflow advantages of modern digital processing. They’re hoping it will provide cutting-edge sound options to musicians of all skill levels. The sound design capabilities allow musicians to create distinctive sounds using 41 oscillator waves and 53 drum sounds sampled from renowned vintage keyboards.

Users can add realism to their mixes with a DSP-induced oscillator drift, and additional sound complexity with a 12-voice polyphony with three oscillators per voice, as well as 16 modulation routings. Full-sized keyboard and ergonomic design enables musicians to comfortably create music and play using a 49-note, full-size, synth-action keybed and intuitive top-panel controls.

10. ARTURIA SPARK DRUM MACHINE

For many years, Arturia has been mainly dedicated to creating synthesizers,” says Frédéric Brun, President of Arturia. “Three years ago, looking at the solutions available for drums, we thought we could bring to this area a little bit of our expertise in virtual analog synthesis and physical modelling. Since we also wanted to include samples, we turned to reference companies such as Sonic Reality, Ultimate Sound Bank, Ueberschall and Modern Beats.
The project has now come to an end and I believe Spark is a creative, simple and fun instrument to use. It offers recreations of many classic drum machines, an expected delivery from Arturia, as well as innovative drum sets and high quality sampled-based acoustic kits. We added many real time effects and a great controller to offer hands-on workflow. To me, Arturia Spark is a great alternative to all the MPC-style, Gigs-of-samples-based, complex solutions available today”

Arturia is a creative drum machine including 480 intruments and 30 kits. It combines the power of analogue synthesis, physical modelling and samples. It will be available in Spring 2011 – cost £399.

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