Jan 22

It is that time of year again – Namm 2017. I try not to get too excited about these events nowadys to avoid dissappointment as I am always expecting so much more. I am probably just like you in that I want every musical instrument manufacturer to announce a new product, that doesn’t cost much; is instantly available; will integrate immediately into my setup and will take my music to another level giving me that “Wow” factor.

The reality of a Namm event is somewhat far from this and varies every year and of course means different things to different people.You have to also appreciate that Namm 2017 will be full of products that were released earlier in 2016 and perhaps have not completely hit all of the shops yet like Roland’s TD50 electronic drum kit. There are of course always products that catch my eye and the first is Roland’s 88 note Digital RD2000 stage piano which looks gorgeous with 1100 tones; V-Piano technology; a weight of 21.7KG but a price of over £2100.

Next up is Elektron who have decided to make an eight track Digital Drum Machine or should I say Drum Computer and Sampler called the Digitakt costing approx £600 and available in April 2017. The Digitaakt has been designed with live performance in mind. There is more to this machine than you first realise. I will have to take a closer look and hear what it sounds like. The Digitakt has eight context-sensitive rotary knobs and many function buttons. For sampling it has 64MB of sample memory and 1GB of storage from which sounds can be loaded into its sample memory. Interestingly it has a USB 2.0 port, with support for Elektron’s Overbridge software, which allows you to control Elektron hardware from within a DAW just like a plug-in – nice.

I wish I owned a Yamaha Montage as they announced a firmware update to version 1.5 providing 52 new Performances; 5 new Effects, including a new enhanced Rotary Effect; Performances can now also be assigned to a Favorite Category; new display-options in the GUI additionally increase the overview ; Super Knob and Assignable Knobs can now also be “un-linked” from one another; Scenes can be changed via MIDI Control Change events and the entire memory of the MONTAGE can be saved in a single ALL file as a perfect backup.

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