Apr 6

It is that time of year again – MUSIKMESSE 2016 (7 April to 10 April 2016). I am not sure how many new products we will see but I am sure all of the Namm 2016 products will be on display this week.

Nord has announced a little bit early that they have a new Nord Drum in two different models. The Nord Drum 3 and The Nord Drum 3P. The 3P looks a bit like a Red Roland SPD-20. I suppose they are really modeling percussion synthesizers

I think the main thing for me is to hear how the Nord Drum 3 is different from the earlier models. Nord say that the have added
a global Stereo Reverb and Delay effects which is a good idea (but one that should have probably been there in the first instance), and they have also added a new Sound Select-feature for you to quickly browse their wide selection of drums sounds. With a whole load of new presets on top this is beginning to sound interesting.

The new sound selection and sound bank allows you to quickly assign a sound to each pad individually, replacing snares, kick drums, toms or cymbals etc. by selecting from Nord Drum 3’s preset library which has 10 categories of preset sounds

There is currently no word on the price of the Nord Drum 3 or the 3P but they should be available in June 2016

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Jan 19

Well welcome to Namm week 2015 and Nord have just announced some familiar looking keyboards. Yes they look like all the other Nord keyboards but it is actually the new Nord Electro 5 series.

nord-electro-5-namm-2015

They come in three types, the Nord Electro 5d 61 note, the Nord Electro 5d 73 note and the hammer action Nord Electro 5HP 88 note. So what is the difference between the Series 5 and the previoous 4 series? Well Nord have made enhancements to every sound-generating section. They have improved its user-interface and functionality. Nord tell us that the Electro 5 series keyboards are more refined, live-focused, flexible than any of their previous models.

Nord introduced the Electro in 2001 and it has been used my many players over the world who crave for that authentic emulations of classical electro mechanical and acoustic instruments in a portable package.

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Jan 3

nord_synths_free_akg_headphones

Here is a great UK promotion from Nord UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd that is lasting until 31 March 2015. You can get a free pair of AKG K612 Pro headphones (worth £119) with all purchases from an authorised UK of Nord Lead A1, Nord Lead A1R, Nord Lead 4 or Nord Lead 4R synthesizers – What a great offer.

I have always wanted a Nord Synth which are hand made in Sweden with quality sounds and live performance features.

To claim the free AKG K612 Pro headphones, you just need to complete a postal claim form which you can get from an authorised UK store or claim online via Sound Technology’s website. A copy of a dated receipt from a participating retailer is required.

Apr 24

I came accross this today and thought what an excellent cover version of Sting’s classic song – An Englishman in new York.

It is about time we had a bit more music on the site and when you here these three guys – The Trio – if the Nord Piano doesn’t blow you away, I am sure the driving bass will. This is played with such a great perfect funky groove that really suits this song. See what you think – I love it.

Mar 10

musikmesse-2014-new-products

Doesn’t it come around quickly – It is here again that great show at Frankfurt, Germany – Musikmesse 2014. Last year’s show with some really great sunshine may just be beaten by this show, which has already got everyone interested in new products two days before the show opens.

Today we have seen announcements from Waldorf, Akai, Nord and Waves and I am sure there will be more to come. Of course the eagerly awaited Roland Aira kit will be there.

My list of Musikmesse and new products is looking like this at present:-

Nord Lead A1R rack-mountable version of the Lead A1
Akai APC40 mkII Controller
Akai Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine & Bass Synth
Waves and Abbey Road – Real ADT Plug-In
Waldorf Streichfett – String Synth
Roland AIRA – System – 1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer
Roland AIRA – VT-3 Voice Transformer
Roland AIRA – TB-3 Touch Bassline
Roland AIRA – TR-8 Rhythm Performer
Arturia Spark Version 2
Audient ASP880 New 8-channel mic pre with Digital I/O

Jan 26

Nord Lead A1 – Namm 2014

Namm 2014 and Clavia showed its latest analogue modelling synthesizer, the Nord Lead A1. My first thoughts on this was that how different is this from its other Nord Leads. It certaily looks very similar and for a 49 Note keyboard it still carries the hefty Nord Price of $1799. Nord say it has been made to “encourage experimentation with quick and easy programming and is very different from the Nord A4 as it has a completely diffent oscillator section”, but what does it sound like as it is not true analogue. The YouTube clip above allows you to hear some of its sounds without the noise of the Namm crowd.

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Jan 24

Best of Namm 2014

SONY DSC

The NAMM show is such a great event running from 23 January 2014 to 26 January 2014 in its usual location of Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, although I have seen there will also be a Namm show in Russia in September 2014.

Sometimes the companies build the hype to such an extent that you feel a little let down when you see the new products, but as you dig a little deeper, there is normally something for everyone. Whether it is precisely what you are after is another matter but you can easily get drawn in and dream of possibilities for you.

For me, I have my own selection of goodies from the show, so apart from the four that we have already looked at:- ROLAND FA-06 and FA-08 Synth Workstation, ROLAND RD-800 Stage Piano, ROLAND TM-2 Trigger Module and M-AUDIO Finger Trigger Pro, my favourites are:-

NORD AI
ARTURIA SPARK 2
IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER
ELEKTRON THE ANALOG RYTM
KORG TRITON TAKTIL
WAVES: ABBEY ROAD REEL ADT,
KORG GADGET SYNTH STUDIO FOR IPAD
KORG KEYTAR RK-100S

It looks like ROLAND VT-3 VOCAL TRANSFORMER and ROLAND ARIA will not be at NAMM 2014 and following Waldorf’s tease of possibly a new synth, nothing as materialised as yet.

I hope to look at the above in a little more detail, so stay tuned

Apr 19

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Apr 10

It is a great privilege to be attending Musikmesse in Frankfurt this weekend. Already there has been a surprising announcement of new products – Korg Kross Synth, Novation Bass Station II, Roland RC-505 Looper, Native Instruments Komplete 9 software package, Avid Pro Tools 11 DAW, Arturia KeyLab range of professional-grade MIDI keyboard controllers with all-new accompanying Analog Lab synthesizer software, Genelec M Series Monitors, Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 software synth, Softube Console 1 hardware/software music mixing solution, TC Helicon Harmony Singer, Novation Launchpad S, Universal Audio Apollo 16 Audio Interface, Nord Drum 2 and Nord Pad, Nord Lead 4, Korg Volca analogue groove boxes, Nord Piano 2 HP, RME MADiface XT – the world’s first USB 3.0 audio interface, SPL Crimson USB Audio Interface & Controller, and at long last the Waldorf Pulse 2 Synth.

I am sure there are many others that will capture my heart and interest and possibly my wallet. I hope to bring back some great pictures and useful information to share with you

Nov 12

INTRODUCING THE CLAVIA NORD ELECTRO 4 HP 73 NOTE KEYBOARD

 

Well here is a hot item, released in the UK on 28 September 2012 – The Clavia Nord Electro 4 HP 73 note velocity sensitive hammer action portable E-E keyboard. Another classy Nord product with a quality build but one that is extremely light, (weighing only 11 kg which is 24.25 lbs.) considering the fact it has expressive, full weighted keys.

On first look there doesn’t seem to be a great difference between the Electro 4 and the Electro 3 that I recently reviewed so I shall delve into its charms and see what is new.

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