It’s almost that time of year again! The Dubspot team is heading to sunny California in just a couple of weeks to attend The NAMM Show (January 24-27) and check out the latest evolutionary developments in music technology. NAMM is where companies from around the world meet to show off their latest products and technologies, here are a few of the things we’re most excited to see this year…
The NAMM Show, first held 112 years ago in 1901, is a massive music industry trade show (not open to the general public) where professionals from around the world gather to see new products and gear from just about every music-related company in existence. With previous attendance reportedly topping 100,000 people, NAMM is a big deal for music gear heads. Dubspot will be attending NAMM this year ourselves and bringing you updates from the road on the most interesting things we see and hear.
Herb Deutsch Discovers a New Instrument: the New Moog “Sub Phatty”
After the success of last year’s Moog Minitaur, it’s not surprising to see the company rolling out a new synth for 2013. The 25-key prototype being used by legendary synth designer Herb Deutsch in the above video looks to be a monophonic synthesizer with a redesigned multidrive filter which gives it a very meaty sound. With lots of knobs and a size that looks similar to the Lil Phatty, this looks to be on the more affordable end of the Moog spectrum. People are already calling this the “Sub Phatty” but the official name was not confirmed at press time.
Teenage Engineering OD-11 Cloud Speaker
Teenage Engineering have been the darlings of the last few CES and NAMM shows as a result of their beautifully designed OP-1 synthesizer. This year the company have announced another audio product that aims to change the game, the Teenage Engineering OD-11 speaker. Based on the classic Swedish Carlsson OD-11 audiophile speakers from the 1970s, Teenage Engineering has re-engineered the speaker to house a 100-watt amplifier and WiFi / Bluetooth connectivity to be what the company calls “the world’s first cloud speaker.”
“Today, almost all music has moved to the cloud. We think this is great evolution. Sadly, the audio equipment needed to listen to music in the cloud hasn’t really caught up with this transition. We investigated the market closely, but we couldn’t find one system that delivered both great sound and a great user experience. So we had to build it ourselves.” – Teenage Engineering
Keith McMillen QuNexus + QuNeo Rogue
Industry darling Keith McMillen has been responsible for a number of innovative products at recent NAMM shows such as his QuNeo 3D MIDI controller. This year Keith McMillen Instruments is adding a wireless accessory for the QuNeo called the QuNeo Rogue that claims to “free the DJ” (see video above for an explanation). In addition, the company has introduced the QuNexus “smart sensor keyboard controller” which brings pressure, tilt, and velocity sensitivity to a 25-key MIDI controller. In addition to this, the QuNexus offers 2 CV inputs and 3 CV outputs as well as USB connectivity, with no driver installation required.
Just before NAMM last year Bitwig Studio made a splash with the above video which features an Ableton-like layout and claims that this software will go above and beyond what Live can do. But since then it’s been a year of rumors, screen shots, and teasers. Will 2013 see an actual release for the Berlin based Bitwig Studio? The company claims that they are currently in Beta phase with 1.0 release coming soon. We’re eager to find out more about this mystery DAW.
Ableton Live 9 + Push Hardware Controller
Ableton Live 9 has been in development for some time now, with beta copies in users hands and reports of fantastic new features such as audio-to-MIDI conversion tools, a new browser design, and automation in the Session View. In addition the company is launching its first official Ableton controller called Push that aims to be a do-everything box that promises “hands-on control of melody and harmony, beats, sounds, and song structure.” Like many of you, we can’t wait to get our hands on Push to see what it can do. In the meantime, check out the below video for highlights on some of the new features in Live 9 with Raster Noton recording artist Robert Lippok.
Dubspot blog editor Michael Walsh is a journalist, music producer, DJ and Dubspot instructor. He believes in open-source ideas and advancing the evolution of music by sharing ideas that push technology in new directions. As a catalyst and curator for electronic music, Michael was co-founder of the Ritual Recordings house imprint, helped launch a series of turntablist records with Berklee School of Music, and has been a DJ for events including outdoor festivals in Nova Scotia, fashion shows in New York, and elite clubs in Russia’s Far East.