It’s that time of year again! The Dubspot rogue squadron of journalists descended upon Anaheim, CA this week for the 2013 NAMM Show, an industry-exclusive convention that bring together music equipment manufacturers, designers, creators, vendors, and enthusiasts from around the world for a look at the latest gear on the market. On our first day we head straight for the synths to check out new instruments from Korg, Moog, and Dave Smith Instruments.
Korg MS-20 Mini
It turns out that the rumors are true–the Korg MS-20 Mini is real. The company has unveiled this micro version of the two-oscillator analog synthesizer for NAMM. The original MS-20, one of Korg’s greatest creations, was introduced in 1978 and sold until 1983. It continues to command a high price on the resale market due to its robust sound and a semi-modular interface that allows you to experiment with a variety of signal routings via a patch cable system. The Korg MS-20 Mini updates the original with 1/8-inch patch cables, USB MIDI connectivity, and a smaller overall package, although Korg claims that the internal components of the machine are exactly the same as the original. Having played with it firsthand we can say that it’s a joy to use and we expect it to be a smash hit at a street price of $599.
Moog Sub Phatty
Moog Music is also presenting a very attractive new synthesizer this year, the Sub Phatty. Arriving in a package similar to its sibling the Lil Phatty, this new instrument is a subtractive synth with a thick sound enabled by the company’s new “Multidrive” effect, a unique distortion/overdrive circuit that can inserted at any point in the signal path. Priced around $999, this is Moog’s most affordable keyboard synth yet.
Deadmau5 / Bernie Worrell @ Moog
Chance would have it that we walked over to the Moog booth just as Deadmau5 was getting a walkthrough of the Sub Phatty, while just nearby Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell was tearing into a solo on Moog’s new synth for a captivated audience of NAMM attendees. Fun to say the least!
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12
Back again with a powerful new instrument is Dave Smith Instruments, who wowed NAMM audiences last year with their Tempest analog drum machine. This year the company has introduced the stunning Prophet 12 synthesizer, a new design built from the ground up. The Prophet 12 boasts twelve voices, each containing four oscillators, a sub-oscillator and analog filters and VCAs. A sound design behemoth, talk of this device was the buzz of Hall A.