NAMM 2014 Rumors, Leaks, Product Announcements – Roland, Moog, Elektron, Nord, Motu, Waldorf, Allen & Heath, Bitwig +

With NAMM 2014 just around the corner, we take a look at some of the new gear announcements that we’re most excited about including new pieces from Roland, Moog, Elektron, Nord, Motu, Waldorf, Allen & Heath, and more…

Elektron Analog Rytm

Beginning at an event in Berlin this Fall, Elektron have been teasing a new “mystery box”, a device padlocked under a frosted glass case with just the multicolored lights showing through.  Elektron have now opened the box and what’s inside looks pretty amazing. The Analog Rytm looks like a cross between the new Maschine and a Machinedrum, the piece has the standard Elektron sequencer and 12 drum pads on the left side. The layout should allow for some cool simultaneous performance and parameter tweaking possibilities.

The Analog Rytm is an 8-voice analog drum machine and synthesizer hybrid similar to the Dave Smith Instruments Tempest. The Tempest was hugely successful and critically acclaimed so an Elektron interpretation was sure to follow. The Analog Rytm supports samples as well which may give it an advantage over the Tempest in features. Elektron is quickly becoming one of our favorite gear manufacturers and we’re highly anticipating the release of this new box.

Moog Sub 37 Paraphonic Synth + Aluminum Voyager

NAMM 2014 - Moog Sub 37 Paraphonic Synth

NAMM 2014 – Moog Sub 37 Paraphonic Synth

Moog has recently teased the release of two new products for NAMM 2014. One of them will be a new Moog Paraphonic synthesizer Called the Sub 37. A paraphonic synth allows Its two voices (keys) to be played through a single VCA and filter.

Limited Edition Aluminum MiniMoog Voyager at NAMM 2014

Limited Edition Aluminum MiniMoog Voyager

While this may not be the second new device that Moog is releasing, the company has also released images of a new, limited edition aluminum MiniMoog Voyager.

Nord Lead A1

Nord Lead A1 - NAMM 2014

Nord Lead A1

Nord has unveiled their latest analog modeling synthesizer in the Nord Lead A1. The synth boasts plenty of knobs on the front of the unit and according to Nord, the Lead A1 “allows for far speedier programming” than other synthesizers through customizable parameter shortcuts. The synth features analog and digital oscillator waveforms, built-in effects and USB MIDI as well as a long list of other impressive features.  According to Soundcloud clips uploaded by Nord, the synth sounds very versatile, faithfully recreating analog sounds and sharp digital sounds alike. The Nord Lead A1 will ship in April at an estimated $1799.

Roland Aira Series

On January 14th, the Roland Corporation uploaded a video to their YouTube account teasing the release of a new series of devices, called Aira. We now know that Roland is releasing the VT-3 Vocal Transformer, the TR-08 based on the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines and two more unnamed pieces. In the Aira teaser video, you can spot the SH-101 and the TB-303  which could hint at the other two devices in the series.  Consider us intrigued.

Judging from a leaked image, the TR-08 features many of the functions of the original 808 including separate knobs for tuning, decay and level on each instrument and the  iconic “x0x-style” 16 step sequencer.  Information has leaked that the units are digital devices but they use modeling synthesis rather than samples. Roland have yet to cash in on the lucrative trend of reissuing classic pieces and have shown reluctance in doing so, opting to release big all-in-one workstations. This definitely bodes well as Roland is beginning to cater to electronic musicians more.

Bitwig Studio

Bitwig Studio

Bitwig Studio

Hot off the press – Bitwig Studio announces a March release for 2014! As of March 26, 2014, Bitwig Studio will be available both from selected stores worldwide as boxed version, as well as online at as download. There will also be a demo version of Bitwig Studio available. Price: USD 399 / 299 EUR

“It’s been a wait that’s driven some music producers mad – some, rabid with desire to get their mitts on new software, others, angrily dismissing the tool. But it’s a wait that’s nearly over. Bitwig Studio, the Mac/Windows/Linux production and live software, is coming on March 26 of this year. No more beta — a final release.” – Peter Kirn @ CDM



Allen & Heath Xone:23 Mixer

The Xone:23 is the just-announced update to the popular Allen & Heath Xone:22 2-channel mixer. The Xone:22 was known for its reliable build quality and sound quality for its budget price. Allen & Heath call the Xone:23 a “2+2″ mixer since instead of using transform switches, the mixer has gain knobs for each of the 4 RCA inputs allowing you to run all 4 inputs simultaneously. The Xone:23 keeps with the all-analog circuitry and VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) of the Xone:22 as well but with an updated look inspired by the Xone:DB4.

MOTU 828x

MOTU 828x - NAMM 2014

MOTU 828x

MOTU – one of the industry leaders in  professional audio interfaces – has just introduced one of the first professional Thunderbolt interfaces for the audio market. The MOTU 828x takes the popular 828 format and updates it with robust speed with USB2, USB3 and Thunderbolt support.

Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn had this to say about the unit,”when connected to Thunderbolt, you get some distinct advantages. The bus itself (even with Thunderbolt 1) is fast enough to support more bandwidth than any audio user would likely ever need, meaning that an 828x can sit at the end of a chain of six devices. That’s true even if you’re connecting bandwidth-thirsty drives or high-res displays.” Read more at CDM.

New Waldorf Device

New Waldorf Synth - NAMM 2014

New Waldorf Synth 2014

We’ve yet to learn exactly what Waldorf will be presening at NAMM, but the above photo seems to hint at a design similar to last year’s Rocket synth (note the switch at the top of the image). So we’re thinking most likely a new synth. We’re guessing something small and portable and aimed at the micro market that seems to be trending for the past few years in the synth industry. Btw – check out that crazy filter section. We’d love to know what you think it is.