January 28, 2013  |   Events, Gear, News

Latest from NAMM 2013: Part 3

Here’s the third and final part of our round-up from NAMM 2013, featuring all the most relevant and exciting new product developments that were unveiled during the event. It’s been an eye-opening few days in California, with some of the most well-respected manufacturers releasing some groundbreaking new technology that is bound to shape the coming months, and years even. Below you will find some more brand new products aimed specifically at producers and/or DJs, but first of all check out this demo of Moog’s wonderful new Sub Phatty by legendary jazz organist Lonnie Smith, which we featured in a previous report from NAMM.

Korg KP3+ Dynamic Effects/Sampler
The lab geeks at Korg have clearly been keeping themselves very busy over the last few months and here’s another of the fruits of their labour, the Korg KP3. KP3’s spec is pretty impressive, as expected – have a look below.

  • A total of 150 effects ideal for DJ mixing and sound design, including 42 new types
  • Vinyl Break, which simulates a turntable
  • Ducking Compressor – emphasising the backbeats
  • Newly-designed Looper lets you freely manipulate loops
  • Effects you can use for breaks in your DJ play
  • Numerous functions to make your performance even more expressive
  • FX Release function controls the reverberation to produce a more natural decay
  • Mute function cuts the input signal and outputs only the effect sound
  • Pad Motion function records and reproduces your effect usage


Behringer iSTUDIO iS202 iPad Mixer Dock:
One for the iPad lovers out there, this Behringer’s all new iSTUDIO iPad Docking Station, touted as ‘the perfect music production tool for both home studio and live recording’. The new creation lets you create, produce and perform music using your favourite audio gear and musical instruments. iSTUDIO also includes two phantom-powered mic/line inputs, so you can use studio-grade condenser mics for stunningly professional results. It’s basically a mixing desk in your iPad and pretty nifty at that!

Akai MAX25:
The features on Akai’s MAX25 compact controller keyboard are impressive to say the least. The 25 semi-weighted keys have ‘after touch’ which allows you to get really creative with your synths. There are also pads taken from Akai’s world famous MPC series, strip ribbon controllers and step sequencer/arpeggiator built-in… bonus! The Akai MAX25 connects to your computer by MIDI or USB and can connect to other compatible devices with Controller Voltage. It’s features make it one of the most fun to use controller keyboards out there and is sure to aid the creative process.

Xone:DB2 firmware upgrade
If you own an Allen & Heath’s Xone:DB2 mixer then you’ll be pleased to know that a whole host of new effects options are now available simply by installing the new Xone:DB2 firmware upgrade. This recently unveiled version of the firmware offers five new effects variants – Eco-MasifQ, Dly-MasifQ, Infrabass, Saturator and Bitbash 2 and it’s now possible to chain the X and Y effects engines, allowing audio processing by any combination of two different effects.
The firmware also features a mode called Cascade, in which any channel routed to FX-X can be processed by both FX engines, while still allowing access to the single effect on FX-Y by routing the channel to Y, with the crossfader off. Plus a midi clock generator has been added together with a “spatial crossover” function, which allows users to play around with the stereo width above and below a crossover point which you can vary. Good times!

Timeline DJing Demoed By The One:
This will no doubt come under scrutiny from a fair few DJ purists, another technological advancement that benefits ‘laptop DJs’. This new DJ software by The One, allows the user to indulge in live re-edits of their tracks, layering loops and multiple waveforms on top of one another on the fly. These can then be recorded and used again in future DJ sets.

Moldover Robocaster:
Innovation is a the centre of NAMM’s ethos and here’s a new product that completely embodies that ideal – Moldover’s Robocaster. Whether you like or not, it’s certainly bound to inject some fun into the sometimes overly serious world of controllers. Yep, because although it looks like a guitar, this is in fact a controller that can be used in conjunction with electronic music.
Here’s a run-through of the basic set-up: The audio leaves the Robocaster as it would with any regular guitar, but there’s also a USB which outputs digital information from the guitar’s four arcade buttons, touchstrips, accelerometers, volume control and other input devices.
It’s this information that controls effects software and which processes the guitar’s output, allowing the performer to add filters, harmonies, way-wah, pitch modulation and any other controller-style audio processing desired just by mapping the controls to the desired midi virtual instruments in the laptop.

CME XKey Controller:

This new little beauty from CME is a portable slimline USB keyboard which has unique full-size, poly pressure enabled velocity sensitive switch style keys. Housed in an Apple keyboard like aluminium case, it has a very small footprint and will work with any class compliant device including iPad.

M-Audio Axiom AIR 25 MIDI Keyboard Controller:
Here’s the swish new M-Audio AIR 25 keyboard controller, which has 25 expressive synth-action keys with aftertouch. There are also 16 trigger pads responding to pressure and velocity along with eight rotary encoder knobs and one long-throw 70mm fader.