January 22, 2014  |   Events, News

NAMM 2014: Rumour Round-up

Every January, Anaheim in California becomes home to the world’s biggest, best and boldest music manufacturers to show off their product range and latest inventions. Over the past few years, it’s moved from a humble trade show – albeit, the world’s biggest for music makers – to a landmark event in the calendar of every producer with a keen eye on technology. Last year, Korg’s MS20 Mini stole the show with the revival of the classic semi-modular and with mini analogue goodies being announced left and right throughout the year, Roland are taking centre stage this time around with the teasing of their new Aira range.

Roland Aira Series

As we’ve already mentioned in a previous post of PB+, Roland are set to launch a revived version of the TR-808 – the classic drum machine with one of the most iconic sound in music history. Since, Roland have teased that their equally as iconic rhythm machine the TR-909 is also making a comeback. Whether it’s as one unit, or separate we’ll have to wait to find out. Watch the latest teaser video featuring the 909 below.

New Elektron Drum Machine

Swedish synth and sampler sorcerers Elektron are no strangers to innovation and their NAMM newbie looks to build on the success of their Octatrack and Machinedrum range with a new performance-focused focused unit. With coloured pads similar to Native Instruments’ Kontrol F1 and based on Elektron’s track record for quality, we’re expecting the new device to be popular with the ever-growing live electronic music community.

Allen & Heath Xone:23 Mixer

It’s not all predictions and assumptions though – DJ stalwarts Allen & Heath have beaten their rivals to the post by announcing their new 2-channel mixer the Xone:23 before the show even starts. At only £249 it’s hard to find fault with the entry-level mixer with the classic Allen & Heath filter on-board and two extra inputs from its predecessor the Xone:22, anyone looking to get into DJing would need to take it seriously.

Slate Digital Virtual Microphone System

While hardware has ruled the roost in recent years, there’s already been plenty of software and plugins to keep your hard drive full for 2014 and NAMM is still 24 hours away. One of the most exciting developments comes from Steven Slate, whose company Slate Digital has already made a name for itself with its drum replacement, virtual modelling technology and hardware outboard. It’s the latter two that find their way into their new Virtual Microphone System. Microphone modelling is an extremely complicated process with countless variables going into the unique sound of classic mics, but Slate say they’ve create a technology to give you access to a ‘cupboard full’ of classic mics. By combining a clean and transparent mic and preamp with new modelling technology, they then are able to replicate the sound of a whole collection of mics using virtual modelling. Check out the slightly OTT video below – it’s an exciting prospect but we’ll have to wait and see how affective it is!

With tonnes of more music-making goodies already teased, it’s going to be an exciting few days for producers, engineers and music-makers all over the world. Stay tuned to PB+ as we’ll be updating you with all the news as soon as it’s announced.

About Declan McGlynn

Declan is Point Blank's social media manager and editor of PB+