The Winter Music Conference of synthesizer nerds and aficionados alike is almost upon us. The NAMM Show, the yearly expo where all the great manufacturers like Korg, Dave Smith, Moog, Behringer, etc, will come show off their latest and greatest upcoming gear designs, is about to kick off for 3 days of non-stop audiophilia.
Beginning January 24th through the 27th, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, this year promises to not just quell many anxieties over speculation surrounding certain gear, but it also promises to excite even the most veterans of the synthesizer world with some truly amazing instruments that are about to be unleashed unto the market.
Some of the really interesting bits to look for this year perhaps will be Korg's teased Minilogue XD, a revision to their wildly successful Minilogue analog polysynth, that this time around will begin to incorporate the Korg Prologue's 3rd customizable digital oscillator engine into the original design, and it seems that perhaps the Mini is also getting an update to its sequencer, which has been relocated to the center and extended to 16 buttons...let's hope for a 32 step sequencer upgrade!
Another very heartwarming showcase this year, confirmed by Uli Behringer himself, is the upcoming release of Behringer's new TR-808 clone dubbed the Rhythm Designer RD-808. While a similar reproduction of its original counterpart, its analog circuitry has been left according to the Roland TR-808's specs, and the new RD-808 adds a few things that greatly improve on the original as well.
Obviously with additions like MIDI and USB, integration is a snap. What's really interesting about the RD-808 however, is the addition of a bus compressor, which can be individually applied to each instrument out (of which there are a total of eleven) or the master itself. A dual filter with dedicated controls has also been added which is quite a nice touch, as well as an integrated Waveform Designer.
This and a few more upcoming instruments by Behringer will be available for the public to play with at a free event hosted by the company at their Music Tribe Experience Center in Los Angeles, California, for a very special pre-NAMM show.
Another upcoming release that should really catch anyone's eye for this year, is the new Erica Synths plasma distortion module for Eurorack, which aesthetically alone is absolute eye candy! Based on the Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal, this apparent collaboration will be taking the incredible process of converting audio signals into high voltage discharges within Xenon-filled tubes, to the Eurorack platform, which based on the sound of the video below, will be quite an addition to a modular rig. Not just audibly, but visually!
Other releases showcased this year will include Arturia's Pigments, which uses a twin synth engine to combine both Wavetable and virtual analog oscillators to create what heard in previews so far is absolutely amazing....character and depth to spare!
With Arturia's line of affordable, yet ultra high-quality controllers, this new plug-in is definitely one to keep an eye out for, a powerful tool for your arsenal. Check for yourself:
And it's not just about new products hitting the market, the NAMM also features concerts, and workshops, where you can educate yourself in various areas from operating mixing consoles, to artist management, and all and in all, it's 3 days of truly immersive engagement with the world of audio that we as musicians and music lovers all can appreciate.
If you plan on being in the area, or already live in California and plan on attending, you can purchase your NAMM tickets through the NAMM 2019 page, where all of the information you will need regarding booths, hotels, transportation, etc, is available.
If you have a moment, watch this video below, it was the introduction of the upcoming Pro-1 synthesizer clone by Behringer, showcased at last year's NAMM: