Wondering what's new in the DJ booth and studio for 2010? Allow RA to sift through the veritable orgy of gear that was The Winter NAMM Show 2010.
Taking place annually in Anaheim, California, NAMM is quite easily the largest and most significant event of its kind, attracting upwards of 1,500 exhibitors and 85,000 attendees to the Anaheim Convention Center each January. Despite the high numbers of participants, the show has remained an industry-only affair since its inception, providing a launch pad for the industry's fresh developments and key announcements heading into the New Year.
As far as club-facing electronic music is concerned, the undoubted bombshell of the show was the fruits of Ableton and Serato's labour, The Bridge. The pair have essentially fused their respective flagship products—Live and Scratch Live—to create a live performance platform that sets the studio and DJ booth on a head-on collision course. Users are able to manipulate the parts of a Live session with turntable style control, making for a product that would appear to carve open a whole new middle ground between DJing and live performance.
Serato also had a hand in Numark's new flagship digital DJ controller the V7, which bases its appeal upon the usability of the former's ITCH software, combined with mouse-free library navigation, and a high-quality audio I/O. Another manufacturer firmly embracing the possibilities of digital technologies was Akai, who revealed a dual iPhone keyboard and app. The iPK25 keyboard controller is a ultra-portable 25-key affair that boasts a built-in dock for the iPhone or iPod Touch, while the SynthStation Studio features among its spec, three different three-oscillator synths, and drum kits.
Although it has been in the pipeline for a while now, Arturia's keyboard version of their unique Origin synth has now had a March shipping date pinned to it, while the company also extended upon an existing range with a new three-strong series of hybrid synthesizers under the Analog Experience umbrella.
Things were pretty quiet on the DAW front, but Digidesign did endeavor to put forth a Pro Tools instrument expansion pack, and German mainstay Steinberg announced the arrival of a Cubase 5 trial version.
And pitching their tent in the grounds of portable synthesizer solutions was Japanese mainstay Korg. Their fun, but somewhat lightweight Kaossilator instrument/FX unit will now have a bigger, beefier brother the Pro, which builds upon the original's usability with an improved touchpad, extensive sounds and loop recording with unlimited overdubbing.