Well...the dust has finally settled from the first virtual edition of NAMM, and as always, there were plenty of surprises from the top brands in the industry. Below, we've recapped some of the major highlights from the event. If we missed anything you thought was important, please let us know!
Last year, Korg unveiled a full-size reissue of one of the most legendary synthesizers of all time, the Arp 2600. There had been whispers that there was a smaller version somewhere, and this year, Korg unveiled the Arp 2600 M, a smaller, desktop version of the classic synth. Where the original came with a keyboard, the M is the main unit only. There have been a few updates to make it more compatible with current-day music production. No word on price or release date yet.
Hot off the heels of the Opsix and Wavestate, the new wavemod builds on the DW legacy and transforms it into a modern monster synth, featuring incredibly deep wavetable oscillators, gorgeous filters, wildly flexible modulation, unmatched polyphony, comprehensive pattern sequencing, and immediately satisfying hands-on control to deliver unique, powerful, and easily customizable sounds and phrases.
modwave also introduces two unique new tools for creating dynamic motion: Kaoss Physics and Motion Sequencing 2.0. Kaoss Physics combines an x/y Kaoss pad with modulatable game physics to create a responsive, interactive controller. Motion Sequencing 2.0 brings the organic, continuously evolving patterns of the wavestate's Wave Sequencing 2.0 into the world of motion sequencing, including multiple lanes and real-time recording to help you create complex and evolving phrases that other step sequencers cannot.
Pioneer DJ was rather quiet this year, unveiling the DJM-S7 mixer. Aimed at being a more approachable version of the S11, the S7 takes many cues from the flagship battle mixer, while adding new features aimed at enhancing one's performance abilities. The mixer is aimed at rekordbox and Serato users for a price of $1399.
In their quest to bring rare and unobtainable synths to the common man, their 2600 raised everyone's eyebrows, and now that it's available, they announced two limited edition colors based on two extremely rare versions that were released way back in the day. The 2600 comes in at $599.
One of the most sought-after synths, UB-Xa, a clone of the legendary Oberheim OB-Xa is nearly ready, and the first 100 units have been sent to their top testers for final tweaks and notes. The company states that the process of cloning takes much more work than simply creating a new synth, and with such a highly coveted instrument, it's taken them much longer to nail it. This is going to be a synth worth waiting for.
One of the new features to be included will be a double mode where two patches can be played independently. Much of the work has already gone into the firmware and mod matrix and the team is also beginning to work on the very first patches.
Perhaps the company's most challenging feat yet, the RD-9 (909 clone) is finally ready for the masses. Much like the UB-Xa, the RD-9 is one machine that will be scrutinized by more artists than any other machine the company has released due to the impact of the 909 on modern music. Based on the demo video, it sounds fantastic and comes with a whole host of features that will make it a breeze to insert into your setup.
A bit of a surprise to many, the Pro-800 announcement a few months back got quite a bit of attention. Unlike the more recent synths, the Pro-800 goes back to the desktop format the Pro-1 was in. Behringer gave us an update about the synth, and things are looking good.
The mighty yellow cone that adorns many a studio, KRK's latest release is a new generation of subwoofer dubbed the S-series. They come in three different sizes, ranging from 8.4, 10.4, and 12.4. Gone are the cubes, with the new design looking more like a regular monitor flipped on its side. Expect a full review coming soon.