Hands-on with Koma’s Analog Filter/Sequencer, Gate/Delay, in a Van, with Champagne

Koma’s stuff is good. Really good. So good, you might even want to watch a hands-on video where I’m juggling a camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. Their stompable, playable analog effects show well even in the back of a van circling Musikmesse. How I came to see this hardware in the van is a story in itself. The trade show gig works like this: you pay an enormous amount of money for some sort of trade membership, then an enormous amount of money for a booth, an enormous amount of money to staff …


Spotted: Analog Goodies, Doepfer Prototypes at the ALEX4 Messe Booth [Gallery]

You’d expect that holding the world’s largest trade show in Germany would mean some serious analog and gear love – and you’d be right. Andreas Schneider of SchneidersBuero/SchneidersLaden, the famed Berlin gear hub, was this year gathering some of the finest analog gear at a booth for ALEX4, a European distributor for some of these names. Now, in the meeting room there was of course real business to do, but that shouldn’t stop drool from pooling on some of the equipment. Among the highlights: Doepfer Musikelektronik, the company that perhaps more than any other ignited the current modular fever, was …

The new Jupiter-50, little sibling to the big JP-80 introduced last year.

Roland Returns to Synth Roots on Jupiter; New JP-50, iPad Integration [Video]

The name “Jupiter” evokes some strong feelings among synth aficionados. Little wonder, than, that when Roland introduced a modern successor, the response was impassioned. CDM was one of the first to look in detail at the Jupiter-80, and I was surprised – given the tendency of this readership away from massive flagship keyboards – to see it become one of our biggest stories of the year. Roland faced some serious criticism when the story it told about the new Jupiter was less about synthesis and more about the instrument-emulating Supernatural engine. After all, since the days of the original Jupiter’s …


AlphaSphere, Spherical Music Controller, Becomes A Messe Favorite; Keyboard Mag Video Hands-on

Music trade shows are typically full of sensible and useful instruments. They may not always represent something revolutionary, but people find homes for them in their musical lives. Of course, the world’s fair futurist in us may want something really different. It was a real treat to get my hands on the AlphaSphere, a UK-engineered alternative instrument that maps pitch across touch-sensitive surfaces arrayed in a sphere. It’s what a lot of people were talking about at Messe when people asked “what’s cool?”, as friends rounded up friends to march them over to the booth. (It’s Hall 5.1, stand C27 …


Messe Oddities: Pioneer Steelz Audio Type T Automates Dance Battles

I’m immediately attracted to things I can’t identify, so here’s one of the less expected bits of hardware from the Frankfurt Musikmesse show’s digital audio 5.1 hall. (That’s the hall’s actual number – surround sound similarity is coincidental.) Someone at Pioneer worked out how to combine the timer used in chess, the boombox, some DJ effects, and dance battles, and the result is this: the STEELZ AUDIO Type T, evidently new and under glass at Musikmesse in Frankfurt this week. I think it deserves special mention for its sheer oddness. (And hey, maybe this is a product for someone somewhere!) …