Beat Thang Drum Machine: Hands-on Tour with Creators, Rockwilder

Beat Kangz, the upstart drum machine maker out of Nashville, has been cooking up a new device for some time. That creation, the Beat Thang, is finally nearing production. It may not have a nameplate like Akai or Roland, but I can testify that this independently-designed gadget may nonetheless be one to watch. The hardware […]

NAMM Picks: Dave Smith Mopho Keyboard, $800; Video

Dave’s got a new keyboard, and the headline gives it all away: it’s a Mopho, but adding keys and more control, all for $800. There’s a myth out there that the computer music user and hardware synth lover are two different people. Au contraire, mon ami. Thanks, indeed, to Dave Smith himself, the computer and […]

NAMM Picks: Roland’s Octapad Updates a Classic Percussion Controller

A lot of the music tech industry involves incremental improvements and fairly routine hardware. Amidst the crowd, certain devices are special. They might not even appear so to a general audience, but they have a special place in someone’s music making. For whatever reason, some Roland percussion controllers fit in that category. As electronic musicians […]

Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 Instrument: Hands-on, Videos, Why it’s Different

Photo by Teenage Engineering. Check out their full photo gallery. Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 is something unique in music hardware. It’s got a form factor inspired by the Casio VL-Tone series – you know, those cute little 80s-vintage synths. It’s a sampler. It’s a synth. It has an FM radio. It will have a variety of […]

A New Theme in Music Technology: Slow Development

Wise words I intend to live by. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Geof Wilson. I’m a blogger. I’m supposed to be all about shiny, about scoops and exclusives, about fast-paced development. But even I’ve begun to wonder about the expectations some developers and users alike have about pace. And that doesn’t just apply to the vendors: it applies […]

CDM at NAMM: Peter Reporting Live at CDMu and Noisepages

The National Association of Music Merchants show isn’t quite so much an orgy of technological excitement for Visualists. However, many of our favorite controllers are designed with musicians in mind, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the NAMM news to get an idea of what interesting gear might appear later this year. Peter’s […]

Ableton + Serato: The Bridge Fuses DJ Sets, Live Sets; Full Details

Live maker Ableton and DJ and virtual vinyl developer Serato today announced the results of their partnership. First off, this isn’t what many of us originally speculated: it’s not a DJ deck inside Live. Instead, the collaboration seeks to bridge (ahem) the gap between the way DJs perform and the way Live users perform. The […]

Akai APC20 Ableton Controller: Get Half an APC40, or an APC and a Half

Ableton Live-specific controllers just got another addition. You probably could have guessed this would come out, following the APC40 and Novation’s grid-only Launchpad last year, but the Akai APC20 is the new, smaller sibling to Akai’s APC40. The APC20 does basically everything the APC40 does on the latter’s left-hand side — it’s a grid of […]

NAMM 2010 Preview, and Beyond: Get Your Latest Music Tech News Here

NAMM, the trade group that includes music manufacturers and vendors, holds its flagship conference every January in Anaheim, California. It’s the biggest music trade show in the world, and even the biggest trade show of the year in Anaheim, home to Disneyland. But, of course, we’re about more than just pre-packaged industry news. So, we’ll […]