GMEDIA Music dusted off former Yes man Rick Wakeman to intro its Minimonsta minimoog clone. Wakeman played a blistering set in M-Audio's booth at NAMM and the software looked and sounded fantastic. It is fully programmable, ships with over 2500 presets, and you can even morph between presets. Arturia, maker of the competing minimoog V, have a real fight on their hands. (Ed: GMedia just scored a distribution deal with M-Audio.)

Meanwhile, the latest non-virtual Minimoog, appearing in public for the first time in its rack mountable RME version attracted a large crowd to Moog's own small booth. The RME unfortunately omits the touchpad found on the Minimoog Voyager. I prefer the approach taken by Roland's new V-Synth XT rack mount synth, also new at NAMM, where the built-in touchscreen can be switched to a touchpad for live performance.

Ed: The market for the Voyager RME seems to be people who are either adding Voyager sounds while playing another synth (Jesse Carmichael from Maroon 5 plays that way, so he may go buy one) or play the Voyager and want more polyphony. Ah, to have that kind of money to throw around. As for the virtual battles (which Bob Moog dismisses, saying his hardware sounds much better, but that aside), we'll keep up on the Arturia vs. GMedia war as it evolves! Thanks, Lee, for another great floor report! -PK