NAMM: Moog Voyager RME does CV; What’s Next from Moog?

The rumored polyphonic and low-cost Moog synths were no-shows at NAMM but that didn’t mean there wasn’t anything to get excited about in the Moog booth. Owners of the Voyager Rack Mount edition are about to get their wish for more expansion capability in the form of the VX-352 CV input expander. The VX-352 turns […]

NAMM Insider Analysis: New Music Product Trends, Toys, Under the Radar

The other side of NAMM: For a different take on the latest in new music products from last week’s NAMM show, we welcome James Grahame of Retro Thing. James runs Reflex Audio Systems, so he’s able to bring us the perspective of an independent music maker on what goes on behind the scenes at music […]

Your Sony PSP on PSP Rhythm 3: A Serious Portable Drum Machine

And they say the PSP doesn’t have a killer app. PSP Rhythm, the homebrew drum machine software for Sony’s portable game console, is getting updated at an astounding rate. New in version 3.0: start/end points for drum samples (a critical feature), warped drum sounds with a reverse feature, and wave file output. Audio output is […]

NAMM: Why KORE Could Change How You Play Software Instruments

You need to find a specific sound quick, without hunting through individual plug-ins one at a time. You want to set up some layers and splits so you can play multiple sounds at once, then switch sounds at certain times in your set or during the song structure. You’ve got the instruments you want to […]

Tower of One-String Guitars: Now That’s Reinvention!

I’ve been confused by a feature Gibson is touting on its new Digital Guitar: the ability to route each individual string to a separate surround speaker. Sounds a little like a nightmare surround mix to me. Leave it to the work of an interactive artist to “reinvent the guitar” in the reverse direction: who needs […]

NAMM: New Star Trek Phaser-Shaped Akai MIDI Wind Controller

It looks like an elongated Star Trek phaser, but the Akai EWI4000S is actually a brand-new MIDI wind controller. New digital instruments for wind players (like the Yamaha WX5) are fairly rare; it’s nice to see something fresh. And the Akai has plenty of features that suggest it’s worth a look:

NAMM: Korg’s RADIAS Synth Editor = Fabulous Fun with Formants

Remember when we used to argue about dumb things like whether it was better to use computers or hardware keyboards for sound design? One big theme at NAMM was that all the major hardware makers (Korg, Roland, Yamaha, etc.) have embraced the use of computers for editing. Leading the pack is Korg, with some very […]

Create Broken Hard Drive Digital Music, Win EQ Watch @ Gizmodo

Sometimes, I have good ideas. Sometimes, other people have ideas I wish I’d thought of. Case in point: is running a contest to create music, in 3 minutes or less, based on audio from defective Hitachi hard drives. Win, and they’ll give you an insanely cool equalizer watch that could only have been designed […]

NAMM: Hands-on with Arturia Prophet V, Analog/Digital Hybrid Soft Synth

The only thing that the original Prophet 5 (one of the first programmable polyphonic synths) and the Prophet VS (the first to feature digital wavetables) have in common is that both were designed by synthesis pioneer Dave Smith. But while Dave’s new Mono Evolver Keys was blowing Herbie Hancock’s mind at NAMM, Arturia was quietly […]

NAMM: Musical Ribbons, Rings, and Things

In the age of the keyboards and frets, vintage analog approaches to instrument design are strikingly expressive. Here are hands-on impressions from NAMM of the ribbon-controlled Persephone, the ring-controlled French Connection, and the accelerometer-powered guitar effects ring seen here earlier.