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.

NAMM: Korg’s Digital-Retro Dream Synth-Vocoder Hands-on

Anaheim’s NAMM show is packed with new gear, but I’ve already got a top pick for the one I want to steal and bring home with me. Korg’s new RADIAS synth/vocoder instrument is striking from the moment you see it. The synth module folds upwards to face you, so you don’t have to bend over […]

NAMM: Korg’s Joystick-Mouse Keyboard for Computer Musicians

Boring USB keyboards for connecting to computers: no matter how many manufacturers make nearly-identical models, more appear. Korg has a mostly-nondescript line of new USB keyboards that would fit that description, but with a twist. They’ve included an unusual, tiny joystick that fills in for your mouse when using a computer. I tried to get […]

NAMM: MiKo Keyboard/Computer Groovestation Home Entertainment Center?

Sure, it may sound crazy to stick a Windows PC into the chassis of a big, blue keyboard. But trust me, the people at Open Labs are even crazier than you think. This isn’t a keyboard you’ll check email on. It’s a keyboard you’ll watch movies on. Here’s my hands-on report (or, as I like […]

NAMM: StealthPlug, Digital Guitar Cable (1/4″ to USB)

When is a digital cable better than a digital guitar? When it actually solves a problem guitarists have. We’re still not sure what’s so great about Gibson’s Digital Guitar, even after hearing it played at NAMM but we immediately grasped the utility of IK Multimedia’s new StealthPlug. It’s a compact audio interface built into a […]

NAMM: Lots Going Down in the Futuristic-Looking Ableton Booth

Ableton has booked a huge lineup for the NAMM show here in Anaheim, California. I’ll be talking today, Thursday, at Noon about how to abuse Live’s warp features and control Live with a Max/MSP/Jitter video input from a webcam. (Say hello if you make it; I hope to have tutorials on both these topics soon.) […]

NAMM: Classic Neve Effects, Soon in Computer Form

I’d already heard that Universal Audio, makers of fine DSP hardware for computers as well as vintage analog reproductions and other DSP tech, was going to be pairing up with someone big at NAMM. That “someone big” has turned out to be AMS Neve Limited, who have made some of the most famous signal processors […]

Look Out, Pro Tools: New High-end Apple + Apogee Audio Pairing

NAMM: Apogee Electronics are known for providing some of the best analog-to-digital (and back) conversion in the business, period. It’s this critical step in working with digital sound that draws the attention of many golden-eared producers and engineers. Apogee does digital audio very, very well. But many people think of their hardware as a front […]

Sweeping, Phasing Effects Power: “Phase Two” Plug-In

Audio Damage is continuing to do its bit to recreate classic vintage effects that fall under the radar of the larger plug-in developers. The Phase Two, an incredibly accurate recreation of the Mutron Bi-Phase, may be its most ambitious yet. The Bi-Phase is the sound of the seventies, known for its stereo phasing capability, and […]