a struggling economy that has mercilessly hit all sides of the music industry,
from magazines to music stores, the 2009 winter NAMM show brought close to
86,000 attendees to the Anaheim
Convention Center on
January 14 18, and plenty of new gear was on display.
your preference is songwriting, performing, DJing or producing, there was
something for everyone at the show. In this two-part series, well overview
some of the products that were introduced and demoed.
comes to producing and mixing, the pros turn to SSL (www.solid-state-logic.com).
Timbaland has the Matrix SuperAnalogue console in his tour bus and X-Racks in
his stage setup. Matrix, a 16-channel, 40-input mixing console, is unique in
that it has no mic pres or EQs on the board. From the analog side, Matrix is
purely a mix bus, with inbuilt signal router and multi-layer digital
Tricky Stewarts Triangle Sound Studios houses the SSL AWS 900+ SE consoles.
Thats Stewart and his SSLs behind hits for Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, Usher,
Jesse McCartney, Janet Jackson, Rihanna and Beyoncé.
us arent in the financial bracket to own a Matrix or AWS, but that doesnt
mean SSL is out of your league. The Duende Plug-in collection brings the sounds
of an SSL to you at a price point you can handle. Duende Mini and Duende PCIe
hardware are new cost-effective bundles that include the DSP and Bus Compressor
Plug-in Upgrade for Mini and/or the complete SSL Plug-in Collection.
a studio. Maybe you have a room, or even a venue, where ambiance is paramount
to creativity. You want it to look as sharp as it sounds. Auralex Acoustics (www.auralex.com) can help.SonicPrint
Acoustic Panels are custom-printed, artistic ProPanels that are fabric-covered
and designed as artwork. They allow printing in high resolution to
customize anything from a band name to a logo. Choose from hundreds of colors
and designs, or create your own. The options are endless.
ELiTE Fiber optic acoustical panels arent cheap ($1975 - $3000), but they
incorporate Auralexs best-selling ProPanels with iSkys fiber optic lighting.
Choose from three different kits: six 24x24, six 30x30 or two 48x48. Simply
plug and play, and watch these LED-based, midnight-blue panels glimmer like the
night sky. Good for 70,000 hours of continuous use.
brand acoustic panels make it easy to go green and reduce your environmental
footprint with your acoustics. Made of 65 percent recycled polyester, they are
devoid of harmful Chlorofluorocarbons and offer the next step in Auralexs
innovative environmental products, following their 2008 introduction of the
first green acoustical foam product on the market, Eco-Friendly StudioFoam.
The Room Analysis Kit ($299) takes all the guesswork out of
trying to sweep the room yourself, as well as saving you time and money. The
user-friendly kit includes a Behringer ECM8000 omni-directional measurement
microphone, USB drive featuring swept sine signals, and a complete
instructional guide for acoustic analysis. Room Analysis Plus is an included
service that allows you to record the sweep, e-mail the file and analysis form
to Auralex, and theyll send you a professional acoustic analysis and any
necessary solutions within three to five business days.
love the beats, but you want something different. EastWest
(www.soundsonline.com), a leader in virtual instrument software development,
has new percussion libraries that youll want to consider.
Leap SD2 The Next Generation Upgrade ($199) delivers 2.5 gigs of percussive
sounds featuring a variety of strike and brush solos and ensemble recordings.
Chinese Lion Drums, a Middle Earth Ensemble, Persian Battle Drums and Trailer
Toms are among the featured rhythms. The pre-mixed MIDI
performances, created with Roland V-Drums and Zendrum percussion controllers,
allow complete user customization.
Leap SILK - The Virtual (software) Instrument ($595) features a collection of
historic and unique string and woodwind instruments from China, Persia
and India. All
are multi-sampled with extreme attention to detail, and also allow user
adaptation and micro-tunings for control.
2.0 features editing capabilities using the same software that programs
PLAY-powered virtual instrument collections. PLAY 2.0 is available as a paid
download from the companys website,
www.soundsonline-europe.com, and offers a user-friendly, standard
interface.From Denon DJ (www.denondj.com) comes the new DN-S3700 Digital Media Turntable, a hybrid digital/analog design
with USB and MIDI control with Sound Card for Mac or PC software. A built-in
authentic vinyl record for surface control is driven by Denon DJs High Torque
Direct Drive Motor, providing users with the feel of true vinyl. New features
include three Auto loops with real-time loop length adjust and loop trim capabilities,
and an easy-to-read display providing information on hot start, auto loop and
break point data.
The DN-S3700s 9-inch platter, mounted with real vinyl, is
constructed with an ultra high-resolution pulse sensor mechanism to accurately
reproduce the subtlest or swiftest scratching movements made by the human hand.
The platter can perform pitch bending, frame searching and quick file
navigation from external USB devices. An illuminated
Slot-In CD Player offers support through CD, CD-R, CD-RW and CD-TEXT. The External
USB Device Support connects to an iPod, USB drive and large hard drives.
Hercules (www.hercules.com) new DJ Control Steel for Mac and PC
($299, including carrying case) is a professional controller and dual deck
mixer with EQ and volume controls. Bundled with Virtual DJ 5 for PC and Mac,
and compatible with other software, its the perfect out-of-the-box solution
for mobile DJs. New features include three kill switches, mic input, and
headphone input on the tops and side of the console. The central steel plate is
removable and can be customized.
bundled version Virtual DJ is 3.3, which is locked to the controller. The
latest (unlocked) version, 5.2.1, is available for a $100 upgrade.
is shipping their new SCS.1d motorized turntable system ($999 deck, $699 SCS.1m
mixer). The digital SCS1 features a 10-inch motorized platter, assignable
encoders and trigger pads, and no tone arm. It can run multiple decks off of
one surface (Stanton
recommends no more than four). Control effects with the level meters, and use
the SCS.1ms built-in FireWire audio interface for crossfading and two-way
SCS.3d is Stantons
latest innovative controller, and its a remarkable piece of work. DaScratch
operates via touch-sensitive ergonomic pads: control the scratch or scrub with
the direction and speed of your touch or multiple touches. Select one of three
operative modes: Slider, Circle or Button. Portable, PC and Mac compatible, and
USB powered, DaScratch supports Traktor, Serato, Ableton or any other MIDI compatible software. The Magnect connection system
allows you to securely snap multiple units together.
Coming up in Part 2, a remarkable
selection from Akai, Alesis and Numark, as well as new gear from many other