The annual winter NAMM trade show in California is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year for new gear releases. We look forward to this month’s event with some predictions of what to watch out for. Each year, the excitement leading up to NAMM is unmistakable as we anticipate new releases from some of our favourite brands. Discussions circulate in every corner of the web and speculation ensues about what will be unveiled. In true pre-NAMM fashion, this leaves many of us sifting through forums, finding nothing more than tall-tales, half-truths, and flat-out lies. Like in previous years, we cut through that noise for NAMM 2019 to get you vetted leaks, rumours and hype about new releases from Akai, Waldorf, Arturia, Korg, Dangerous Music, Sequential and more.
Akai APC Live, Korg Volcas, Minilogue XD and Waldorf KyraOn January 2, images of a potential Akai release circulated online. APC Live could be read across the device, leaving many to guess Akai will be unveiling a new controller at NAMM 2019. It looks like a cross between MPC Live, APC and Ableton Push, sporting an 8x8 grid matrix, large screen, diverse connectivity and intuitive controls. All of this to offer users, what we imagine will be, endless sampling and audio editing capabilities. The new Akai controller is also rumoured to act as a USB hub and will support condenser mics that need 48v phantom power. [gallery size="medium" ids="67130,67127,67126"] Akai have also published a mysterious seven second video titled “Something amazing is coming…” on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa2AvH5p1c4&feature=youtu.be The video teases the words ‘Play’, ‘Perform’, ‘Produce’, before cueing in on the word ‘Force.’ It’s uncertain whether the video supports the APC Live leak, or foreshadows the coming release of an entirely new product called Force. What we can assume, however, is that Akai has some big news to share, news that will likely be rolling out at NAMM. For months, Waldorf has been teasing their new Kyra synth. Though its appearance at this year’s NAMM is unconfirmed, it’s likely we’ll see something of it. Whether that’s a working prototype or finished product remains unknown. What we do know is Kyra will be the first fully FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) powered synthesizer, featuring 128 voices, each with 10 oscillators per voice. Kyra’s FPGA technology will significantly outperform legacy DSP, providing state-of-the-art audio quality and over 4,000 waveshapes among many other features, filters and effects.
[advert]Less a rumour, Korg will likely release two new Volcas—Volca Drum and Volca Modular—as well as a MAJOR update to Minilogue with Minilogue XD. Volca Drum is rumoured to be capable of complex polyrhythms, have a hybrid modelling engine, a wave shaper and resonator to produce unique sounds. Similarly, Volca Modular will aim to bring modular to the masses with a fully-patchable design, loads of patch points, CV input and powerful sequencing tools. The Minilogue XD promises to be a next-gen polysynth with 3x multi-effects, an expanded sequencer and 4-voice analog. It’s also rumoured to be built on the Prologue MULTI engine and share some similar filters and effects. [gallery size="medium" ids="67133,67132,67142"]