Very dissapointing NAMM this winter. I was expecting some great new products to be revealed, but nothing new was shown. Every manufacturer only had some sort of a revision for their older products. It’s becoming a very familiar pattern. Korg Triton Studio “As a next-generation workstation, TRITON STUDIO combines synthesis, effects, sampling and sequencing into an intuitive package, and with the addition of an internal CD-R/W burner, it even allows the user to create an audio CD of their finished work. The new TRITON STUDIO is the flagship in the line of TRITON Music Workstations and is available in 61 and 76-key synth action versions, as well as an 88-key weighted action model. The 88-key version features the newly developed RH2 (Real Weighted Hammer Action2) keyboard, providing an action that varies in touch as you move up the keyboard, just as on a grand piano. TRITON STUDIO also employs a new lightning-fast processor and Korg's exclusive TouchView graphical interface.” In other words it’s a Triton with a CD burner... Triton LE This is basically a Triton with a Karma sequencer in it. Some new electronic oriented sounds are included with the LE that don’t come with the original Triton. Electribe EM-1 Not another electribe... “Korg is showing the fourth and most recent addition to their ELECTRIBE Series. The new EM-1 Music Production Station features two synth and eight drum parts, 11 insert effects, a familiar, user-friendly interface, both real-time and step sequencing and Korg's proprietary motion Sequencing.” Same old story... Here’s a picture in case you haven’t seen an electribe yet... www.korg.com Clavia Nord Electro Rack “Clavia's goal when developing the Nord Electro was to create the best emulations of traditional electromechanical keyboard instruments on the market, and to make the instrument compact and lightweight. Nothing else. No brass banks, no orchestral sounds. No compromises. Just electromechanical keyboard sounds with true feel, from fast keyboard response to authentic sound. A lot of keyboard players and studio musicians still like to use a master keyboard for all their synths and samplers and a for those a rack mount instrument is still the best choice. To meet this need, Clavia has introduced the new 19" table top rack mountable version.” Ok, so it’s a Nord Electro without a keyboard... www.clavia.se CreamWare PowerSampler II “Winter NAMM 2002, CreamWare announced the new version of the sampling system PowerSampler. PowerSampler II is based on the same DSP card as its predecessor, but is equipped with a far more powerful software package. The sampler allows unique realtime manipulations of the sound - like realtime pitch-shifting and time-stretching, formant shifting and the Robot Mode.” It was about time, PowerSampler I sucked, with very limited sampler capabilities and flimsy effects. From the looks of it, the PowerSampler II software is starting to look a lot like the ultimate sampler by CreamWare, the STS5000. The really neat thing about this card is that it can be switched to XTC mode, where it acts as a PulsarXTC card (with less DSP power) that runs the VST effects in a VST based DAW, taking the toll off your native CPU. www.creamware.com Gemini PDT-6000 “Gemini Sound Products is showing their brand new Ultra Pro Digital Turntable, the PDT-6000. This piece of gear will be a new weapon for the DJ's arsenal, with adjustable torque and brake sensitivity adjustment, digital output, master tempo function and key control. It will also offer selectable pitch control range of +/- 4%, 8%, 16%, or 35%, BPM/pitch display, and reverse platter lock. The PDT-6000 weighs in at 35 pounds.” Not being a DJ I can’t really form an opinion on this. I know most DJs are pretty conservative about their Tech 12s... www.geminidj.com Allen and Heath Xone:02 “Allen & Heath introduced the Xone:02, the company's first dedicated scratch mixer. The console was created by Andy Rigby Jones and combines broadcast quality audio and construction with the creative performance features and layout demanded by the serious turntablist.” www.allen-heath.com Tascam X-15, X-17 Mobile Mixers and XS-3, XS-4 and XS-5 Scratch Mixers “Two of the new TASCAM mixers are designed for professional mobile DJs. The X-15 and X-17 are both rackmount-design pieces, intended to easily fit into a compact mobile DJ system. Both new products are four-channel DJ mixers with discrete three-band EQ available on each channel. They offer inputs for main and auxiliary microphones and have fader start capabilities. The X-17 adds an onboard three-bank sampler with a Compact Flash card input slot that can be used to store and play back samples. While the X-15 can work with various combinations of up to eight stereo input sources (two phono sources plus six line sources), the X-17 can handle up to twelve sources (four phono sources plus eight line sources). Plus, the X-17 offers other professional features like front-panel aux input and output jacks with individual level controls as well as crossfader reverse controls. The XS-3 is an affordable two-channel mixer designed for a wide variety of DJ environments. It offers three-band EQ, a host of inputs and outputs including line and phono inputs on each each channel, balanced and unbalanced master outputs, a recording output, an effects input, a mic input, crossfader start capabilities, adjustable crossfader curve selection and a crossfader reverse control. The XS-4 is designed as a 2-channel battle mixer with an uncluttered, logical control surface. It offers a 2-band EQ and more sophisticated audio interfacing than the XS-3, including master outputs on balanced XLR jacks. The XS-4 offers all the features and ergonomic design desired for serious scratch DJing with the sound quality and reliability for which TASCAM is well known. The XS-4 is the first product that is represented in TASCAM's new "Super Analog Series" of DJ tools, which signifies the excellent audio quality offered by these products.” www.tascam.com Yamaha S08 “The S08 features an 88-key balanced hammer design with Initial Touch (similar to that of the Motif 8 Synthesizer), plus full 64-note polyphony. Yamaha's AWM2 tone generation, over 749 incredible sounding voices and 31 drum kits, full XG and GM2 compatibility, stereo sampled pianos and drums-many of which are identical to those found on higher-end synthesizer products in Yamaha's S-series-provide excellent building blocks for song production and performance. Users can create their own sounds and store them in any of 128 user-voice memory locations. Onboard effects vast and varied, coming from the XG stable offering quality similar to that found on many multi award winning Yamaha products.” Same engine as the other S series synths, with some new probably useless, ingredients... *sigh* Being a big Yamaha fan, I expected the creative intelligence of Yamaha to come out with something a little bit more interesting. A new sound card perhaps, or a couple of more plug-ing boards for the PLG series. Last year they introduced the amazing RS7000 and the Motif, so I guess the rested for a while. www.yamahasynth.com This is what I’ve found most interesting, although not very interesting at all. Hope the summer NAMM in Germany has better toys in store for us music gear freaks.