Cookie Monster is here today, but many big names in the music industry are missing this year from NAMM, (like Apple, and our friends at East West, and I can’t find Protools anywhere!) while many others have really scaled back (TC Helicon rocks a tiny booth, Korg shifts it’s attention to Marshall). With the struggles of 2009 fresh on everyones minds, the focus for new hardware has been turned to small things, and products aimed at the travelling musician.
Roland put on display its line of battery powered electronic instruments and speaker systems with performances by the Battery Band, who rocked guitars, vdrums, axes, and vocal effects all on a couple packs of energizer AAs. Roland also released their new Mobile Studio Canvas to control Cakewalk via USB, complete with a built-in sample set, wheel scrub and transport controls, and built-in effects processing (and it also runs on batteries, USB power, or AC adapter). The Mobile Studio Canvas is the perfect complement to a mobile studio.
New field recorders (perfect for you sound effects producers) lined the shelves at Korg, Tascam, and Sanyo. Take your pick, now is a great time to buy and start expanding your personal live sound libraries. Check out a more comprehensive post tomorrow about these field recorders.
Play and Sing Along
There were several new products released that continued the sing-along/play-along rush geared towards educators and students. Roland/Boss presented its new eBand, a full featured guitar amp and effects simulator with onboard vocal effects. Just plug your guitar in, and a full band plays along with you at any tempo or key — great for learning licks and songs, or performing live. The same company rolled out a vocal effects processor similar to the TC Helicon models that have rolled out over the past few years (yes, TC Helicon has also upgraded their Harmony-G by adding an XT Line of vocal processors), with pedal controls, and real-time harmony, and programmable banks to accommodate full sets.
Fun With Drums
Korg, who normally displays new keyboards and synths, showed off a different side of their product line this year, with tons of new guitars, amps, and drums — notably the wavedrum, which acts as a melodic instrument, with different pitches and sounds triggered by playing a single drum head.
Guitars, Guitars, Guitars
No NAMM show is complete without a dizzying array of new and exotic guitars, and cool guitar toys. That’s where TC Electronic hits the mark this year, releasing the worlds first Poly-chromatic tuner. In English: this guitar tuner can tune your guitar from a STRUM. Simply strum your strings, and the PolyTune shows you on one screen which strings are sharp or flat.
Oh, and Moog launched their new Moog Guitar — kinda cool.