It's that time of year again, with the National Association of Music Merchants show due to take place in California, from 23rd to 26th January. As always, NAMM showcases a plethora of new and exciting products, so we've decided to create a rolling story, which we will update as and when new gear is announced.
This is the place to be if you want a comprehensive round-up of all the new NAMM gear for 2014, so check below for information and videos on the most exciting releases. Alternatively, you can CLICK HERE to view a list of new products in our online shop.
NAMM 2014 - PRO AUDIO GEAR
So far we've only received teasers of this one, but we're speculating (and hoping!) that Roland are going to bring back their classic TR-808 drum machine. From the hints dropped in the video (such as the oscilloscopes), we're guessing that there's going to be some DSP involved somewhere along the line, but we've not heard anything official from Roland yet. We'll keep you updated though...
A desktop interface with either a built-in UAD Solo or Duo DSP processor, for running Universal Audio's amazing plug-ins in realtime. These 2-in, 6-out Thunderbolt interfaces make use of top-of-the-range converters and preamps for an exceptional sound at a great price.
A super-innovative software drum machine with a unique sequencing environment and the tools for sculpting your sounds. The BreakTweaker Expanded version comes with three expansion packs for even more sonic ammunition.
BreakTweaker has already received a 10/10 rating from Music Tech magazine and it's available on a special introductory offer until 19th February 2014.
A hands-on step-sequencer and MIDI/USB pad controller with assignable knobs at a fantastic price! The BeatStep is an analogue-style step sequencer that can control CV synths, external MIDI synths, iPads (using an optional Apple Camera Connection Kit) and virtual instruments on your computer.
A limited edition 2-note analogue synthesiser based on the Sub Phatty. With 40 knobs and 74 switches, this is definitely an instrument for those that like to get hands-on with sound programming.
Build your own full-size MS-20 synthesiser with the exact same circuitry as the original! This limited edition kit won't be around for long...
Roland announce two new workstation keyboards! There's the 61 note semi-weighted FA-06 and the fully-weighted 88-note FA-08 model, both featuring superNATURAL sounds from the Integra 7 module, as well as a built-in sampler, a 16-track sequencer and DAW control functionality.
An authentic analogue-modelling synthesiser with an interface that is designed to make sound programming as intuitive as possible.
Pioneer release a new flagship four-channel controller for Serato DJ. This bad boy has been designed to closely match Pioneer's top-of-the-range CDJ-2000NXS units, taking the jog wheels direct from them, including the on-jog display.
A USB controller with a built-in step sequencer! The Trigger Finger Pro features 16 multi-coloured, backlit pads, along with 16 smaller step-sequencing buttons. There's also an LCD screen for detailed feedback, along with 4 assignable sliders and dials. The Trigger Finger Pro attaches to your computer via USB and comes with M-Audio Arsenal software for working with samples, as well as more than 8GB of audio content.
GENELEC 8010 MONITORS
The 8010s are the smallest 8000 series speaker that Genelec has ever made, making it ideal for small studios that demand professional quality.
SLATE VIRTUAL MICROPHONE SYSTEM
An exciting product that claims to model a host of classic microphones and preamps. The package contains a large-diaphragm condenser microphone, a small-diaphragm pencil condenser microphone and a dual pre-amp. We'll keep you updated as and when we hear more, but for now, we suggest you check out the video below as we reckon you may just be blown away!
KORG TAKTILE MIDI CONTROLLER KEYBOARDS
The Taktile-25 features 25 semi-weighted keys, 8 backlit pads, 8 assignable sliders and plenty of assignable buttons. There's also a Kaossilator-style touch-pad that can be used to create cool effect morphs.
The Taktile-49 also features a touch-pad, but comes with 49 keys, 16 pads and 8 assignable dials in addition to the sliders and buttons.
Both Taktile controllers come with a large selection of software for getting up and running straight away.
KORG TRITON TAKTILE KEYBOARDS
The Triton Taktile-25 and Triton Taktile-49 have exactly the same interface layouts as their standard Taktile siblings (see above), but as well as being a MIDI controller, they also include a built-in sound engine, featuring 512 program sounds from the Korg Triton music station. Sounds range from your bread and butter sounds, such as electric piano and organ, to synth leads and pads.
A powerful 30-in, 24-out digital mixer with total recall of settings. The Qu-24 features 25 motorised faders as well as digitally controlled preamps, a touchscreen, a built-in multi-track recorder, multi-channel streaming to Mac computers and more!
An interface designed for those that want to record to an iPad or iPad mini with professional quality. The iTrack Dock is a 2-in, 2-out device with two of Focusrite's renowned preamps, plus connections for hooking straight up to a set of studio monitors and support for a class-compliant MIDI device.
ALESIS IO DOCK II
Alesis update their iPad recording interface with a design that includes interchangeable 30-pin and Lightning connectors. The iO Dock 2 also features an improved high-impedence guitar/bass input.
The Alesis iO Dock II works with virtually any Core Audio App and sports two XLR/jack combo inputs, professional outputs and MIDI I/O.
A new valve condenser microphone, with a fantastically smooth sound that's ideal for vocals. Also comes with a specially designed power supply.
AKAI MPK225, MPK249 & MPK261 MIDI KEYBOARDS
Akai's next generation of MIDI controllers will be available in 25, 49 and 61 note models, each offering semi-weighted keys, plenty of assignable controls, backlit RGB pads and a selection of bundled software (Ableton Live Lite, AIR Hybrid 3, SONiVOX Twist 2.0 and Akai Pro MPC Essentials).
The MPK Mini has also been updated with a 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch/modulation control
Roland update their classic stage piano with an improved feel and sounds.
A classic Waldorf analogue filter in a compact box. Ideal for giving the guitar player, DJ, or keyboard player access to a classic Waldorf sound.
A compact plug-and-play USB condenser microphone with a smooth frequency response, which makes it ideal for podcasting, recording for Youtube videos and also for use with Skype, FaceTime and voice recognition software.
Available in black, white or red, the RK100S keytar has a built-in analogue modelling sound engine, as well as allowing you to control external synths. Each RK100S features 37 keys, two ribbon controllers (one long, one short) and a dual purpose mic/audio input.
The Alesis Core 1 is ideal for recording a microphone or guitar level signal to your computer via USB, featuring a single input and a headphone output. It can record up to a quality of 24-bit/48kHz.
The Core 2 is a USB 2.0 interface with 2 inputs, for microphone, guitar or line level signals. It can record up to a quality of 24-bit/96kHz and features a 5-pin MIDI input and output.
The Core 8 is a rackmountable 8-channel USB 2.0 audio interface. Each of its inputs can accept either a microphone, guitar or line level signal, so it's ideal for medium-sized recording projects.
Each Core interface comes with Cubase LE recording software.
Yamaha'a HS series offer excellent quality audio for the money, which explains why they are one of our most popular monitors, as well as why they are used by a number of professional producers.
For those that prefer a different design, the HS5s, HS7s and HS8s are now available with a white finish.
TANNOY REVEAL MONITORS
A USB audio interface with 8 XLR/jack combo inputs, dual headphone outputs and 24 bit/96kHz resolution.
A futuristic-looking theremin with 32 wavetable-based presets, MIDI and a fully adjustable pitch correction system. It also features a built-in speaker, as well as headphone and audio outputs.
A slimline controller with 16 backlit, multi-colour, velocity-sensitive pads and classic MPC controls, such as note repeat, full level, 16 level and tap tempo. Also comes with MPC Essentials software.
ALESIS VI CONTROLLER KEYBOARDS
The VI25 has 8 assignable knobs and 24 assignable buttons, the VI49 has 12 assignable knobs and 36 assignable buttons and the VI61 has 16 assignable knobs, 48 assignable buttons. All are powered via a USB connection to a computer.
ALESIS V CONTROLLER KEYBOARDS
The Alesis V25, V49 and V61 are MIDI controller keyboards with 25, 49 and 61 full-sized keys respectively. Each controller features 8 backlit velocity-sensitive pads, 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons. All are powered via a USB connection to a computer.
A new range of affordable active studio monitors, consisting of the BX5 Carbon (with a 5 inch low-frequency driver), BX6 Carbon (with a 6 inch low-frequency driver) and BX8 Carbon (with a 8 inch low-frequency driver). Each monitor provides controls that let you calibrate the speaker to your mixing environment, as well as a new waveguide for improved imaging.
Yamaha release new mixer lines, featuring 'D-PRE' Class A mic preamps and with the larger models sporting Yamaha's '1-knob compressors' on the mic channels.
The standard MG range features the MG06, MG10, MG12, MG16 and MG20. Then there's the MG06X, which has built-in effects. Finally, the MGXU line features mixers with both FX and a USB 2.0 connection for recording to a computer. The MGXU range is made up of the MG10XU, MG12XU, MG16XU and MG20XU.
ROLAND HP504, HP506 & HP508 DIGITAL PIANOS
Roland update their HP500 series of digital pianos with the most recent technologies, for an even more authentic sound and feel. There are also newly integrated features, such as Dynamic Harmonic, which allows for even greater dynamic expression when playing fortissimo passages.
ROLAND DP90Se & DP90e DIGITAL PIANOS
Roland update their DP90 series for an improved sound and feel. These new digital pianos contain the new Dynamic Harmonic feature, which improves on dynamic expression when playing fortissimo parts. The DP90Se also features the newly developed PHA-4 keyboard.
The HPi-50e offers professional performance at an excellent price. It features a SuperNATURAL sound engine, the new Dynamic Harmonic feature (allowing for greater dynamic expression when playing loud parts) and Roland's new flagship PHA-4 Concert Keyboard. There's also a built-in LCD screen for displaying scores.
A space-saving digital piano with SuperNATURAL sounds, Roland's new Dynamic Harmonic feature and a flagship PHA-4 Concert Keyboard. Available in black or white.
Offers an authentic piano experience in a compact design. The P-255 (available in black or white) features a Graded Hammer action keyboard, 10 onboard rhythm tracks, electric and acoustic sounds and 256 notes of polyphony.
ALESIS VORTEX WIRELESS
Alesis' MIDI keytar controller has gone wireless! The Vortex Wireless uses a USB dongle to create a wireless connection between the instrument and your computer.
A new 2+2 channel mixer (allowing four sound sources to be connected at once) with built-in low- and high-pass filters, 3 band total kill EQ and an external FX loop.
A monitoring system for vocals and instruments with built-in TC-Helicon vocal processing. The VoiceSolo FX150 features a built-in 3-channel mixer as well as reverb, intelligent EQ and compression.
AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-Mx HEADPHONES
Audio Technica re-vamp their hugely popular ATH-M range of headphones with refined earpads and detachable cables.
AKAI RPM500 & RPM800 MONITORS
Active studio monitors with 5 inch and 8 inch woofers respectively. Each feature a proximity control, which instantly adapts the monitor to any mixing environment.
APOGEE JAM 96k & APOGEE MiC 96k
The Apogee Jam 96k and MiC 96k are premium quality devices for recording to your iPad or Mac computer. The Jam allows you to record an electric guitar signal, whereas the MiC can be used to capture sounds such as vocals or acoustic instruments. With these new models, both can record up to a quality of 24-bit, 96kHz.
M-AUDIO M3 MONITORS
The M3-6 (with a 6 inch low-frequency driver) and M3-8 (with an 8 inch low-frequency driver) offer an active studio monitor with a three-way design at an affordable price.
IK MULTIMEDIA iRING
An innovative new controller that allows for touch-less parameter control over iRing FX/Controller and iRing Music Maker Apps.
AKAI EWI 5000
Akai's electronic wind instrument goes wireless and includes 3GB of acoustic and progressive sounds.
NAMM 2014 - GUITAR GEAR
TC introduce a super-charged version of their hugely popular Ditto looper pedal for guitarists. The Ditto X2 adds stereo I/O, separate switches for looping and FX, reverse and half-speed FX and it allows you to import backing tracks from your computer and export loops to your computer.
The iconic Stratocaster was first released in 1954, which makes in 60 years old this year! In celebration, Fender have released a selection of gorgeous 60th Anniversary models. Drool!
Compact entry-level stereo guitar amplifiers with simple, yet great-sounding tone-shaping controls.
One of the most popular pitch-shifting pedals in the world has been optimised for the bass guitar.
ANTARES AUTO-TUNE FOR GUITAR
Antares announce luthier installation kits and a forthcoming floor unit, which allow you to tune your guitar with the push of a button, as well as quickly alter tunings, add a virtual capo or change the sound of your guitar. Check it out in the video below!
The ME-80 is a mobile, battery-powered multi-effects pedal, packed with effects and amp models, along with 30 knobs for quickly customising your sounds.
ELECTRO-HARMONIX LUMBERJACK LOG OVERDRIVER PEDAL
This new true bypass pedal from Electro-Harmonix features a logarithmic overdrive, to create a distortion sound with a fantastically unique character. The pedal's design means that its sound varies widely depending on your dynamic level, with tones ranging from a clean boost to gritty distortion.
Re-creates the sound of the classic fuzztone pedal that is synonymous with songs such as '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' by The Rolling Stones. This pedal features a simple two-knob design, as well as true bypass circuitry.
ELECTRO-HARMONIX CRYING BASS WAH/FUZZ PEDAL
A wah/fuzz pedal designed especially for bass guitar. The Crying Bass makes use of Electro-Harmonix's Next Step design, for an ultra-smooth response.
ELECTRO-HARMONIX TORTION OVERDRIVE PEDAL
A JFET Overdrive pedal, which produces a tube-like response and tone. The Tortion features no less than 8 dials for sculpting your ideal sound.
ELECTRO-HARMONIX HOLY GRAIL MAX REVERB PEDAL
The Holy Grail Max takes the same spring and hall reverbs from the original Holy Grail, but adds new plate and reverse reverbs for those after something a little different.
FENDER VAPORIZER AMPS
A new guitar amplifier with 5 built-in speakers. The range consists of the AMPLIFi 75 and the more powerful AMPLIFi 150, with both featuring plenty of built-in DSP for adding effects and customising the tone of your guitar.
AMPLIFi amps also allow you to stream audio from another Bluetooth device and by using the free AMPLIFi Remote App, you can wirelessly tweak and share your tones with other guitarists.
Overdrive and distortion guitar pedals that bring the classic OD-1 and DS-1 into a new era, with updated tones.
NEW ESP SIGNATURE GUITARS
ESP announce new signature guitar models. Guitars include:
• James Hetfield (Metallica) Iron Cross in Snow White finish (ESP and LTD models).
• Kirk Hammett (Metallica) LTD KH-WZ White Zombie guitar.
• Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones) LTD Ron Wood guitar, in 3-Tone Burst and Black finishes.
• Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan) BW-1: a semi-hollow guitar with a flamed top and EverTune bridge.
• Will Adler (Lamb of God): new finishes available for the ESP Will Adler Warbird and the LTD SE Warbird.
• Frédéric Leclercq (DragonForce) FL-204 signature bass.
• Doris Yeh (Chthonic) DY-5 bass guitar.
• Jesse Liu (Chthonic) E-II JL-7 guitar.
• Elias Viljanen (Sonata Arctica) E-II EV-7 7-string guitar.
NAMM 2014 - DRUM GEAR
ALESIS SAMPLEPAD PRO
An electronic percussion pad with plenty of onboard sounds. The SamplePad Pro features 10 kits, with over 200 drum and cymbal sounds and 8 two-shot rubber pads to trigger them.
ALESIS SAMPLE RACK
A rack-mountable percussion module with 10 ready-to-play kits and over 200 drum and cymbal sounds. The Sample Rack features 8 trigger inputs as well as true kick and hi-hat inputs.
A compact battery-powered module that works in combination with Roland triggers to create a powerful hybrid drum kit. The TM-2 provides two trigger inputs and whilst it comes packed with preset sounds, you can also add your own samples to build completely custom kits.
Whilst headphones can be used with electronic kits, which means that they can be significantly quieter than acoustic kits, the mechanical action of hitting pads and pedals can cause vibrations to travel into the floor and disturb people downstairs or in adjoining rooms. The NE-10 and NE-1 are sound isolation device, which help solve this problem.