Anaheim California becomes a massive hub for all things music during the Winter NAMM show every January. Thousands of product exhibitors arrive on the scene to set up spaces that announce and showcase their latest gear. Whether you’re a guitarist, percussionist, DJ, or lighting technician, NAMM show is your one-stop shop for the latest and greatest.
Smaller companies like STG Soundlabs had small booths with several different modular synth setups to test out their products. Other bigger companies like Roland had much larger areas showcasing the brands they own including Roland Keyboards, BOSS pedals, V-Moda headphones, as well as sections for live performance demos. We were lucky enough to catch KJ Sawka demoing Roland’s V-Drums in a live dubstep performance.
Since our blog is centered around electronic music, we are gonna share some of our top picks for dance music creation and performance.
1. Sequential Hybrid Pro 3 Synthesizer
Dave Smith’s latest synth masterpiece comes in the form of this hybrid analog-digital keyboard. The Pro 3 offers two classic oscillators and one digital oscillator with 32 wavetable options. This monophonic powerhouse of sound mimics the classic filters, LFOs, and envelopes of the acclaimed Prophet synths, but with way more ability for creative wave shaping.
2. Pioneer DJ DJM-V10 6-Channel DJ Mixer
If you did not fiddle with the latest Pioneer mixer then did you even attend NAMM? This is what every DJ was thinking when they showed up to the Pioneer booth over the weekend. The latest Pioneer mixer is very similar to the Allen & Heath mixer in its ability to send FX through specific channels in a much more efficient way then we are used to with the Pioneer DJM 900 NXS2 mixer. This is the first Pioneer mixer to support a full six channels of audio, which is expected to be used for turntables and other devices. Pioneer brought out Dirtybird heavyweights Claude Vonstroke, Walker & Royce, and VNSSA to perform on this mixer over the weekend.
3. UAD Luna DAW
Universal Audio is at the forefront of pro audio recording gear. From hardware devices to plugins, their products can be found in most recording environments from home to professional studios. Their latest announcement at NAMM took the music world by surprise.
Luna is a recording DAW that integrates zero-latency monitoring. It works only with UAD’s Thunderbolt Apollo interfaces and it promises the best recording quality and performance when using both UAD’s interface as well as their plugins. We are excited to see how this stands up against Pro Tools in the professional recording world.
4. Behringer CAT
Behringer has become infamously well known for the company that clones old school synth products at an affordable price. Their latest synth clone announced is the Behringer CAT, a clone of Octave’s The CAT SRMII of the 70’s. It is a gem from the past that’s unique sound has been used in countless electronic records over the years from artists such as The Chemical Brothers. What used to be a rare vintage synth is now available to a larger audience thanks to Behringer. The company also announced clones of Moog Eurorack modules as well as a clone of the Roland TR 606.
5. Korg Wavestate
Korg has been riding a massive wave of success with the synth community since they released one of the first affordable polyphonic synthesizers back in 2016. Since then they’ve released a small handful of synths with the same sleek design as the minilogue, Wavestate is the latest one. The Wavestate is a more complex synth. It showcases digital oscillators with modular inspired composition. It has a massive ability for polyphonic layering as well as 14 effects that can be used simultaneously. This is gonna be a big one for keyboardists looking to sculpt incredible sounds without external equipment.