This Week in Music Tech: The Most In-Depth Look at Ableton's Push Yet and More NAMM Updates from Livid, Numark, Akai, and Korg
- Words: Glenn Jackson
Now that the dust has settled following the absolute music-gear overload that was NAMM 2013, a few more interesting pieces have made their way onto our radar—including a new line of controllers from Livid, a designed-to-order mega analog synth, and the most in-depth video overview of Ableton's Push yet to appear.
XLR8R's day at NAMM:
- XLR8R spent a day at NAMM perusing booth after booth of mouth-watering new toys (such as the gold-plated Moog Voyager pictured above) while attempting to evade the ever-present mass of guitar wanking heard throughout the Anaheim Convention Center. We left with mixed feelings, and decided to tally up what we thought were the essential highlights and lowlights of this year's NAMM conference. You can read our full Best and Worst of NAMM 2013 article here.
More pieces announced at NAMM:
- Known for making rather unique MIDI controllers (along with a handful of DIY kits), Livid Instruments unveiled Base, a forthcoming unit which features eight responsive touch strips and 32 LED-backlit pads in a package that is only about an inch thick.
- In addition to the MS-20 Mini synth that had the convention abuzz, Korg also used NAMM to unveil updated versions of its Kaoss Pad and Kassilator, now each with a new look and new features as the KP3+ and new Kaossilator Pro+. In addition, the Japanese company introduced the KingKorg, a versatile, analog-modelling synthesizer featured in the video above.
- Akai was showing off the compact MPX-8 SD sample pad controller at its NAMM booth. The extremely portable unit comes with eight velocity-sensitive pads and allows users to load samples directly to the unit using an SD card, making no computer necessary for this little guy to make noise—though it also utilizes standard MIDI and USB capabilities, as well.
- Numark introduced updated versions of its various controllers, adding MPC pads to its higher-end NS7 II controller as well as new pads (not MPC though) and features to its forthcoming Mixtrack Pro II and Mixtrack II DJ controllers.
- And just because the NAMM conference is a wonderful place to drool over gear most of us can't actually afford, we thought we'd share this video of the Schmidt Polysynth, which caught our eye during our time in Anaheim. Essentially, the piece is an all-analog megasynth that—at this point—is only made to order, meaning it is rather expensive. Still, it's hard not to gawk at this eight-voice-, four-oscillator-, five-filter-toting behemoth of a synthesizer.
Ableton gives a deeper look at Push:
Although Ableton didn't have an official booth at NAMM, they invited a number of producers and members of the press to sit in on an in-depth demonstration of its still forthcoming hardware controller Push. Fortunately, Future Music Magazine was smart enough to bring along a camera, and has posted this informative video in which an Ableton represntative takes viewers through almost the entire range of functions the Push appears to be capabale of.
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