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16 Best New Gear Releases Featured At NAMM 2019

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 1.40.17 PMFollowing the National Association of Music Merchants 2019 gathering, Michael Hahn highlights some the most exciting music tech releases/announcements from this years event, and wheat they suggest about music tech trends moving forward.

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Guest post by Michael Hahn of Landr

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for gear addicts!

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2019 has just concluded.

Tantalizing announcements of upcoming gear and new music tech are flooding the news cycle and forums all over the internet.

But after all the dust has settled, there were some stand out trends to keep your eye on in the upcoming year.

Here’s the most exciting announcements—and the music-tech trends they represent—from NAMM 2019.

Modular and small-format synths

 

The budding modular craze shows no sign of slowing down. Major manufacturers debuted a slew of full or semi-modular designs at NAMM 2019.

Teenage Engineering PO-Modular

Teenage Engineering dug its heels in on the trend with the stylish PO-Modular line, showing off the strikingly coloured 400 Model.

Behringer Crave

Behringer provided a budget conscious take on the semi-patchable desktop analog with the Crave.

With circuit topology elements from various vintage reissues, Crave has a lot going for it at such a low price point.

With circuit topology elements from various vintage reissues, Crave has a lot going for it at such a low price point.

Moog Sirin

Moog stuck to the tabletop format of their popular desktop modules with their excellent Sirin synth, which promises to take the Taurus Bass platform into super fat lead territory.

Arturia MicroFreak

The modular spirit is making its way into the conversation in less tangible ways as well.

Although digital, Arturia’s innovative MicroFreak features a capacitive keyboard similar to the note input of the iconic Buchla Music Easel.

Korg Minilogue XD

Though not exactly small-format, some of the biggest synth hype at NAMM came from Korg’s XD update to the popular Minilogue synth.

Featuring a new digital engine and updates to the filter, the XD update turns an already impressive modern analog into a hybrid beast.

The XD update turns an already impressive modern analog into a hybrid beast.

Synth pedals

Judging by the offerings this year, guitarists want in on the synth action as well.

Judging by the offerings this year, guitarists want in on the synth action as well.

Following the success of the wildly popular Meris Enzo, pedals that partially or fully transform your guitar signal into a synth were on full display.

Electro-Harmonix Monosynth

Effects juggernaut Electro-Harmonix debuted the Monosynth pedals for guitar and bass.

Drawing on the transformational technology of their -9 series pedals, the Monosynths don’t require any special accessories to turn your guitar into a fat sounding monosynth.

Pigtronix Restoron

Meanwhile, the Pigtronix Resotron brings the iconic sound of the Prophet 5’s filter section to guitar pedals.

It’s pitch tracking envelope and oscillator section let you go full synth axe as well.

It’s pitch tracking envelope and oscillator section let you go full synth axe as well.

Robert Keely Synth-1

Veteran boutique builder Robert Keeley also ventured into the synth waters with the stylish Synth-1 pedal, which he refers to as a “chaos creator.”

Impulse response tech for guitarists

Convolution techniques for modelling guitar speaker cabinets are taking off in the tone-o-sphere…

Two notes C.A.B. M and Audient Sono

Veteran IR brand Two notes maintained a strong presence with it’s micro form-factor Torpedo C.A.B. M IR loader and also bundled their IR technology with Audient’s new Sono interface.

Aimed at guitarists, Sono features an onboard tube-amp style preamp as a plug and play solution in combination with the built-in Two notes power amp and speaker emulation.

In addition to that, users get the full suite of Audient interface goodies, including the excellent preamps and conversion the brand is known for.

Revv D20

Traditional amp brands are starting to take note of the IR revolution too. Canadian builder Revv amplifiers new Revv D20 features an onboard load and cab sim—also from Two notes.

Traditional amp brands are starting to take note of the IR revolution.

This approach promises a one-stop shop solution for plugging a real tube amplifier directly into a PA system or recording interface.

Suhr PT15IR

Suhr is taking the concept to the extreme with the revolutionary PT15IR amp designed in collaboration with Pete Thorn.

The PT15IR is a three channel amplifier with selectable IRs per channel—essentially allowing you to switch between different cabinets for each different setting. It’s a big development in amp design!

It’s a big development in amp design!

Interfaces everywhere

Some might say the audio interface space is approaching saturation. The sheer number of options on the market today is already a bit staggering.

But that didn’t stop manufacturers from debuting more audio interfaces in all shapes and sizes.

IK Multimedia AXE I/O

IK Multimedia debuted a guitar-first interface called the AXE I/O, that capitalizes on its mature Amplitube emulation technology.

NI Komplete Audio 1 and 2

Native Instruments expanded its Komplete Audio line with the small-format Komplete Audio 1 and 2.

Arturia Audiofuse

Arturia grew its Audiofuse lineup with the Audiofuse Studio and Audiofuse 8pre.

AKAI Force

Speaking of well established paradigms, AKAI unveiled the AKAI Force.

Promising to combine MPC and Push style workflow in a standalone hardware package, the Force could be the best-of-both-worlds solution beatmakers have been waiting for.

Get excited for the year of gear and the possibilities for your own setup!

Wham bam, thank you NAMM!

There were more exciting product debuts at this year’s NAMM show than we could possibly cover.

The gear industry moves fast and manufacturers are always competing to bring the biggest and most useful innovations to the table.

This year’s offerings were no exception. Now that you’ve seen a taste of what’s coming up, get excited for the year of gear and the possibilities for your own setup!

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Michael Hahn is an engineer and producer at Autoland and member of the swirling indie rock trio Slight.

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