Winter NAMM 2012 Surprises

Well Winter NAMM 2012 kicked off this past week and my initial thoughts at the beginning of the week were that it was going to be a bust. If trends mean anything (and apparently they do not) I was under the impression that NAMM was going to be stuck in the perpetual cycle of iterative software announcements. To my pleasant surprise however, we got to see a whole bunch of interesting hardware announcements. 

Waldorf Pulse 2

This is one of three serious analog synths announced at this year's NAMM. Analog seems to be back and in a big way. The Waldorf Pulse was the one that excited me the most, mostly because of its form factor. I can see this little guy sitting very nicely next to a Blofield and a DS Evolver. 

Arturia

Perhaps garnering the most attention at the show was the Arturia Minibrute. This was a surprise for everyone since Arturia has never produced a hardware synth, let alone an analog. I have seen many a talk over at LivePA.org with excitement about the fact that there is a control for every parameter here. The steiner-parker (no idea what this means) filer also is garnering a lot of talk.

Moog Minitaur

Personally I am not excited about this one, but it has the Moog name on it and is MSRP'd at ~$650. I suppose that is enough for a Moog. 

Akai

Akai also seems to have come on very strong this year with a bunch of MPC stuff. The MPC Renaissance is a full on controller for the PC. The MPC Fly looks like a very interesting hardware interface bringing MPC pads to the iPad in a clamshell type case. They also have a nice grouping of Midi controllers that seem to be stepping up the level a notch.

Nektar Panorama Controller for Reason

The final piece of gear that surprised me was the Nektar hardware controller for Reason. We have seen over the past couple of years a lot of dedicated controllers for Ableton Live. It makes sense that Reason would eventually get one too since it has such a constant interface. I am personally not a Reason user, but this controller has a really solid look to it. 

Experimenting with Trackers

Over the past couple of weeks I have taken a new keen interest in trackers. Some of them of the more traditional sort, some of them not. For years I used to use Buzz, before switching entirely over to hardware. With the rise of the iPhone though there has been an increasing amount of software for music creation on the iPhone itself, and what do you know, some of the traditional tracker concepts seem to work well on the iPhone. 

I hope to continue my work on the hardware side, but as a side diversion I plan to play with some software both on my iPhone and on my laptop in short increments. 

Hopefully in the next several weeks you will see some song snippets from Nanoloop, MilkyTracker and Sunvox as I begin to learn these programs and dig my fingers into them. 

Rise of the Solar Empire

Rise of the Solar Empire is a divergence of sorts for me. This album is focused on more dance oriented beats with almost all of tracks featuring a “four to the floor” kick line. Mixed in with the danceable beats however are the signature pads and melody lines you come to expect from Dynamic Interplay. 

Download

Tracklisting

  • Rain Maker
  • Henry Boy
  • Night the Morning Come
  • Journey to the Edge of the Earth
  • Rise of the Solar Empire
  • Five ‘Till Touchdown
  • Echoes
  • Hop Scotch
  • Hopes & Space Dreams
  • Eyes Closed & Waiting

All Tracks (c) Matthew A. Supert 2007 unless otherwise noted. All work including music and artwork is released under Creative Commons sharealike license 2.5. For more information please visit the .:Creative Commons 2.5 Deed:. for this webpage.