NAMM 2020: The best gear of Day FourJanuary 20, 2020
NAMM 2020: We came, we saw, we conquered. NAMM 2020 is officially over. Here’s our round-up of the best gear from Day 4 at the show.
Easily our highlight of Day 4 was Arturia’s new multi-channel polyphonic sequencer, the Keystep Pro. The 37-key controller’s I/O lets you take control of your DAW, MIDI-enabled hardware synths and modular rigs. Of the devices introduced at NAMM, this is the most impressive that we saw.
Launched in September to great acclaim, the Ashun Sound Machines Hydrasynth is an eight-voice wave morphing polysynth. Co-created by Glen Darcey, formerly of Arturia and Roland, the Hydrasynth has serious credentials. And at NAMM it was being demonstrated with a new set of patches and new 1.3 firmware that features snappier filters and more.
This tiny teal stompbox could be the missing piece that joins your go-to studio plugins and your pedalboard, offering endless routing possibilities thanks to two mono inputs, two stereo TRS outputs and USB-C connectivity. Roll in independent input gain and output volume controls for each channel and true bypass switching capability, and this is an attractively simple setup. It also comes in a road-ready, premium zinc housing.
While the brand may not yet be a household name, Austrian Audio is made up of a team of former AKG engineers who wanted to continue furthering their designs on pro audio. The HI-X55 and HI-X50 are studio and DJ monitors, respectively, and are made for durability and comfort with a solid but twistable metal headband and replaceable parts.
Usually dwelling in the creative realms of game audio and audio post-production, Krotos has made its move into synthesis with Concept. With a relatively simple interface and clear indications of how the engine is working, Concept has some unique modulation traits that could make this a desirable plug-in for sound designers of all levels. Most notable is the Tweak It section, which is similar to randomisation – except it’s not. The Tweak It window allows you to select which parameters you would like to add variety on, and how much you want the parameter to be affected.