Ten top picks from NAMM 2020
There were loads of new electronic offerings at this year’s NAMM show. Here are some of our top picks!
1. The Yamaha YC61 Stage Keyboard
Yamaha’s YC61 Stage Keyboard is an organ-focused instrument in a compact, gig-ready package. It uses Yamaha’s newly developed Virtual Circuitry Modeling (VCM) organ engine which models the behavior of vintage electronics. With physical drawbars, percussion, rotary speaker speed control, loads of additional sounds and more, the YC61 is $2,499 and will ship to retailers in June 2020. Check-out a demo video below from our friends at MusicRadar.
2. Arturia KeyStep Pro
The 37-note KeyStep Pro combines elements of Arturia’s KeyStep and BeatStep Pro devices. It’s designed for use with both hardware and software, combining MIDI, USB and analogue CV/gate outputs, allowing for connection to hardware instruments, modular systems and plugins/DAWs simultaneously. With four polyphonic sequencer tracks onboard, the KeyStep Pro can take control of multiple instruments at once and has the potential to become an all-powerful studio hub.
3. Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3
Launchpad Pro offers dedicated controls for clip and scene launching, transport, quantizing and duplicating, a Chord Mode that lets you build and play chords straight from the grid, and more. And Launchpad Pro now contains a powerful MIDI sequencer that can be used to drive both your plugins and hardware gear. It’s the most powerful Launchpad to date.
4. Roland A-88MKII
Roland is one of the first companies to announce a MIDI 2.0 compatible device, the A-88MKII MIDI keyboard controller. It has the same Ivory Feel PHA-4 keyboard that you’ll find in other premium Roland products, with high-resolution sensing and what’s described as ‘lightning-fast response.”
5. Korg Wavestate
A tribute to Korg’s famed 90s synth Wavestation, the new Wavestate boasts cutting-edge sound design tools for the 21st century. While it captures the sound and feel of its predecessor, the Wavestate also expands on the underlying tech in a number of interesting ways and it’s available at great price.
6. Sequential Pro-3
“Pack as much power as possible into a compact footprint and make it sound awesome,” says Sequential founder Dave Smith about the company’s new Pro-3, a three-oscillator paraphonic synth that combines both analog and digital components into a smart-looking package.
7. Clavia Nord Wave 2
A 4-part synth featuring sample-based, virtual analog, wavetable and FM synthesis, Clavia claims their new Nord Wave 2 is their most versatile synth yet. Other features include multiple modulation options, filters, effects a 61-note aftertouch keyboard, an arpeggiator, a gate for rhythmic effects, and morphing capabilities. There’s also a Unison mode for creating extra fat sounds.
8. Moog Subsequent 25
Moog’s new Subsequent 25 is a two-note paraphonic analog synth featuring a 25-note keyboard, two oscillators, plus an additional sub oscillator and noise generator. It replaces the company’s famed Sub Phatty, which made earth-shaking bass patches and ripping lead sounds. We’re convinced this new offering will do the same!
9. Korg ARP 2600 FS
Korg has just reissued the famed ARP 2600 synth, and offered some modern updates on it as well. Analog purists rejoice!
10. SSL2 and 2+
Solid State Logic has jumped into the home recording market with two affordable USB audio interfaces: the SSL 2 and SSL 2+. With included mic preamps, a Legacy 4k enhancement mode inspired by their classic SSL 4000 consoles, and monitoring capabilities as well. They will also ship with SSL’s Production Pack software bundle.