The 30 Best Things at NAMM 2018

1. Our friend Thomas Dolby, getting a lifetime achievement award from Roland (h/t KraftMusic):

2. Our friend Paul White getting all Men in Black with the Game Changer Audio Plasma Pedal – a stomp box that’s so bright you gotta wear shades (h/t Sound on Sound):

3. Waldorf Quantum. The most eagerly anticipated keyboard of 2017/18 is all but finished and perilously close to shipping (h/t Synth Anatomy & Bonedo Synthesizers):

4. Strymon Magneto Eurorack Tape Delay. A virtual 4 head tape delay, looper & spring reverb, in Eurorack format, with extensive CV i/o? What’s not to like?! In fact it gets our award for best Eurorack module at NAMM 2018. But shhh… don’t tell Marvel Comics (h/t Perfect Circuit Audio):

5. The Pioneer DJS-1000. We loved its forerunner – the Toriaz SP-16 and suspect that the DJS-1000 will be the new standard of DJ sampler (h/t Sonic State):

6. BOSS GT-1000. A multitude of amps & stomp boxes, including the algorithms from the fantastic DD/RV/MD-500 & MDP series, with 32-bit AD/DA and 32-bit/96 kHz internal processing? Yes please! (h/t Better Music):

7. Elektron Digitone. Proof that if you wait long enough, everything comes back into fashion…even FM…and here it is with knobs on, both figuratively & literally (h/t Synthtopia):

8. Korg Prologue. This Minilogue/Monologue influenced 8/16 voice hybrid polysynth features two analogue and one digital oscillators and looks as sleek as it sounds (h/t Sound on Sound & Loopop):

9. Rossum Electro Music Assimil8r – The final version of the long awaited 8 channel Eurorack sampler from Mr E-mu Emulator himself! (h/t Sonic State):

10. The Arturia MiniBrute 2 & MiniBrute 2S. Falling somewhere between a MiniBrute and a MatrixBrute, these Brutes feature dual oscillators and 48 point Eurorack compatible patch bay. We prefer the MiniBrute 2S, which swaps its keyboard for a BeatStep Pro style sequencer (h/t SourceDistributionTV):

11. Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 keytar controller. Simply the best Keytar we’ve ever seen (h/t Andertons):

12. SE Electronics RNT. A large-diaphragm tube condenser mic designed in collaboration with audio legend and thoroughly nice guy, Rupert Neve, that’s said to combine vintage quality with the benefits of modern advances (h/t Sound on Sound):

13. Antares Autotune Pro. Better, faster, stronger, but not harder and now with added auto tune 5 classic algorithm option. Believe (h/t Bedroom Producers Blog):

14. Behringer in original synth shocker. It’s called the Neutron and it’s redder than Lenin.

15. Roland TR-808 and TR-909 plug-ins for the Roland Cloud. Following on from the TR–08 and TR–09, Roland is bringing VST and AU versions of the venerable TR-808 & TR-909 to the Roland Cloud. Say Planet Rock, it’s the sure shot (h/t Bedroom Producers Blog):

16. Doepfer Polyphonic Eurorack Modules. They’re made by Doepfer. They’re polyphonic. As David Byrne once said “Any questions?” (Animato Audio):

17. Apple Logic Pro X 10.4. Offering far more than one would expect from a point update, Logic Pro X 10.4’s headline new features include ‘Smart Tempo’, which claims to use “advanced tempo detection technology” to enable all recorded tracks to stay in time with each other without the need for a metronome/click track; a new algorithmic reverb called ‘ChromaVerb’; a ‘Vintage EQ’ plug-in; Celemony Melodyne ARA 2 support; and, best of all, the return of two of our all time favourite plug-ins – Camel Audio’s CamelPhat and CamelSpace, in the form of ‘Phat FX’ and ‘Step FX’.


18. Realitone Hip Hop Creator. This grabbed our attention not only because our Publisher/Editor is the world’s greatest rapper, but also for the unintended comedic brilliance of 2:57-3:30 in this video (h/t Sonic State):

19. Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O. One of three new Pocket Operators, the PO-33 K.O. is a sampler that looks like a lot of fun…with or without added Cuckoo…though undeniably more so with (h/t Cuckoo):

20. Sonnox VoxDoubler. This duo of plug-ins – ‘Widen’ and ‘Thicken’ aim to do what they suggest naturally, with Sonnox quality at a refreshingly economical price (h/t Sound on Sound):

21. Roland’s expanding headband. Whilst you’re waiting for Roland to re-release the Jupiter 8, why not buy a bunch of Roland SE-02s and poly chain them?. Here’s Scott Tibbs demonstrating how huge this sounds (h/t Sonic State):

22. Empress Effects Zoia. The modular pedal that’s anything you want it to be

23. Sim1 XT-1. A pedal that promises to transform your guitar into a classic Les Paul, Strat, Tele, 335, or acoustic…and what’s more it seems to work!

24. Blip Blox. A Fisher Price style synthesizer & beatbox for kids that’s guaranteed to be used almost exclusively by adults.

25. Yamaha CS-80. No, not a re-release, but an original, that was recently unearthed by Yamaha in a spot of office archaeology. What’s more, it’s in pristine condition..or, at least, it was before spending 4 days at NAMM… (h/t Synthtopia):

26. The Waldorf STVC. Contrary to rumours, this is not a case of Waldorf going all Behringer on the Roland VP-330, but an entirely different beast, based upon a re-voiced (and, in our opinion, better sounding) Streichfett. Now all Waldorf need to do is to remove the keyboard and the vocoder and stick it in a box (h/t Sonic State):

27. Keith McMillen K-Board Pro 4. Express yourself! (h/t Kraft Music):

28. Rainger FX Reverb X. Just when you think everything that can be done with reverb and overdrive in a stompbox has been done, Rainger FX’s Reverb X comes along and does something new (h/t Sonic State):

29. Yudo NEUMAN Multi-Touch Keyboard / Synthesizer Prototype. Is this the future? (h/t Synth Anatomy):

30. Ormsby DJENT2018. You can’t mention NAMM 2018 without mentioning this 18 string Tasmanian blackwood and stone (sic) 18 string guitar. It reminds us of the time that Homer Simpson designed a car… (h/t GAK):

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