NAMM 2017

NAMM 2017: Highlights

Although I have never been to the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) trade show, I have always followed the news that talks about the new products that are featured in it. Music product companies use NAMM to showcase their upcoming product lines, and 2017 looks promising indeed. Here are some of my favorite picks:

Elektron Digitakt

This is an awesome blend of old-school interfaces and sounds, and new-school technology. The Digitakt is a standalone sampler and sequencer, and can be hooked up to a computer or workstation for further processing. It features 8 audio and 8 MIDI tracks, has a powerful sequencer and FX processing, a 1 GB hard drive and 64 MB sample memory, and an OLED display screen. It is scheduled for release on April 2017, and should retail for $650.

ARP Odyssey

If the ARP Odyssey sounds familiar, that’s because the original synthesizers have been featured on countless songs from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Now, Korg owns the rights to the name, and they have faithfully recreated the original ARP Odyssey, complete with analog sound along with sliding faders and controls. It has 37 keys, and should retail for $1,599.

Fusion Guitar

Now, here is an interesting product. There have been guitars that interface with MIDI (Line 6 was the first to release one), but this actually has a dock for your iPhone 6, 6S, or 7 to interface with your phone. There are thousands of apps that can be potentially used, in order to record, use effects, or even play along to instructional videos. The guitar itself has an integrated speaker, and will even charge your phone if it is connected to an amp! Unfortunately, there isn’t any model that will work with Android phones…yet. The Fusion Guitar should retail for $1,200.

Gibson M2 guitar

This is another interesting idea. As you might be aware, Gibson is considered a high end guitar brand, and Epiphone is the lower end guitar brand that is owned by Gibson. Now you can buy a Gibson for the price of an Epiphone! This may sound redundant, but I don’t believe this will dilute the Gibson brand. They look sharp, and if you swap the pickups out, you can have a beast of a guitar for a very reasonable price. They should retail for $399.

Jackson Misha Mansoor HT6 signature guitar

I’ve never been a big fan of Jackson guitars, but this one might change my mind. This is the new signature guitar for Misha Mansoor of Periphery, and it is a nice looking guitar that is built for heavy riffing, shredding, and palm muting. And it will be at a reasonable price: $799.

Digitech Freqout guitar pedal

Now here is a conundrum: a pedal that creates feedback, with true bypass! It may sound ridiculous and impossible, but to me it sounds great in theory. Instead of uncontrolled feedback, you can control and create your own, and have easier ways of playing harmonics. In fact, there are 7 harmonic modes. I look forward to the release on this one.

AKAI Professional MPC Live sampler/sequencer

Akai has been at the forefront of standalone samplers ever since the MPC 60 back in the late 1980’s. The 16 pad square layout is incredibly intuitive and has proved to be highly influential, since this layout has since been used on many products. The new MPC has that same intuition and ease of use, but is now even more powerful. It is completely portable with its battery power capabilities, or it can be AC powered. It features 16 GB of storage, and even comes with a 10 GB sample library.

Vox MV50 guitar amplifier

A class D guitar tube amplifier with 50 watts…for only $199? That’s what you see here. With the Class D circuitry, the MV50 is versatile and energy efficient, and the 50 watts should give you enough power to play any club gig.