With so many innovative products and amazing musicians on hand, NAMM is always a treat for the ears and eyes. Here is a tiny sampling of some of the cool stuff we saw at the show this year.
TrainingSnacks was present at the NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA and found some real intriguing gear! Here's a small sampling of some of the cool stuff such as the Akai MPC-X, Dave Smith/Pioneer SP-16, and Genelec 1237 monitors.
We just came across this sweet opportunity to remix a dope downtempo track by Symbion Project. The contest starts today and ends on December 15th, 2016. Seattle-based songwriter/producer Symbion Project (a.k.a. Kasson Crooker) has been creating eclectic electronic music for the past two decades, ranging from cinematic downtempo to IDM/techno to classical synthesizer music. In addition to founding synthpop legends Freezepop, Kasson is a videogame composer with music featured in interactive music games like Amplitude and RockBand, and is currently scoring the indie-game Shard.
Download the stems here!
Today we got to see Roland's new product line that they announced on #909 Day! Featuring collector's edition 909 turntables, System 500 Modular synth, DJ-808, TD50-KV drum kit, Aerophone AE-10, Boss pedals, VP-03, TR-09, & TB-03.
Interesting news is that the DJ-808 is an official Serato controller that ships with Serato DJ. Pioneer is no longer paired up with Serato in favor of their proprietary software, Rekordbox, which is sure to give Roland a running start in the DJ space. It features a 4-channel mixer, built-in drum sequencing, vocal processing, and AIRA Link ports which allow you to connect compatible synths via USB. Going way beyond a typical DJ controller, the DJ-808 is an instrument, with a Roland “TR-S” drum machine that contains the world’s most iconic drum sounds and can even control the Serato Sampler within Serato DJ. The VT Voice Transformer can pitch your voice to match the key of your Serato DJ tracks. This is sure to push the boundaries of what you're capable of within a DJ set.
Pizza Hut just jumped on the bluetooth bandwagon with a special pizza box that allows you to DJ. This gimmick looks like a lot of fun but is only available in 5 locations in the UK. We bet this type of added value will be seen a lot in the future. The only downside is that its Pizza Hut. We recommend you drop the bass instead of dropping their excuse for edible food in your mouth.
Wanna make beats like the rest of the cool cats? Be sure to check out Catlab, a collaborative site where you can make beats just using one of those rodents you like to catch...a mouse.
Catlab is a feline takover of BandLab, a super cool app for iPhone & Android where musicians from all over the world can collaborate. For example, you record a guitar part in New York and somebody in Singapore can record a bassline. Then somebody in Australia makes a remix of it and another from Utah lays down a vocal. Its a lot of fun and great for building inspiration.
Lucid Samples take pride in offering quality instruments, sound effects, and loops. Just for registering on their site you can download 14 free sample packs.
Training Snacks just finished writing this article for AMS to teach you the ins and outs of headphones. Don't just buy a pair because they look cool! Find the right pair for the job. From inexpensive ear buds to high-end studio monitoring headphones; its all here in this guide.
We recently had a look at the beautiful, silver-finish, DDJ-SZ. It's not only built like a tank, but features the superior audio quality that high-end Pioneer equipment is known for. They've thought of everything for this one and if you use Serato, its a no-brainer on picking one up to take your DJ sets to the next level.
This is a professional-quality controller/all-in-one system with 4 channels. Its not only specifically designed for Serato DJ Software, it also combines key features from Pioneer's CDJ and DJM series, making it the perfect choice for those experienced with CDJs looking to leave those ancient discs behind in favor of digital files. Side note, regardless of what system you use, TrainingSnacks urges all digital DJs to try and use Wav or 320kbps MP3s so that your audience not only hears what you're playing, but FEELS it!
Upon trying this unit, you'll feel the build quality. Every knob and fader is firm yet smooth. The CDJ-style jog wheel response was immediate and accurate, as is the display which shows the position of the track. The EQs are highly useable for killing frequencies to build momentum in your set, and the onboard effects feature a quality not found on less expensive solutions. We're talking lush reverbs and other-worldly delays.
Calling the DDJ-SZ fun is an understatement. Playing around with the 16 multi-color LED rubber pads (which can be assigned to a variety of on-the-fly remix functions), made us feel like improvisational musical masters. Chop up samples, play cue points like an MPC (the velocity sensitivity is super responsive) or perform tight rolls. The way it integrates with Serato will make you wonder why you didn't buy this the day it came out.
It was easy hooking this up to a computer and the built-in audio interface had no noticeable latency. This didn't surprise us as Pioneer is known for having the best audio quality in the DJ world. One thing to be said though is YOU DON'T NEED A COMPUTER to use this. It can be used as a standalone mixer, making it a great transition for old-school DJs.
Best of all is the silver finish is exclusive to AMS, so having one of these will set yourself apart from all the other DJs that own it in traditional black.
Here's a list of some of the features:
Printed MIDI is a combination of printed capacitive touch, MIDI processing, and BlueTooth. It can potential turn any surface into a MIDI controller as demonstrated by DJ QBert's album cover. It uses Apple MIDI Bluetooth protocol and can be used to control a variety of MIDI enabled applications on computer, smartphone, an tablet. We think it's downright bananas.