NAMM 2016 | Best Bits PART1
It's that time of year again when all that is great about the Recording Industry heads out to L.A. to the NAMM show to either exhibit or check out the future products and prototype designs due for release this coming year.
Here's our roundup of the best bits so far...
KUSH AUDIO | Omega Transformable PreAmp
UBK | Kush have released a 500-series designed clean preamp called Omega to run in conjunction with two new plug-ins the Omega N and Omega A ( both based upon two 'classic' designs ) allowing user chosen colouration and harmonic character with a suggested £499 inc.vat
The plug-ins could also be used within a mix on either own ( and no doubt with other clean preamps ) and will be available for $29 each.
WARM AUDIO | WA-2A
WA-2A | Warm Audio have released their own take on the classic LA-2A with a suitably named product. After the success of their 1176 styled WA-76 this looks to be one to check out as cost conscious alternative to an original. How will it sound?
SLATE DIGITAL | Virtual Preamp Collection & FG-Bomber
FG-73 and FG-76 | These preamp plug-in modules were designed in conjunction with the Slate Virtual Microphone System but can be used with any clean sounding preamp ( in the same way as the Kush Omega ) or on tracks within a mix to add character and musical saturation. Available as part of the Slate Everything Bundle or available on their own to work within the Virtual Mix Rack ( VMR ).
FG-Bomber | This is an Analog Modeled Dynamic Impact Enhancer for VMR featuring an analog modelled signal path based around compression, saturation, harmonic generation and filters all 'under the hood'.
STRYMON | Generalissimo Four Head dTape Echo
Generalissimo | Guitar pedal specialists Strymon have ventured into the Eurorack market with the Generalissimo dTape Echo. Consisting of a Four Head Tape Echo, Sound On Sound looper, Spring Reverb, Clock Multiplier and Self Oscillator, having made a wonderful name in the world of guitar pedals this is an appealing product for the Synth / Eurorack aficionado.
DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS | Oberheim OB-6
OB-6 | A collaboration between Oberheim and Dave Smith has resulted in a new release of a 6 voice Oberheim OB-6 Analog synth. Inspired by Oberheim's original SEM sound engine but with modern day flexibility and stability. The OB-6 will be available in March.
APOGEE | Symphony I/O MkII
Symphony I/O MkII | Apogee have not only given their Symphony a facelift with new touchscreen control but also a connectivity upgrade now providing options via Thunderbolt , Avid Pro Tools HD, Digigrid and USB.
As well as the stylish new appearance the Symphony Mk2 features dynamic temperature control with improved fan and chassis design. The A/D stage has been improved and Apogee say it's the best they've ever designed, with the same D/A stage as the original but with an updated output driver and layout refinements.
HERITAGE AUDIO | MCM 32 channel mixer
MCM-32 | Heritage Audio have released a 32 channel summing mixer with 1073 output stages, each channel has inserts, fader and pan control. The 4 stereo subgroups are summed into the Stereo Master bus, with most connectivity on Dsub 25's.
MANLEY LABS | ELOP+ and NU MU
Manley Labs used NAMM to preview two new products based upon their classic designs that have had great success.
ELOP+ | The ELOP+ is a replacement for the traditional ELOP, with a complete improved re-design means that this will come in at a new low price of £1999 inc vat. This doesn't mean lower quality, if anything quite the opposite.
The power supply is a custom Bruno Putzey Manley design especially for tube usage, and an added 3:1 compressions ratio improves upon the original settings. The Dual Channel optical limiter that Manley make is one of the smoothest and just makes your life easier! - so here is one of the best available, and one I look forward to checking out...
NuMu | If the ELOP+ wasn't enough news from Manley, they've gone and spoilt us with a new Vari-Mu compressor called the suitably named...Manley Nu Mu. Featuring the T-Bar mod that has been used on all the most recent Manley Variable-Mu's ( with 4 valves ) but now followed by a solid state section to give a balance between smooth dynamic control and punch.
A new HIP function brings up lower end detail without squashing transients. This is not a replacement for the Manley Vari-Mu rather a new design that at £2219 inc vat will run alongside their already best selling compressor / limiter of all time.
If the idea of a Vari-Mu always appealed, then this should be on the list to check out!
WAVES | Abbey Road Reverb Plates
Abbey Road Reverb Plates | A precise modelling of the four legendary EMT 140 Plates that were installed in 1957 to compliment the studio echo chambers already in use. After being modded by the Abbey Road Engineers to keep the noise to a minimum with solid state drive amps for plates A,B and C, Plate D still remains valve powered on output and drive stage.
The plug-in allows functional control over various time adjustment and crosstalk, analog noise and drive control. The GUI looks amazing and look forward to hearing the plug-in if that is anything to go by... ( as a side note, last time I was in Abbey Road recording we used the UAD EMT140 plug-in as the Studio Plates were being used by another Room, so keen to try them! )
That's a selection of NAMM releases so far, no doubt there will be more to follow...