It's that time again - The 2020 NAMM Show!
With a new decade brings a new show. As customary we've dispatched our intrepid team of gear hunters aimed with show essentials ( mobile devices, toothbrush and beer vouchers ) to Anaheim California to track down the best new kit and report back.
We'll be regularly updating this blog over the course of the show so bookmark and please check back for the latest announcements...
AVID| MTRX Studio and ProTools 2020
MTRX Studio :
AVID have announced new Thunderbolt equipped Digital Audio Denmark MTRX audio converters and mic preamps in a new MTRX Studio interface compatible with Pro Tools HDX or Pro Tools HD Native with Pro Tools Ultimate Software.
As well as world class conversion quality, the new MTRX Studio has monitor control covered with their DADman software, and speaker calibration built directly into the interface, allowing you to tune your work environment accordingly. MTRX Studio is EUCON-enabled allowing your to control via your Avid control surface with Pro Tools Ultimate Software.
64 channels of Dante, plus the 512 x 512 matrix in DADman software allows you to route any MTRX Studio input to any output providing extra workflow options.
Pro Tools 2020 :
AVID has also announced their latest version of Pro Tools suitably called Pro Tools 2020 which will include in the number of updates for the first time - FOLDERS! Whilst many other DAW's have folders (and we know this has been on the forum requests for years) this will be a brilliant option for Pro Tools users.
You will be able to organise tracks into visual, collapsible folders, creating a more streamlined arrangement - extremely useful instead of having to scroll through numerous on screen tracks when sessions start getting very large.
Universal Audio | Luna Recording System
Universal Audio have released the LUNA Recording System based around their Thunderbolt Equipped Apollo interfaces.
LUNA will be available as a free download for Apollo and Arrow Thunderbolt audio interface owners (Mac only) in Spring 2020. Key LUNA Recording System features include its deep Apollo interface integration, built-in Neve® Summing, Multitrack Tape Emulation, and all-new LUNA Instruments.
From UA :
LUNA Recording System's tight hardware + software integration allows quickly routing and recording audio through DSP-powered UAD plug-ins with no discernible latency via the new Accelerated Realtime Monitoring feature.
Built-In Neve® Summing - Instant Classic Console
LUNA Recording System offers precisely emulated audio summing circuitry from the Neve 80- Series audio mixing consoles designed by Neve Electronics in the 1960s and early 1970s, featuring the harmonically rich sound of the Neve 1272 summing amplifier. Far beyond a “summing plug-in," Neve Summing is a LUNA Extension built-in to the fabric of LUNA's mixer and can instantly transform a clean technical mix into a classic-sounding recording filled with energy and life.
Integrated Multitrack Tape -
LUNA's audio transport features integrated Multitrack Tape emulation via the included "Oxide" LUNA Extension providing sonic qualities commonly described by audio engineers as "warmth" and "cohesion" on every desired audio or instrument track. LUNA Recording System users may choose to further explore various magnetic tape sounds with the optional Studer® A800 Tape Recorder Extension (sold separately).
LUNA instruments -
At LUNA launch will be available :
Moog® Minimoog - developed in partnership with Moog Music, the Moog Minimoog is an incredibly accurate and inspiring emulation of the archetypal 1971 Moog synthesizer
RavelTM grand piano - a breathtaking model of a Steinway Model B grand piano based on UA's proprietary sampling, physical modeling, and new Ultra-Resonance technology
AMS Neve | RMX16 500 Series Digital Reverb Module
New this year is the AMS Neve RMX16 500 digital effects processor. The original RMX16 was the "world's first microprocessor-controlled, full-bandwidth digital reverberator" and subsequently was used on many recordings from the 1980s onwards and became one of the leading vocal processors in studios.
Fast forward to today, and the sound is still extremely musical and by having it now available in a dedicated modern format like the 500 series is a brilliant idea. In addition to the nine standard programs that were on the original rack unit, there are also nine aftermarket programs also stored in the AMS RMX16 500 that were only previously available via the original remote control.
UK Price : £995 ex vat
Drawmer | 1970 FET Compressor and Preamp
Drawmer have released the 1970 Dual FET compressor and preamp. Similar to the classic Drawmer 1960 in layout and design but the 1970 has been improved with new ultra-clean preamps and DI enhancement.
The 1970 can be used as 2 mono tracking compressors or as 1 Stereo bus compressor via the linking option, and the FET's can bypassed altogether for a clean overall sound, alongside a Wet/Dry Mix dial. As with all Drawmer products, the 1970 is designed and handmade in the UK.
▶️ : Drawmer @ KMR Audio
UK Price : £1140 Inc Vat
Moog Music | Subsequent 25
MOOG Music have used NAMM to open the door to a new synth : the Subsequent 25. Following the success of the previous Sub Phatty, Moog have now closed that chapter and are now moving forward with this 25 note 2-note paraphonic synthe by implementing the paraphonic functionality of Duo Mode.
Moog say there is " twice the headroom for access to a new range of classic clean tones in mono and duo modes." As well as tweaking the gain staging in the Ladder Filter to allow you to boost more harmonic saturation and analog compression.
The Subsequent 25 also come with a free Subsequent 25 Editor/Librarian Software.
UK Price : £TBC
Barefoot Sound | Footprint02
Barefoot Sound have announced the Footprint02 Monitor which is a smaller but similar speaker to the Footprint01. The New Footprint02 is more affordable but has many of the Footprint01 characteristics and designs.
The 3-Way design, side-mounted dual apposing subs, dual ring radiator tweeter and aluminium midrange driver alongside the nearly identical internal layout (where the 2 has dual Class D amplifiers), means that you can achieve the same great Barefoot Sound but in a smaller package.
UK Price : £ 2750 inc vat (pair)
Barefoot Sound + Output
Barefoot Sound and Output have also announced a collaboration on a monitor due for release in Summer 2020. No more spec as yet apart from this teaser pic and that they're going to feature 6.5" time-aligned, concentric drivers and hand-crafted wood bases.
We wait to hear more info ...
ARP | 2600 Re-issue
One of the most exciting announcements this year came from Korg and their homage to the original ARP 2600 with the NEW ARP 2600 Re-issue. Designed as a one-to-one direct recreation of the original 1971 classic, but with a few modern workflow improvements.
The Re-issue ARP 2600 has USB MIDI and also XLR Outputs as well as two filter revisions ( Rev1 and Rev3 ) allowing you to switch between the sound pre and post the Moog filter lawsuit. The ARP 2600 will be a limited edition run, and looks to be extremely in demand!
UK Price : £ P.O.A
Warm Audio | Bus-Comp 2
Warm Audio have released the BUS-COMP 2 compressor. Designed primarily for mix bus duties, the VCA compressor is based upon a classic (SSL) style compressor favoured by many mix engineers when working in the analogue console world.
These days there are many variants of this mix bus compressor, whether it be in software or hardware, and Warm Audio have managed to build a 1u rack version for a very competitive price. We look forward to checking it out - below is a Warm Audio start up video guide for those unfamiliar with the history and uses of this style of VCA mix compressor.
UK Price : £ TBC
WAVES | OVox
Waves have released their new OVox Vocal Resynthesis plugin - a voice-controlled synthesiser and vocal effects processor.
Based on Waves “Organic ReSynthesis®” (ORS) technology, OVox can be used to intuitively create vocoder, talkbox, harmoniser, pitch/tune and vocal arpeggiation effects. The plugin can be used with or without a MIDI controller keyboard - allowing musicians to use their own voice, instrument or recorded vocal as a carrier to trigger chords, harmonies or scales.
Features include nine customizable LFOs/sequencer modulators, ADSR and ORS modulators, built-in 8-voice synth and 16-step sequencer patterns.
Check out this short video and you’ll get the idea…
NORD | Wave 2
Newly announced from NORD is the WAVE 2. Still handmade in Sweden this is a powerful 4-part performance synth combining Virtual Analog synthesis, Samples, FM and Wavetable with a workflow focused layout.
Dedicated OLED displays for Program and Oscillator sections and you can load your own samples with the Sample Editor 3 allowing endless possibilities for layering both classic waveforms and samples.
▶️ : NORD @ KMR Audio
UK Price : £ TBC
Massey Plugins Inc | Golden Master
Steven Massey is back!
To many of us, Massey plug-ins were the staple of many Pro Tools sessions from back when they were first HD Accel setups! One of the most popular Massey plugins was his 2007. Mastering Limiter ( released in 2007 ) and is still going strong today, alongside other favourites like his De-Esser, DTM ( drum trigger replacement before Trigger etc ) and his Tape and Delay plug-ins.
Fast forward to today and Steven has announced the Golden Master Soft Clipping plug-in. So from the man himself :
" I've committed effort into research-and-development over the years, I was always hesitant to finally release something. Why? Because music is already too darn loud and a soft-clipper can be a dangerous weapon that can rip your sound to shreds! On the other hand, when used judiciously, a soft-clipper can be a excellent tool for lifting the loudness of your master without damaging the original sense of dynamics.
So, I present to you: Golden Master. Use it lightly. Use it wisely 🙂 "
I look forward to checking it out, demos available at :
Solid State Logic | SSL2 and SSL2+
Following on from their success with the FUSION processor and SiX mini-mixer, Solid State Logic have entered the USB Audio Interface market with their SSL2 and SSL2+.
With two desktop interfaces featuring mic preamps and line I/O and what they call '4k' analogue colour enhancement, these two USB Bus powered interfaces provide 2in2out or 2in4out options.
UK Price : £179 inc vat (SSL2) and £239 inc vat (SSL2+)
Tree Audio | 500 Series Modules
Tree Audio have added further 500 series analogue units to go alongside their recently announced BAX and L/C 1 modules. The full range so far is as follows :
- Tree Pre : Preamp and DI featuring two Inward Connection’s VF600 all discrete Amp blocks
- BAX : Classic shelving EQ but with Steve Firlotte design featuring discrete class A VF600 amplifiers with custom wound Cinemag input and output transformers ( £1099 inc vat )
- treeQ 2 : 2-Band Parametric Equalizer
- treeQ 4 : 4-Band Parametric Equaliser using Inward Connection's VF600 discrete amp blocks
- L/C 1 : Classic Opto Compressor ( £1099 inc vat )
- Tree Comp : VCA Based Limiter / Compressor
UK Price : £ TBC
Apogee Digital | Symphony Desktop
Apogee Digital have added to their range of Audio Interfaces by introducing the Symphony Desktop which according to Apogee is their most affordable Symphony interface ever, featuring the same Audio Quality as their Rack Mount Symphony Mk II converter.
The Symphony Desktop is a 10in 14out interface which also includes their Apogee Alloy Mic Preamp emulation, Symphony ECS Channel Strip, Symphony Reverb and their unique Dual Path Link and zero-latency monitoring when tracking.
Logic Pro X users can really benefit from the Apogee FX Rack and DualPath Monitoring due to unique hardware and software integration - such as the Logic Pro X Direct button and Audio Device Control view, all controlled from a single window within Logic.
UK Price : £1299 inc Vat
Sequential | PRO 3 and PRO 3 Special Edition
Sequential has chosen NAMM to launch their NEW Pro 3 a three-oscillator paraphonic synth combining analogue and digital components over a 37 note keyboard with individually gated envelopes per-oscillator.
There is a powerful sequencer with 16 tracks, each capable of 16 steps and four phrases. On its rear, the hardware has four CV inputs and outputs, plus a gate out.
The Pro 3 will be available in two forms, the standard model (pictured top) and a hinged, wooden-ended special edition version (lower).
UK Price : £ TBC
Austrian Audio | Hi-X50 + Hi-X55 Headphones
Austrian Audio have announced their first foray into the professional headphone market with two new models. Hi-X50 is a supra-aural design for users needing a compact portable headphone and Hi-X55 are circum-aurals for maximum over-the-ear comfort - both feature an exclusive 44mm HI-X driver. These new headphones are based on a ring magnet system coupled with a copper-clad aluminium voice coil to reduce moving mass for a better impulse reaction. A 3-ply membrane increases stiffness to reduce undesired resonances alongside a double acoustic wall for maximum damping.
Although the company only launched in 2017, Austrian Audio were formed by 22 former AKG employees when the their offices in Vienna were closed - including acoustics and electronics engineers, designers and management with over 350 years combined expertise. They have already had success with their well-received OC818 and OC18 microphones.
UK Price : £TBC
AEA | R88A (Active)
Wes Dooley and the team at AEA have announced an update to their already sonically stunning Stereo R88 ribbon microphone, now providing an Active version called the AEA R88A. Providing the same noise floor and +12dB output.
UK Price : £ TBC
Flock Audio | Patch LT + Patch XT
Adding to their current PATCH software-controlled 64-point patch system, Flock Audio have announced new Patch LT and Patch XT hardware.
The original PATCH offered 32-in/32-out audio channels via 8x DB25 connectors, controlled by their MacOS and Windows compatible PATCH APP software. The groundbreaking system allows users to remotely patch their studio connectivity and store setups for instant recall as well as create complex multing combinations with no impedance issues and no AD/DA conversion with a 100%-analog signal path. Flock Audio sensibly include 32 independent channels of 48V phantom power, allowing users the ability to enable/disable 48V on any input connected to the PATCH system, so avoiding accidental damage to your costly microphones.
The new Patch LT is aimed at smaller studios and offers a trimmed down 32-point (16-in/16-out) @$1499 USD
Patch XT becomes their flagship product and offers 192-point (96-in/96-out) for large studios and a correspondingly large price tag of $9999 USD.
Tonelux | JC37 Microphone
Originally announced at NAMM 2018, Tonelux JC37 has come out of acclaimed engineer/producer Joe Chiccarelli’s efforts to recreate the Sony C37a from the late 1950’s.
Retaining the most important features of the original design – a vacuum tube buffered 37mm single diaphragm transducer with transformer output - the JC37 foregoes selectors for pattern, frequency response, output impedance and level found in the original in favour of a cleaner signal path and single cardioid polar pattern. The mic is being developed alongside a solid-state BC37 model. Currently in manufacture, we hope to see this little beauty soon!
Slate Digital | INFINITY EQ
Slate Digital have announced their new Infinity EQ available on it's own or as part of their subscription bundles. The Video below explains it all !