NAMM Oddities, Now a Museum Piece

Barry Wood’s fantastic NAMM Oddities list is the definitive guide to strange things at NAMM — as in rare delights, as well as just plain weird. And the 2008 guide is now available. NAMM Oddities 08 Square drums are the oddity of the year, and will now be on display at the Museum of Making Music — very cool. Square drums aren’t as cool as electrically-powered oddities, at least in my biased book, so be sure to check out techno toys like the ∇w≈0 speaker array, oddly-shaped mic The Finger, and holo-glasses from McDSP. I wish there were more electronic …

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Best (Unofficial) Product Slogan Ever: Minimoog Old School

If you haven’t been reading the ongoing controversy over the Minimoog Voyager Old School, here’s the best part of the comments yet. Original internal slogan for the project: “Got Balls?” I couldn’t let anyone miss that. (Hey, I think it could have worked as an ad campaign.) I’m not going to touch the debate any more; if you don’t like the Voyager OS, you’ll use something else. But I will say, useful as presets and MIDI are, it is possible to make music without them. Hmm, I can come up with a few alternate slogans for other products we saw: …

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Remixing Karate Kid Live: The Real Power of 3-Way MIDI Sync

Karate Kid AV Remix from momo_the_monster on Vimeo. A major highlight of the party CDM held last weekend with our friends at TRASH_AUDIO and VJKungFu.tv: a live remix of The Karate Kid. Momo the Monster mangled the video while Shane Hazelton and Stephan Vankov did music. The whole event was powered by some clever MIDI sync that managed to wrangle the gear — enough hardware that it seemed like the crew had just raided a Guitar Center — and sync up the video. Sure, the remix may sound silly — and it was. (Deliciously so.) But the interplay between the …

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Best $100 Spent at NAMM: Novation’s Nocturn Controller is Liz’s Pick

NAMM had plenty of new goodies, but what do we actually want to buy? Here’s Liz’s top pick (high on my list, as well). -PK No, it’s not an advertising campaign for Ableton Live if that’s what you’re wondering. The Live-like logos that pop up onto your screen when you start using the Novation Nocturn controller actually represent the Nocturn’s various knobs, automatically mapped to whatever software you’re using at the time. It’s a heads-up, intuitive display that extends both the mouse and the controller itself. You can see the knob settings on screen, then use the mouse to navigate …

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Moog Voyager Old School: All Analog, All Wood, No Presets, No MIDI

Yeah, this isn’t just marketing: the newest Moog Voyager is really old school — and it just makes us want it more. Moog Music has taken out twenty years of recent technology and kept the classic tech — all in a new case that’s fully wooden and entirely devoid of glowing mod wheels. In fact, the actual marketing side steps just how old school the Old School is: “Priced between the Voyager and Little Phatty, this modern classic makes the coveted Voyager sound and design easier to own than ever!” All of that is technically true (and we are coveting), …

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NAMM: FL Studio 8 Slicing Beats, Bundling SynthMaker, in a Beta Near You

Fruity Loops, while a long-time underground favorite of PC music makers, seems to be on a roll at the moment. We were lucky enough to get an FL Studio 8 sneak peak with Didier Dambrin, Image-Line’s lead programmer — one of the great music software artists. Since our French was nonexistent and his English was limited, the scene was something like this: Didier silently tweaks his way around his software, we squint at the screen, and magical sound awesomeness happens. FL Studio 8’s feature set will evidently be set free gradually, starting with a beta build called “7.4” you’ll be …

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Ridiculous NAMM News: Football Helmet Guitar

NAMM supposedly stands for the “National Association of Music Manufacturers.” It’s purportedly a trade show for music instruments and technology. But, for brief but glorious moments, “NAMM show” translates in English to “ridiculous musical stuff.” Just how ridiculous? We’re talking guitars made out of football helmets. Just in case you think you might extract any respectability from this $299 novelty guitar, there’s more: interchangeable face masks. Multiple colors for matching your favorite team (you’ll have to provide the logos — guess they didn’t pony up for a license). A built-in speaker, just in case an amp looks too, you know, …

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