2021 NAMM Releases

This year, NAMM had to cancel it’s physical convention but thankfully, the NAMM committee came together to still give music hardware, software and technology companies a virtual platform to announce their highly anticipated new releases. Companies like Roland, Korg, IK Multimedia, Fender, Sequential, Way Huge, and more have been releasing some exciting things this past week via virtual conferences attended by other gear manufacturers and musicians from around the world. Let’s take a look at some of gear announced that we’re looking forward to taking a closer look at.

Hammond SK PRO

The Hammond SK PRO was announced earlier this week and is a greatly updated addition to Hammond’s SK series of digital organs. The SK PRO features four sound engines that can be operated in any combination. You can also find higher resolution samples, on-board storage for programing, and many new presets that include new piano and ensemble sounds. A few other new features are multiple assignable outputs and a color display in the middle of the organs interface. Check out the demo video below to hear the new Hammond SK PRO. 

Korg ARP 2600 M

The ARP 2600 M is here! Korg released a mini version of their legendary synth, the ARP 2600. The mini is about 60% the size of the original making it lighter, more compact, and easily portable. The mini uses the same circuitry and hardware from its predecessor, the ARP 2600 FS.  This means the sound of the mini is a another stunning rendition to the highly coveted original. The mini comes with its own custom carrying case that makes the 2600 M easy to travel with as well as enough space to store extra patch cables and gear. The 2600 M includes three oscillators, two envelopes, a filter, an amplifier, a spring reverb tank, and built in speakers.  You’ll also find ring modulation, lag and voltage processors, an envelope follower, audio preamp, a clock-able switch, noise source, a sample-and-hold module, signal inverters, an auxiliary mixer, and a set of parallel-wired/multi jacks. Check out a demo of this mini beast below.

Roland VERSELAB MV-1

The Roland VERSELAB MV-1 is an all-in-one songwriting machine. It is designed for modern music producers who want to create and finish more projects. The MV-1 lets you record vocals, write drum loops, and edit your sound with effects like Auto-Pitch, Harmonizer, and Doubler. The MV-1 also features a sequencer that helps you create different parts for your song and so you can then continue to arrange them. There are over 3000 sounds within this MV-1 to choose from to help you maximize your songwriting flow. The video below walks you through all the functions of the the MV-1 while creating an entire song from scratch. Check it out.

Sequential’s Prophet 5 & 10 Minis

First teased in October 2020, legendary synth manufacturer, Sequential, finally released their desktop versions of their Prophet 5 & 10. You’ll first notice that  these new pieces lack keyboards unlike their older counterparts. The Prophet 5 & 10 desktop modules sport the same hardware as their older siblings however, making them sound just as great as the a Prophet always has. A cool feature you’ll find on these desktop modules is the “Vintage Knob”. The Vintage Knob gradually introduces slight fluctuations into your sequence which is what gives a Prophets unique and organic feeling. Once connected to a MIDI, the desktop modules can now respond to velocity and aftertouch, a feature that no other Prophet has had.

IK Multimedia’s UNO Synth Pro

The UNO Synth Pro is a 37 key analog synthesizer designed to be the most versatile affordable synth there ever was. The UNO Synth Pro comes with 256 preset sounds, a 64-step sequencer, multiple effects, expanded connections, and much more. Three oscillators make up the sound of the UNO Synth Pro. Each oscillator features PMW, synch, FM, as well as ring modulation. The UNO Synth Pro’s Dual Filter design also has 24 possible modes with serial and parallel routing along with full ADSR envelops and LFO matrix. The UNO Synth Pro also comes in a more compact desktop version which features the same all the same effects. Listen to the UNO Synth Pro in action below:

Way Huge Atreides

Dubbed an “analog weirding module”, the Way Huge Arteides is nothing like any pedal on the market right now. Named after the main character of the sci-fi novel Dune, the Arteides combines classic fuzz and synth tones. The Arteides is a fuzz, an octave, and a phaser pedal all in one. Featuring an all slider interface, you can adjust sensitivity, range, brightness, fuzz, rate, and sub. Link this pedal up to a delay or reverb and you can get some insane sounds with it. Check out this demo and breakdown of the Arteides from JHS Pedals:

PLAYdifferently Model 1.4 Mixer

This PLAYdifferently Model 1.4 is a four channel analog DJ mixer that features two stereo returns, frequency sculpting EQ for each channel, hi and low pass filters for each channel, dual cues, and every type of output you’ll need. The most interesting part about the Model 1.4 is its analog overdrive integration. Every input has it’s own overdrive control which lets users creatively clip input singles to create unique DJ sets and interesting transitions. The Model 1.4 also features a three-band master EQ, a two-band booth EQ, and master hi and low pass filters. This mixer is a compact powerhouse for any traveling DJ. Check out the Model 1.4 in action below:

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