Best New Music Gear From NAMM 2018

It was tough, but we eventually picked our 10 favorite pieces of gear featured at, or during, NAMM 2018. Most of these debuted at the largest music show on the planet and there's a few surprises too!  

NAMM 2018 is over. The announcements from the biggest music show on the planet have been made. But the buzz is really just beginning.

Dry away those tears of joy and sadness for the cool synth and other music hardware and software from the show that were announced will soon be available to bring into your studio, should you wish. 

Here's our highlights of the gear announced and showcased at NAMM 2018. (And most of these have videos attached...)

WARNING: THIS IS A SYNTH-HEAVY LIST ;-)

Elektron Digitone

Digitone is an eight-voice digital synthesizer. It combines a modernized FM implementation with a classic subtractive synthesis signal flow, making it a powerful source of highly unique tones and timbres. The FM sound generators have been optimized for a clean and efficient sound design process. Turn a few knobs, and something interesting and musically relevant is bound to happen. 

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-elektron-digitone 

Behringer Neutron

Behringer threw out a surprise during NAMM 2018 by anouncing a new semi-modular, paraphonic analog synthesizer, Neutron, while not actually exhibiting at the show!

Neutron is a semi-modular, paraphonic, analog synthesizer. As of now, we don't know the price but do know estimated shipping is April 2018.

More: https://ask.audio/articles/new-behringer-overview-video-shows-patch-bay-neutron-semi-modular-paraphonic-analog-synth

Yamaha EAD10

We've never seen anything like this before. Yamaha have well and truly hit the ball out of the park with the EAD10. This bit of kit is a very clever new way to convert your acoustic drum performances to use different sounds, with a minimum of fuss. Simply stunning.

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-yamaha-ead10-electronic-acoustic-drum-module

Playtime Engineering Blipblox Synth For Kids

Here's a real synthesizer with oscillators, filters, a sequencer that's been optimised for kids as young as 3 years old. It might look Fisher Price... but it sounds incredibly good and look like a lot of fun to play. It's going to be priced around $159 and should be available around mid-2018.

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-blipblox-synthesizer-for-kids

Korg Prologue Polyphonic Analog Synth

The Korg Prologue is a multi-voice analog poly synth. Prologue 8 and 16 come equipped with 49 or 61 full-size keys and are 8-voice and 16-voice respectively. We knew it was coming but that hasn't lessened the wow factor of this beast of a synth. 

It's going to priced at $1499.99 for Korg Prologue 8 and $1999.99 for Prologue 16, and is available now.

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-korg-prologue-polyphonic-analog-synth

Bitwig Studio 2.3

With version 2 Bitwig Studio felt like the DAW had come of age. Now with version 2.3 we think it's raised the bar and is comfortably beating other DAWs with some of its advanced and flexible features. Not bad considering it's still considered the new DAW on the block!

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-bitwig-studio-23-1stlook

Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt

Pittsburgh Modular are well known for their eurorack modules and modular synths. Now they've put their hand(s) to a new standalone, desktop, monophonic analog synthesizer, Microvolt. It's got a lot of cool features. Check it out!

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-pittsburgh-modular-microvolt-1stlook

Avantone AV10 - Replicating Yamaha NS-10M Monitors

Avantone have done something very cool by replicating the drivers for studio monitors by which all others are judged by, Yamaha NS-10M. These AV10s bring more interesting features to the table too.  

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-avantone-av10-replicating-yamaha-ns10m-monitors

Arturia MiniBrute 2S

One of the biggest pre-NAMM announcements for synthesists was undoubtedly the Arturia MiniBrute 2 and MiniBrute 2S. We couldn't resist catching up with Arturia to chat and get hands on with the MiniBrute 2S.

More: https://ask.audio/search/all/minibrute

Universal Audio Arrow

The world's first bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 audio interface comes with onboard DSP and access to UAD's plugins. Here's the Arrow, a 2x4 Thunderbolt 3-powered audio interface with 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion, Unison mic preamp and guitar amp emulations from Neve® , API® , Manley® , Marshall®, Fender® , and more, and realtime UAD Processing. 

More: https://ask.audio/articles/namm-2018-video-universal-audio-arrow-audio-interface

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There's a number of popular sayings that go like, 'it's not what you've got, but what you do with it that counts.' While the latest and greatest synthesizer or plugin is what we'd all love, often it's how you use that makes the difference in your productions.

That's why we created the biggest and best online audio education resource, Ask.Audio Academy. From as little as $9 a month you can watch over 1,600 hours of courses by professional producers and even grammy nominated musicians. Covering all major software and hardware and recording, arranging, mixing, mastering, sound design, music theory techniques and skills.

Check out the Ask.Audio Academy and join us to improve your production chops:  https://ask.audio/academy?nleloc=new-releases

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More

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