The Ask Audio NAMM Report : Day 3

Matt Vanacoro is on the scene at NAMM to provide you with a daily summary of his favorite discoveries in musical gear. Here is his report for day three.

My final day at NAMM was the busiest one yet! While my legs are beginning to show signs of fatigue, my ears are fresh as heck and ready to hear the sweet sounds of new gear. My third day took me ‘upstairs’ as well as ‘across the way’ to the top floor and the ACC center to check in with the pro audio folks. Let’s dive in and discuss my top 3 of today!

A Double Dose of Yamaha

Yamaha Seqtrack

My time at the Yamaha hall yielded 2 of my favorite things to see at NAMM 2024! The first exciting encounter of the day was the time I spent with the Seqtrack Mobile Music Ideastation. This little powerhouse is heavily inspired by Teenage Engineering’s offerings, but comes in at a fraction of the price. The Seqtrack comes in several color configurations and includes 128 note polyphony, a sequencer, onboard effects, an FM synthesis engine, a sampler, a rechargeable battery, and built-in speakers. The Seqtrack is classified as an ‘idea station’ and it is appropriately named. It’s hard to put this little beast in a single category. Is it a sampler? A DX-7 FM Synth? A sound module? An instrument? A toy? It’s really all of these. I really had to be torn off of the demo area - it was so much fun to dive into and play with. My only complaint was that they didn’t have a MIDI keyboard hooked up to really try out the ‘sound module’ workflow, but I guess I”ll just have to buy one to really dig deeper!

Fingerdrummin’

FGDP-50 Finger Drum Pad Controller

Yamaha also had the FGDP-50 Finger Drum Pad Controller on hand, and this was *super* fun to get on. Honestly, it’s the first drum pad controller I’d want to have on my tabletop to bang out some beats for a project. With keys ergonomically placed to allow for the most important samples (kick and snare) pre mapped to larger keys, this is one of those devices that makes you think, “Why didn’t they ALWAYS do it this way?”. You don’t need to be a drummer to appreciate the FGDP-50 - this one is going to be just as ‘at home’ on a desktop music producer’s desk to come up with some really great beats. 

You can absolutely use the FGDP-50 in a live setting if you want, that was actually demonstrated live by Yamaha Artist Jason Gianni as he ripped a through a jazz fusion standard using only 2 fingers. Seriously, though - at the sub-$300 price point, I just want one of these for the corner of my studio desk any time I need to bang out a beat.

The Lion Roars

Black Lion

 

Black Lion Audio has been doing great things with the Revolution series of audio interfaces. As Seth Berman of Black Lion puts it, “Any time a customer sent me feedback of ‘I wish it did this’, I just added that in and now we have a new one”. The Revolution 6x6 is an AMAZING device with some huge upgrades from the original model.

They’ve added in standalone mode for DAC and ADC use, and you’ll really want it with the Black Lion clocking technology standard on board. The BNC output will give you the ability to lock in your other digital devices. Finally, the OTG port allows you to fully integrate mobile devices into your pro setup. You can work bi-directionally and get your computer audio streamed directly into your phone for mobile collaboration or recording. You can bring the audio from your iPad or mobile device. This is going to be huge for musicians and producers that want to maintain a strong social media presence but want to continue to utilize their high-end audio gear.

All Good Things Come to an End

Just as quickly as it started, my NAMM experience is at an end! Keep your eyes peeled for a few reviews from some of the items we checked out - we’ll definitely snag a few for AskAudio HQ to put through the wringer! 

 

 

Synthesis 101
The Filter
by Bob Moog Foundation

"Matt Vanacoro is one of New York's premier musicans. Matt has collaborated as a keyboardist in studio and on stage with artists such as Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel Band), Aaron Carter, Amy Regan, Jay Azzolina, Marcus Ratzenboeck (Tantric), KeKe Palmer, C-Note, Jordan Knig..." Read More

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