Audio ImpressionsThere was probably a whole lot more that I missed.
- One of the hits of the show! Chris Stone and company lived up to their name and made some very good impressions. Their technology is amazing and we hope to work together in the future as we share similar philosophies, the same approach to sample orchestration (individual instruments as opposed to sections) and we are both on the cutting edge of technology. They are great group of innovative and dedicated people (and all around good guys).
Rhodes Electric Piano
- After many years, the Rhodes is back! Rhodes was showing their new line of Rhodes keyboards. I had an opportunity to speak at length with Joseph Brandstetter the owner of the company.
Fable Sounds Broadway Big Band
- Our booths were across from each other so I heard the Broadway Big Band throughout the show. This is a very exhaustive and large library using the Halion player. Very well done and a very good choice for JABB owners who want more sounds for their palette.
- Eric and company are usually directly across from us at NAMM and I missed seeing him at the show this year. I was told he was incubating and developing. That takes a lot of courage and wisdom to forgo a show in order to devote the time and resources to development. I have a feeling we are going to see some great things coming soon from Spectrasonics. Ilio was in their place showing various libraries. The new Italian Piano for Ivory was very impressive and it was great meeting the Ivory team.
Some commented about the lack of the customary booth babes at the show this year. Rumor has it that their absence may have something to do with Eric not attending this year.
MIDI Manufacturer's Association
- It looks like High Definition MIDI is happening. There's promising movement with the new MIDI specs. More on this later.
- I met with Ernest Cholakis at the show and he told me about a new project he and Dan Dean are working on - the Authorized Bluthner Piano library. Knowing Dan and Ernest's attention to detail this is going to be an excellent library and it is good to see other developers working with instrument makers. Ernest and Dan will also be releasing a new solo strings library too “Solo Strings Advanced”.
was showing Keymap, a powerful editor and must-have for EXS24.
did not announce many new products, and none related to sampling. They did announce the Audio 8 DJ USB 2.0 Audio Interface designed for Traktor and other DJ software. Audio 8 DJ is for professional "digital DJs" offering a wide range of different performance setups in club, stage and studio environments. Native Instruments mentioned they are saving their big announcements for Musikmesse.
is being re-introduced under the Gvox name. This notation program was popular in the past and is positioning to make a comeback. Encore has been totally rebuilt and a new version is being introduced. MasterTracks Pro was also being shown.
Kontakt 2 Assistant
from Chicken Sys - It was good seeing Garth again and he has a terrific product that makes it easy to work with Native Instruments Kontakt 2. We’ll be using this in developing our libraries.
- Music Objects Recognition - This new company was showing a new humanizing program for notation programs in Hall E. They were playing piano examples from a score and from what I heard it sounded very good. It interpolated expression and made a quantized score sound like a human performance.
was showing two new Sound Libraries for Melodyne - "The Voice Vol. 1 & 2" which consist of choral phrases where voicing, tonality, phrasing and tempo of each voice can be edited individually. The phrases were sung by one male and one female vocalist eight times in all, so the eight separate recordings can be combined to create a choir.
was showing Tracktion 3 - their new version of the intuitive sequencing software. Mackie also introduced the new VLZ3 Series Compact Mixers. We were lucky enough to use one at our booth and the sound was excellent. VLZ3 mixers feature the new XDR2 Extended Dynamic Range mic preamps, the next version of their highly acclaimed mic preamps. Mackie was also demonstrating the Mackie Edition of Personal Orchestra that is now bundled with Tracktion 3 and other Mackie products.
was showing the Moogerfooger FreqBox Effects Module - a comprehensive set of effects that were once only possible with a complex modular synth setup. Very nice! David enjoyed playing the Moog Voyager synthesizer and it was great meeting Michelle Moog.
announced a new hardware Synthesizer - "Origin". This unit contains modules from some of the best synthesizers (Moog Modular, ARP 2600, CS-80, Minimoog and Prophet VS) and lets you combine these modules as well.
announced "Emulator X2 Platinum 64-Bit Streaming Sampling Synthesizer" the first 64-bit sampler offering multi-processor and multi-threading support with over 20GB of sounds
announced BREVERB, a hi-end, resource-efficient reverb plugin (VST/AU) that is expected to be available in the middle of the year.
announced their Sonar 6.2 update which includes Vista support, X-Ray windows (to make plugins and views transparent - nice feature!), a bit meter to monitor digital activity, and other cool features and enhancements. Cakewalk also announced the inclusion of Garritan Pocket Orchestra in their new Sonar Home Studio XL.