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Mix Winter NAMM 2010 Certified Hits

February 16, 2010
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With 1,373 exhibitors and a respectable 87,569 registrants, the Winter NAMM show clearly indicated a surge in market enthusiasm—both M.I. and pro. The overall vibe at the show was gratitude that 2009 is over, and with everyone ready to move forward with new ideas, new technologies and new optimism, there were plenty of interesting new products. Here, listed alphabetically, are the Certified Hits—the Top-20 products at NAMM, selected by the editors of Mix.

A Designs The Nail Compressor

A Designs The Nail Compressor

A Designs The Nail Compressor
As a complement to its The Hammer tube EQ, A Designs'' The Nail is a 2-channel, stereo-linkable compressor designed for tracking or stereo bus inserts. Watch the video demonstrating A Designs' The Nail Compressor.

Akai Professional iPK25/SynthStation
Everybody''s favorite new synth at NAMM was Akai's $99 iPK25, a 25-note keyboard your iPhone snaps into. Load the SynthStation iPhone app ($9.99) and play synth parts using your iPhone as the audio engine. It also doubles as a conventional MIDI/USB keyboard controller. Watch the Akai iPK25video.

Brace Audio DWG 1000 Digital Wireless
Brace Audio's DWG 1000 is a little—including the cost, only $149 MAP—digital wireless system for guitar/bass. It operates in the open 2.4GHz range and has a fast, no-hassle setup function that searches for an open frequency and then locks the receiver and transmitter onto that range. The company plans to expand its line with similar units for in-ear and handheld use.

Focusrite Octopre MkII Dynamic
The Octopre MkII Dynamic ($799) combines eight Focusrite preamps, eight VCA-based, Red 3–derived compressors and built-in 24-bit/96kHz digital inputs and outputs. Watch the Focusrite Octopre MkII Dynamic video.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3

IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3

IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3
AmpliTube 3 ($349) fromIK Multimedia offers 51 stompboxes and effects; 31 amplifier, preamp and power sections; 46 speaker cabinet models; 15 stage and studio mics; and 17 post-amp rack effects. It's offered as VST, RTAS and AU plug-in formats and as stand-alone software for Mac OS X and Windows. Watch the IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3 video.

JDK Audio R22 Compressor
JDK Audio's (part of API Audio) R22 is a hardware stereo bus compressor based on the one used in the Paragon touring console. A Thrust switch feature preserves the high-end transients when you're really squashing the sound. Retail is $1,195. Watch the JDK Audio R22 Compressor video.

Little Labs VOG
The new VOG processor (Voice of God) from Little Labs comes in a 500 Series module format and lets users add a proximity effect without the source being close to the mic. VOG features a sweeping sharp peak resonance from 20 Hz to 300 Hz while everything below the peak is rolled off at a steep -24dB/octave. This gives the ability to focus on the low end while eliminating mush and unnecessary woofer excursion.

MOTU Ethno Instrument Version 2
Version 2 of MOTU's Ethno Instrument ($395) offers 21 GB of ethnic-instrument samples and loops. Also new are new time-stretching algorithms licensed from IRCAM. Other features include access to a huge range of non-Western tunings that can be applied to any instrument. So you could take a Persian tuning, say, and apply it to a Japanese instrument. Lots of interesting possibilities here! For more, watch the MOTU Ethno Instrument Version 2 video.

Movek myMix

Movek myMix

Movek myMix
The first networked personal mixer/multitrack recorder is myMix from Movek. myMix allows creating up to eight independent stereo mixes and storing up to 18 tracks as a multitrack recording to an SD card, using a simple interface with color LCD screen where all input channels appear as separate named channels with control over volume, tone, pan and effects. Stereo analog outs can route to headphones, in-ear monitors, a main P.A. or stage wedges. Systems with more than two units connect via standard Ethernet switches.

NewTek TriCaster TCXD300

NewTek TriCaster TCXD300

NewTek TriCaster TCXD300
Ready for the jump to video? NewTek's TriCaster TCXD300 high-definition, network-quality, portable live video production solution puts multi-camera switching, network-style virtual sets, titling, digital disk recording, audio mixing, editing, streaming direct to the Web and more—all in a stand-alone box (no computer required). Priced from $3,995 to $14,995, TriCaster family units offer simple, straightforward solutions, providing network-quality production at a fraction of the price of the competition. Watch the NewTek TriCaster TCXD300 video.

Peavey/Muse Research MuseBox

Peavey/Muse Research MuseBox

Peavey/Muse Research MuseBox
Muse Research joined with Peavey to create the MuseBox musical instrument and effects box, which lets players of all types easily take software-based synths, sounds and effects to rehearsals, gigs or to the studio. Plug-ins run at pro-quality, 24-bit/48kHz audio and a CF card slot provides instant access to new software synths and effects.

PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 Mixer
Besides additional inputs, the 24-input StudioLive 24.4.2 digital live console from PreSonus expands on the earlier 16.4.2 version with added features, and offers onboard 32-bit effects, four buses, 10 auxes and 32 outputs (and 26 returns) via FireWire for direct-to-computer recording. Street price is $2,999, including Capture recording and Studio One Artist digital audio workstation software for Mac and Windows. Watch the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 Mixer video.

Primacoustic Acoustic Tools
The “why didn''t I think of this first?” nod goes to Primacoustic's range of inexpensive acoustic tools for live performance and studio recording. VoxGuard is an ambient sound attenuator for recording vocals; TrashGuard is a boom-mounted gobo for controlling spill between instruments; the CrashGuard shield fits around a drum mic to stop cymbal or hi-hat bleed; TriPads ($20) are shock absorbers for tripod mic stands; Kickstand ($99) reduces drum riser resonance; KickPad is a boundary mic isolator for miking kick drums; and Telepad is a mic stand mount for an iPod or iPhone. Watch the Primacoustic Winter NAMM 2010 video.

Prodigy Engineering Anima 8-channel remote-control preamp

Prodigy Engineering Anima 8-channel remote-control preamp

Prodigy Engineering Remote Control Preamps
Prodigy Engineering specializes in high-performance analog products with digital control, including its Anima 8-channel remot-control preamp, which integrates with DAWs such as Logic, Pro Tools and control surfaces like ICON. Taking control to the next step, its Bella is a single-channel mic pre in the popular API 500-series module format, but with a front panel USB port for remote DAW control and internal jumpers for cascading control data when using multiple units. Watch the Prodigy Engineering Remote Control Preamps video.

QSC K Series loudspeakers

QSC K Series loudspeakers

QSC K-Series Speakers
The K Series of lightweight, high-performance powered loudspeakers from QSC feature molded ABS enclosures, 1,000 watts of onboard amplification and 1.75-inch HF devices. The line comprises the K8, K10, and K12 2-way cabinets and the KSub dual-12 subwoofer to extend LF performance to 44 Hz. QSC's proprietary DSP Digital Extension and Excursion Processing (DEEP) actively manages transients for extended LF response.

Sony PCD-M10 Recorder
The Sony Watch the Sony PCD-M10 video.

Solid State Logic X-Patch
The X-Patch software-controlled routing system from Solid State Logic brings the flexibility of plug-in style routing to boutique analog processing. X-Patch lets you build analog processing into your favorite processing chains and then easily place it into signal paths—for example, favorite mic pre, EQ and dynamics processors can be recalled as the perfect vocal chain at a single stroke. For more, watch the SSL X-Patch video.

Synthogy Ivory II Piano
The latest version of Synthogy's flagship software, Ivory II is easily the most realistic sampled piano we''ve ever heard. Ever since Kurzweil released the K250, authentic-sounding sympathetic resonance has been the holy grail of digital-piano designers, and the folks at Synthogy have finally hit the mark, doubling the realism of an already fine virtual instrument in the process.

Tascam DR-680 recorder

Tascam DR-680 recorder

Tascam DR-680 Recorder
The DR-680 from Tascam offers multichannel portable recording for pro location and surround recordings. Up to six simultaneous tracks can be recorded to solid-state SD card media at 96kHz/24-bit Broadcast WAV quality. It also captures stereo audio at 192kHz/24-bit and two DR-680s can be cascaded for up to 16-track recording. Watch the Tascam DR-680 video.

Waves Expanded Signature Series
Waves announced new Signature Series from Chris Lord-Alge and Jack Joseph Puig with dedicated plug-ins for vocals, guitars, drums, etc., as well as two plug-ins modeled from classic processors used by Eddie Kramer: a Helios mic pre and a PIE compressor. Watch the Waves Signature Series video.

For more NAMM fun, check out our 2010 Winter NAMM microsite with blog posts, dozens of hot videos from the show floor and our exclusive New Products Guide. Meanwhile, Winter NAMM returns to Anaheim next year from January 13 to 16, 2011. See you there!

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