Despite the mainstream media's doom-and-gloom predictions of a deeprecession, the large number of interesting (and in some cases,innovative) products displayed at the 2001 Summer NAMM show inNashville, TN, seemed to indicate otherwise. By the end of thethree-day trade show, the editors at EM felt that a number ofitems stood out from the crowd.
TheBoss WP-20G Wave Processor is a scaled-down version ofRoland’s V-Guitar processors. The stomp-box sized device acceptssignals from guitars equipped with divided pickups (with 13-pinconnectors) and issues synthesizer-like sounds, ring-mod effects, asitar-type sound, and an acoustic guitar simulation. There is no MIDIinvolved, and tracking is immediate, accurate, and above all,polyphonic. . . The JoeMeek MQ1 integrates the company'scompressor and EQ technology with a digital-audio interface for Windowsand Macintosh computers. The interface offers a breakout XLR connector andprovides 48V phantom power for use with condenser mics You also get apair of stereo, balanced 1/4-inch inputs and outputs. The breakout boxsports controls for the 3-band Meequalizer and a JoeMeek opticalcompressor. . . ToneWorks Pandora PXR4 squeezes four tracks ofhigh-quality MPEG digital audio, along with eight virtual tracks perchannel, onto SmartMedia cards. The diminutive pocket studio offers 77different effects—including amp and mic simulators— alongwith 55 sampled rhythm patterns. Editing features include Copy, Insert,Erase, Time Compression/Expansion and more. Each SmartMedia card canstore up to 99 songs. . . Eventide’s new Eclipse deliversquality pitch shifting, reverb, and special effects with roughly fivetimes the processing power of its acclaimed H3000 series processor, butfor considerably less cash than it’s predecessor. TheEclipse’s dual-engine architecture provides serial, parallel,stereo, or dual-mono processing configurations. The Eclipse boasts24-bit, 96 kHz A/D converters, with a signal-to-noise ratio of betterthan 104 dB. . . Big Briar’s long-awaited Minimoog Voyagerwill finally see the light of day. The instrument combines a polyphonicMIDI keyboard controller with a monophonic analog synth that offersthree oscillators, a dedicated LFO, and two lowpass Moog-style filters.The front panel includes a Tactex pad for use as a 3-D programming andperformance interface. MIDI I/O and a host of dedicated CV jackscomplete the scene. . . The Etek Dynamagic two-channelcompressor offers dual-band compression with an adjustable crossoverfrequency for each channel. You can adjust each channel for fast orslow release times, and the unit provides a VU meter for keeping an eyeon your signal. . . Evolution’s MK-261 is an inexpensive61-key, touch-sensitive MIDI keyboard controller. The MK-261 includesassignable modulation and pitch-bend wheels, as well as transpose,octave-shift, and ten non-volatile memory locations for storing yourkeyboard setups. . . Audio-Service’s D.A.I.S. is aconfigurable digital-audio patch bay that uses Yamaha YGDAI interfacecards to provide digital I/O. The rack-mountable routing systemprovides interchange between AES/EBU, ADAT, and TDIF formats, andYamaha’s Y2 cards. Software for Windows and Macintosh computerslet you arrange routings graphically. . .The Mobile I/O 2882 isa FireWire digital-audio interface for Macintosh and Windows computers.The rear panel of the interface supports 24-bit, 96 kHz recording withsimultaneous balanced and unbalanced analog I/O as well as ADAT, S/PDIFoptical, AES/EBU digital, and of course, IEEE 1394 I/O. . . Rolandcombines the synthesis capabilities of its XV-series synths with avariable arpeggiator and rhythm-track generator in the new FantomWorkstation. You can control arpeggiator performances and patches onthe Fantom in real time using the onboard D-Beam controller. As withthe XV-series keyboards, the Fantom’s sound set is expandable:you can increase the unit’s waveform collection to over 200 MB ofsounds. . . Yamaha’s AW2816 Portable Digital Studiooffers 16 mono and 1 stereo track of 16- or 24-bit audio at samplingrates of 44.1 or 48 kHz. The recorder offers an 02R-like mixer, similarto that of the AW4416, but with improved effects processing. TheAW-2816 improves upon the MIDI implementation of its predecessor withMIDI control of its motorized faders among other upgrades.