This year’s Winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) finished just over a week ago and there were so many great new/old products being launched that it’s taken us a while to catch up.
Of most interest to retro-futurists like ourselves, there’s been a whole series of reissues of classic synths following Korg’s reissue of the MS20 last year.
Korg remain at the forefront of this activity with a reissue of another classic, the Arp Odyssey, with help from the designer of the original:
Tom Oberheim is bringing back his 1975 Two Voice as the Two Voice Pro:
and Dave Smith (inventor of the first programmable poly-synth, the Prophet 5, and also the co-inventor of MIDI) has been given back the Sequential name by Yamaha and has used the occasion to launch a follow-up to the Prophet 5, the Prophet 6:
Not to be out-done, Moog have done the unthinkable and relaunched three of their enormous modulars, the System 15, 35 and 55 – and here’s none other than Suzanne Ciani taking a ’55 for a run:
Hardware sequencers also seem to enjoying a renaissance, including two particularly extraordinary specimens: firstly the KOMA Elektronik Komplex Sequencer:
Don Buchla, pioneer of the more abstract “West Coast” approach to synth design is still going strong and this year introduced his own eye-boggling rotary sequencer:
(in case you’re wondering, no we don’t actually get to hear it in that video but it certainly looks pretty)
One of the most exciting announcements was at the all-too-rarely explored “affordable” end of the spectrum in the form of three new calculator-style music machines, namely Teenage Engineering’s new Pocket Operator series:
Roger Linn (the other co-inventor of MIDI) has come up with a whole new way to interact with your instrument using a new interface, the, er, “LinnStrument” (we particularly like the very weedy sound Roger uses to demonstrate his new invention):