The process of making music has changed a lot over the years. Tools such as FL Studio and Ableton Live have made it much easier to create your own music on your own terms, sparking a new movement in production. Indeed, technology redefined what it means to be a musician, and at the heart of exciting innovations is the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show.
The NAMM lets companies debut their latest products and innovations, and has facilitated change in the music industry through the years. This year was no different, as NAMM 2019 brought with it a slew of products that will surely benefit modern musicians and producers. Read on for our picks for the best gear from NAMM 2019!
Casio Casiotone Series
Casio is known for producing the first portable electronic keyboard back in 1980, an innovation that would change the landscape of music, decades beyond its initial release. This is why the reveal of the revival of the Casiotone series of keyboards was one of the best surprises at NAMM 2019. Don’t mistake this for a tired rehash of the original line, as the new Casiotone comes with Chordana Play integrations that allow users to turn any MIDI file into a track you can play along with.
The Kyra Synthesizer
Music is cyclical by nature, so it only makes sense that synths have been making a comeback in the last couple of years. But with so many out on the market, it can be difficult to pick the right one. This is why the designers behind the Kyra made it with versatility in mind. The Kyra Synthesizer is armed with 32 oversampled sound generators, combined with 96kHz floating point sound processing. This allows for a total of 128 voices overall, making it fit for any genre or style the user may want to incorporate synths into.
Artists such as Perfume Genius and Toro y Moi serve as a testament to how accessible music is nowadays, and how every step can be done from anywhere. This is made possible by digital audio workstations (DAW) such as FL Studio and Ableton. Of course, these cannot exist without innovations such as the newly launched Eventide plug-ins for iOS. Eventide launched three new effects comprising of the Blackhole Reverb, UltraTap Delay, and MicroPitch. With the help of Eventide, bedroom musicians now have a wider array of effects to use on their DAW.
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Modular
We can’t talk about DIY music producing without talking about pocket operators (PO). The Red Bull Music Academy highlights the importance of these tiny devices to the whole DIY movement, as it forced both musicians and hardware makers to come up with more accessible options when it comes to gear. Made by the Swedish electronics company, Teenage Engineering, this PO comes with three pre-set chassis and fifteen sound modules. It gives users everything they need to start making music all in one device.
Marshall Studio Series
Following the theme of portability, Marshall has come out with its new studio series amplifiers. These amps have the same feel and sound as Marshall’s iconic JCM800s, but in a much more reasonable frame in the form of the 20-watt Studio Classic SC20C. This is a great move by Marshall, as not everyone can afford to fit bulky amplifiers into their basic music setups. These amps even let you switch between 20W to 5W, allowing for adjustments that suit both home and live performances.