NAMM Show Day 3 Highlights

michelle-moug-koussaNAMM Show, Day 3 highlights: We started off the day with a breakfast meeting with Michelle Moog-Koussa, right, Executive Director of The Bob Moog Foundation; and composer/musician Dave Gross.

Moog-Koussa gave us an update on the Foundation.

They’ve made some significant progress over the last year, but they’ve got a long way to go and will need a lot of help to reach their goals for preserving Bob Moog’s legacy.

dave-grossWe’ll have more on The Foundation in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, though:

So why is Dave Gross, right, so happy?

Maybe it’s because he’s helping out The Bob Moog Foundation.

It’s a good cause – we’re going to try to help out however we can.

In the Roland booth, we had a chance to check out all their new gear.

Highlights include the VP-7 Vocal Processor, which lets you synthesize Enya-esque choirs and a lot more; and the Roland Octapad:


The Octapad SPD-30 doesn’t look especially cool, but it’s more than a drum pad.

It offers three layers of looping, USB MIDI connectivity, great sounds and multi-effects. Roland’s Michael Schack was drilling out drum and bass. If you haven’t seen the demos yet, check them out.

We also met up with Way Out Ware‘s Jim Heinz, below:


Jim is the guy behind TimewARP 2600, a very well respected ARP 2600 virtual instrument; and KikAXXE.

He was excited about his new iPhone app, iSample.

If you want to know why we’re excited about the idea of an Apple tablet, you should check out iSample (App Store link).

It’s a powerful iPhone sampler, looper and music production workstation.

Just as important as its functions, though, is iSample’s interface. It makes good use of the iPhone’s graphic and multitouch capabilities, so you can do audio editing with your fingertips.


Michelle and Bettina were back, redefining NAMM babe style with less skin, more attitude and a dash of va va voom.

Another 2010 NAMM Show highlight was the Dave Smith Instruments Mopho Keyboard:


The Mopho Keyboard doesn’t offer a lot of surprises, because DSI is giving people exactly what they’ve been asking for.

It’s portable, it’s powerful, it sounds great, you can expand it with a Tetra to get a 5-voice synth and it’s fairly priced at around $800.

The Big City Music booth was multi-synthgasmic – featuring the new digital Mellotron, a massive A.S. System 8500 modular synthesizer, an Eowave Persephone II, the Metasonix D-1000 Tube Drum Machine, the Surfin Kangaroo Step Sequencer and enough other cool gear to break the most generous bank account.

Finally, at the end of the day, we were fortunate to be able to make it to a Moog event.

Michelle Moog-Koussa played a recent addition to the Moog Foundation archives, a reel-to-reel tape from 1964 that Bob Moog made for composer Herb Deutsch.

The tape was an audio letter to accompany Moog’s prototype synthesizer, which was being sent to Deutsch. On the tape, a young Bob Moog introduces Deutsch to the sounds and functions of the first Moog modular synth.

People were visibly moved, listening to a pivotal point of electronic music history.

Then they were were moved to give up the funk:


The NAMM edition of the Moog All-Stars taunted a nearby suite of Yamaha reps, laying down some impossibly funky grooves.

The All-Stars proved that, even 46 years after those first Moog sounds, musicians are finding new ways to make great music with synths.

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