Open Mic: This Year’s NAMM Show Was Awesome – But What Do You Want To See Introduced At The 2013 NAMM Show?

This year’s NAMM Show was the best in recent memory – with a dozen new synths, MIDI controllers of all sorts and interesting new software, too.

The gear that’s available to electronic musicians now includes:

  • Monophonic and polyphonic analog synths from several companies;
  • Inexpensive synths and expensive synth workstations;
  • MPC-style workstations & state of the art drum machines;
  • Synth modules from 50+ companies;
  • Cheap DAWs & recording gear;
  • iPad music apps and accessories too numerous to count; and
  • Every variety of MIDI controller.

There’s more electronic music gear available now than at any time in history!

Believe it or not, though, gear manufacturers are already trying to figure out what they should work on next.

What do you think is missing from the gear that’s available to musicians today? And what would you like to see someone introduce at the 2013 NAMM Show?

58 thoughts on “Open Mic: This Year’s NAMM Show Was Awesome – But What Do You Want To See Introduced At The 2013 NAMM Show?

  1. If I had the copyright of new concepts I’m thinking, I could tell you. Not big deal feed companies with the fresh and at the end they even send you a Thank You mail.

  2. I’d love to see a beautiful modern reincarnation of the CS-80. But not a modern synth styled on the CS-80, but a synth with the CS-80’s sound and capabilities, but with modern controls.

    1. I’ll second that! With USB connection to sound module, using OSC to carry high-resolution high-sample-rate breath pressure data.

      Speaking of alternative controllers, I’m hoping Linnstrument will be available by then.

      1. As for what I would like to see in the Electribe: Dedicated sliders for adsr, effect send level knob instead of the send button currently employed, more effects. As for analog, I wouldn’t mind if they kept what they have, but replace one of the five virtual analog voices with an analog one based on the monotribe. The current emx synth section is very powerful and I wouldn’t want to see all of it ditched for the sake of analog love. And in my dreams… drop a SID chip in that mother and give it an appropriate interface! Oh, and please… keep it classic in color. I hated the blue. Black and silver will do nicely.

      2. An analog option would be awesome (although that would probably cost more than they want to sell it for). Updated effects and memory for sound banks on the SX. (current gen is pretty limited).

        Some sort of VST plug-in would be cool so that you can use it seamlessly with DAW’s , although I really want it to be able to run by itself, unlike the new MPC’s.

    1. I’d like to see an Electibe ES on the iPad.

      I like the new Max49 controller – but how about a color scheme that is easier on the eyes?

  3. I like to see an Electribe with total intergration pc/mac software via USB.
    Maybe the Electribe could have wi-fi & be remotely controlled via an Ipad app.
    Maybe all electronic music tek manufacturers could make wi-fi a standard in all products, so everything is remotely controllerable.
    Also, would love it Arturia made more real analogue synths, ie MiniBrute.
    Also, would love to see Arturia make some Ipad apps, perhaps a app for Spark analogue drum machine & some of its softsynths as apps.

      1. I don’t think that’s exactly correct. With buttons outnumbering knobs by a significant percentage, the Phatty isn’t quite as knob heavy as the Minotaur…. and well… shucks.. I like knobs.

  4. New Virus Ti series.

    New Nord Modular.

    New Synths from NI (that AREN’T Reaktor ensembles).

    New Roger Linn sampling drum machine/sequencer.

    A cheap (under $3000) Buchla with a 2 octave keyboard or sequencer.

    Maschine version 2.

    Ableton Live 9 that is better than Bitwig.

    Korg analog mono synth, with real keyboard and real power.

    Numark MPCDJ.

    an affordable audio interface with decent pres and transport/scrubbing/multi-monitor/talkback built in.

    A keyboard workstation controller with NI maschine-like software.


  5. I thought that that Nord thing was going to be an actual drum machine with a sequencer and stuff – It would have been awesome if they would have made something like that for like $400 – $500. I would like to see an awesome drum machine for around that much – like maybe a Tempest that is way more simple and smaller!

  6. Well the cs-80 seems to be something for a good dream if they do it, i will never be able to afford it, and only a few will play it, Id like to see a new access virus TI3 , no more than 1,500 dolllars, id like to see a new tetra with keyboard and the computer integration of the access virus, and a new Nord synth in the range of 1500 a mix of nord wave and nord lead, will be awesome.

  7. I would like to see a Studio Electronics Code 8 keyboard ,
    with built in step sequencer and built in Arp , Moog and CS 80 filters .
    With expansion options for more voices .

  8. I would like to see SSL make a small analog desk with metering on every channel
    with X-rack module slots built in so the user can install a G bus compressor ,
    mic pre or EQ module at will.
    With option to connect perfectly with the Nucleus for total recall and IO .

  9. I’d like to see:
    • Better sounding A/D converters at lower price points.
    • A high-quality, affordable analog modular synth with minimal hardware, and all controls definable on the iPad. Maybe Serge could do this.
    • 32-input analog mixer in a 2 or 3 space rack, including auxes and eq, with jacks only in hardware. Computer (VST and iPad) control.
    • More manufacturers take tone quality as seriously as Ken Macbeth.
    • Moog capture the zeitgeist of the D and 900 series in future products. Taurus series has been great!
    • Arturia go after the Tempest with a real analog drum machine in the MFB price range.
    • Roland start making real analog polysynths again!
    • Korg add more connectivity to their analogs so we don’t have to hack our Monotrons. And sync for the Kaos Pads, please.
    • Yamaha put some kind of sync on the Tenori-on!
    • Pro Tools with the ability to define system exclusive messages for automation!
    • Mackie Tracktion version 4! (with sys ex automation)
    • creative, flexible cabling solutions for project studios with lots of hardware.
    • ditto on more Studio Electronics stuff. Don’t retire, Greg! Give us computer integration with your superior tone quality. Get competitive!
    • More companies go after a QSC K series-like product with a slightly lower price point. No more ABS speakers, they will never sound good.
    • More nearfield monitors with USB connectivity in the mid-price range. (like Event 2020 or higher)

  10. A romper called Jupiter-6 (just kidding)

    A dual oscillator All Analog Synth from Korg

    The Nord G3

    Arturia MaxiBrute

    A Yamaha synth for iPad

    An analog filter module from Moog

    Something from Roland that’s good

    Emu comes back to Analog Modular

    An affordable Haken Continuum Fingerboard

  11. i would like korg to make less crap and more electribes!

    i would like roland to revive the 303 for $300 and make gajillions of dollars.

    i would like to see a version of the alesis micron/ akai miniak with f***ing usb connectivity and a different control surface… or at least one with an indestructible encoder.

    and on top of this list i was thinking i really wanted a minibrute now and after seeing all this analog gear i kept thinking! no patch recall! i think roland or someone like that should make a simple patch recall dialer pad that can snapshot the midi settings at any given instant of a midi device and then recall them with an alloted number on command, that way we can have patches for the minataur or minibrute etc….

    1. I’m sick and tired of 2 octave keyboards…lets make 37 keys the minimum on a synth and keyboard controller and aftertouch popular as velocity sensitive so that real player can play and non-player can have a tabletop version thats keyboardless!!!

      1. That’s not correct at all!!! First of all because most of the new gear inteoduced at winter Namm are shipped in Spring and second i can fill up a list of gear showed first time ever on Summer Namm, but i think you should find out yourself just going back to synthtopia posts from last summer namm!!!

  12. Hopefully some musical equipment that doesn’t have an iPad slot on it, would be novel.

    Oh and a comments system in synthtopia that works on firefox

  13. I would love to see a synth that implements a more creative/innovative form of digital synthesis than just VA/sampling. It’d be great to have a digital synth that takes advantage of what it means to be digital.

  14. Would love to see a mackie desk , aimed at electronic music producers. ( No mic preamps/no phantom power )
    Just lot’s of channels, aux sends and returns.
    Companies are missing a market , and that is a lot of make electronic music and we need lots of channels and rarely any mic’s.Would be nice to see how cheap price wise a big desk could be made by a credible company (behringer build quality is very poor) twenty four channel would be good. My 1604 vlz , is too small and the next step up with Mackie is expensive.
    Also a new hardware Akai sampler , with eight audio outputs and SD card memory.The recent Akais seem to lack the outputs.

  15. Electronic music gear is ‘mature’ in all of the most significant ways, so these polls amuse me. It is extremely rare that anyone truly innovates now, because there’s really no great technical problem left. Its all more about good integration and more engaging GUIs now, with the music more important than the filter compliment, hopefully.
    My big wish is a true fantasy: a working DAW that doesn’t get upgraded for at least 3 years, 5 if I could get it. The newest features in Logic were a step sideways for me and since each upgrade demands that you do it for the entire house of your software, yuck, no thanks. That’s a case of diminishing returns when I already did so much heavy lifting to get to this point.
    Oh yeah…. gimme a Korg Triton the size of their microSTATION with full-sized keys and built-in speakers that will play for 5 hours on batteries

    1. Yeah, I like this idea of SLOWER workstation updates. It seems like in most areas of technology the more “pro” something is the longer between upgrades to make it more stable and reduce training costs, downtime, “total cost of ownership” etc. but the music software just constantly spams out new versions. That’s why I’m actually kind of glad Logic is going slow now, hopefully they keep it like this after Logic Pro X drops. I mean Logic is pretty much “feature complete”, just rushing out a new update evert 16 months is just a cash grab and Apple has other ways to generate revenue than annoy pro users with endless upgrades.

  16. DAW controller that isn’t huge or crappy. This: metal box, 19″ x 8″ x 3″, 16 100mm motorized faders, 3 buttons per fader, one assignable rotary per fader. Simple programmable mc emulation choices in the box. Monitor and transport control can be elsewhere, we have the contour shuttle etc.

    Why doesn’t this exist? Esp. Now with the Apollo, this could be a HUGE market- think of mobile professionals who don’t want to lug (or locate) an MCU, don’t want virtual faders, and wouldn’t consider the little plasticky korg.

    FFS, Mackie could clean up on this if they’d pull their head out of wherever dark place it currently is.

  17. 1. A double-neck plastic ‘Guitar Hero’ guitar with spaces for two iPad 3 tablets.

    2. Uli Behringer cornered in the Gents by the CEOs of all the companies he’s ripped off.

  18. Complete FL Studio rewrite using C/C++ so it’s cross platform, native 64bit and has cleaner workflow (blocks, patterns, wtfs, etc.) but it looks like while everybody else was biting the bullet and rewriting (Ableton, Logic, etc.) they just, uhh, what exactly have they been doing? Oh well.

    Since that’s not gonna happen I’ll take Logic Pro X instead.

    Other than that I wouldn’t mind a Mopho and an iPad but both of those already exist.

  19. I’m all in favour of seeing something new in synthesis. Or if not new then at least something unexpected. While a bunch of analog gear is somewhat unexpected. I’m probably more surprised by who’s making it than the fact that it’s being made.

    How about Hartmann takes another stab at the Neuron (but makes it affordable this time). Or maybe Kawai could release the next killer additive synth. It was 9 or 10 years between the K5 and the K5000. Maybe it’s time for the K5-MILLION!

  20. More modular midi controllers with integrated audio interfaces to simplify the set up in a live event or dj gig… As a creative musician we want a custom set up, not another boring copy of the same crap over and over…. These big companies should actually listen to ideas and pay us instead of hiring someone to come up with ideas that they dont have………..

  21. – A full range of Buchla instruments, from $200 up to $3500
    – New synths and sound modules (from anyone) WITHOUT keys on them, in the $200 – $300 price range. Seriously, one or two good controllers is enough, and I don’t want to pay for any more half-ass keyboards I won’t use!
    – A quality guitar to midi controller that is affordable, has no built in sound sound engine, and doesn’t require permanent or invasive installation
    – A focused consolidation of the redundant product line from NI, with price drops across the board
    – Less instruments based on crap-tons of samples! Make a good sound engine instead.

  22. 1) More CV integration in controllers.
    2) I would like to see the Linnstrument go into production. As well as a new Linn drum machine.
    3) More products along the lines of the Op-Lab, at a lower price point and without limitations of only two or three of any one type of connection. Something completely customizable and modular perhaps.
    4) Something new from Studio Electronics although just continuing to do what they do would be good too.
    5) More emphasis on tried and true analog circuitry as opposed to countless R&D dollars spent on “innovative” modeling technology, romplers and VA. It’s all crap and we all know what sounds best. Hopefully Roland and Korg will wake up and realize they had it right 30+ years ago and spend their research dollars on how to once again make these analog components feasible for mass production. Many other companies are doing it well on smaller scales today, if the big boys would get back on board they could come up with many improved and varied designs based on the classics we all love.

  23. I want a modestly priced midi controller with poly-AT. My dream controller would also have knobs, sliders and a pitchbend ribbon. Oh yes, I may be the only one, but I’d love to have the lights under the keyboard like some of the cheap portable keyboards – BUT with multi-colored lights. If I can’t have all this in one, give me a portable keyboard with mono at, pitch and mod wheel and lights and a pro-controller with poly-at, knobs and ribbon.

    Also, as an Apple Logic user, for Logic X I want them to mostly keep it the same but upgrade EXS-24 to be more competitive with Kontakt. On second thought – don’t, just keep Logic cheap and leave us money to buy Kontakt. Give ES-2 more digital waves and an improved user interface. Oh yes, better handling of lyrics in score view and better documentation.

    1. Hi Steve!
      I’m glad to tell you what you’re looking for might come sooner that you think… Of course it’s not the keyboard as you might imagine it, but I dare to say you should have a look on it 🙂
      Check-out our website videos, you will have a look on what our very old prototype features :
      The new ones we are working on will have a better design (I mean I hope that will be your opinion! 😉 ) and pretty much all the things your requested, plus more : portable, poly-AT, lights, ribbons, and more!
      The website is still in French, but it will comes soon in english, we more info and …more to discover. Please don’t hesistate to leave me your reactions here or by the contact form on the website.

  24. Great recap! I love NAMM…it’s a lot of fun to be able to see all the musicians in one place and actually get some face time with them. I was there unofficially scoping things out for a company that I’m working with called Portable Sound Labs. They make amazing portable speakers for mp3 players and iPad, and recently launched the mLABS Music Initiative where they are partnering with musicians. The first partnership is with Alex Band (former lead singer of The Calling). You can learn more here:

    Also, it’s worth noting that the iMainGo XP is the speaker that works with the iPad (it’s also a case/stand) and it really has amazing sound. We’ve been using it with GarageBand and other music apps and have found it’s really effective for musicians because the sound quality and clarity is so great. I thought you guys might be interested in checking it out. You can see the products at Amazon here: Also, here is a YouTube review that shows the difference in the sound quality:

    Thanks for the great NAMM coverage!

  25. 1. I would like to see audio interfaces be able to work with wireless mics
    2. I would like to see a keyboard that allows you to download plug-ins on it, to preform with
    3. An updated version of the Boss HC-2
    4. A polyphonic Moog
    5. A dedicated tablet for musicians

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