Open Mic: What Do You Want To See Introduced At This Year’s NAMM Show?


The 2014 NAMM Show kicks off next week – and you know what that means: tons of new gear, some vaporware, booth babes, NAMM weirdness and ‘game changers’.

The NAMM Show is where many companies make their biggest gear and software announcements of the year.

We’ll be on site in Anaheim, CA next week bringing you the news from the show. In the meantime, what are you hoping to see introduced at this year’s NAMM Show?

121 thoughts on “Open Mic: What Do You Want To See Introduced At This Year’s NAMM Show?

  1. A 5 octave semi-weighted controller with polyphonic aftertouch and reasonable amount of knobs and sliders. Preferably something inspired by the SQ-80/ESQ-1 front panel, which is such an efficient design and way to navigate multiple channels.

    And I’d Apple to do something with the tech that they acquired from Redmatica.

    And I want a pony.

        1. Yeah I want a nice sequencer with midi and cv,
          affordable, adaptable, easy to use.
          Memory presets, with song memory.
          and the ability to sequence up to three different instruments at once.
          No menu diving. Small, portable.

    1. I am a huge polyphonic aftertouch fan. This last year I saw the first affordable keyboard instrument introduced with an amazing polyphonic aftertouch implementation, bundled with a plugin wrapper system that allowed any plugins to take advantage of polyphonic aftertouch, and with working prototypes.

      Despite much discussion, including here, the project could not get enough backers to make even a small run.

      This proves that the fact is, despite continual braying about polyphonic aftertouch, and my own personal fan of the technology, there is not actually a market for it. No one cares. By no one I don’t mean no one. Just less than 50 people worldwide, which isn’t enough to bother with.

      1. but the technology already exists, and shouldn’t need a wrapper for plugs. That project went beyond merely polyaftertouch. I have some plugs that respond and some that don’t, that’s fine. I agree that it isn’t the thing that everyone wants but there are now two small controllers with it, surely someone can put it in a larger form.

        1. Yeah, it supported sending polyphonic aftertouch messages. I mentioned the wrapper because if I didn’t people would say, “But most of my instruments don’t receive it!” The wrapper solved that problem so it wasn’t something people could complain about. Despite this, I guess some will complain about having the wrapper in addition to the straightforward Poly-AT support as well. Easy solution to that is, don’t install the wrapper if you don’t like it, just use the Poly-AT as it comes.

      2. You may be right that the number of people wanting poly AT is low (more than 50, but yea).

        However, remember that synth manufacturers do in some degree create the demand for the features they include. And if Roland bought that NDVR Note Swing technology, or the Touch Keys, there might be some interest from more serious keyboardists. But even as I say it, I think serious keyboardists might fall into two categories– piano technique folks, and synth controller folks. Obvoiusly, I’m over simplifying. But the former doesn’t want to deal with programming or realtime control. They want good sounds and not much hassle. The latter wants to be able to use gesture to influence the sound (be it velocity, wheels, AT, breath, D-beam, ribbon, etc.).

        I find it odd that people who play keyboard would not want some way to influence the sound individual notes after the attack. But suppose I’m one of those only 50 or so people in the world.

  2. Well it’s already been hinted at, but I think a re-release or an update of the Roland 808 is finally in order. I’m hoping it’s at least a digital/analog hybrid.

  3. I’d like to see a Korg Kaoss KP4 (the Quad doesn’t count), with user-mappable X-Y effects, perhaps a Z-axis visaviz Roland-style V-beam, better sample editing (via LCD display), and better sequencing control.

  4. 1. A one-stop iPad interface that goes through the 30-pin/lightening, has xlr and 1/4 ins, a variety of outs, and midi ports. Like the Alesis Dock, but without the issues.

    2. A low cost mass-market analogue poly synth.

    3. Korg modular.

  5. I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t like to see – a Nord Wave 2. I feel Clavia has struck gold with the original Nord and any “improvements” to it will just completely destroy the original concept for me 🙁

    I hope to see some sort of virtual analog synth by Clavia which features drawbars. I’m surprised that they haven’t released a synth in the lead series featuring drawbars, considering they’re so precise with getting the sounds of classic synths perfect, you’d half expect at least one synth to feature a classic, retro-style drawbar function (I’m aware of the Electro series having drawbars, I just don’t consider the Electro series nor the Combo series as synths)

    Basically just a synth by Clavia that focuses a little more intensely on the whole raw waveforms and building your own sounds off said waveforms as opposed to samples, FM, wavetable, etc.

  6. • Cheaper, lighter, smaller, 61 key version of the hammer action Studiologic Acuna.
    • iConnectmidi+iPad stand+audio interface in one case
    • Novation Remote SL mk3 – better xy pad+multi color buttons+metal plate under the controls+2 oled display+separated pitch/mod wheels

    1. on that note, i’d like a keyboard controller that can work with plugins without using a crap wrapper system.
      novation hardware: awesome
      novation software: kill it with fire

  7. I’d like to see Muse Research release something like the MuseBox, but with more of an open archetecture, and lots of horsepower. Ideally it could host any kind of AU or VST FX or VI’s– within the limits of the CPU, of course. It would have an HDMI port for a big display, but once all the edits & preparations are done, everything could be run from the small, built-in display (if needed).

    As someone mentioned above, a good quality i/o option for the newer iPads would be good. I’d like to see them with pretty burly power-banks built-in. Should have audio i/o, MIDI i/o, USB in, and charge the iPad.

    I’d like to see someone make something like MainStage for the iPad to layer a few synths.

  8. A velocity and pressure sensitive launchpad for <$250. As a guitar player, I feel like a grid controller has a lot of potential as a simple midi controller for playing notes, but I don't want to drop over $500 to find out. Plus, touchable 2 covers a lot of the same bases as push, so I just need to add some nice rubber pads.

      1. Too few pads for melodies and chords, but KMI might be the company to build a full grid controller at a reasonable price.

          1. I play it this way, as an 8×8 controller. Works very nicely for percussion. Chording more than one note per pad work, but is more tricky than with discrete, and particularly larger, pads though. However, knowing how people who complain about stuff work, if they made the perfect controller and sold it for the manufacturing cost, the complaining people would still not buy it. Serious people have bought QuNeos. Non serious people complain about how stuff doesn’t have their special feature, or the cost, which in this case is ridiculously low considering what you get.

    1. A digital multi-synth like the OP-1 with more tweakability and a lower price.

      Or just a digital synth that embraces its digitalness and tries something more interesting than the Osc-Filt-Amp structure.

  9. I’d really like a 37 key Moog Sub Phatty.

    And a less noisey MS-20 reissue with full size keys.

    And a new analog from Arturia with 2 of those awesome brute oscillators, dual filters, and a second LFO.

    And a Virus TI3

    And an update to the Voyager with all those new sub phatty features.

    And a good 88 note weighted controller keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch. Something similar to the old kawai and roland stuff of the 90s, with multiple midi outs and pro features.

    Bitwig studio with competitive pricing.

    Innovative things.

  10. With ROM-plers & samplers, and workstations, ould also like to see a move toward using MS (Mid-Side) as the preferred recording, storage & playback model for stereo samples. Would provide a 100% mono-compatible and width control.

    1. Sorry for the rant in advance: working with M/s almost requires a working knowledge of many advanced mixing skills. You can seriously mess up a mix quickly if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t have the proper equipment (phase scope, proper format metering, understanding of sound-stage and how m/s affects dynamics in a mix.) There are other problems with m/s decoding that will eventually rear their heads when an aspiring producer with only basic skills goes to get their tracks mastered. I have turned away many clients for that reason. There is only so much that can be undone in a stereo bounce after some DJ/producer uses all his m/s capable plugs improperly. When sampling in m/s with a microphone, there are extra precautions that have to be made to ensure proper steo imaging, since the frquency domain is now inconsistant between mics.

      That being said, m/s is a great tool for those who don’t abuse it. I’d personally reccomend that musicians leave that type of stuff to the engineers and post guys, if they are available (especially the mastering stuff.)

    1. there are a few options but all seem to cost 1000ish, under 500euro would be nice. theres a big gap between the Volcas and the Elektrons

  11. rrr man.. DAW control surfaces.. been waiting yeas for good ones, something that can put the touch fader back in the digital studio without needing the audio engine to go with it, like the Qcon Pro, or a new version of the tascam US2400, please god someone release wot im after.. fingers crossed 🙂

      1. yeah something like that 🙂 qcon pro 2 ? us2400 2, honestly i think with the price drop & ease of touch fader tech now it amazes me every company doesn’t have daw control surfaces, maybe even an MOTU 1 ? god anything just so i can see the mix again 🙂

  12. A DAW with mixtemplates AND edittemplates that automatic will mix and edit the tracks you recorded and every user can choose out of 1000 of templates from the top mix and edit engineers in the world.
    And the DAW have to be named Lazy pro 1

  13. A midi sequencer that is like the Atari cubase. No soft synths, no bloat ware , no weird over complicate page menus.
    If this was in a box with a mouse/usb port and a usb card for saving midi files that would be great.
    Is this asking to much to want a sequencer that is midi only and works in 2014?

  14. Alesis Andromeda A7 full analogue workstation. 16 voice 3 oscillators and 1 sub oscillator per voice . Step sequencer on board drum trigger pads 4 x 4 like Maschine for analog drum patches.

  15. A hardware granular synth like Steinbergs Padshop. Would love to try out that on in a tactile way.

    And of course, an actual release date for BitWig 😉 Still looking foreward to trying it out guys 🙂

  16. Man I’m still try a catch up from the last few years. Still need the Tempest, Prophet, and all the Analog keyboards that dropped last year.

    1. Yeah, I’ve been shopping around and I don’t like any of the modular solutions as much as I like the SQ-10 doepfer dark time is the closest.

  17. Two things. First an ipad-like, touch-screen midi controller with definable scale, touch-plate keys such as on Nave or Animoog complete with X-Y control signals, but BIGGER – more life-size for easier playability.

    Second, a MODULAR soft-synth, front ended by a faux, modular hardware system – something like the MS-20 virtual/hardare system but with a range of modules that can be inserted into an expanding rack. When a new “module” is inserted, the software for that mod unlocks in the computer behind the panel.

  18. as already mentioned, Id love a MW or hardware midi sequencer for making tunes with hardware synths and samplers. all the DAW’s have too much stuff Im not interested in, its a bit distracting when all I want is to record notes/tracks for each hardware ‘instrument’, which get routed into a mixing desk.

    so a hardware sequencer but with an oled 6-10inch screen to see/edit the notes, tracks, routing etc, and not needing to be hooked up to a computer

  19. -a tabletop or rackmount module Nord Stage that can play the sample library.
    -Clavia Nord Drum 3 with an 808 style sequencer and multiple outs
    -Eurorack Moog modules
    -Eurorack Korg modules

  20. A Pro Tools game changer for sure! Maybe a new ilok fiasco. Or more skeumorphic plug ins, i love those fake tape saturators.

    1. God yes! Burn ilok to the ground! I’m in the midst of trying to get Avid to give me a WORKING COPY of the software I paid for.

  21. What?! No-one mentioned the Schmidt analog synthesizer yet?
    Specs, price and delivery date, please.
    In lieu of this, another video that we can drool over.

    And a new version of the Tinysizer, with lots more modules but same price, so there’s something I could actually almost afford…

  22. A smaller controllr from Ableton (same quality than Push though), with spare knobs and lcd screens only and more affordable price. Kind of a Novation SL Zero from Ableton

  23. Oh! I want a bit rushing pedal!

    And I still really want an 8-bit chip tunes volca style sequencer module box thing! I’ve been asking every Christmas for 15 years!

  24. Here what I want to see:
    1. CDJ that also works with DAWs(controlling effects and other stuff)
    2. MIDI Mic
    3. Effects for uke
    4.Hardware synth that allows me to imput softawre synths into it as well as using built it sounds
    5. Nord G3
    6. Midi keyboard with actual piano keys.

      1. What if you wanted to beatbox a drum part using Battery, or hum a melody for a lead synth or a lead instrument when trying to compose song?

      2. A MIDI mic could help musicians in many ways:
        1 hum a melody and have it send the notes to a VST for a basic idea for a song
        2. Use the mic to beatbox a drum part with a drum machine
        3. Control effect with any DAW via a cc control button

  25. 1. Hardware midi sequencer (better midi controllers for hardware in general)
    2. Modular/CV synthesizers (more commercial/affordable)
    3. More rack versions of synths (goes w/ better midi controllers)

    1. 1. Arturia Beatstep
      2. New affordable Buchla, Pittsburgh Modular is very affordable (and made in the good ole USA)
      3. yeah…not sure about those. But StudioElectronics made the Boomstar series which was neat. And DSI made yet another non rack but more compact version of their Prophet.

  26. +1 to Nord Modular G3, though I’m still rocking my G2 and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    Anything analog by Roland. If that Aira TR-08 is analog and it’s a hit it may lead to more stuff. So based on that assumption what I’d like to see at NAMM 2015 (not a mistype) is a new analog Juno with more advanced digital features.

  27. This want is most likely a long shot but..

    Promotion/Support for the people who design DIY kits based on Arduino, Raspberry Pie and the like processors for projects geared towards DIY kit music device interfaces ( Sync24, analog to midi sequencers, arpeggiators, synthesizers ect..)

    The same as above but for the DIY kit designers of Analog kits (Drum machines, Synthesizers ect…)

    In my opinion we don’t need or should not rely any more on the big manufactures for what we want, there are thousands of fantastically creative people with the mind and means who can make DIY kits and millions of people who will buy them and create user groups and further the DIY accessibility for us all.

  28. a 100 euros small piano expander with 5 sounds, 4 velocity curves and a reverb level knob + headphone jack…….good sound, multilayers, grand + upright piano + rhodes + wurli

  29. 1) a new viral outbreak from access
    2) or something synthy for the UAD platform
    3) and more plugins utilizing GPU / CUDA processing from plugin developers like Waves and NI perhaps?
    4) Massive + FM8 for iPad
    5) Omnisphere v2
    6) realtime audio to midi conversion , that actually works well

    Who the heck knows, please surprise us this year

  30. Is this a fun wish-list? I would like to see:

    – Yamaha RS7000-esque Sequencer with sliders and new features.
    – Novation MegaNova
    – More innovative stuff from the medium and small companies.


  32. I’d like to see more features on anything to support and facilitate non-western styles of music, and in particular, an end to the policies of restricting ‘localised’ versions of instruments to regions where it’s easy to get the local sounds from original instruments anyway. e.g. Why can’t we buy a Turkish enhanced keyboard in China, or a Chinese enhanced keyboard in India? Music is now global, but the electronic instrument industry wants to keep us separate.

    1. Well, i think it’s more of a money thing than intentional seperation. Still, good point!
      Since most stuff is just software anyway, more “internationalization” would be something we all would benefit from.

  33. A stand-alone sequencer from elektron that has 4 midi outs and can easily sequence, sync, control, and parameter lock all of your external gear and plugins..

  34. Affordable alternative controllers, like the C-thru axis or similar, but reasonably priced.
    I know these are expensive because they’re not mass produced, still…

  35. 1. more analog stuff including synths, efx, mixing desks for affordable prices
    2. moog new sub 37 at an affordable price
    3. a buchla synth for an affordable price
    4. plugins that could be connected into a modular way
    5. some roland stuff combining analog and virtual qualities
    6. some kaosspad style cv controller from komma elektronik
    7. more modular stuff

  36. iConnectMIdi4+, well, and that it works seamlessly, and that it allows my iPad and all of my apps to interact smoothly with Ableton Live.

  37. And a Mopho X6 by Dave Smith. Or a new line of affordable compact polyphonic synths. Maybe a slimmed down Prophet you can easily take with you on the plane.

  38. –More faithful reproductions, like the Korg MS-20 Mini
    –For Roland to get a clue and return to analog
    –Kurzweil K3000
    –Less ROMplers
    –V-Synth III
    –Return of Ensoniq and E-mu
    –Akai to stop making crap or Linn to release his sampling drum machines

  39. After much thought here are my predictions. At least one should come true:
    -Collaborations by manufactures (Classic brands powered by newer, bolder brands)
    -Sub $100 digital mid 80’s style drum machine
    -Novation Drum Station with sequencer
    -Sampler powered by Aurduino or similar kits
    -Affordable real tape delay
    -Emu Eurorack module clones
    -Arp Eurorack module clones
    -Eurorack modules by Moog, Korg, Arturia, Dave Smith, or Studio Electronics
    -Nord Modular G3: Eurorack module which are digital but interface with analog Eurorack, virtually create analog modules
    -Affordable wireless midi interfaces around the same size or smaller than a USB drive
    -Analog synths by Nord/Clavia, Access, Native Instruments, Akai, Mode Machines, or Ableton
    -Someone like Waldorf, Access, or Clavia makes a polysynth using simple digital circuits that have a lot of character
    -Physical boxes that use the real digital AD/DA of early Emu, Roland, Ensoniq, Akai, or Yamaha samplers as a tone coloring effect from someone like WMD or Mode Machines
    -DIY Kits from Korg, Futureretro, Doepfer, Mode Machines or Studio Electronics
    -Something non-Eruorack from Doepfer
    -a Korg micro PS-3xxx series synth
    -Korg reissues Yamaha CS series

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