The Best New Electronic Music Hardware Of 2014


In our look back at the best of 2014, we’ve already looked at the 10 Best New Mobile Music Apps, the Best New Hardware Synths, the10 Best New MIDI Controllers & the Best New Modular Synth Gear.

There were also a lot of great electronic non-synth music hardware introduced in 2014 – including new drum machines, filters, sequencers and more.

Here’s our take on the best new electronic music hardware of 2014. 


zillion-sequencerThe Best New Electronic Music Hardware Of 2014

Other notable introductions include the new Electribe Music Production Station from Korg, the Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter and the Akai MPX16 Sampler.

What are your picks for the best new electronic music hardware (non-synthesizer) introduced in 2014?

25 thoughts on “The Best New Electronic Music Hardware Of 2014

  1. Roland VR-09. Yes, its a combo ‘board sporting what amounts to a Gaia synth, but it brings a lot under one roof as performance gear. The real-time effects knobs are an excellent approach, it functions well for pretty much any general sound that isn’t a Buchla patch (a lot of people make use of decent grab-it-&-go organs, pianos and pads) and while its one split doesn’t make it an ideal choice for a master controller, setups often depend on the DAW for assignments anyway. One split is plenty for me “live;” the rest is a job for Logic. I’m loyal to the idea of a central instrument that can still speak, even if other things suddenly go down. I love my Focusrite interface (solid as a brick) and items like that Hammond pedal from EH are impressive, but good peripherals stand out more with a central controller or two that compliments them. The VR-09 may not seem like “the best” in the field, but after seeing a lot of iffy instruments come and go, I vote for this one because IMO, its a superior foundation instrument for anyone not equipped to buy a $3-4k flagship, or who can make use of a good second ‘board over a digital piano or workstation. There’s a layer of capability under its surface that cries out to be hot-rodded with pedals. 😛

      1. Eh, 2013, 2014, what’s the difference when you’re busy frothing over great consumer electronics? I trip over such things here and there, so you get to do it too! 😀 That goes double if you have the flu and you are hopped up on Scotch, antihistamines and Ensure mixed with Scotch. (Taste verdict: tolerable with ‘vanilla,’ tastes like sewage-plus in ‘chocolate.’)

        I’m keen on the CME XKey 37, which was allegedly coming out in 2014. Part of the fun of this lies in how people’s interest confirms or craps on the marketing end of it. 2014 was one of the more varied years I’ve ever seen for e-music. Some of it was pretty stank, but a lot was memorable, too. I never would have thought that Simmons would reappear with a 6-pad tool aimed at iPads and Serum is going to be the softsynth to beat in 2015.

      1. “How Long It Took My Hair to Grow Back After I Touched My Sweaty Keytar to the Mic Stand.” You could lose all of it if no one quickly knocks you down and breaks the circuit. Phew, who baked a dead rat in the toaster oven?? You may also lose your ability to handle long division or drive a riding lawnmower. Respect the ‘lectricity and Big Sally sends her love.

  2. Thought the Akai Rhythm Wolf would have taken this but when tried found to be lacking, perhaps mods to it might help but not impressed on initial. The Roland Aria TR-8 is rock solid but predictable. Yes i think the Electron Rhym 8 for drum-machines is the winner, analog with samples & a great sound/look – expensive but probably worth it for the sonic possibilities. Don’t know when the MFB Tanzbar came out ’13 or ’14 but that thing is a killer drum unit also.

  3. Is it just me or has some of this gear not even been released? The alesis io dock 2 i can see it for pre order but its not available, the behringer soundcard isnt out as ive been waiting for it all year and is expected “early 2015” apparently, the Korg EMX2 has been out a week? (UK as i cant speak for other countries and couldnt find any info).
    What i can say is the Korg Volca sample is a hell of a lotta fun and i got mine Dec 23rd although it apparently came out in Japan earlier.

    1. Yeah, I pre-ordered the EMX2 & it won’t arrive ’til….today. Most companies seem to be holding out on detailed reviews of it ’til it’s mass release(I can find a few european). Seems more of a ’15 product.

        1. So what do you guys think of the EMX2 then? A friend of mine is after one as he wants to run it off a sequencer he built in Max. The King Korg engine sounds impressive on paper but how does it sound in real life?
          Nice vid by the way! I’ll send it to my mate to check out. 🙂

          1. I think the new electribe is fantastic overall. It does a ton of stuff, and its own internal sequencer is pretty immediate. Soundwise, there’s a lot of options, gritty chip tune oscillators and the drum sounds are impressive, really slamming. Very well built.

            King Korg I’ve never played with. As I demo in the video, the new electribe’s synthesis has a compressed and filtered quality to prevent clipping and to fight aliasing noise. So resonant filters get quieter as you add res, and overtones and frequencies are shaved down pretty hard by the anti-aliasing filter. This means that classic filter models like the 303 and Moog sound tame and muffled. Some the of the effects are also tamed down or not flexible enough.

            1. I thought the EMX2 used the King Korg engine? You can really hear the difference in the filters on your vid. I’ve neve been a fan of digital synths trying to emukate analog filters personally but as an all round machine it looks great and at that price you cant go wrong really.
              Thanks for the info! 🙂

      1. I must have missed the release of the dock 2 as i didnt even realise it was out! My bad. Not sure how the other guy got an EMX2 so early? But it has just come out here in the UK and there aint many reviews on it yet. The behringer isnt even out either. Maybe it would have been a better idea to include this stuff (bar the io dock if its been out ages) in next years list once people actually have a chance to try it or be able to buy it? Surely theres some great gear thats been out a while this year that could have been included?

  4. MFB Tanzbar and Dominion should be on this list … the TR-8 is shite as is everything Roland make these days….. and still nothing is as good as the KORG ESX1. Fuckers.

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