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


The 2016 NAMM Show kicks off next week.

And you know what that means: tons of new gear, some vaporware, booth babes, celebrity sightings, lots of NAMM weirdness and, of course, the ‘game changers’.

The NAMM Show, scheduled for January 21-24 in Anaheim, CA, is where music industry companies make many of their biggest gear and software announcements of the year.

We’ll be on site, 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? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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

  1. I would like to see more products aimed at the professional market. There has been much dumbing down of gear the last few years. With sound synthesis in particular, there hasn’t been a watershed moment in a while.

    New tech. Higher resolution synthesizers… not just better than last year, but on par with current technology… DSP is far more advanced in other tech fields… even the newest gear uses older tech to lower price.

    A renewed focus on customer service for the larger companies. The big three are at this point tied to the HORRIBLE customer service of big name retailers. The should take notes from the likes of Moog and many of the euro-rack manufacturers.

    I’d like to see completed, ready for prime time products… too many companies expect us to be their beta testers. I don’t want a product if I won’t be able to use it as advertised for 6 months.

    More 88 note weighted controller solutions for studios…

    Updated versions of the Monomachine and Machinedrum with overbridge support…

    An Analog Rytm update that addresses many of the issues customers have been experiencing… especially the dodgy sample support.

    Access music introducing the new, thunderbolt equipped Virus TI3… with total integration that actually works with modern operating systems. (also need better customer support).

    Korg to release the minilogue… that synth looks killer!

    A new hardware update for NI’s Maschine… with more midi outs, and better integration with external hardware.

    An update to the Behringer x32. Seems like MANY synth heads are loving it… I’d love to see what they come up with.

  2. I want to see some analog synthesizers that are much more than just rehashes of 30 or even 40-year-old technology.

    Companies got the retro thing covered, now it’s time to blow some minds!

    Unless Yamaha can make an affordable CS 80, then I am totally down with that!

    1. I think it companies can agree to a split between modules and controllers instead of all-in-one heavy machines with compromised keys and controls, we could let the sound guys focus on really experimenting with sound and vice versa for controllers. New interfaces like 3d touch are just as alien from the economy keys or the 88 weighted or the sequencer-centric parts of the consumer market and so many products get dumbed down to appeal somehow to all but satisfy none :P. If this product division was nice and standardized, we could also start to see better stands to accommodate the mix of controller and module on stage and in studio. Next gen performance standards and next gen rack setups 😀 we can get there.

    1. I agree. New hardware samplers would be a bonus. I’m tired of all these $1000 tethered machines coming out. I understand the purpose, but there’s still a segment of people who would prefer a hardware stand-alone option. Even if something like a Volca Sample combined with the effects of an SP-404 and some chromatic playing ability (not just tuning) would mean the end of me ever having to touch a computer again.

      1. There are some rumors floating about pointing to an Aira sampler. That would get me interested. Also any new multitimbral performance-focused synth modules. The announces/leaks so far haven’t.

  3. -the promised CV/Gate interface for the Social Entropy Engine sequencer

    -Euro Serge modules from R*S, Tip Top, and whomever else has joined the race to get Serge into eurorack

    -to see what Korg does next. I love the Karp Odyssey, Volcas, and Monotribe

    1. If my eyes are working right, the korg Minilogue looks like full sized keys (or close to it) so I’m even more excited about that since I realized. (Compare the pic with the jams touching the keys to a similar pic of hands on the mini odyssey and it definitely looks bigger. Only thing I would add to that synth would be aftertouch and some kind of xy cc pad to mix the sounds up more on the fly 🙂

  4. To see more hardware samplers on the market with maybe 8 or ten outputs , ones without sequencers just reliable machines that are lightweight etc for travelling with etc .
    A new analogue desk aimed at dance music/electronic music
    ie no mic preamps on it (or two at the most. ) a silly thing to buying mixing desks make for rocks bands when the recording process is pretty much not related.
    More products from Strymon .

  5. I want to see that metric halo 3d card, AT LAST.
    A revival of the Genocq Octopus.
    And lots of cables and multicores that are NOT neutrik.
    And the C15 by Nonlinear Labs.

  6. A polysynth with ultra high resolution digital oscillators that do not alias through analog filters and VCAs. The DSI stuff is close but the oscillators alias and the filters on the Prophet 12 are not my cup of tea.

    1. One thing people always say to me when they hear my P12 music is that they really like it but just can’t get really into it because of the oscillators.

    1. That’s a great idea. I can say that out of all of my hardware synths (DSI P12, Virus KB, Moog Sub Phatty, Make Noise BG Shared System, Roland GR-700, System-1m, Various Korg) that my Minibrute has an amazing amount of character and bite that is a constant go-to for ripping bass and leads. Just slays through a mix.

      Having a multi-oscillator, duo-poly board for live purposes would be great.

  7. with all the the new Roland equipment out in 2015, I’d like to see a true-to-life Jupiter 8 reissue! (not just the boutique thing)

  8. I would like to see someone introduce an expandable, software-based modular hardware synthesizer. Something similar has been produced with custom hardware interfaces for iPad synthesizers. But imagine a commercially available modular hardware synthesizer in which the panel hardware simply communicated to software modules. The software could contain the full range of modules but could be code-locked according to the level of the buyer’s purchase. It would be best if the software modules went beyond the usual, bland VCO-VCF-VCA voice chain with the usual ADSR, LFO controllers and introduced some innovative audio sources, processors and controllers too.

    The “hardware” could consist primarily of a dedicated computer (say a Mac Mini) or a fast interface (like firewire) and the panel components plus the necessary electronics for input and output. So the cost of such a system compared to a true hardware analog modular could be considerably less and the functionality could be VASTLY greater for the price

  9. I’d like to see a new high-end flagship performance hardware synth with lots of stunning new high tech DSP synthesis in it, the likes of which we haven’t heard before.

    Somewhat like an update to the Roland V-Synth GT 2.0 which remains an absolutely stellar machine.
    Otherwise I’m going to have to buy one second hand (selling mine was a big mistake).
    Or patch up a load of Critter & Guitari’s new Organelle synths 🙂

  10. Well, I think this one is easy:
    The makers of any new and awesome equipment to misplace their decimal point on the price.
    Other than that, something similar to the Korg Polysix/Monopoly, and, as stated above, a new synth from Arturia.

  11. Zebra 3 (if only). Or poly pitch support for Zebra 2.
    More controllers with HIGH RESOLUTION polyphonic 3D+ expressive control including real (not midi-bridged) OSC support.
    RISE 49 / 61
    14-bit midi (including faders) and OSC controllers large and small)
    More of the haptic and tactile, less of the having-to-look-while-playing
    More hardware and software that foreground subtlety and expressiveness. Physical not touch/screen, even when a computer is generating the sounds.

  12. I like to see a Roland System-2.
    An ACB synthesizer with polyphonic and multitimbral plugouts, a decent keybed, on board sequencer and enough controllers. The Boutique range available to load as a plugout part and Variphrase technology.

    I like to see some digital rackmixers, like the X-air but with more inputs.

    I like to see more System-500 modules and a 2 or 3 row case for it.

  13. I’d like to see more updated grooveboxes like the new Electribes and the Circuit. An upgraded device, say an Electribe 3/S3, with more outputs and 8-bar patterns would be cool, but I’d also like to see more adventurous offerings – linear sequencer tracks, Euclidean generators, user WAV import, semi-modular synth engines, full MIDI and CV support, knobs, sliders, etc. Roland and Yamaha could both enter this space, but I’d love to see some Euro or boutique makers’ take this on: Bastl, Critter and Guitari, TE, Make Noise, MFB, etc.

  14. Maschine untethered …a native instruments rep has stated there will be an ‘add on’ according to my local store …hmmmm we see eh

  15. I’d like to see an iOS version of Logic Express with integrated Alchemy Synth and AU support. At the very least, Garageband Pro with Alchemy and AU support (as promised and long overdue).

    The iPad Pro can’t be considered pro until there’s some truly pro-level software for it and Apple needs to get the ball rolling with their own apps.

  16. Korg Electribe Pro :
    * doesn’t abruptly cut note or effect tails at pattern change (ES2 deal breaker…)
    * song mode (or at least pattern chains)
    * real 24 voices polyphony (no voice stealing, even with effects activated!)
    * 8 bars patterns (128 steps)
    * full synth engine (with the filter models) + sampler
    * decent sampling time (at least 24 minutes like the old MPC 1000)
    * timestretch
    * midi thru

    Would be great too :
    * audio looper
    * visual representation of the sample for editing
    * more output jacks (to allow external processing of parts)
    * two parameter knobs per insert effect
    * note arpeggiator
    * audio via USB
    * pattern and sample transfer via USB
    * solo / unsolo function
    * transpose part / pattern function
    * copy parts between patterns

    1. You can actually already copy parts between patterns. I think DIY firmware similar to JJOS would be awesome. I love the new electribe hardware

  17. I would like a nice 4 to 8 input battery operated mixer with built-in effects. I think a battery operated 4 input Volca Mixer with built-in effects, levels and panning would be a natural extension of the existing product line. Also, a battery operated Volca Sequencer with a dedicated 5 pin DIN input and output would be cool. I’m imagining a cut-down version of the Electribe, with a KAOS pad for input.

  18. True pro grade apps for iPad Pro from the makers of Live, Reason and most of all Logic.
    iPad Pro has enough power and screen real estate to run desktop class apps, but there is currently nothing on the market to truly utilise it.

  19. A new polyphonic Oberheim. A remake of an OB 8/ OB xa would be about as good as it gets.

    With Tom well into old age I hope he leaves us this present for the future.

  20. +++ BREAKING +++
    First pic of Yamaha Montage:

    Here’s the associated text from the February NAMM edition of Music Trades:

    YAMAHA’S NEW MONTAGE synth offers unprecedented ways for keyboard players to control and interact with sound. For more than 40 years, Yamaha has developed industry-leading synthesizers, from the revolutionary DX7 in the 1980s to the renowned Motif series, one of the best-selling synthesizers of all time. The Montage, available in 61-, 76, and 88-key configurations, features the Motion Control Synthesizer Engine, a powerful and intuitive way to interact with and control sound. The Motion Control Synthesizer Engine controls two iconic Sound Engines: Advanced Wave Memory 2 (AWM2) and FM-X. Compatible with previous Motif libraries, the AWM2 engine is exponentially more powerful than the previous Motif XF flagship with nearly ten times more wave memory, integrated flash, double the effects, and twice the polyphony. Joining the powerful AWM” engine is FM-X. A sophisticated pure FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesizer engine capable of producing classic ’80s or cutting-edge EDM sound with excellent dynamic range, power, and fidelity. Montage also features a brand new user interface with color touch screen, endless rotary encoders and the Super Knob: a macro control allowing users to control multiple parameters simultaneously. “Montage is the culmination of over forty years of synthesizer legacy and innovation,” said Nate Tschetter, marketing manager, music production, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Playing and experiencing Montage is, quite simply, inspiring.”

    I do not get it. The thing looks like the MOXF. It is definetly no flagship workstation! It looks cheap, actually. To me it looks not like a pro product. Kronos seems to rule 4 ever.

  21. i’d like to see strymon take all of their amazing pedals and put them all into one 2U studio rack that rivals the H8000. make it expensive, make it amazing. their pedals are studio quality, give us a studio box!

    izotope to make a modern-day 2-track stereo editing software.. ala BIAS Peak. they have the guts already with so much of their software. give us an editor!

    teenage engineering to work on an update or new version of the OP1 that doesn’t have a piece of crap DA convertor in it. so noisy!

  22. It would be cool to see if Infinite Response can bring their new VAX controller to the show. I’ve got one on order that will arrive in two or three months. I wish them lots of success with this new product.

    I’d like to see a more up-to-date acoustic/physical modeling synth module. Something with vibrating string, air column, brass, woodwind, wood bar, metal bar, membraneophone, etc. etc. but able to make new but organic sounding tones. Also one that allows you to layer things. (Perhaps it would need to be part of a larger workstation?)

  23. This may sound like an oldie, but I wish Arturia could come up with a eurorack-mount module version of the MiniBrute. I’d buy one of those in a flash.

    It would be cool if more synths offered audio over MIDI USB so they could be DI’ed into DAWs.

    I know it would probably cost an arm, leg and my 401K, but I’d love to see Moog come out with a new polysynth – even if it just has 4 voices.

  24. The MPE (Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression) panel at NAMM is a roundtable of synth and controller makers who are aiming to use good old MIDI 1.0, just deployed differently, to get around the issue of MIDI bandwidth and polyphonic aftertouch, plus bring some new flexibility to controllers. I don’t know if there will be any product announcements, but having a proposed add-on to the MIDI spec means at least it’s there for manufacturers to adopt.

    I’d love for Novation and Nektar to add polyphonic aftertouch to their products. I’d love a Novation ReMOTE mark III with 61 or 73 semi-weighted keys, 4 OLED alphanumeric displays (like a Matrix-12) lighted mod/pitch wheels, a ribbon controller or some sort of high-resolution x/y touchpad, poly AT…and nothing else.

    A keyboard stand with integrated VESA mounts for monitors. Like Chris Lowe’s stand that he uses live with Pet Shop Boys (a modified Ultimate Support Apex), or simply, clamp-on monitor arms with a great degree of flexibility, for Z-stands like those from Quik-Lok, that have that rear accessory rail.

    Keyboard stands where the upper tier doesn’t completely cover the lower tier.

    Software makers to start rendering their interfaces using resolution-independent vector graphics – we’re not getting any younger, and the interfaces seem to get tinier over time.

    Hardware with more and better integrated touchscreens, and new interface paradigms.

  25. All I want is for some garish idiot magnet to be released that will make all the rubes sell their perfectly good gear for next to nothing

  26. As peeps have gone ITB I’ve picked up lots of knobby fun hardware (synths, preamps, and FX) pretty damn inexpensively so I’d love a clean cheap 16 x stereo line input (with at least 8 x Stereo line output) interface – usb 2, OSX generic drivers, 24/44 preferably.

  27. First and foremost I’d like to see Akai Bring back the MPC like they used to make them (MPC 2500 and before)… standalone, still able to load JJ OS if possible with more RAM.

    I would also like to see Access release a new synth, it’s been a while.

  28. MS-20M Mini/Eurorack, System-1/m updates, TR-8 updates, Electribe/S updates.

    Someone invent/release a dedicated CV/MIDI effects box for cryin’ out loud.

  29. all in one multi-timbral workhorse synth and midi filter/router – analogue modelling with sampling support and full PC or iOS editor, size of qy100, instant multi program change and routable insert and multi effects system similar to Korg M3/Kronos…. yes I know this won’t happen at this namm nor in future namms :/

  30. less gear but more solid, I have purchased many of the latest largely announced machines that came out in the recent years, starting from the new electribes wich both were poorly made in my modest opinion. (beside being utterly delayed).
    I also purchased a moog sub phatty which is starting to give me troubles and other controllers too.

    I’d like companies not only making gear that “look” solid , but IS in fact solid, if you’re a bedroom musician as they aim to , many gear can be ok, but if you start touring or taking gear around you need something you can rely on, not only a brand, but some durable and heavy playable machines.

  31. A good and affordable STUDIO mixing console with 32 hiQ preamps, with 32 in and outs via USB and a decent meterbridge. Behringer X32 or Midas F32 (firewire why?) do not have much competition in that price range and are made for live situation not STUDIO.

  32. I would like to see more companies embracing the world of live sound and the world of studio. We’re seen in the past couple of years companies creating live sound mixers that also allow the user to record from the the mixer itself, but also through the mixer to a DAW, like the Avid Venue and StudioLive mixers. However, I hope someone would go a step further and bridge the gap between a studio console and a live sound mixer. The concept is to have a mixer that when used in the studio would act as an audio interface similar to the UAD interfaces with professional studio pre amps, dedicated gain knobs, phantom powers and inputs to connects mics to. Then when the mixer is use for live sound it would have all the things you would expect a live mixer to have, including the ability to record to what every DAW you waned. Then, you could take your session(s) back to your studio and edit them and further mix them in post. I hope this makes sense.

  33. — Nord Modular G3 with open source app/manager.
    — Nord Lead A2 with OLED a la Electro 5 and knobs with LEDs a la Nord Lead 3. PLUS: ADSR instead of ADR and more features on filter and oscillators a la Lead 3
    — Teenage Engineering OP-2
    — Squarp Pyramid introduced and a lot of official videos on functionality and user cases.
    — A drum machine that takes the best of DSI Tempest, Elektron Analog Rytm (and other drums?) in one killer drum machine.
    — An audio editor for the iPad from the Auria guys.

  34. A standalone 16 gb ram i7 standalone touch screen sampler /maschine esque untethered product that you can load your own vst synths plugins into ?
    which imho the market is screaming out for – people desire a less computer connected workflow it seems , I’m still surprised nobody has done this yet ???

  35. i would like to see from elektron a overbridge sequencer, that control a4 and Rytm, plus midi and samples like octa. With more resolution and more than 4 measure for pattern ( better free lenght like rs 7000)

  36. Teenage Engineering: a sampler that looks like a calculator, so fun that everyone buys one.
    8 voice Analog keyboard: from any of these manufactures, Roland, Korg, Moog, Arturia or Yamaha.
    MiniMoog clone: that sounds like a real MiniMoog, maybe from Moog?
    Too Expensive: An analog version of the G2!
    No more embarrassments from Akai
    A big surprise from Berlinger, Access or Waldorf
    Major comeback: by the original E=mu
    Biggest User Request for Nord: Give us modular!
    Not interested: MiniKeys!, less than 16 voice VA, Overpriced BS

  37. I’d like to see more AVB products. MOTU has apparently hit a home run with their AVB audio interfaces over the past year. A hardware control surface to manage the onboard DSP / mixing in the MOTU interfaces would be really cool.

    I suspect the synth makers know the people want analog polysynths, but if they’re going to be made in China then they need to shave off size and weight to achieve low prices. I’m tired of mini keys, but I think we have to (sadly) accept that they represent the future of synths from the far east.

    Why are rack mount MIDI synth modules pretty much non-existent these days? Everyone makes desktop modules, which is a shame because it’s hard to manage more than a few of them. A couple of recent larger modules are disappointing in this regard: the Korg MS-20M (3 inches too wide), and the Prophet-6 desktop (less than an inch too wide). No rack ears for the Roland Boutique synths. I love my synth racks! We need rackable modules! They can even be sloped desktops that squeeze into a rack (wasting rack space in the process) – totally acceptable.

    I’d also love to see a Mac Pro that is tailored to the needs of audio professionals. To work effectively we need lots of storage in the box. Network storage is too slow, and external enclosures are too messy (and potentially noisy). And we also don’t need two twin high-end video cards that we’ll never use.

    How about acoustic foam traps etc that cost what they’re actually worth, i.e. 1/10 the price that they presently cost? It’s FOAM, people! And while we’re on the topic of pricing, some sensibly-priced Eurorack enclosures / housings would be nice. If the module makers were smart, they would develop big, cheap Euro enclosures and power supplies because that’s actually the biggest barrier to entry.

    I’d like to see the Yamaha Reface series as small modules, or full-sized (full-featured) keyboards. Reface instruments sound really great, and I’m not even going to complain all that loudly about the mini-keys, but they deserve better than 3-octave keyboards, MIDI breakout cables, and tiny onboard speakers that you can’t shut off.

  38. I’d like to see a nice 4-6 octave MIDI Controller with a control layout akin to the Prophet 12. Something that can save and send ‘presets’ too for each control target—not just program changes, a pair of ‘save all controllers’ and ‘send all controllers’ features.

    A tiny drum brain. Something that can load kits in standard/existing kit formats from an SD card. Has a MIDI in (dongle is ok) and stereo audio out. Fits in my pocket, has a preset/folder dial on it, a volume knob and a power button. That’s it. Oh, and published MIDI spec so that sounds can be triggered and perhaps basic sound shaping (level, pan and decay) can happen externally. I want Zoom to make it and I want it for $49 dollars.

  39. Nord Modular III (no hope)
    Kurzweil K3600 (likewise)
    Affordable analog poly (bet we get three of these)
    Yamaha starts making sequencers again (maybe)

  40. 1: El Capitan drivers for M-Audio Profire Lightbridge.
    2: Roland juno-60 stereo chorus in a stompbox
    3: Simple small cheap line mixer with 20+ ins, 4+ L-R balanced outs, 100mm faders, pan and 3+ auxes.

  41. Nord modular G3 61 keys with 800€ cost for the unit itself plus free software with module store.30-50€ will be nice price for modules.

  42. This thread is still relevant given NAMM begins next week, so here goes my list…

    1) Re-issues – I think these are a good thing because its allowing people now to buy classic instruments without paying out exorbitant prices for a piece of ancient hardware that has maintenance issues. So I’d love to see Korg re-issue the ARP 2600 and the MonoPoly! I’d also be over the moon if Roland were to re-issue a real System 100 – not the plug-out version. I know they are doing the System 500 modules, which are like the System 100M, but the original System 100 is still my most cherished synth on my want list.

    2) Korg have already stolen a lead with the Minilogue, and that looks excellent. I’ll be interested to see what other ‘new’ synths come out – the Yamaha Montage looks interesting. But is it too much for Nord to see sense and release a Nord Modular 3?

    3) In terms of software, what I want to see is greater and easier integration between software instruments and hardware controllers. The NI Reaktor 6 is a great instrument – I’ve just bought a Kontrol S 61, but not had a chance to play with it. That is the correct direction for software – but I’d also say that software needs to jump on the modular bandwagon and really start producing innovative software modulars.

    4) and on hardware modulars, we seem spoilt for choice these days, and Eurorack is definitely emerging as ‘the standard’. I’m sure there will be lots of great new modules coming out, so looking forward to those.

    All in all, should be a great NAMM this year.

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