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January 18, 2011

Best of NAMM 2011: The Top 11

Following tradition, we present to you Audiofanzine’s Top 11 gear picks from NAMM 2011.

The organizers of NAMM 2011 promised us to ‘take it to 11’ this year at Anaheim.  Were they referencing Spinal Tap or giving a nod to the year 2011? Or maybe even Audiofanzine’s traditional Top 11 NAMM list 😉 ?  Either way, this was a very busy and interesting NAMM.  Pre-NAMM rumors came true, the Steinberg website crashed, and Audiofanzine started shooting reel the night before doors opened.  Being jet-lagged from Europe apparently has its advantages.

NAMM 2011 will be remembered as the year of the tech hard gear.  From the deluge of products that were released this year, it was really hard to limit our list to just 11 items.  Hence, we added our Very Honorable Mentions section.  I remind our readers again, that the list is presented in no particular order (the products at the top of the list are not ‘better’ than others), there is no real way to compare products from different classes, and at the end, this is just our opinion.

The Top 11

omg11.  Spectrasonics and Bob Moog Foundation OMG-1

Oh my god!   Designed by Spectrasonics’ Eric Persing, the OMG-1 is the product of a collaboration between Spectrasonics and the Bob Moog Foundation.  The components are a Moog Little Phatty analogue synthesizer, two iPod touches, two Apple iPads, an Akai LPK 25, an Apple Mac mini, Spectrasonics Omnisphere and the new Spectrasonics TR app. These are all integrated into a hand-crafted curly maple cabinet created by American artisan Daniel Auon.

It is a sight to behold – and strictly a one-off that you can’t buy [note: gear that you can’t buy…a strange concept indeed]. However, Eric Persing is donating the OMG-1 to the Bob Moog Foundation, which will be offering it as a prize in a competition that kicks off on 15 March.

2.  Cubase 6


cubase 6Wasn’t 5.5 just released?  Well, Cubase 6 and Cubase Artist 6 offer enhanced features within the Project window. The newly introduced Track Edit Groups option is designed to refine the work with multitrack recordings, allowing related events on multiple tracks to be grouped and edited simultaneously, while the new Lane Track offers convenient multitake comping for selecting and consolidating audio parts to form the perfect take. The redesigned transient and automatic tempo detection, phase-accurate audio quantization and drum replacement functions incorporated in Cubase 6 help to smooth out  glitches in live-recorded drum tracks. The Key Editor has further been enhanced with an Inspector panel and the groundbreaking Note Expression feature for creating and editing multiple controller values on a single-note level. Also included is the new Dynamics Lane, which allows real-time listening of dynamic changes while automatically in sync with dynamic notations from the Score Editor.  For all new features you can check out Steinberg’s site, which has since recovered…

3.  Eventide Space

The little reverb box that could! Eventide Reverb in a compact case for Guitar, Stage and Studio. Space features 12 of Eventide’s signature reverb combination effects taken from the H8000FW and Eclipse V4. These effects, previously available only in Eventide rack processors, are now available in a compact package.  It has reverb algorithms combined with delays, pitch shifting, tremolo, modulation, and special effects.  And how does it sound? Wonderfully wicked!

4.  Dave Smith Tempest

tempestDave Smith is tempting us again with his new analog drum machine.  Tempest is a collaboration between Smith and instrument designer Roger Linn.  Tempest is Smith’s first to utilize analog synthesis to generate the sounds. “We’ve designed a very flexible new synth voice for Tempest,” said Smith. Linn added, “The design of Tempest reflects a rethinking of what a drum machine needs to be in the current era. It’s not so much a drum machine as a new musical performance instrument for the creation, manipulation, and arrangement of beat-oriented music, with an intuitive and efficient use of human gestures.”  Tempest’s 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads are arranged in an 8 x 2 array to facilitate both real-time and step entry of beats. Two pressure- and position-sensitive Note FX slide controllers provide a new method of performance and control.

5.  Korg Kronos


Korg teased us mercilessly before the show started, but finally Korg introduced the Kronos Music Workstation. Kronos unites nine individual synthesis engines in a single instrument. Together, they represent the legacy of Korg, and the history of the electronic keyboard industry itself, Korg says.  Kronos’ details and features are too numerous to include here so please check out the official press release here.

6.  Kemper Profiling Amplifier

The Kemper Profiling Amplifier is a new concept for guitar amplification in the digital domain. Following the idea that every guitar player should be able to bring his personal sound of the tube amp setup he owns into a reproducible format, The Kemper Profiling Amplifier is designed to “learn” the sonic behavior of a guitar amplifier and offer the tone and feel the player knows from his “real” amp. According to the manufacturer,  “now there will be a profile available of basically any sonic condition the tube amp setup can provide.”  The Kemper Profiling Amplifier comes with profiles of classic tube amps, including the classic speaker cabinets which are a part of the profiling result…

And the list goes on till 11!

Very Honorable Mentions

The following products represent other gear that we simply could not fit on the Top 11 list, but would have certainly made it had the list been longer or NAMM 2011 less hectic!  Congrats to the manufacturers for making this NAMM one to remember.


To see the full Top 11 list with video demos please see:  Best of NAMM 2011


January 15, 2011

Winter NAMM 2011 Day 2 Highlights

And here are some video demo highlights from Day 2:

To see all news and videos visit: Winter NAMM 2011

January 14, 2011

Winter NAMM 2011 Day 1 Highlights

So without further ado I present to you some video demos that were shot by our team down there in Anaheim:

To see more visit: Winter NAMM 2011 Videos and News

January 13, 2011

Winter NAMM 2011

NAMM 2011 promises us this year to turn up the heat and take it off scale to 11. This year on January 13-16 in Anaheim, CA, Audiofanzine will again be on the trade show floor to bring you the latest NAMM news, gossip and video demos from the vast world of musical instruments and recording/audio gear.

Check out all the latest here:  Audiofanzine Winter NAMM 2011 Coverage

And to start with here is a taste of things to come:

Misa Digital Kitara Video Demo

April 16, 2010

Celemony Melodyne Editor Video Demo

To see more gear video demos see:  Audiofanzine Video Vault

March 19, 2010

Santa Cruz 1929 Series 000 Acoustic Guitar

To see more great guitar gear videos visit us here at our video vault!

March 17, 2010

TC Electronic PolyTune Review

When it comes to guitar tuner pedals innovations don’t come by everyday, so when TC Electronic announced the PolyTune, a pedal that allows you to tune all strings at once, we got curious…

TC Electronic PolyTuneIn the beginning, there was the tuner. It is pretty easy to use: just strum a string and it will show you if it is is too high or too low; tune the string and repeat the same procedure for the rest of the strings. The stompbox format has been readily adopted by live guitar players because it allows them to easily tune their guitar between songs. In fact, when you are playing live on stage the less you spend time tuning your guitar, the more your show gains in intensity. A gig without good mood is like a cake without the icing!

As soon as the new TC Electronic PolyTune stomp box was announced, all guitar players started to imagine how nice it would be to be able to check the tuning of all strings simultaneously. Most of the time, only one or two strings are out of tune and with a standard tuner you always have to check the strings one by one to know which one of them is slightly out of tune. Hence you lose time checking five perfectly in tune strings. With the PolyTune, you only need to strum all open strings just once and you immediately know which one needs to be adjusted. So, in the end, if you think about it – it takes you six times less time to tune your guitar than with a standard tuner. That’s a lot of time saved, especially for those musicians for whom tuning isn’t instinctive…

But let’s check first how this miraculous stompbox works…


TC Electronic PolyTuneTC Electronic incredibly managed to launch a totally new product in the tuner pedal market, which is quite a feat. The polyphonic mode displaying all six strings at once saves guitar players lots of time on stage. The manufacturing quality is impeccable and the product is packed with clever ideas like the auto adjustment of LED intensity, the power output and the dual needle/caterpillar display in monophonic mode. One thing is for sure: all competitors suddenly look a lot older and the PolyTune offers much more for the same price (about $100).


  • Polyphonic mode
  • Two display views in monophonic mode
  • Power output
  • True bypass
  • High-quality footswitch
  • Accurate and easily readable LED display
  • LEDs with automatic intensity adjustment
  • Easily accessible battery
  • Nice design
  • For guitar and bass
  • Drop tuning up to five semitones


  • Not compatible with open tunings in polyphonic mode

To read the full detailed review see:  TC Electronic PolyTune

March 15, 2010

VOX AGA70 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier

To see more great guitar gear videos visit us here at our video vault!

March 9, 2010

Suhr Effects Pedals – Kokoboost – Shiba Drive -Riot

To see more great guitar gear videos visit us here at our video vault!

March 5, 2010

[NAMM 2010] Dar Amps Tuzzia

Filed under: Amps, NAMM 2010 — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — audiofanzine @ 11:56 am

To see more great guitar gear videos visit us here at our video vault!

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