NAMM2019 roundup


Roundup of product launches and news from Winter NAMM 2019:

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Instruments

Acoustic Pianos

Yamaha showcases its TransAcoustic TA2 pianos, offering the best of both acoustic and digital pianos in one instrument. Features include the ability to play the digital samples silently, to use the body of the instrument as a speaker, and Yamaha Virtual Resonance Modelling. Seven models (three grands and four uprights) will be available initially.

Bösendorfer showcases the latest Vienna Concert 185VC grand piano, a 6-foot instrument featuring the same build technology as the full-size 280VC. A Disklavier edition will also be available.

Digital Pianos

Yamaha’s crowning glory this year is the introduction of the CP88 and CP73 stage pianos. It also showcases three new digital pianos in its Arius line – the YDP-144, YDP-164 and YDP-S54 – plus the P-121 compact digital.

Also launching in February is the AvantGrand N1X, featuring high-quality samples of the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial grand pianos, and including Bluetooth connectivity and app integration.

Roland shows off the latest in its FP series of digital pianos, with the entry-level FP-10. The 88-key PHA-4 standard keyboard features SuperNATURAL tones and onboard speakers. Its GO:Piano88 builds on the GO branding with more playing room thanks to its 88-key keyboard.

The LX700 upright digital piano series is Roland’s latest instruments featuring PureAcoustic Piano Modelling technology, which produces an arguably better or more adjustable tone than sample-based digital pianos.

Casio’s new PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 Privia models claim to be the slimmest depth in the world, without sacrificing keyboard touch and sound.

Keyboards

Yamaha introduces another in its long-standing line of entry-level PSR keyboards for beginner musicians. The PSR-E360 has a number of features including touch sensitivity, melody suppression, arpeggio function and a touch tutor which can teach dynamics.

Synths

The MODX is Yamaha’s upgrade to the popular MOXF range of synthesizers, and will come in three models: 61- and 76-key semi-weighted and 88-key graded, weighted keys.

Korg is showing off its latest KROME EX music workstation, KRONOS special edition, KROSS synth workstation, minilogue xd polyphonic analogue synth, volca modular micro modular synth, volca drum digital percussion synth, and Pa4X professional arranger keyboard.

Arturia has created the MicroFreak, an experimental hybrid synth featuring PCBs in place of the traditional keyboard: a “peculiar, exceptional instrument that rewards the curious musician”, blending wavetable and digital oscillators with analog filters.

The AX-EDGE is Roland’s latest Keytar.

Novation announces the latest incarnation of SL controller with the flagship SL MkIII.

Organs

Others

Yamaha introduces a new product category, the Sonogenic: keytar instruments aimed at budding younger musicians and designed to allow jamming along with popular music tracks thanks to its chord tracking app. The SHS-500 is the first such instrument to be shown.

Yamaha is also hoping to shake the gimmicky reputation of the melodica, with the introduction of the P37E Pianica. It features eco-friendly plastic construction, stable tuning, and the familiarity of a music keyboard.

For beginning musicians, particularly kids, comes the Yamaha PSR-E360, featuring a number of on-board functions designed to make learning fun and intuitive.

Effigy Labs shows off its recently-launched control pedal, offering a responsive MIDI foot controller aimed at keyboard players. With it, users can manipulate MIDI control messages and values in real time without having to use their hands.

Software

Steinberg announces the latest version 10 of its Cubase music production software, featuring a number of enhancements including VariAudio pitch correction, Audio Alignment, Groove Agents, and much more.

They’re showing off Absolute 4, featuring the best synths and workstations from its library, including the Grand 3, Groove Agent 5, Prime Cuts, Granular Guitars, and many more.

Also updated is Dorico, music notation software now including real-time MIDI recording, overhauled MIDI transcription engine, features for media and jazz musicians, and other improvements.

Korg debuts the Gadget music production software, built upon small synth/drum machine ‘gadgets’ which can be combined to create music in wide-ranging genres, and available on Mac and iOS.

Manufacturers

Arturia

The MicroFreak is an experimental hybrid synth with pressure and poly aftertouch sensitive PCBs in place of the keyboard.

Bösendorfer

Bösendorfer displays its latest Vienna Concert grand piano, the 185VC, a six-foot size class utilising the same build technology as the full-size 280VC. A Disklavier edition will also be available.

Casio

The new PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 Privia models claim to be the slimmest depth in the world, without sacrificing keyboard touch and sound.

Effigy Labs

The Control Pedal is a responsive MIDI foot controller for keyboard musicians, allowing MIDI parameters such as pitch bend, modulation and other controls to be adjusted on-the-fly without using the hands.

Korg

Korg shows off its latest KROME EX music workstation, KRONOS special edition, KROSS synth workstation, minilogue xd polyphonic analogue synth, volca modular micro modular synth, volca drum digital percussion synth, and Pa4X professional arranger keyboard.

It’s also debuting the Gadget music production software, built upon small synth/drum machine ‘gadgets’ which can be combined to create music in wide-ranging genres, and available on Mac and iOS.

Novation

Novation announces the latest incarnation of SL controller with the flagship SL MkIII.

Roland

The FP-10 is an entry-level model in the FP range of digital pianos, featuring 88 keys, PHA-4 standard keyboard feel and SuperNATURAL tones.

The 88-key GO:Piano builds on Roland’s GO series of instruments announced last year, offering the added range an 88-key instrument provides.

The LX700s are upright digital pianos featuring Roland’s own sound modelling technology and two distinct pianos on board.

A new keytar has been created, the AX-EDGE.

Steinberg

Steinberg showcases Cubase version 10 with major enhancements such as VariAudio, Audio Alignment and Groove Agents. It will also launch Absolute 4, with a huge range of its sound libraries on board, including pianos, guitars, soundscapes, and drums; plus the latest enhancements to the Dorico music notation software.

Yamaha

Yamaha has already let the cat out of the bag with the prior announcement of its flagship stage pianos, the CP88 and CP73 series. The show is a great place to show off these high-end instruments in all their glory.

Three new Arius models (YPD-144, YPD-164 and YPD-S54) have been announced, along with the P-121 compact digital piano and the AvantGrand N1X.

A new lightweight, hybrid synth is on show: the MODX. Superseding the MOXF, three models will be introduced with a range of keyboard spans and key weights. Features build on the success of the MOXF and include seamless sound switching, sample-based and FM synthesis, and motion control programming.

Hybrid acoustic/digital pianos are showcased in the new TransAcoustic TA2 models, allowing natural acoustic playing alongside fully digital and silent playing when desired.

Slightly more quirky instruments include the Sonogenic SHS-500 keytar, aimed at young musicians looking to jam to their favourite music, and the P37E Pianica melodica.