I started going to NAMM in 2012 a few months after starting my own eurorack modular synthesizer system and I have gone every year since. I mainly go to check out the modular synth gear and hang out with the people making and using them. This year was great with many more modules and many familiar faces.
Here we go…click on the pics for hi-res!
The eurorack presence at NAMM this year was incredible. There were several different booths in various halls of the convention representing many manufacturers. I used to know immediately what modules were new, or which were prototypes, etc. but not anymore.
I first went over to check out Noise Engineering because A) Stephen is my friend and colleague and B) I beta test and make suggestions on Noise Engineering modules and C) he had some beer with him.
Among the new NE modules available soon is the Sinc Iter (purple one on the right in the photo above) which is a 4HP Oscillator with an insane range of 23 octaves (so it makes a great LFO) with variable waveform and built-in quantization. On the left are prototype clock modules.
Also available soon (above in purple) are the Tonnetz Sequent (a triad based polyphonic pitch sequencer), Mimetic Sequent (a pattern recorder and randomizer with up to 16 steps – I love this thing!), and its expander which outputs random gates related to the sequences.
Above from the left are the Variatic Sequent (a simple gate sequencer), the Variatic Erumption (a dual burst generator), and the Numeric Repetitor which is a rhythm generator in the vein of the Zularic Repetitor but based on binary arithmetic. I’ll swap in a better photo soon – I didn’t get a clear shot of these.
Prototype mixers above on the right.
Dieter Doepfer! I caught him mid-blink here – I swear his eyes didn’t look like that. He showed me some new Doepfer modules below.
the A-157 Trigger sequencer above.
Above in the center are the A-110-4 Quadrature Thru Zero VCO, A-147-2 LFO with delay, and A-110-3 Triangle Thru Zero VCO.
Above is the A-101-6 Opto FET VCF/Phaser.
Above is the A-153 Ratcheting clock multipler.
Above is the A-160 Clock/Trigger Divider II
I also got to catch up with Gur and Tomio showing Tiptop Audio’s wares – above is a prototype of a new case. The angle is adjustable. It looks great!
Above is the new Circadian Rhythyms module.
The quantizer is still being tweaked but looks great.
They also had a couple euro-fied Serge modules in the case.
Above is the prototype case at a different angle.
The WMD touch interface is fun! the Poly-key Array.
Above is one of the WMD/SSF cases.
Make Noise had the new shared system with all black faceplates (above). I tinkered with this set up for quite a while.
Above are the new fixed filter and the RxMx. The fixed filter can be normalled to the RxMx so the six bands correspond to the six channels.
Above is the next Make Noise collaboration with Tom Erbe called the Telharmonic. It is a triad oscillator with controls over the chord and inversion as well as timbre and of course, pitch(es).
The Ctrl Sel above.
The updated Wogglebug (above) looks great!
Phonogene in black.
Another WMD/SSF rig in a slick keyboard case.
A fully loaded Enclave case.
New Low-gain modules (above).
Hexinverter’s case (above).
A modular module from Black Market (above) that has swappable circuit boards.
These are the boards (above) that work with their 500 series style units as well as the eurorack unit.
The Xoac Karl Marx Stadt above.
The Harvestman himself, looking very dapper this year.
The Verbos touch keyboard arrived this year. It feels nice and plays well!
This one (above) was in its own skiff.
The Koma Quad helmet for demoing their new quad mixer. (Apologies to those I clocked in the head while wearing this.)
the ProModular MIIIIX and Insert (above).
SSF ultra-random (above).
Synthrotek’s rig. Lots of cool kits in here.
A closer look at the upper Synthrtek case with some Mattson mults along the bottom rows.
The new Double Andore from The Harvestman (above).
Chris Randall hamming it up with the Audio Damage rig (above).
Abstract Data’s rig (above).
the Koma Komplex Sequencer (above).
Dann from 4MS showing their goods.
the LZX rig (above).
the Vermona rig (above – sorry, blurry shot!)
Sputnik modular stuff – the patch was all set up, so the shots don’t show the modules all that well!
The Snazzy rig
Dan showed me the new Snazzy Tidal Wave which sounded great. A compact voice synth with some performance oriented controls (above).
Muffwiggler booth rigs!
Another Muffwiggler booth box.
Expert Sleepers new stuff (above).
Circuit Shaman’s rig in a John Noble case (above).
The Circuit Shaman Dack (above).
The Circuit Shaman Spectra Mirror (above).
the Kilpatrick Audio Phenol (above).
Above is the Tipsy Circuits Emperor, which can run Windows in the modular environment. Pretty insane!
Frap Tools UNO case folded (above) and unfolded (below). Really nice!
Pittsburg had their new stained wood cases, which looked really great.
Studio Electronics modules (above and below).
More from the Muffwiggler booth.
The Moon Modular case (above). I met John L. Rice at their booth, whom I’ve interacted with on the forums before but never met in person, which was cool.
Analogue Haven cases (above and below).
Mutable Intsruments new stuff (above) – Elements is awesome!
The new Synthesis Technologies E6209 (above).
The Big City Music booth (above).
I believe this is a vibrato/reverb repurposed from an organ from Analog Outfitters (above – from the Big City Music booth).
New Buchla including the 252e and the standalone 218 touch keyboard.
Brian Kehew and Robert Robert Margouleff at the Moog booth (above). Brian is a polymath whose many hats include synth expert, audio restorer, half of the synth duo Moog Cookbook as well as being an author (check out Recording the Beatles). Robert, along with Malcolm Cecil, built and played T.O.N.T.O. and co-created those amazing Stevie Wonder records.
The reissues of the original Moog modulars.
Diego Stocco tinkering with the Moog modular (above).
Klaus Shulze poster!
Moog Voyager (above).
Suzane Ciani live patching the Moog modular (above).
Sir David Scott Stone checking out the Korg reissues of the ARP Odyssey!
Twin Braids jamming in the Roland room upstairs (above).
Black is the new Orange (above).
The original Les Paul “Black Beauty” (above).
Yeah, I still want one of these Rickenbacker 12-strings.
The insane new Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator series (above)!
And the day ended with Richard Devine falling in love with the new 4MS Spectral Multiband Resonator! It does sound amazing.
Thanks to Stephen (Noise Engineering) and William (WMD) for the NAMM badge!
Pocket Computer is improvisational electronic music performed live on eurorack modular synthesizers.
Pocket Computer is Cube S. Lithely and Clark S. Nova.
Waveform City is a podcast about synthesizer makers and users. They recently interviewed me about my experiences with synthesizers and sound design.
I recently picked up a few new eurorack modules and one of them (the Doepfer A-149-1) was too deep for my briefcase.
I needed a case to house it in, so I went to the thrift store today armed with measurements for a potential box. Incredibly, I found a perfect candidate for $5. I removed the lid, drilled a few holes and was done.
I couldn’t stop working on it and added some feet, a handle, and some blank panels.
I busted out the dremel, cut down the spacers, and added the Make Noise Teleplexer and Mutable Instruments Braids for a fun little system. Also some Noise Engineering prototypes in there.