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Cool NAMM Products: Day One

AKAI iPK25I’ve had a crazy day, running around NAMM, going to various appointments with manufacturers, and checking out new products. Here are some of the highlights: Arturia unveiled the Origin Keyboard, which is a 61-key version of it’s Origin synth. Keyboardist Michael T. Ross demoed it at the Arturia booth, and it sounded great. The original Origin, which came out last year, was an EM Editors Choice winner. The keyboard version has the same synthesis engine and a large display, and will retail for $3499.

Also notable were several new AKAI products. The iPK25 ($99) is a 25 (mini) key-keyboard that you plug in your iPhone into. If you’ve loaded the Synth Station iPhone app ($9.99), you can play synth parts using your iPhone as the audio engine. In addition, they were showing the APC-20 ($199), an Ableton Live controller that offers many of the functions of the company’s APC-40, for $100 less.

MOTU was showing version 2 of Ethno Instrument ($395 MSRP), which offers 21 GB of ethnic-instrument samples and loops, which is a huge increase from the 8 GB that were offered in version 1. Also new are new time-stretching algorithms, licensed from IRCAM. Other features include access to a huge range of non-Western tunings that can be applied to any instrument. So you could take a Persian tuning, say, and apply it to a Japanese instrument. Lots of interesting possibilities. Upgrades will be offered for current Ethno Instrument owners.

More to come tomorrow…

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The Bus, EM's editorial blog, features posts from all the EM editors on topics related to gear, recording techniques and much more. It's also home to posts from a selected group of guest bloggers.


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