The best new gear for DJs and producers from NAMM 2020
The NAMM Show is the music-making world's time to shine, showing off new kit, studio gear, software updates and oddities to thrill, shock and confuse in equal measure. This year saw huge announcements from Denon DJ, Pioneer DJ, Korg, Universal Audio, Akai, Behringer and many, many more. We've picked a handful of our fave announcements to get you excited and inspired for 2020 – including waiting 40 years for a remake of ARP2600 and two come at once. Classic.
Korg were one of the first to jump on the new year new gear bandwagon with the Wavestate, something of a remake of the original Wavestation, a classic vector synth from the ’90s. Built in a familiar form, the Wavestate looks similar to the popular analogue Minilogue and Monologue synths, but is fully digital, with 64-voice polyphony over four layers. At £699, it’s more expensive than Korg’s recent synth output, but is a lot more flexible.
The Japanese company also had a huge announcement in the form of a remake of the classic ARP2600, slightly overshadowed by Behringer announcing the same thing a few days later. Korg’s offering isn’t cheap – at £3,200 – but Behringer are yet to reveal the price of their clone, but we’d take a punt that it’s significantly cheaper. Korg have also released a full-size remake of their classic MS20 mono synth, nearly seven years after the first mini rebirth.
While the nxs range has been the focus of Pioneer DJ’s flagship output for a while now, they dropped something completely different for NAMM in the form of the six-channel V10 mixer. Along with the two extra channels, the mixer also features a three-band isolator on the masters – the channels are upgraded to four-band EQs – a new effect called Shimmer, the ability to re-route FX into unused channels, re-designed EQ, new filter and Built-in FX and more. Watch our video first look of the V10 here – it can be yours for £2,700.
You’d be forgiven for completely losing track of all the remakes Behringer have announced, with a whole other host of classic kit rumoured, and NAMM has been another busy period for the German company. With a new 606 clone – the RD-6 – to accompany the RD-3 303 clone, Behringer have also added a range of Eurorack modules to their seemingly endless product list. Remaking Roland’s legendary System-100 range, the new product line even shares the same name. THere’s no word on price, but modules are expected to cost between $49 and $99. And just when you thought they were done, Behringer also announced a close of the ARP2600, mere days after Korg’s big reveal. Cheeky.
Again, no price yet but we’re expecting it to come in at well under the £3,200 price tag of Korg’s version.
Denon DJ’s PRIME range is quietly whipping up a storm with innovative features across their SC player, all-in-one units and portable DJ devices. NAMM was a huge period for the inMusic brand, releasing a total of four new Denon DJ products – the SC6000 PRIME player, X1850 mixer, PRIME 2 two-channel all-in-one unit and the surprise Denon DJ PRIME GO, a portable, battery-powered DJ device for wireless mixing. The list of features is extensive across all products, so make sure you check our individual news stories, but it’s safe to say while the SC5000 and X1800 mixer impressed us first time around, the SC6000 is a much more mature device, with the Engine OS and Engine PRIME software all improving substantially. Denon DJ’s roadmap for their DJ products is impressive and may finally see a genuine contender to Pioneer DJ. As always when industry standards are challenged, it’s the consumers who benefit so we’re looking forward to more innovation and lower prices.
Akai Pro’s continued revamp of the MPC range, with last year’s Live and X building on the standalone legacy of the range. This year, they added to the line with the One, their cheapest standalone yet. Featuring the same OS as other standalone MPCs, the One does away with battery power to drop the price, but also adds more hands-on control than the popular Live. With 4GB storage – 2GB of which is loaded with in-built samples – it’s a lot less than previous units, but its USB and SD card storage slots can upgrade the size quite easily. A top-quality option for producers looking to get away from the laptop screen.