As January draws to a close, thousands of musicians and press leave Anaheim for the desert to reclaim. The detritus of the annual holy pilgrimage may return to the sands for future archaeologists to discover, but our memories (and videos) will live on.
One of the most memorable new products announced this year is Focusrite's iTrack Dock. Looking slick as hell and offering two of their excellent Focusrite Pre-amps, this is the new dock for the new generation of iPads. The design looks so good, and is surprisingly functional with support for both iPad mini and iPad Air form factors. You can even slot in the old and busted iPad 4s. Available in the second quarter of this year for $200; giving us all some time to save up for this one.
Miselu was in the Southern California wasteland to demo their final prototype of the C.24 keyboard, which doubles as a case for older iPad generations. They shared some excellent technical details in the demo, and Miselu's Jeff Horton stopped by here to reveal that their release has been scheduled for April, also for $200.
Also at the Miselu booth were several iOS developers, including Sebastian Dittmann from Audiobus! Sebastian gave a demo of the next update, dubbed Audiobus 2, and showed off some of the new features in this version, like multiple discrete app routings.
Last year's Best of Show, the iConnectMIDI4+, has still not materialized. iConnectivity were once again showing it off this year, along with a new iConnectAUDIO4+ that will allow multiple computers and iDevices to share instrument inputs. Hopefully this is not also lost in the sands of time.
NAMM Best of Show 2014
The most exciting, and completely unexpected, announcement this year was definitely Arturia's BeatStep. This small controller offers 16-knobs, 16-pads, and a stand-alone step-sequencer. All of this will work with not only iPads and PC/Macs, but also classic analog gear via CV or MIDI Din.
Arturia have shown a lot of forethought in this design, with features like output through multiple connections simultaneously and external clock sync. It is easy to imagine a scenario where this thing is receiving a clock from a DAW, sequencing an app, while simultaneously controlling an effect app (or two) with the knobs.
I'm personally going to be grabbing one of these at release on March, and for just $100!