There's NAMM so blind as those that cannot see. But at least we have the guide dog that is the web to let us see what the NAMM is going on.
The Winter NAMM show, the major annual audio industry trade event has just kicked off. It's a popular time for all the MI companies to announce their latest wares. My company is exhibiting there, and I'm sure everyone loves our shiney new stuff. But I'm more interested in some of the other things I've seen announced...
It's a Keytar, Baby!
First up - and I think my heart has missed several beats - Roland have announced a new keytar, the AX Synth. They stopped making the AX-7 "shoulder mounted keyboard" eons ago, and these instruments have since entered keyboard geek folklore. Keytars are so bad they're good, and I love looking like a muppet playing one live. Now Roland have created a new one. And it looks pretty good. Well, visually it actually looks pretty darn awful, but that's par for the course. I want one. I'd settle for two.
In other news, I've been waiting to see what Steinberg have been cooking. A new Cubase version has been in the pipeline for some time. It's quite suprising what they've done in this release; a lot of unexpected features have been integrated.
They've pulled in Yamaha's pitch correction software and integrated it into the audio editor. That's novel. Sadly, it won't sound as nice as Melodyne, but it's a fairly impressive thing to find in a DAW. They've also added a cut down version of Groove Agent (in the same vein as the cut down Halion in Cubase 4). Novel. Both of those are annoying extras, as I already bought Groove Agent and Melodyne. The external plugins will still, unoubtedly be better than Cubase's native code. But tight integration is cute and handy. And not having to muck around with Melodyne plugin's data files would be pleasant.
They've not particularly spruced up the rather functional-looking project window (which I'd've imagined would have been on their list), although various popup windows have had a chintzy spring clean. So it's even more of the standard Cubase random not-quite matching visual interface, then.
There's loads of other changes in Cubase 5. They've definitely upped the ante for what a DAW provides. It does look interesting, but I'm not sure I actually need to fork out any money to upgrade. But I might; it's annoying to not be on the cutting edge any more.
And of course, there's more tantalising news of the new Melodyne with it's awesome DNA sorcery. They've now called the first release Melodyne Editor. It's still annoyingly "not quite" out.
So what do I spend my bucks on?
Food for the kids would probably be the best option...