Top 5 Biggest Announcements From NAMM 2020
Following our visit to NAMM 2020, we highlight our five favorite pieces of gear from the massive music tech trade show.
At the beginning of each year, gearheads and music vendors from all over the world make their way to the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California to test out and showcase the latest and greatest in music tech. For four days, members of the music industry network their way through the National Association of Music Merchants’ trade show shuffle, as companies of all different sizes and sounds put their latest innovations on display.
With the opportunity to play with a vast array of synthesizers, mixers, guitar pedals, modular rigs, standalone DJ hardware, monitors, interfaces, and more before they hit the market, NAMM is a bonafide playground for any and all studio geeks.
Check out our five favorite pieces of gear from NAMM 2020 below.
Denon DJ Prime Go
Portable DJ hardware has never looked so good. At NAMM 2020, Denon DJ revealed one of the most advanced and compact all-in-one standalone setups we’ve ever seen — the Denon DJ PRIME GO. This fully-capable, two-channel system, designed with a “no compromise” attitude, has a high-spec operating system and runs on a lithium-ion battery for four hours of usage without a power source — no computer needed. The Denon DJ PRIME GO comes with built-in Wi-Fi, can process Rekordbox collections, and will soon be able to load in tracks directly from Beatport LINK.
Other features include a 7-inch HD touchscreen, dual bank performance pads for loops and cues, capacitive-touch jog wheels, XLR mic inputs with EQ/level/talkover, an assignable FX module, and more. It’s the ultimate gadget for any DJ who wants to mix on the go. Learn more by going here.
Blipbox After Dark
Back in 2018, Playtime Engineering introduced a new toy called the Blipblox Audio Exploration Module, a synthesizer designed to get kids hooked on electronic music. A massive hit with parents who wanted to switch out the typical Fisher Price junk for more intricate techno sounds during playtime, the device has been simplified and optimized so everyone, including children as young as three years old, can enjoy synthesizer audio exploration.
At the 2020 edition of NAMM, Playtime Engineering introduced the newest addition to the Blipblox toy synthesizer product line, Blipblox After Dark. The new model features a more sophisticated look, making it clear that this product is marketing itself as much to parents as they are to kids. Using the same signal flow as its last design, After Dark’s new features include a multi-tap stereo delay, over 100 kick and snare samples, and new oscillator modulation schemes with 256 customizable wavetables. Learn more here.
Phase Wireless Scratch System
Announced as an official Serato accessory, MWM plans to release the very first wireless controller for DVS, Phase. With this new partnership and product, scratch DJs using Serato will no longer have to ask salty sound engineers for RCA audio leads wherever they may be performing. With Phase, users can achieve tight scratch performances with just two USB cables — one that plugs into a Serato-enabled mixer (as usual) and another that leads from their laptop to the Phase box. MWM also touts the fact that Phase uses a robust HID protocol that features improved latency and accuracy, meaning fewer timecode errors. The Phase Wireless Scratch System is currently in Alpha, and its release date remains a mystery. Learn more by going here.
Pioneer DJM-V10 Mixer
Perhaps one of the biggest items to come out of NAMM 2020 is the release of Pioneer’s new flagship mixer — the DJM-V10. This six-channel mixer comes equipped with a newly developed 4-band EQ and compressor to help fine-tune the depth of your tracks, an expanded send/return section for a whole new range of FX, a dual headphones output for seamless B2B sessions, and much more.
Pioneer’s latest product has DJs all across the electronic music spectrum eager to test its studio-quality 64-bit mixing capabilities, which promise “full low-end, vibrant mids, and precise highs.” The DJM-V10 will be available in February for $3,199. Check out all the mixer’s specs here.
Reflector Audio: Q1818 Loudspeaker System
Reflector Audio — a bespoke speaker company that operates out of Latvia — impressed the audiophiles of NAMM 2020 with the patented baffle-free acoustic design of its new Q1818 impulse-correct open-baffle monitor system. With an aesthetic that looks like something taken directly from the Death Star, the carefully crafted monitors deliver an “exceptional dynamic range and naturalness” by successfully “minimizing or even eliminating distortions of all kinds.” The two-way speakers are packed with sensitive technology that offers studio professionals unparalleled (and often unforgiving) insight into any material played through them. Learn more here.