It’s a gear lover’s wonderland. An expanse of possibilities, creative growth, new sounds and education. It’s the Winter NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center, which is just a short stroll from another dreamworld—Disneyland.
However, rather than the buzzworthy delights of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pirates of the Caribbean and Rise of the Resistance, the thrills at NAMM are all about guitars, basses, pedals, recording gear, keyboards and more.
The awesome and yet challenging aspect of NAMM is that so much gear is exhibited by so many manufacturers—as anyone who has ever walked the miles of aisles in the convention center can attest—that it’s quite a task to get all the details about the products you’re interested in.
So, we unleashed our content teams to report on NAMM’s gear newsflashes right here—all arranged by product category and your favorite manufacturers for easy access. You might even find a few surprises, as NAMM is great for revealing the unexpected.
Dig in, and please keep in mind we will update these initial news items in the coming weeks with booth videos from the NAMM floor, more comprehensive information and more.
Table of Contents
New Electric Guitars at NAMM 2024
New Acoustic Guitars at NAMM 2024
New Basses at NAMM 2024
New Guitar and Bass Amps for 2024
New Drum Gear for 2024
New Effects Pedals and Signal Processors for 2024
New Recording and Home Studio Gear for 2024
New Live Sound Gear for 2024
New Keyboards for 2024
New DJ Gear for 2024
Gear, Gear, Gear
The venerable Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty Signature Guitar Collection has been redecorated for 2024 with five new finishes across its 6-, 7- and 8-string configurations—colors that Petrucci himself proclaimed, “The best colors we’ve collectively come up with so far—which is a huge statement because the finishes have always been incredible.”
The new Majesty colors are Blue Silk, Black Frosting, Gravity Green (“It reminds me of the musical Wicked, but I couldn’t call it ‘Elphaba,’ could I?”), Her Majesty’s Request (“My wife, Rena, asked for an iridescent white finish, so…”) and Oxblood (“Oh, I named this one before I saw it, and as it appears more pomegranate-y, I may have to rename it.”).There are also three incredible new hues for the maple-topped Majesty Ball Family Reserve (BFR) models: Arctic Aurora (“It’s based on the Northern Lights”), Blue Ink and Red Nebula (inspired by his favorite Purple Nebula Majesty).
The new finishes are expected this summer, but if you’re the impatient type, you might find something wonderful in the current Majesty collection.
YouTube sensation and prog-guitar maestro Rabea Massaad gets his own Artist Series Sabre this spring. The signature Sabre offers dark and light versions—a foreboding Vileblood Burst (inspired by Massaad’s favorite video game, Bloodborne) and a lustrous Frenzied Flame Burst (available only through the EBMM Vault). Massaad adapted the standard Sabre to his needs by adding his signature Bare Knuckle Silo humbuckers, push-push coil-split switch, lower and smaller JP15 bridge, and recessed lower horn and heel.
Ibanez unleashed the Kraken—so to speak—with a truly impressive array of guitars, basses, acoustics, acoustic-electrics and even ukuleles. New electrics include Premium AZ models, as well as offerings from other series, such as AZE, RG, RG GIO, S, Iceman and Artcore hollowbodies. Dig into all the new electric guitars from Ibanez.
Godin celebrates Alex Lifeson’s famous 1980s “Hentor Sportscaster” modded solidbody with the LERXST Limelight. Available with either a Vega or Floyd Rose tremolo, the LERXST Limelight features custom-wound Mojotone pickups in an HSS configuration, a swamp ash body, hard rock maple neck and ebony fretboard.
Guild—acquired by the Yamaha Guitar Group last year—dipped into the past for NAMM 2024 and paid homage to its ’70s-era S-100 offset solidbody with four new Polara models. Led by the Guild Polara Kim Thayil signature model (based on his 1978 S-100), the line also includes the Polara Deluxe, Polara and Polara Night Edition.
Played for years by virtuosos, such as Mike Stern and Michael Lee Firkins, Yamaha still wanted to take its Pacifica range up a notch or two for 2024, debuting the Pacifica Professional and Pacifica Standard Plus. Perhaps the biggest news about the Pacifica upgrade is the introduction of Reflectone pickups co-developed by Yamaha and Rupert Neve Designs. Nope. Neve was not a guitarist.
However, the British engineer—who passed away in 2021 at 94 years old—is one of the most legendary and respected pro audio designers of all time. Trust us, some of your favorite songs and albums were recorded using Neve mixing consoles and/or preamps. His company lives on and continues to manufacture peerless audio products. You can expect the Reflectone HS7n single-coils and HH7b humbuckers embedded in the new Pacificas to offer “pro-audio-style” clarity with a touch of lovely ’60s and ’70s Brit-rock assertiveness in the midrange frequencies.
Fender declined to exhibit at NAMM, but as 2024 is the 70th anniversary of the Stratocaster®, the company has released some awesome new versions of this iconic instrument. Click here to see the current 70th anniversary offerings, such as the Player Strat in a stunning Nebula Noir finish. There are also new arrivals from Charvel, EVH, Jackson and Gretsch.
As covered in the electric guitar section, Ibanez released a massive amount of gear for 2024. On the acoustic side, the releases include the Advanced Auditorium series, as well as AE, AEG7 (including a left-handed version), budget-friendly PF dreadnoughts (PF14JR, PF54CE and PF54), FRH10N nylon-string acoustic-electric and GA classical guitars (GA10AM, GA20AM and GA30AM, plus two acoustic-electrics—the GA5MHTCE and GA5TCE3Q). Learn about the full line-up of new Ibanez acoustic guitars.
While Martin’s NAMM tradition of releasing lavish limited editions continues to make jaws drop—this year, the collection includes a $50,000 50th Anniversary guitar—the company also reimagined and upgraded its affordable X Series line. New models include the DX1E, DX2E, 0X2E, 00X2E, 000X2E, GPCX1E, GPCX2E and a DX2E 12-string.
In addition, Martin debuted the GPCE Inception—an inventive acoustic-electric crafted from sustainable tonewoods that utilizes a “skeletonized” honeycomb X-bracing to reduce mass while simultaneously maintaining structural integrity. The Inception offers a FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified spruce top, maple with black walnut back and sides, and an L.R. Baggs Anthem pickup system.
Acoustic shredders—as well as any player looking for a comfy feel—should love the Sure Align neck system on the Martin SC-18E and SC-28E. While patented mortise and tenon joints produce a super tight and stable neck-to-body connection, the system also makes it possible to utilize a slim-profile, high-performance neck shape. Both models offer a spruce top, East Indian back and sides, and L.R. Baggs Anthem electronics.
Taylor obviously didn’t want its golden anniversary (1974–2024) to pass without doing something amazing, and, hey, they released the absolutely dazzling Circa 74 acoustic amp designed by Bob Taylor and a crack, handpicked team. Learn more about that beauty in the New Guitar and Bass Amps for 2024 section, as well as through our YouTube interview in that section with Taylor CEO, President and Chief Guitar Designer Andy Powers.
Pictured: Taylor 50th Anniversary Guitar and Circa 74 Acoustic and Vocal Amplifier
Taylor added to the festivities by releasing a trio of classy, limited-edition 50th anniversary Grand Auditorium guitars—a 314ce, 814ce Builder’s Edition and AD14ce. All three models feature V-Class bracing, ES2 electronics and sensational finishes (Shaded Edgeburst for the 314ce, Kona Edgeburst on the 814ce and a Vintage Tobacco Sunburst graces the AD14ce).
The StingRay has pumped out vigorous, thundering low end on stages and in studios since 1976. This year, the Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special 5 Limited Edition struts its stuff with a contoured body, rosewood fretboard and two humbuckers with neodymium magnets. The StingRay bass line is also getting 12 new finish options later in the year, including stunners such as Candyman, Grape Crush, Hot Honey, Brulee and Purple Sunset.
Ibanez didn’t forget its low-end friends in the flurry of new releases for 2024. In fact, there are fresh options in practically every bass series Ibanez offers. For example, 6-string bassists can check out the BTB25TH6, no-headstock fans should look up the EHB1505SMS and players who prowl the front of the stage definitely need a SR405EPBDX in a Mars Gold Metallic Burst. There’s even an AEGB24FE fretless acoustic-electric model in the group. Check out Ibanez's new basses for 2024.
Orange’s proprietary mad scientist—a.k.a. Lead Designer Adrian Emsley—came up with the O Bass in 2015, and, this year, the model meets its first signature artist, Glenn Hughes. The Orange Glenn Hughes Signature O Bass rocks a glorious purple finish (a nod to Hughes’ 1973–1976 tenure in Deep Purple?) over an okoume body, a fabulous checkerboard design on the body and headstock binding and a Seymour Duncan SPB-1 pickup.
Sterling by Music Man has produced affordable, high-quality versions of the main Ernie Ball Music Man lineup since 2008. For 2024, Sterling by Music Man tackled the Sterling SB14 Passive Bass, which is, of course, inspired by the popular EBMM Sterling. The SB14 wields a swamp ash body in a natural finish, hard maple neck and fretboard, and a passive Alnico V parallel humbucker.
VOX went back to the source to realize its new AC Hand-Wired Series. The seven different models in the line accurately reproduce all of the shimmer and grit of the original ’60s amps used by so many British Invasion acts—the Beatles!—as well as tone disciples including The Edge, Rory Gallagher, Brian May and others.
The VOX team analyzed the circuitry and construction of a “gold standard” 1963 copper-panel AC30 to source vintage and vintage-accurate parts, and seek robust modern alternatives that still echo the seminal AC30 sound—even to the point of making the Hand-Wired Series cabinets slightly thinner to produce the resonant characteristics of the original 1960s framework. The 2024 VOX Hand-Wired Series encompasses six combos—an AC4 practice amp, AC10, AC15, AC15X, AC30 and AC30X—and an AC30 head with matching V212X cabinet.
While not handwired, but exceptionally more portable, VOX released seven new, super fun AmPlug 3 headphone amps. The battery-powered miniatures pop right into your guitar’s output jack and emulate a specific amplifier or tone. Each AmPlug also includes built-in effects, nine onboard rhythm patterns, an AUX input and a stereo headphone output.
The VOX AmPlug 3 AC30 simulates a 1963 AC30. Go for a Dumble-esque vibe with the VOX AmPlug 3 Boutique. Unleash metal mayhem with the VOX AmPlug 3 High Gain, or go for a classic rock stack tone with the VOX AmPlug 3 UK Drive. California sounds are as close as the VOX AmPlug 3 US Silver. VOX didn’t leave out bassists in the new releases. Purveyors of low end can choose a VOX AmPlug 3 Modern Bass or a VOX AmPlug 3 Bass.
Groomed for livestreaming and direct recording, the Blackstar ID:Core V4 produces what the manufacturer calls “Super Wide Stereo” in a 40-watt amp-modeling machine with six amp voices, onboard effects and a CabRig Lite speaker simulator. The ID:Core V4 also features built-in Wi-Fi and USB-C connectivity. If you don’t need 40 watts, the ID:Core comes in 10-watt and 20-watt versions.
The Darkglass M 500 1x12 bass combo is a flexible and portable (26 lb.) solution for studio dates, band rehearsals and even full-on gigs. One amp for all! The M 500 delivers 500 watts through a 12" Eminence ceramic speaker, and you can also record direct via a balanced D.I. output with a pre/post EQ switch. To add to your tone-shaping options, the Darkglass Vintage Microtubes feature simulates classic overdrive, while the Microtubes B3K mode spews out modern, high-end saturation. Other features include 4-band EQ, optical compression, a mute switch, an auxiliary input and effects loop. Prefer a 2x10 configuration? Go for the Darkglass M 500 2x10 combo.
What happens when you deploy a legendary boutique amp builder to create an iconic ’50s amplifier? Well, you get a handcrafted, bulletproof and transcendent version of a pioneering amplifier that produces a unique and distinctive tone. That’s the deal with the new MESA/Boogie-manufactured Gibson Falcon 5 and Falcon 20 amplifiers.
Although they did not exhibit at NAMM, these new amps were unveiled just before the show kicked off. The Falcon series is based on Gibson Skylark amps from the ’50s and ’60s. The Falcon 5 1x10 combo and Falcon 20 1x12 both feature a single channel, 12AX7 preamp and 6V6 power amp tubes, and a spring reverb tank (the Falcon 20 adds a tremolo effect). Super simple, but the MESA/Boogie team also incorporated attenuator switches to tailor the power to the gig. The Falcon 5 has a two-position switch for 7W/3W and 8W/4W. The Falcon 20 offers six power modes—12W/5W/1W for the standard 6V6 tubes, or 15W/6W/2W if you load the amp with optional 6L6 bottles (sold separately).
Either model can produce vibey retro clean tones, but the not-so-secret killer app of the original Gibson Skylarks and the new Falcons is the singular and beatific, cranked-up overdrive that sounds like a planet caving in on itself. It’s perhaps one of the coolest amp tones you’ll ever hear.
Check out our interview with Doug West (MESA/Boogie) and Mat Koehler (GIbson) about the Falcon Amplifiers.
The Kemper Profiler Player shrinks the superhero-like muscle of Profiler amp heads, rack units and multi-effects pedalboards into a unit compact enough to be stuffed into a gig bag or even into a Hal Leonard KISS lunch box (if you want to amuse bandmates while carting your rig in style).
At first look, the Profiler Player seems more like the stompboxes its dimensions embody than typical Kemper processors, due to the lack of a display. However, the free Rig Manager app works with most mobile devices to deliver comprehensive editing—although if you’re into maximum simplicity, the Player pedal itself offers enough physical control knobs, function buttons and footswitches to do a gig.
A collection of amps and effects are already loaded into the box, and you can make more magic via the Player’s Bluetooth, USB and USB-MIDI capabilities. So, when you call your next professional touring or studio rig to attention, it could be as fast and effortless as: “Kemper Profiler Player. Guitar. Cables. Picks. Gig bag. Done!”
The Spark Live four-channel amp and PA system manages the audio needs of a small combo with one powerful and portable speaker. The Class-D amplifier section puts out 150 watts RMS and 450 watts peak, so your band can perform in small venues with one Spark Live or bring more units to expand the band. A single Spark Live can be configured as follows:
- Channel 1 offers an input for guitars or bass, 33 amp models and 43 effects.
- Channel 2 provides input for vocal, bass or acoustic guitar, plus three amp models and 50 effects.
- Channels 3 and 4 feature stereo inputs for pedalboards, keyboards or audio playback from laptops.
Spark Live also offers “on the gig” enhancements such as Sonic IQ that automatically adapts to the performance environment, an onboard tuner, Bluetooth and USB audio connectivity, included Spark app, multi-angle tilt stand and cordless operation via an optional lithium battery.
The Taylor Circa 74 AV150-10 acoustic guitar and vocal amplifier and its included stand are crafted from solid mahogany, evoking a retro-futuristic cabinet you’d find in a mid-century modern showplace. Its ’50s space-age looks aside, the two-channel Circa 74 delivers 150 watts of power through a 10" full-range speaker. One channel includes a combo XLR and 1/4" input, and the other a 1/4" input—perfect for singer-songwriters and instrumental duos—plus, Bluetooth connectivity lets you play along with backing tracks wirelessly from a mobile device.
Bad Cat recently unleashed the fury of a “none more black” tone monster, the Jet Black. Available as a 1x12 combo or head, the two-channel amp delivers 38 watts through four EL84 power tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes, and includes 3-band EQ, reverb, a bias-modulated tremolo and a footswitch.
Nicknamed “The Terminator” because its clear, resonant, “bust through the mix” sound graced tons of heavy rock albums in the ’80s and ’90s, the TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass snare became the stuff of legend. The new TAMA 50th Limited Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum brings the trademark punch, warmth, articulation and dynamics of the ’80s icon to today’s stages and studios—without having to scour our Used and Vintage assortment every day for an original, well-maintained example.
Forged from a 3mm bell brass shell with an aged verdigris patina, original die-cast hoops and vintage-style lugs, the 50th Limited delivers the seminal sound. But it also updates elements—such as including a Roller Action strainer and extended snare wires—to appeal to contemporary drummers.
There are more goodies TAMA is sharing for its golden anniversary. The TAMA 50th Limited Starclassic Mirage is a 5-piece acrylic shell pack in a marvelously frosty Crystal Ice hue with black nickel hardware. The configuration is pretty sweet for drummers who like big beats and thunderous resonance: 22x16" kick, 10x7" and 12x8" rack toms and 14x12" and 16x14" floor toms. Other features include seamless acrylic shell construction and die-cast hoops, as well as slippage-hindering padded kick-drum claws and padded floor-tom legs. A matching add-on snare is available as an option.
Kick it in style with the TAMA Limited-Edition 50th Anniversary Iron Cobra Power Glide pedal. Dressed up with a Coral Swirl—reminiscent of a psychedelic light show or a lava lamp—over a black base, no two finishes are alike. Renowned for its smooth action, speed, toughness and reliability, the Iron Cobra has been used by Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Kenny Aronoff (session legend, John Mellencamp), Stewart Copeland (Police), Peter Erskine (Weather Report) The Pocket Queen (Taylor Gordon), Simon Phillips (rock, jazz and fusion great) and many others. For fearsome fusillades of fleet feet, a double pedal version is also available.
For the do-it-yourself crew, the KORG NTS-3 KAOSS DIY real-time effects pad lets you build and customize your own KAOSS device. The onboard KAOSS effects engine includes filters and effects, making it possible to combine up to four effects simultaneously and toggle between effects in real time. For those who love going deeper, the NTS-3 KAOSS DIY offers an open software development platform and API, so you can invent almost effect your mind can imagine.
The MXR Joshua Ambient Echo (“Joshua”—wink wink) melds delay, modulation and octave effects into a single box that can produce haunting or relentless soundscapes. There’s no need for the multiple rack processors often used by artists of the ’80s and ’90s (KORG SDD-3000, TC Electronic 2290, Yamaha D1500, etc.) to evoke frenzies of psychedelia, shoegaze, lo-fi and more. The Joshua Ambient Echo lets you adjust delay tempo (Delay), number of echoes (Regen), delay rhythm (Division), octave (Voice) and modulation (Mod). A secondary expanse of echoes is available through the Echo 2 switch, and you can push the delay tails into near infinity by cranking the Trails knob. Use Joshua to emulate The Edge’s soaring vistas, transform “normal” riffs into otherworldly testimonials or devise film soundtracks of orchestral ambience.
Joining the circle of manufacturers celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2024, Pigtronix is commemorating its debut at the 2004 Winter NAMM show with the Philosopher’s Tone 2. The update of the uber-popular compressor/sustainer with a “Grit” control includes a dedicated Grit on/off switch and a Grit voicing switch (silicon/germanium) for enhanced tone tweaking. A Blend control is available whenever for dialing in the amount of compression applied to your source sound, and you can take the tone spotless by clicking off the Grit. Super versatile.
VOX unveiled two marvelously vintage-themed reissues of its groundbreaking 1966–1967 wah pedals. The VOX VRM-1 Real McCoy celebrates the original “Clyde McCoy” (or gray wah)—endorsed by a trumpet player. Reportedly marketed—by the executive team, we should stress and not wah creator Brad Plunkett—to emulate a trumpeter’s mute technique, the initial pedals actually printed McCoy’s image on the bottom plate. Soon after, the V846 made the scene, which is honored by the new VOX V846 Original Wah.
The Barefoot Sound Footprint03 is a powered 3-way studio monitor with a 1" neodymium tweeter, 3.5" aluminum-cone midrange driver and 6" aluminum cone woofer. The benefit of a 3-way design is that the audio spectrum is balanced and precisely detailed, as treble, midrange and bass frequencies have their own dedicated driver. The Footprint03 employs a side-firing ported enclosure to deliver extended bass frequencies, which can help you pinpoint and reduce any problematic or muddy lows, as well as feel more impact from kick drums and electric- or upright-bass lines.
To ensure your mixes translate well to other playback media, the Footprint03 includes Barefoot Sound’s MEME (Multi-Emphasis Monitor Emulation) technology with four speaker-simulation options. Cube imitates the micro monitors that have been ubiquitous studio references since the 1970s and beyond—a great choice for tailoring soundscapes for today’s laptops and mobile devices. Old School simulates the white-coned, 2-way monitors you’d see in practically every recording studio in the world. Hi-Fi behaves like what you’d hear from high-end home theater and consumer playback systems, and Flat (the default setting) delivers the unadulterated sound of the Footprint03.
The beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO X Century Edition headphones aren’t just comfortable, precision “cans” for recording, mixing and enjoying music. They also commemorate the German manufacturer’s 100 years in the audio field. The DT 770 PRO X closed-back headphones feature the STELLAR.45 driver system (with a frequency range of 5Hz to 40kHz), a 9.8' detachable cable, 1/4" adapter and carrying bag.
The Sennheiser HD 490 PRO reference studio headphones offer an open-back design, two washable earpad options that minimize ear fatigue, grooved earpads for eyeglass wearers and angled earcups that position the transducers for optimum and consistent listening. Several more features are conceived to ensure accurate monitoring, such as a low-frequency cylinder that delivers clear bass, Sennheiser Open-Frame Architecture (reduces total harmonic distortion), drivers with neodymium magnets, an ultralight voice coil and a cable coil that minimizes cable-conveyed noises.
But the feature that takes the HD 490 PRO headphones to a level of aural ecstasy is the included Dear Reality dearVR MIX-SE plug-in. The dearVR software transforms your DAW into not just one, but several exceptional mix locations. Devised from professional, big-studio control rooms, the virtual environments consist of Mix Room A, Mix Room B and Analytic Dry. That’s just the start. Professional mix engineers will tell you a truly great mix must translate to other settings—places where your audience may actually experience the track. So, dearVR MIX-SE provides six additional, real-world listening environments: Car, Club, Home Theater, Kitchen, Living Room and Stadium.
The portable Electro-Voice EVERSE 12 battery-powered loudspeaker makes it possible to bring your show anywhere. Wielding 400 watts of Class-D power, a 12" woofer, 1" compression driver and a lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 12 hours of playback, a single EVERSE 12 is perfect for singer-songwriters, instrumental duos and DJs—even those setting up public speaking engagements or hosting weddings and other events. To tailor sound dispersion to the gig, you can mount the EVERSE 12 on an optional speaker stand, set it on the floor either upright or tilted back, or use it lengthwise in a stage monitor configuration.
The EVERSE 12 is also great for buskers and outdoor gatherings, as its weatherized enclosure ensures a little rain won’t stop the show. You can even charge your mobile device from the EVERSE 12’s built-in charging port, and use its integrated 12V DC jack to power a wireless microphone or guitar system.
The EVERSE 12 includes a DSP module—designed by Dynacord (an E-V brand)—that really increases your sound options with 7-band EQ, digital effects, feedback suppression and more. You can control the DSP functions via the onboard LCD, or use the free QuickSmart app to adjust parameters wirelessly.
Mackie is covering a number of audio bases this year, from gigging to gaming and podcasting to streaming. Home-studio musicians will love the versatile, multi-purpose ProFX line of mixers that includes the six-channel ProFX6v3, 10-channel ProFX10v3 and 12-channel ProFX12v3.
Designed for podcasters, the compact DLZ Creator XS includes savvy helpmates such as AutoMix and Mix Agent, as well as customizable pads for triggering samples, built-in effects and more. Livestreamers and gamers can simplify their rigs—and operations—with the MainStream. The neat and petite control center seamlessly incorporates a game feed, headset mic, video cameras, smartphones and more.
Roving reporters and extreme content producers can go anywhere with the aptly named MobileMix. Working off USB power, the MobileMix can run from the battery-powered laptop you’re using to record, edit, and/or stream audio. Even when you’re off the grid, Bluetooth capability keeps you connected for call-in interviews from your smartphone or streaming music to underscore the latest Northern Lights sighting from Iceland.
The ShowBox is an integrated, portable, all-purpose PA system for singer-songwriters, small combos and buskers. The six-channel, 400-watt powered mixer/speaker combination weighs just 21 lb, and includes onboard guitar sounds, 3-band EQ, Bluetooth connectivity and speaker-voicing modes (Amp/PA and Indoor/Outdoor).
To get a more comprehensive story on Mackie’s initial Class of 2024, please see our article that is cleverly titled New Mackie Gear for 2024.
The Casio Celviano AP-550 digital piano features 88 keys with Smart Hybrid Hammer Action that emulate the feel of a real acoustic grand piano. You can even tailor key response to your technique or style with three sensitivity levels. The Celviano AP-550 offers 26 presets (including a 9' Hamburg grand piano and New York variant, organ, strings and electric piano), built-in DSP effects, Bluetooth and MIDI connectivity, a handy Instant RePlayer that continuously captures your playing, 60-song music library (via the free Casio Music Space app) and onboard 40-watt amp that powers four speakers. A height-adjustable, padded piano bench is also included.
Amidst its other cool features, Celviano AP-550 has illuminated touch-sensor controls that disappear when you start playing, as well as an innovative Visual Information Bar on the front panel that displays a metronome, tracks your performance dynamics and more. If space is a bit tight in your living room or practice space, a more slender version is available as the Casio Celviano AP-S450 slim console digital piano.
KORG dropped a number of awesome surprises for 2024. The KORG KingKORG NEO virtual analog synthesizer is a compact, 37-key powerhouse that delivers the retro synth tones that drove classic ’80s dance tracks, new wave hits and cinema scores. The KingKORG NEO’s XMT analog-modeling engine offers 24-voice polyphony, 200 presets (plus 100 user slots), a 16-band vocoder (with formant shift and hold functions), 18 filters, plus as many as 138 oscillator types and onboard effects. There are lots of control knobs to delight tactile types, and a microphone with gooseneck and windscreen is included for the vocoder.
How do you follow up a massive hit that’s recognized as the best-selling synth of all time? Well, the new KORG microKORG 2 expands on the original microKORG’s legacy by adding a 2.8" full-color LCD, harmonizer and hard-tuning features for the vocoder, new sounds (categorized within era-defining Classic, Modern and Future sections) and a loop recorder.
If you’re looking for a formidable digital piano, prepare to get your mind blown by the KORG Grandstage X. Completely redesigned for 2024, the Grandstage X not only looks amazing with its futuristic curves and perforated side panels, it’s also a piano powerhouse loaded with seven independent sound engines, 700 onboard presets, KORG’s Real Weighted Hammer action, tube coloration (for vintage organ and electric piano tones, and more) and built-in effects.
Classical pianists and students can experience the world of Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) with the KORG Poetry Chopin-inspired digital piano. The natural-wood Poetry looks stunning, and offers a RH3 weighted keyboard, built-in recorder, 10 instrument sounds, onboard effects, Bluetooth connectivity, and Damper, Soft and Sostenuto pedals. The Poetry also comes pre-loaded with 50 of Chopin’s masterworks for students and aficionados of his compositions. The two main piano sounds are magnificent—an 80-key 1843 PLEYEL (faithful to Chopin’s experience and pitched to 430Hz instead of 440Hz) and a contemporary, 88-key Italian concert grand (a fixture of the International Chopin Piano Competition).
We’re not done yet …
KORG updated its opsix synth with a 37-key keyboard version and a 4U rack desktop model. The KORG opsix mkII Altered FM synthesizer features double the polyphony of the original opsix with 64 voices. There’s also an intuitive Operator Mixer interface (six sliders control operator volume and six knobs adjust ratios), versatile filters derived from other KORG synths (Polysix, MS-20, etc.), 30 onboard effects and a step sequencer.
Pictured: KORG opsix 2.0 FM Synthesizer
Like the opsix, the KORG modwave mkII wavetable synthesizer also comes in a rack version. The modwave mkII includes more than 200 wavetables—each encompassing 64 waveforms—as well as 60 voices of polyphony, 13 Morph options to animate sounds, an A/B mode to blend two wavetables together, a KAOSS Physics pad for gestural sound manipulation, 4-band EQ and onboard effects.
Pictured: KORG Modwave mkII Wavetable Synthesizer
If you desire the features of the KORG wavestate synth in a compact rack unit, check out the new KORG wavestate wavesequencing desktop 4U rack model. The reimagined Wave Sequencing 2.0 engine delivers 120-voice polyphony, updated LFOs and new modulation sources.
Get your groove with the compact KORG KR-11 rhythm machine. You can pack your “drummer” almost anywhere, as the KR-11 weighs less than a pound and runs on four AA batteries (an optional AC adapter is available). The versatile rhythm box comes with 126 onboard patterns, categorized from EDM and jazz to rock and country styles. You can build up to 14 custom rhythms on your own using the 16 velocity-sensitive pads.
Pictured: KORG KR-11 Compact Rhythm Machine
The Nord Grand 2 stage piano offers an exclusive collection of grand, upright and electric pianos—along with a premium Kawai hammer-action keybed—as well as updated samples of strings, brass, guitar, bass and other instruments. The intuitive, performance-ready orientation of the Grand 2’s independent Piano and Sample Synth sections (with two layers each) let you easily and quickly create layers and splits, adjust the volume of each layer and add effects.
The Yamaha SEQTRAK Music Creation Station—alternatively christened by Yamaha as a “Mobile Music Ideastation”—looks like it belongs alongside one of your LEGO builds (especially the orange version), but while not a typical keyboard, it’s a mighty machine for creating drum tracks, synth and sampler parts, and sound design atmospheres. This mini production factory also boasts an easy and speedy workflow arrangement, as the user interface is split into three distinct sections—Drums, Synth and Sampler and Sound Design and Effects.
You can use physical knobs and buttons to make tracks, or deploy the SEQTRAK app for deeper editing, access to the 2,000+ presets in the sound library or bringing your songs to life with the cinematic Visualizer mode that synchs visuals to your music. The SEQTRAK also includes an onboard step sequencer, built-in speaker, internal MEMS microphone, and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB-C and MIDI connectivity.
From the makers of Pioneer DJ gear, the AlphaTheta OMINOUS-DUO wireless DJ system packs two decks, a mixer, effects and more into a portable, battery-powered party machine. Bluetooth connectivity means you can wirelessly pair to Bluetooth-enabled speakers, or use the XLR and RCA outputs for festival gigs with huge sound systems. You can play tracks from USB drives, SD cards, laptops (through USB-C) and the Cloud (via Wi-Fi).
The AlphaTheta WAVE-EIGHT portable powered speaker lets DJs perform anywhere—seamlessly and without cable connections. Simply plug in the included SonicLink transmitter to your mixer or controller, and ultralow-latency audio is wirelessly streamed to the WAVE-EIGHT. You can rock the party with 1,000 watts of Class-D amplifier power, use single or multiple speakers, choose Sound Modes for the rig at hand (stereo, mono and subwoofer) and keep spinning for up to eight hours with the built-in battery. The WAVE-EIGHT enclosure is waterproof, weighs just 28 lb., and can be carted around almost effortlessly with its smooth-rolling casters and retractable handle.
A bundle is available that includes two WAVE-EIGHTs, an OMNIS-DUO, two SonicLink transmitters and two stands.
The Hercules DJControl Inpulse T7 Premium Edition Controller is arranged in a battle-style layout with motorized platters that emulate the feel of working with vinyl records. But there’s more creative power at your fingertips, as the included Serato DJ Lite and DJUCED software lets you do stem splitting. This means you can separate songs into different stems, such as bass, drums, vocals and so on, and then isolate, loop or combine those stems on the fly to energize your performance. The DJControl Inpluse T7 also includes the T7 Inpulse Premium fader module, which delivers smooth and precise control of your mixes. The fader module is also available separately.
Gear, Gear, Gear
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