NAMM 09 highlights

Wow-ee. NAMM has been good to us so far this year. I won't say too much now as NAMM is being covered in depth by our sister-site Music Radarhref>, just some quick reactions to what has been announced thus far.
In case you didn't already know, above is the new Akai controller, specifically built for Ableton Live. It's one of the most attractive things I've seen in all my days and, if the price is right, I can see a place for it in every Ableton users studio and stage. I've long pondered the question of why hardware controllers don't just perfectly mimic the software screen and now that Akai have finally copped, hopefully many many will follow.

And NAMM wouldn't be NAMM without an obligatory Ableton Live update – welcome baby 8! You can read all about it in the new issue of FM or on Music Radar's NAMM bloghref>. Very exciting stuff, especially the new Max for Live application. It's great to see Ableton constantly evolving their product in new ways and not succumbing to the pressure from some areas to add more 'DAW-like' features. Check out the video of it in action. Fantastic stuff.

YouTube :

Other highlights include NI's new Maschine – an MPC-style software controller with a focus on groove and mouse-less control and Roland's re-launch of their AX keytar rangehref>. Bundled with 14,000 drum sounds, Maschine sounds like a all-in solution for your drum production. Or at least that's the idea. As usual, for more info, head to Music Radar's NAMM coverage pagehref>. On top of ALL of that there's also the announcement of Cubase 5, FXpansion's D-CAM Synth Squad, UAD-2 Laptop card and Melodyne's exciting Direct Note Access software.

For FM-specific coverage (let's face it, there's a lot to see in LA), head to our main-man with the plan, Editor Daniel Griffith's blog postshref> for all the hottest studio gear info FM readers need. And check out the newest FM (issue 210 – on sale 22nd January) for an exclusive NAMM round up.

In the meantime though, Music Radarhref> is the place to be for all the up-to-date, as-it-happens, hot-off-the-press news.