Musikmesse 2014: what to expect
MUSIKMESSE 2014: If the 2014 Winter NAMM Show didn't sate your appetite for new guitar, tech, drum and DJ gear, fear not. Musikmesse 2014 takes place in Frankfurt, Germany from 12 to 15 March, and will bring with it a fresh wave of product launches and announcements.
Often described as the NAMM Show's European equivalent, Musikmesse is a mighty music instrument trade fair that also offers limited access to the public. This year's event is slightly earlier in the calendar than it has been recently, which may have a slight impact on the number of new products we see, but you can still expect far more than a rerun of January's Winter NAMM Show.
As usual, MusicRadar will be on the floor bringing you up-to-the-minute news, photos and videos, but why wait until next week to begin your Musikmesse 2014 experience? We'll be keeping our collective ear to the ground between now and then, bringing you our predictions and updating this story with the latest rumours as they filter through.
There have been so many product launches in the first two months of 2014 that you might wonder if manufacturers have anything new left to show us. However, come Musikmesse, someone invariably manages to pull a rabbit or two out of the hat.
If we wanted to place a bet on who might bring a bunny this year, we'd probably stick a quid or two on Korg. Given recent form, the company had a relatively quiet NAMM, so we wouldn't be at all surprised to see it launch a new analogue gizmo or two, though the show might arrive too early for us to get a peep at the forthcoming reboot of the ARP Odyssey.
As for Roland, expect to see it throw plenty of weight behind the new Aira range; we'd hope to learn more about what the System-1 synth is capable of and when it will be released.
Given how many were launched at NAMM, it's hard to imagine any company still has a new MIDI controller in its locker, but we're sure someone will surprise us. Plugins and iOS Apps are sure to feature on the agenda again, too: we know for a fact that an update to at least one very popular piece of software will be announced at the show, though we also hear that some companies will be making an announcement or two after Musikmesse is done and dusted.
Inevitably, after all the fuss of NAMM has faded into the distance, guitar-obsessed minds turn towards Germany.
Sure, most of the big announcements may have already been made, but that doesn't mean that the big guns won't be holding back a little something for Frankfurt. We'd expect at least a handful of new guitars - most likely Custom Shop or signature models - from Fender, and something (although not much) from Gibson. If we had to bet, we'd say another new acoustic model to join the instruments that have been soft-launched since NAMM.
Outside of the big boys, well, the big trend at the moment is for boutique-y looking amps with retro designs and a ton of valve power under the hood. Expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing as European manufacturers weigh in.
Pedal-wise, it's a similar story, with bigger brands turning out either modded or simply redesigned stompboxes that look like they were made by a bloke in a shed in California, but actually... weren't.