MUSIKMESSE 2015: Here's an interesting announcement from Hughes & Kettner. The tech-savvy amp brand has unveiled the WM-1 wireless MIDI interface, designed for use with its much-lauded Grandmeister 36 head and the accompanying iPad app.
Previously, you could manipulate the Grandmeister 36's 'smart rotary controls' (i.e. the knobs) via an iPad connected to a MIDI interface and then the amp's MIDI in/out. The WM-1 essentially removes the wired connection from the equation - connecting between the amp's MIDI in/out and footswitch (optional), then sending a wifi signal to the iPad.
In the absence of an existing wifi network, the WM-1 can create its own, which is discoverable by the iPad and, what's more, it's even phantom powered, so there's no extra power supply required. Although the interface is designed to work best with the Grandmeister 36, the firm says it works with any amp featuring phantom-powered 7-pin MIDI input and any CoreMIDI-based iPad app.
As H&K points out, the performance potential of this is quite considerable - you could control any amp setting from a mic-stand-mounted iPad at the front of the stage, for example. We also wouldn't be surprised to see this technology integrated into Hughes & Kettner's product line going forwards.
Also, on display at the H&K stand this year is the still-fresh TriAmp Mark 3, first announced at NAMM, and - for the dedicated fans - the company's new biography, Into The Blue: A Brief History Of The Technology Of Tone will be available for purchase.