January is usually the month when gear launches peak. However, the annual Winter NAMM Show - at which a lot of these launches usually take place - has been postponed until June, and we’re seeing evidence that chip shortages remain a big problem for manufacturers who are trying to bring their new synths and drum machines to market.
The latest company to highlight this is Behringer. On the plus side, the company says that it has all the chips it needs to release Syncussion, an emulation of Pearl’s 1979 Syncussion SY-1 drum synth, which it released in 1979, but it also reports that shortages are delaying many of its other releases.
“We’re sorry that shipping products is taking much longer than expected, but the chip shortages are very challenging, and the way it looks, 2022 won’t see much improvement,” says Behringer on Facebook.
“Be assured we’re working really hard to get your products delivered as quickly as we possibly can,” the company adds.
This news follows the announcement by Erica Synths in December that its hotly-tipped Perkons HD-01 drum machine - which was slated to be released by the end of 2021 - now won’t be available until late in 2022.
A shortage of microcontrollers is to blame here, though on the plus side, the company says that the extra development time has enabled it to improve Perkons’ user interface in the hope that this will make it an even better product.
The global chip shortage has affected multiple industries, with car, computer and video game system manufacturers all being affected. Multiple causes have been cited, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the China-US trade war, severe weather events and fires at manufacturing facilities.
It remains to be seen how badly the music tech industry will be hit this year, but the current signs aren’t particularly positive.