The best new studio gear of NAMM 2018
Korg Volca Mix
NAMM 2018: Whether your studio is in the corner of your bedroom or a custom-built facility, there are certain bits of gear that you need. An audio interface, monitors and (maybe) a mixer are all essential, so it should as no surprise that plenty of these products were shown in Anaheim last week.
Here's our round-up of the most promising-looking bits of studio gear that NAMM 2018 had to offer.
Winner: Audient iD44
Audient is carving out a reputation as a creator of excellent desktop audio interfaces. Its latest model, the iD44, offers a total of 20 ins and 24 outs, and includes four Audient Class-A mic pres that deliver 60db of gain. There are also options for digital expansion.
Look out for the iD44 in the first quarter of 2018 at a price of $699.
NAMM 2018: Audient’s iD44 is its most powerful desktop audio interface yet
Korg Volca Mix
Many of us have pondered on the best way to use multiple Volcas together; Korg thinks that it's given us the answer in the form of the Volca Mix.
This features two mono inputs and a stereo input, enabling you to combine up to three Volca units (a fourth can be added via an aux input). Each channel features a volume fader, lo/hi-cut filter and mute button, while the DC output connectors enable you to power your Volcas from the mixer as well.
Throw in built-in effects and the option to hook up an external one and you've got a very handy-looking little box.
The Volca Mix is expected to ship in February or March priced at £145.
NAMM 2018 first look video: Korg’s Volca Mix makes it easy to create a multi-mini-synth live performance setup
IK Multimedia iRig Stomp I/O
The iRig Stomp I/O is a USB pedalboard that contains four switches, an expression pedal and a 24-bit/96kHz audio interface. It’s designed to be used both in the studio and on stage.
Compatible with PC, Mac and iOS and also usable as a standalone MIDI controller, it won't surprise you to learn that the Stomp I/O is designed to be used with IK’s AmpliTube amp and FX modelling software. In fact, more than $800 worth of desktop and mobile software is included.
The iRig Stomp I/O is scheduled to ship in March at a price of $300/€300.
NAMM 2018: IK Multimedia’s iRig Stomp I/O can be used for recording and performing
Adam T Series
Inheriting some of the features from Adam’s flagship S Series, Adam Audio's new “accessibly-priced” range of nearfield studio monitors features 5-inch and 7-inch models.
The idea was to create an affordable set of monitors that doesn't comprise on performance. If that's what Adam has managed to do, it could have another set of winners on its hands.
The T5Vs will cost €199 each and the T7Vs will cost €239 each.
NAMM 2018: Adam’s T Series monitors promise high performance at an affordable price
Focusrite Clarett Pre
Focusrite is pretty confident in the capabilities of its new Clarett USB audio interfaces, claiming that they’re capable of challenging similar products that cost twice as much.
The are three models in the range: the Clarett 2Pre USB (10-in, 4-out), Clarett 4Pre USB (18-in, 8-out) and Clarett 8Pre USB (18-in, 20-out). These are said to offer up to 119dB of dynamic range and come with low-noise preamps that will deliver a clean, open and transparent sound. The mic preamps are Air-enabled, enabling them to emulate the sound of Focusrite’s ISA mic pre.
Prices are £370/$400 for the 2Pre, £550/$600 for the 4Pre and £740/$800 for the 8Pre.
NAMM 2018: Focusrite reckons that its Clarett Pre USB audio interfaces can compete with products that are double the price
Do you need an audio interface that supports 384kHz operation? We're not entirely sure, but JoeCo has gone ahead and made one called the Cello.
If you want more numbers, we can tell you that there are 22 inputs and four outputs, plus an all-analogue front end. You get a selection of effects that have been selected to match Cello’s preamps, and adaptive conversion technology (with new ADC and DAC filtering options) enables you to tailor the performance based on your choice of sample rate and the source that you’re recording.
A Cello with plenty of strings to its bow, then; it'll ship in the second quarter of the year priced at $899.
NAMM 2018: JoeCo’s Cello gives you 384kHz operation in a desktop audio interface
JBL Series 3 MkII
The original JBL Series 3 monitors offered plenty of speaker for not too much cash, and the MkII models promise an even better listening experience and a new look.
There are three models in the range: the 305P, 306P and 308P come with 5-inch, 6.5-inch and 8-inch woofers respectively. They’re designed to deliver “stunning detail, precise imaging, a wide sweet spot and impressive dynamic range”
The JBL 305P ($150 each), 308P MkII ($250 each) and 306P ($199 each) will be available soon in the US. The new range is scheduled to arrive in Europe in the summer.
NAMM 2018: JBL’s Series 3 MkII monitors promise high performance at a low price
While some mobile audio interfaces are pretty simplistic affairs, CEntrance’s new MixerFace R4 looks like a serious piece of kit.
About the size of a smartphone, this 4-input device features two Neutrik combo jacks with Jasmine mic pres and 48v phantom power. This enables mic, line, and instrument recording, with the option of a Hi-Z input for electric guitar or bass.
Expected to ship in May, the MixerFace R4 will cost $299. You’ll also be able to buy it with a standalone stereo recording option for $349, and an optional X/Y stereo mic pair will be available for $49.
NAMM 2018: CEntrance’s MixerFace R4 mobile interface looks like it’s all business