Welcome to the Music Technology Showcase 2021!

(Image credit: Yuichiro Chino/getty/future)

Welcome to the Music Technology Showcase 2021. This year, we’re journeying through time to survey the past, present and future of music technology, giving you a nostalgic look in the rear-view mirror, a taste of what’s hot right now and an exciting glimpse of what’s to come. 

Over the next two days, join us as we revisit classic gear that defined an era, assess the state of play and give you our best guess at what the future holds for music makers and the technology they love. 

Dive into a truckload of features, interviews and content all aimed at celebrating the past, present and future of music making and music tech. 

Visit the Music Technology Showcase 2021


(Image credit: Future)


There’s no doubt about it: tech heads love looking backwards. As much as we might like to obsess over the next big thing, there’s something magical about vintage gear that we just can’t stop trying to capture. Why else would so many manufacturers reissue classic synths in a modern format? 

With that in mind, we’ve revisited some iconic pieces of equipment - synths, drum machines, effects units and more - to find out what made them great, re-reviewed some classic hardware and rounded up five artists using old-school tech to produce quality music.

In celebration of Ableton Live’s 20th anniversary, we interviewed 13 artists on how they use Live in their creative process, dived into 10 of their most significant updates and lined up 10 tech innovations that were inspired by Ableton’s technology. 

For the gamers amongst you, we’ve got a list of 10 times that music and video games collided. To top it off, we’ve put together a potted history of music technology in 22 products.


(Image credit: Future)


There’s no time like the present. The Music Tech Showcase is all about (you guessed it) showcasing the best gear out there right now, from innovative synths and samplers to pro-grade headphones and mics. We’re not forgetting about software, too - head over to our round-up of the best soft synths of 2021 for a list of ten plugins worth getting excited about.  

No showcase would be complete without exhibitors, and we’ve got some stellar guests lined up to proudly display their wares. Korg are introducing us to their killer Nautilus workstation and SQ-64 sequencer, before Novation show us how they’re putting the groove in grooveboxes with Circuit Tracks and Circuit Rhythm. Focusrite are celebrating a decade of their game-changing audio interfaces, while IK Multimedia introduce audio interfaces perfect for those who like to stream. 

Beyerdynamic dropped in to share the news about their PRO X line of headphones and microphones, and Pioneer DJ showed off their DJM series professional battle mixers. We haven’t forgotten software, too - Softube get ‘reel’ excited about Tape, their tape emulation plugin, while EastWest Sound takes us to Hollywood with their award-winning, industry-standard Hollywood Orchestra Opus Edition.


(Image credit: Future)


If there’s anything that music makers love more than looking backwards, it’s speculating on what’s to come. As ever, the future of music technology looks undoubtedly bright, with new innovations continuing to provide no shortage of reasons to get excited about what’s in store. 

If you fancy a look into our crystal ball, we’ve sketched out our take on what the future of computer music making looks like, speaking to the masterminds at iZotope and RipX about disruptive new approaches to music production. Let’s not forget that as the music tech world moves forward, so do music makers - check out our pick of the 7 artists shaping the future of electronic music for an inventory of the most progressive producers working today.


(Image credit: David Zorrakino/Europa Press via Getty Images)

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