NAMM 2014: live highlights

26th Jan 2014 | 01:00

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Winter NAMM 2014, 23-26 January
Here we go

NAMM 2014: After weeks of rumours, counter-rumours, teases and - just occasionally - some cold, hard facts, the 2014 Winter NAMM Show is finally here. Unquestionably the biggest date in the music making equipment calendar, the event is a mecca for anyone who wants to see the latest and greatest guitar, tech, drum, DJ and every other kind of musical gear.

Naturally, then, MusicRadar is there in force, working day and night to bring you up-to-the-minute news, videos and photos. Meanwhile, the UK team will be focussing on bringing you details of all the biggest new products as the press releases roll in.

You'll find every single one of our articles on our NAMM 2014 hub page, but if you want to keep up-to-date with what's happening on the show floor, our live gallery is the place to be. We'll be keeping it updated throughout the show, so click through for all the action...

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Bitwig Studio release date confirmed!
Plus hands-on video demo

Two years after announcing its exciting DAW, Bitwig is finally ready to go.

Bitwig Studio will be released on 26 March 2014. What's more, we know how much it'll cost - $399/€299 for the download version. There's plenty of info and an in-depth video demo at the link below.

NAMM 2014: Bitwig Studio release date and price confirmed

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Charvel stand in pictures
Watch out for many, many more stand galleries

This year, we're aiming to bring you more gear and stand pics than ever before, and we've already been on the showfloor ahead of the official opening.

Keep an eye out for all the big hitters over the net few days. First up then, Charvel!

NAMM 2014: Charvel stand in pictures

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Fender reveals four new strats
Lands first blow in battle of the heavyweights

Advanced digital Fishman TriplePlay and Select Strat amongst new models

NAMM 2014: Fender reveals four new Strats

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Stunning new Marshall Custom Shop Tattoo amps
Early contender for best-looking display

Marshall Amplification launch stunning new Custom Shop Tattoo amps, but which design would you buy?

NAMM 2014: Stunning new Marshall Custom Shop Tattoo amps

NAMM 2014: live highlights
M-Audio's venerable workhorse reborn
Overdue update ahoy!

Whenever the subject of 'best MIDI pad controllers' comes up, one product that always enters the discussion is M-Audio's ageing Trigger Finger. Released in 2005, this has been used by countless producers, and now, finally, there's a successor: the Trigger Finger Pro.

NAMM 2014: M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro announced

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Guthrie Govan Signature finally here
Worth the wait? We reckon so...

The long-awaited signature model, which has been in development for some time, put in an appearance at the Charvel stand in Anaheim, and we were there to see it.

Having been through various permutations and vigorous road testing by the man himself, the final model appears to be identical to the prototype Govan demonstrated on the Charvel site back in September.

NAMM 2014: Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature launched

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Hands-on demo of Elektron's Analog Rytm
Up close and personal with exciting new drum machine
NAMM 2014: live highlights
Millenium Falcon CDJ
She'll make the Kessel run at rough 120bpm

Possibly our favourite thing we've seen so far at this year's NAMM show, over on the Pioneer booth.

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Mega modular mayhem
So many patch cables

We're not even sure what was actually going on at this booth. We like it though.

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Hands-on with the Korg MS-20 Kit
A DIY analogue synth

We must admit we were disappointed to find out that only a limited number of Korg's new MS-20 kits are due to hit the market, as they'll probably all be sold out by the time we can save up the $1000+ price tag.

We enjoyed testing this fully constructed unit on the show floor, however. True to Korg's claims, this reconstructed synth sounds noticably brighter than one would expect a classic MS-20 to, due to its brand new, yet to be aged components. It sounds great nonetheless, and we're sure these kits will age nicely into warm sounding instruments. The full size keys are a breath of fresh air after playing the MS-20 mini last year too.

Read the Korg MS-20 Kit press release for more info

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Unnecessary cardboard woman
Because sex sells, apparently

Clearly the company behind this booth decided that their display of XLR connectors wasn't sufficiently exciting on its own. Not a worry, just slap an entirely unrelated cardboard cutout of a woman in a bikini next to it. Problem solved.

Welcome to the mentality of NAMM.

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Moog chocolate anyone? Oh, and there's a Sub 37 video demo too
Actually, we're keeping this

You'll have to make do with a detailed video rundown of the new Moog Sub 37's features and capabilities, as well as confirmed specs. As some had predicted, the synth is based on the Sub Phatty engine, and can be played in monophonic and Duo-Paraphonic modes.

NAMM 2014: Moog Sub 37 video demo

We also nabbed some Moog hydration - analog filtered, we assume. (Sorry).

BONUS MOOG GOODNESS

NAMM 2014: Moog Theremini unveiled

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Fender 60th Anniversary Commemorative Strat video
Limited edition birthday beauty

60th Anniversary of the Strat treats from the Fender stand at NAMM. We get the lowdown on the 2014-only Commemorative Strat.

NAMM 2014 video: Fender 60th Anniversary Commemorative Strat

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Beatstep demoed
Video of Arturia's compact hybrid sequencer and controller

If Arturia's new BeatStep's build quality matches its looks, this smart little hybrid could make a splash. Half pad controller, half sequencer, it will hit shelves with an RRP/MSRP of $129/€99.

NAMM 2014 VIDEO: Arturia BeatStep sequencer/controller

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Jacksonville, Annaheim
Sharp edges and sharper finished

Our intrepid reporters on the floor in Anaheim took a look round the Jackson stand, and found some wonderfully pointy six (and seven) strings.

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Fender Custom Shop pics overload
Want, want, want, want. Want

Fancy a Tele covered in diamonds? An eyeball-busting pink Jackson? Then step right in to our gallery of Fender Custom Shop's stand at NAMM.

Click through for pics of guitars that will blow your mind. Probably.

NAMM 2014: Fender Custom Shop stand in pictures

NAMM 2014: live highlights
AMPLIFi - world exclusive review!
We have the first verdict on Line 6's iOS-integrated modeling amp

Putting a music playback system and a versatile guitar amp in a single box is a mad/genius idea, but does it actuallywork? Clue: yes.

Line 6 AMPLIFi 150 guitar amplifier and music player review

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Gibson stand in pictures
Diamonds and Les Pauls together at last

Gibson had their full 2014 line-up on show at Anaheim, and we took a look round the stand to see the new guitars up close.

We also saw Gibson's blinged-up 120th anniversary Double Diamond series, which is all very sparkly and impressive. Hooray.

NAMM 2014: Gibson stand in pictures

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Crash Drums in pictures
How's this for a drum rack?

Most drum companies at the show have a centrepiece to draw attention to their wares. Crush drums have gone the extra mile this year with this unique drum riser/rack/hardware construction.

NAMM 2014: Crush Drums booth in pictures

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Martin Acoustic Guitars: Video and stand gallery
Shots galore and 2014 line-up expounded

We headed over to the Martin booth at NAMM 2014 to learn more about their new acoustic guitar lines for 2014.

NAMM 2014: Martin stand in pictures

NAMM 2014 VIDEO: Martin Guitars 2014 line-up

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Bitwig Studio makes a new friend
It's here. Almost

Set to be released on March 26, Bitwig is making a big deal of how nicely its new DAW plays with MIDI controllers.

Here it is getting along with Nektar's Panorama.

NAMM 2014: Bitwig Studio DAW release date and price announced

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Has anyone seen Rob Papen?
Is it him?

We're not sure, but judging by the logos behind his head and the name on his badge, we think this might be Rob Papen.

NAMM 2014: live highlights
iZotope BreakTweaker breaks cover
Micro beat editing

BreakTweaker promises to "turn everything you know about rhythm on its head". We're not even sure what we know about rhythm, to be honest, so this could get interesting.

NAMM 2014: iZotope and BT announce BreakTweaker beat plugin

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Apollo Twin on display
Nice stand

Universal Audio's Apollo Twin is one of the most talked-about products of the show, but sadly, we don't think you get this glass plinth if you buy one. Shame.

NAMM 2014: Universal Audio Apollo Twin desktop interface announced

NAMM 2014: live highlights
ESP's Angel delight
Holy Moly

We knew the ESP Custom Shop was capable of some impressive work, but even that knowledge didn't prepare us for what awaited us at the ESP stand in Anaheim.

NAMM 2014: ESP custom shop in pictures


NAMM 2014: live highlights
Waldorf 2-Pole video
Filter revealed

We grabbed a demo of Waldorf's latest analog filter, just for you.

NAMM 2014 VIDEO: Waldorf's 2-Pole analog filter

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Drum kits of the stars!
Dave Grohl, Tre Cool!

One of the perks of strolling around the NAMM show floor is that you have all manner of A-list stars milling around. But perhaps even more exciting is coming face-to-face with the kits that said superstars bash night after night.

NAMM 2014: Drum kits of the stars!

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster on show
Custom Shop Strat model in production

Definitely one of the coolest and most iconic signature models we've seen emerge this year, the Fender Custom Shop Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster replicates the Chic man's most trusted six-string companion - his much-loved 1960 Strat.

NAMM 2014: Fender unveils Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

INTERVIEW: Nile Rodgers on the Hitmaker, Daft Punk and Hendrix

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Ibanez stand in pictures
Prepare to be impressed

Couldn't make it to Anaheim? Don't panic! MusicRadar is here to bring the NAMM Show to you, and we stopped by the mightily impressive Ibanez stand to bring you a taste of the guitars that the company has brought to the show.

NAMM 2014: Ibanez stand in pictures

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Drum Workshop in pictures
Icon Series snares honoring Nick Mason, Neil Peart and Roger Taylor

There were more than a few "oohs" and "ahhs" overheard in the Drum Workshop suite. Highlights from the California-based drum company include a sporty new Frequent Flyer kit, a just-unveiled pair of MDD pedals, and for sheer "oh-wow-ness," DW outdid themselves with limited-edition Collector's Series Icon snare drums honoring three of rock's greatest drummers: Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, Rush's Neil Peart and Queen's Roger Taylor.

NAMM 2014: DW stand in pictures

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Wheelchair e-kit
This guy...

Stone cold cruising.

NAMM 2014: live highlights
Hands-on with the Elektron Analog Rytm
Elektron's new groovebox is something of a showstopper

Elektron's new eight-voice analogue drum machine Rytm is probably our favourite bit of new kit we've tried at the show.

Its velocity sensitive pads feel good in use, its interface is relatively easy to navigate, the whole thing feels solidly built and it looks great. Crucially, it sounds fantastic too. The drum parts are thick and pack a huge punch, the built-in effects sound great and the analogue filter feels smooth and musical. It instantly sounds massive too, making it great for achieving proper pro-sounding beats in seconds.

We'll have to wait to get our hands on a review unit to make up our mind for sure, but Rytm has left a good first impression. If only its name didn't look like a typo.

Read the Analog Rytm press release

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