January each year sees Apple observers focusing on Macworld San Francisco but just down the road in Anaheim, one of the biggest music product trade shows in the world kicks off at nearly the same time as Macworld. NAMM is the show that any gear-obsessed musician would love to attend at least once in their lifetime – I know it’s on my to-do list. Well over eighty thousand attendees are expected this year and there’s plenty of new music gear being announced. Here’s an entrée:
CME are a well known manufacturer of USB MIDI keyboards and they’ve announced the release of the ultra-thin M-Key. It has 49 velocity sensitive, semi-weighted keys and has an assignable slider and joystick. There are two pieces of softwar bundled with the M-Key. The Samplitude application is PC only but Arturia’s Analog Factory SE is very Mac-friendly and contains some superb sounds to boot. Launch pricing is $99 US so it’s likely to be an economical option if a USB keyboard is on your shopping list. CME’s Australian distributor is likely to have stock as soon as anyone else so keep an eye on their site.
Olympus are best known for their cameras but they’re well and truly in the audio field. The Olympus LS-10 is a portable stereo audio recorder that will record in WAV, WMA and MP3. It has 2 GB of internal memory plus an SD card slot so you’ll have significant recording time available and up to 12 hours operation is claimed on the two AA batteries powering the unit. Transfer of data to your Mac is via USB or an SD card reader if you have one. Steinberg Cubase LE 4 is supplied as part of the package as well. Estimated retail price on the LS 10 is $399.99 US. If you’re a sucker for higher-end portable recording options, this is an attractive new entrant.
Check in at our Macs and Music forum for ongoing discussion of announcements coming out of both NAMM and Macworld on the music front.