Wow! This was a big year for modular synths. In Hall A we had the impressive Schneiders booth, surrounded by a mass of other guys; TipTop, Koma, Hex Inverter, 4ms, WMD and more. Then downstairs we had the Muff Wiggler booth, surrounded by Make Noise, Pittsburgh etc.. I spent most of my time running between the these two locations helping me to burn off the NAMM calories.
Sometimes at trade shows you get to the end of an interview and think, what the hell did I actually shoot, I can't remember anything.... So now that I've had time to review exactly what I shot here are my picks for the Top Modular Products of NAMM 2015!
Best In show
Make Noise - FXDf, RxMx, Ctrl C, Ctrl V, Telharmonic
The range of modules on offer from Make Noise was really what made us decide they were the Best In Show; a fully analogue vactral filter and mixer, a DSP additive synthesis module and two programmable voltage and clock source modules, you can see why Make Noise are revered as one of the most exciting companies on the market.
On press day Tony Rolando gave us a look at 3 of the 5 new modules. The FXDf and the RxMx are a fixed filter and mixer module that pair very well, the vactral construction of the RxMx giving some very smooth sounding filter sweeps.
In this video we also got a look at the new collaboration with Tom Erbe the Telharmonic. This was the module that really got me excited. As soon Tony started to play with the panel controls I was hooked. I just thought this sounded so interesting, you could really get some very musical and playable sounds out of it. All of the Make Noise/Tom Erbe collaborations have been great and we got to talk to Tom about his process and his plugins this year.
The next day I took a trip downstairs to see the Make Noise booth where Walker showed me the other two modules on show this year; the CTRL Sel C and CTRL Sel V. These are programmable clock and voltage sources for the modular that can talk to each other through the power bus.
Richard Nichols gives us a detailed overview of their new oscillator
Peter talks us through the design of his latest synth