With the winter NAMM trade show drawing to a close in California, we round up a selection of the most interesting new equipment releases for DJs and producers: a new synth from Sequential, updated headphones from Sennheiser and a versatile new oscillator module from 4ms.
We’ve already taken a look at a selection of the big NAMM releases – including Korg’s Wavestate synth, the Moog Subsequent 25 and Arturia KeyStep Pro – but there were plenty more announcements and teasers to get excited about at the big trade show in Anaheim last week.
The new Sequential Pro 3 is the latest in a much-loved series of synths which dates back nearly four decades, all the way to the Pro-One, released by Dave Smith’s former company Sequential Circuits back in 1981. History lessons aside, the Pro 3 is a big update to the more recent Pro 2. For a start, it features two analogue VCOs and a wavetable oscillator, as opposed to the digital oscillators in the Pro 2. The filter section is also overhauled, with the Pro 2’s dual filters replaced by a trio of VCFs: one based on the Prophet-6 filter, one on the OB-6 and one a new transistor ladder design.
Sequential describe the Pro 3 as having “the depth of a modular and the CV connectivity to interface with one”. It should be available by the summer.
Sennheiser’s HD25 headphones are firm Juno favourites, lending themselves well to DJ use as well as studio applications. For 2020, the brand have updated the HD25 Light model, which is a slightly more basic version aimed at those on a tight budget. The big change is the use of new drivers, which offer significantly broader frequency response (16Hz – 22kHz, compared to 30Hz – 16kHz for the old model). That equates to significantly tighter bass and clearer high end.
They’re in stock now, priced at £89.99.
At this point it’s fair to say that NAMM has been overtaken by Berlin’s spring Superbooth show in terms of modular announcements, but there was still plenty of Eurorack action this year. The pick of the bunch was 4ms’s new Ensemble Oscillator, a collaboration with Parisian artist Matthias Puech. It’s a cleverly designed module based around 16 complex oscillators, combining to open up a wealth of options including additive synthesis, FM, phase distortion and wave folding. The brand say it’ll allow you to “explore the sonic boundary between musical chords and rich evolving textures”. It’s due in stock around April, priced at £255.
Recording specialists Tascam are keen to play up the links between their new Model digital recorders and the brand’s old cassette Portastudios. Back in the day, a Portastudio was the easy way into recording for thousands of musicians, and the all-in-one ethos of the Model range definitely follows the same kind of design philosophy, integrating an analogue mixer with a digital multi-track. Essentially a smaller version of the existing Model 24 and Model 16 units, the new Model 12 offers great value for money at £570.
The Model 12 is due in stock soon. You can see the full-size Model 24 in action below.