Best of NAMM 2018: Thunderbolt/USB-C interfaces, iOS controllers, synths, more

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NAMM 2018 is in full swing this week highlighting the best of what the audio/music production industry will have to offer over the coming year. All of the biggest music gadget companies flock to Anaheim, California to show off their newest products and this year is no exception. We have been bringing you some of the major announcements from the show over the past week (or more) and now it’s time to round-up the best of NAMM 2018…


TE’s new Pocket Operator synths w/ built-in sampling

Teenage Engineering came to NAMM 2018 with the new copper and silver models in its metal-series Pocket Operator line-up. Designed to go alongside the gold PO-32 Tonic drum machine, the new PO-35 Speak and PO-33 KO! bring on-board sampling to the table via the built-in mic and line input.

They are now up for pre-order via Teenage Engineering at $89 each. You can check out our full coverage for more details and to see the mini synths in action.

Universal Audio launches new $499 Thunderbolt 3 Arrow interface

UA introduced the new $499 Arrow interface this year. That’s Universal Audio’s most affordable Thunderbolt 3 interface yet. It is amazing to see big time pro companies offering slimmed-downed products at a more affordable price tag. The Arrow is bus-powered with 24 bit/192 KHz A/D converters and is clearly now one of the best options in the price range.

The Universal Audio Arrow interface is available now starting at $499. You’ll find even more details in our launch coverage.

Elektron’s Digitone Synth doubles as a plug-in for Mac

Elektron is back at it again with the brand new Digitone digital synthesizer. The miniature poly synth features the company’s amazing sequencer and is a perfect companion for Digitakt that was released at last year’s show.

Interestingly enough, Elektron opted for FM synthesis sound generation here, but it has implemented a simplified subtractive signal path from that point on. Nonetheless, this looks like a very powerful little hardware synth, especially considering its ability to work as a plug-in on your Mac using Overbridge.

You’ll find loads of details on this new machine along with a great demonstration video right here.

Brand new analog synths from Korg and Arturia

Korg and Arturia were both quite busy with product announcements this year. Korg’s most exciting reveal would certainly have to be the brand new Prologue polyphonic analogue synthesizer with 4 voicing modes,a built-in arpeggiator, pair of multi-wave oscillators, mixer, voltage-controlled filter and 49/61-key variations.

The beast of a synth starts at $1499.99 for the 8-voice model and goes up to $1999.99 for the big boy. More details on Prologue as well as Korg’s new drum machine and Volca mixer right here.

Arturia expanded its Brute-series with the new MiniBrute 2 semi-modular analog synth. This one is a fully analog synthesizer with 2 oscillators, a Steiner-Parker multi-mode filter, up to 3 LFO’s, and a built-in arpeggiator/sequencer. There is also another model (MiniBrute 2S) that drops the built-in keyboard for a deeper sequencer and even more.

Head over to our full coverage for a demo video and even more details about the latest from Arturia. The new MiniBrute 2 will run you $699 when it hits store shelves in February and is available for pre-order now.


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