Yes, it’s that time of year when the NAMM show goes off in Anaheim and Musikmesse in Frankfurt is looming just around the corner. These are the two big trade shows on the calendar where retailers, distributors and manufacturers all come together to run up enormous bar tabs, justify a trip half way around the world and of course showcase all the latest product on the market. But what does this mean to the average consumer looking for DJ gear? New toys and creative gadgets are the first things to look out for, along with updated software packages and the promise of things to come if manufacturing can ever keep up with demand.
WHAT'S ON OFFER?
With a range of new products being announced this week, many of you will surely be keen to get your hands on some of the new offerings. Korg announced what looks like a really cool idea with a new DJ controller that incorporates a KAOSS pad in the mix section and works with a further two pads in place of the traditional jog wheels. Aptly titled the KAOSS DJ, it is sure to get a look of interest being designed to integrate with Serato. Numark unveiled their NS7III _ agship DJ controller. This thing looks off the charts. It almost reminds me of a helicopter cockpit, there is so much going on with it.
It features three full colour LCD screens raised up on an angle across the top of the console and is going to be one controller I will need to check out. One other unit de_ nitely worth a mention is the all-in-one console from Pioneer that sees a mix of computer controller and stand-alone DJ hardware system presented in a very attractive package. The XDJ-RX looks to be a real game changer in how the modern DJ operates as it removes the need for a computer’s operating system and works iOS, Android or a USB drive.
A FEW NEW TOYS
I was really taken aback when I came across the two new releases from Casio that are sure to get a few heads turning. As a company that is well known for not only the classic calculator watches that were hugely popular in the 80’s, they have also given us a wide range of keyboards over the past forty or so years. Casio have created a range of synthesizers that stood the test of time too.
But, they haven’t really given the DJ market a proper looking into until now. Sure, certain synth models of the past couple of years have been aimed at integration for DJ setups, but now they are set to really cause a stir with their two new products, the XW-PD1 and the XW-DJ1. Both these units look somewhat like a famous ship from a film franchise that made one Wookie a household name, but that just adds to the boldness of what Casio have on offer. Essentially these are two similar products, with one designed as a pad control system and the other as a disc style controller. Nicknamed the “Trackformers”, they also take on some design concepts form another, tech savvy film franchise that needs no mention here. With internal speakers and battery operation as a possibility, these two gadgets are going to change the way in which we shuffle through our music on our iPhones for ever.
Capable of operating with both Mac and PC platforms with associated software, the Trackformer modules are really going to turn some eyebrows up when the iPhone mount is attached allowing the user to roam the room with all their sounds and control on one arm. I can’t wait to see how these things perform, they look like a whole lot of fun and will surely get a lot of interest when readily available. They almost remind me of the old Soundberger portable record player from a bygone era, but with a more modern spin.
For now, I am just going to have to wait until I can get my hands on either of these systems to see what they are really capable of. Knowing how Casio have been developing their synths of late, I am sure there will be more packed into these systems than your realise. So, they go on my wish list for now. I’m really, really looking forward to 2015 and