2016 was a year marked by many things: good and bad. Well, mostly bad (if you are talking political turmoil and unrest) but let’s not dwell on that for now.
Let’s talk Music tech. I mean, a lot happened. A lot of good stuff. And great strides were taken. Strides that will go further in supporting your music-making endeavors. Everything from the resurging interest in analog, to the high-profile synths released – made 2016 a year to remember.
So behold! Here’s a run-down of the best developments in music tech for the year that was.
The KORG Minilogue
The Minilogue stands as a great pick in the favorite synths for the year list. Although it’s certainly not the most powerful out there, it’s definitely the most affordable analog polysynth ever manufactured. And that’s why its success in the market came as no surprise.
The O-Coast Portable, Patchable Synthesizer
The O-Coast Portable, Patchable Synthesizer is built to blend the best of the east coast (Moog) and west coast (Buchia) approaches to modular synthesis in order to give something infused with inspiration from the greats – but still original in its own way. Although it’s designed to play well with Eurorack gear, it’s a user-friendly entry point to modular synthesis when handled as a standalone desktop module.
The Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine
The Arturia DrumBrute is the KORG Minilogue for analog drum machines. And it comes at an impressive bargain too – just $499. Check out the demo below:
The Pioneer DJ Toraiz SP-16 Professional Sampler
Been a while since we last saw any manufacturer come up with a new high-end sampler. So to see this one coming from a company that doesn’t usually specialize in instruments, was a breath of fresh air. Though its limited feature set does not match its price, it’s still a welcome addition to the market.
OTO Machines’ BAM
If you are a huge fan of vintage hardware effects, then OTO Machines’ BAM must have certainly been in your sights. It’s possibly a great sign of things to come in the hardware effect market.
The Analog Heat- Stereo Analog Sound Processor
The Analog Heat was easily the best hardware effect of the year. And all thanks to Elektron. Like OTO Machines’ BAM, it was and still is a strong indicator of the endless possibilities that lie in the hardware effect market.
Technics SL-1200 was a reissue but its much-hyped comeback is hardly one to be curious about. DJ Gear doesn’t evolve as much as synths and studio hardware do. And the demand for turntables -whether they are new or second-hand – is always there.
A significant trend in 2016 was the surge of new mixers in the market. From Richie Hawtin’s PLAYdifferently Model 1 to Formula Sound and Funktion-One’s FF6.2 L, to hand-crafted rotary mixers in the form of Varia Instruments’ RDM20 and Mastersounds’ Radius 2.