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NAMM 2020: Best new keys and synths
A new small-format sequencer and full-size controller from Arturia!
Arturia's powerful new KeyStep Pro sequencer and full-size KeyLab Essential 88 gives two types of players exactly what they want: control.
The KeyStep Pro is the definition of big things in a small package. Arturia loaded this little, 37-key midi controller with a three-octave keyboard with velocity and after-touch, four independent polyphonic sequencer tracks, a 16-part integrated drum sequencer, and connectivity for your entire studio. Really. With four CV outputs, eight drum Gate outputs, two MIDI outs, Gate and Mod output, solo metronome output, MIDI in, sustain input, and clocks, the KeyStep Pro allows users to create elaborate, expressive performances without limit.
The KeyLab Essential 88 breaks the full-size controlled experience down to its purest form. With an intuitive interface and straightforward control set, users can immediately tap into the eight pads, nine rotaries, and nine faders, or ignore them altogether and just play. There's nothing to separate you from the incredible expressive, full-size keybed and 6500+ presets. It's music at the touch of a button, plain and simple
The next generation of monophonic synths from Sequential, including a Special Edition with tiltable control panel and walnut trim!
Following in the footsteps of the Pro-One and Pro 2 comes the next dense masterpiece of synth technology from Sequential: the Pro 3 and Pro 3 SE. Playable as a monosynth, paraphonic keyboard, or central control of a modular system, the Pro 3 and Pro 3 SE is a powerful, infinitely playable piece you can use to tie your studio together, or as a standalone centerpiece.
The Pro 3 digital/analog hybrid synth is an absolute embarrassment of riches, with features like monophonic or three-note paraphonic voice, three-octave Fatar semi-weighted keyboard with after-touch sensitivity and velocity, back-lit mod and pitch wheels with position-sensitive slider, dual analog voltage-controlled modulators, one wavetable oscillator, thirty-two tables of sixteen waves with morphing, tuned feedback, analog distortion, three selectable filters (4-pole lowpass, transistor ladder lowpass with resonance compensation, and OB-6 multimode), four-phase sequencer with sixteen tracks and sixteen steps, multiple sequencer options, CV input/output array, robust effects section, 512 factory and 512 user presets, four loopable five-stage envelopes, loaded arpeggiator, and three syncable LFOs with slew and phase offset control.
The Pro 3 SE adds to this list a tiltable control panel and genuine walnut trim. This is vintage synth technology for the modern age and a must for serious synthesis.
Minilogue XD module is the new desktop module version of minilogue xd, the four-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer with a customizable digital multi-engine and built-in stereo digital effects.
The desktop module is equipped with the same controllers as the keyboard version, making it a great choice not only as an additional sound module for your keyboard or DAW but also providing excellent performability, giving you an easy way to include an analog polyphonic synth in your setup. It's also equipped with a poly-chain function that lets you connect it with another minilogue xd or minilogue xd module so that the two units can operate as a polysynth with a total of up to eight voices in your studio or on stage.
The Opsix, although displayed at NAMM, is still the source of much speculation. An FM synthesizer featuring six operators and 32 algorithms, the Opsix is essentially a full-sized synth built on top of Korgs Volca FM engine, with a suite of new functionality and features.
From Korg: The Wavestate features the radically re-imagined Wave Sequencing 2.0, synth engine. The wavestate delivers astonishing, ever-changing sounds with extensive hands-on control.
Far from a nostalgic reissue, the wavestate is designed from the ground up for a new generation of musicians, producers, and composers, taking cues from sources as diverse as modular synths, groove boxes, and algorithmic composition. The compact form-factor, with 37 full-size keys, transports easily and fits neatly into any stage, studio, or desktop setup.