Futuristic instruments meet analogue technology as the global music product industry comes together at the NAMM trade show. Jim Drury reports.
Makers of the Kadabra hope to revolutionise music. The MIDI controller allows musicians to play up to 16 instruments simultaneously. It was unveiled at NAMM, the annual music merchants trade show in California. Developed by Israeli firm Tribal Tools, it manipulates sounds generated by an external source, via wireless or USB. Controlled by motion, it allows players to change sounds by turning the device. SOUNDBITE (English) MOSHE YOFFE, MUSICAL ADVISER AND SALES REPRESENTATIVE FOR TRIBAL TOOLS, SAYING: "The idea....was to really change the game a little bit. Instead of controlling sound with turning a knob or a fader, really to move with it and give the audience something they can see and feel." Also on display was this wooden synthesiser controller. Keyboard players can tap its surface or shift it around, enabling more expressive synth playing. It operates with any digital or analogue synthesiser. SOUNDBITE (English) ARTHUR BOUFLET, PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER WITH EXPRESSIVE E, SAYING: "It has four points of control, right? And it's all done with pressure. It is a very complex mechanism. It really is all about acoustic experience." It wasn't all new tech at the four-day show. Moog displayed some of its vintage wares....proudly showing that synths up to five decades old can still hit the right notes.