The annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show is described by its organizers as “the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry”. NAMM is where all the latest musical instruments and gadgets make their debut, and there are some real stunners every year. NAMM 2018 was no different. Check out these 5 awesome music gadgets that were introduced at this year’s show.
ONE Piano Hi-Lite
The Hi-Lite is a seriously cool education tool for learning to play the piano. This gadget is a long strip with sensors on the bottom, which sits atop your piano’s keyboard. The Hi-Lite is integrated with an app for iPhone or iPad and teaches how to play songs by lighting up your piano keys as notes appear on your device’s screen. It works sort of like Guitar Hero, but actually teaches you how to play an instrument.
Enhancia MIDI Ring
Enhancia has been working on their tiny MIDI ring accessory for over a year now, and the wait has certainly proved worthwhile. This ingenious device is worn on the user’s right index finger, and can trigger effects such as vibrato and pitch bend by moving the finger a specific way. The plastic-and-metal ring interfaces wirelessly with a hub that connects to your computer. The hub also charges the ring.
The intersection of music and virtual reality (VR) was a major theme at this year’s show, and Aerodrums are definitely in that vein. These virtual drums allow users to play the drums without a drum set with a system that attaches reflective balls to the tips of conventional drumsticks and reflective panels to the user’s feet. A camera captures the movements from the reflective pieces, generating realistic drum sounds.
MWM, a French music tech company, unveiled a new product called Phase at this year’s NAMM show. Phase eliminates the need for a tonearm and stylus when playing off-control vinyl. It uses remote controls that are attached to the vinyl to generate rotation data to a wireless receiver that connects to a laptop computer. The benefits of this technology cannot be overstated for DJs who currently have to deal with such issues as dust getting under the needle, or someone bumping into their rig, causing the music to skip and their vinyl to scratch.
For guitarists who want MIDI control without having to buy a guitar with built-in MIDI, OneManBank could be the answer. It’s an attachment for existing guitars that turns the guitar into a MIDI controller by converting signals from pressed strings, with no plucking required. As the name implies, OneManBand can help a guitarist effectively be their own backing band. The potential with this thing is huge.