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Daniel Nations

Roundup: The iPad at NAMM 2013

By January 30, 2013

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The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) finished up their trade show this weekend, and one of the trends at this annual event is the increased presence of the iPad. NAMM is where all of the big wigs of the music industry -- Roland, Yamaha, etc. -- debut new musical instruments and devices, and a growing number are incorporating the iPad into their lineup. For example, Yamaha unveiled their Mobile Music Sequencer, an app that will act as a sequencer compatible with their newest synthesizers and music workstations.

Here are a few of the other cool iPad-related products announced:

DM Dock Kit. If there was a best in show, Alesis may have won it with their DM Dock Kit. This drum kit features a snare drum, four toms, a hi hat, three additional symbol, a kick pedal and a dock for your iPad. The kit interacts with their DM Dock drum module, effectively turning the iPad into the brains of an electronic drum set.

CME XKey MIDI Controller. There are a number of MIDI controller keyboards designed for the iPad, but very few offer polyphonic aftertouch, which allows greater expression by pressing down on the key after you've hit the note. Built for mobility, this slim controller only has 25 keys, which could make it a little too cramped for some purposes. It would be nice to see a 49 key version.

Behringer iX16 iPad Mixer Dock. An extension of Behringer's X32 line of mixers, the iX16 features a wireless interface that allows you to mix from anywhere. It also includes the ability to control individual monitors and for multiple devices to remotely control the mixer, which means each member of the band could control their own monitor.

Apogee One, Duet and Quartet. Apogee's range of I/O devices for the iPad are designed to make recording multiple tracks much easier. The devices interact with a new Maestro app to control the devices and provide a gateway to the iPad, iPhone or Mac. You can take a look at it in action on YouTube.

Roland CUBE Lite. Roland brings its CUBE line of amps and monitors to the iPad with this new mini amp. The amp features a 2.1 channel speaker and a tone adjuster with JC Clean, Crunch and Extreme Cosm presets. It also includes a free CUBE JAM app for recording. This could be a good solution for traveling when you don't always want to bring all of your gear.

Weezic Augmented Sheet Music. On the pure software side, Weezic introduced their interactive sheet music app. The app allows you to playback sheet music at a custom tempo, automatically turn the page and even define loops, which is great for nailing a particularly hard section of a piece.

Moforte Power Chord. Moforte is working to digitize the guitar with their upcoming Power Chord app. The big difference between this app and other virtual instruments is that it uses modeling rather than sampling, which means the music is being created rather than a sample of it simply being played. This allows for more modification of the sound as shown by their YouTube video.

iPad Accessories for Musicians

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