Gearjunkies MusikMesse 2010 Roundup

Another Messe show is behind us, and it is time for the Gearjunkies Roundup of the new product releases from the show! The first impression was that there was not so much news around, but a second look gave away a lot of smaller as well as bigger product news. We actually had a lot of heated discussions over big kebabs to come up with our winners! So, here we go!

The new synthesizer news was really nice! The Elektron Octatrack took away a lot of attention. It turned out to be a performance sequencer/sampler with a lot of promise. Still, we have to wait until the end of the year for the Octotrack to be available. Then there was the Radikal Technologies Accelerator. A fat analog synth with a funky tilt-sensor that can be used as modulation source. Sweet 😉 Will have to wait a couple of months for it to become available as well though. Also new, was the Roland Gaia SH-01 synthesizer. With some real nice features (battery powered!) and controllers, this V/A synth is set out to become cool. And on top of that, the work in progress working prototype of the Feeltune Rhizome, a newcomer of the all-in-one synthesizer workstation type was shown. Inspired by two french brothers who are used to performing live. It really looked pretty impressive with its array of displays and bulks of features. Not sure when it will be available, but still we did like this beast the most of them all.

Our Award winner is the Feeltune Rhizome.


DJ Gear
At the Messe show, the DJ-part was integrated with the MIDI/Electronical. Which makes sense, as DJ-ing is more and moving in the direction of live performance instead of “just playing tracks”. Innovation is found in software development, but product releases mostly came in the form of software controllers (Hercules Mk4, Icon, EKS Otus Raw, DJ-Tech). But also traditional DJ-gear was refreshed, by Numark (M6USB and X5-mixers), Behringer (DX2000USB mixer), as well as the all new entry-level CDJ350 CD-player and DJM350 mixer by Pioneer, which are based on their nice rekordbox/USB-link technology.

We thought the introduction of this technology in the CDJ/DJM-350 series is raising the bar for the usability of DJ-gear as a whole, and for this fact, we award Pioneer CDJ/DJM350 the best of the DJ-gear award.


In our MIDI category, we found new controllers, some of which target live performance while others focus on studio applications. Noteworthy is the availability of JazzMutant’s Touch Ableton Live extension to the Lemur, which offers fantastic new ways to control your Ableton performance. Other product introductions were ESI KeyControl and CME Z-Key/UF Classic controller keyboards, the Icon QCON DAW controller as well as the Icon iStage and Icon iCreativ. Especially this last controller offers a entry-level X/Y-touchpad controller. Small and effective.

We liked it! And therefore Icon iCreative is our MIDI controller of MusikMesse 2010.


Not so much news in this category, but there were some new high quality basic soundcards introduced: the Alesis iO2 Express and the RME Babyface. For its simplicity and quality feel (and the big baby-posters), we decided the award should go to RME.


Software news found in different areas. The softsynth news mostly came from Arturia, who gave their line-up a major refresh with its V-Collection 2. Further down on studio PC’s we came across SSL Soundscape V6 DAW and the (not-yet-ready) SPL DrumXchanger processor. But we were most content with Steinberg Wavelab 7. A major Wavelab upgrade on one side, but finally released for OSX as well. Finally a serious sample editor for the Mac. Thanks!

Steinberg Wavelab 7 wins the software award.


News in the Studio came in two flavours: a lot of monitors were introduced and upgraded, as well as new studio processing tools. The monitors came in the form of new Tannoy Reveal, Focal CMS 40, Dynaudio BM5a MkII, Icon and Adam AX-series. Before the signal reaches the monitor though, we could pass the new Presonus mixing desk or maybe even the hi-end Aurora modular desk components. New audio processors that we came across, were introduced by UAD’s Manley and SPL with the M/S Master and the Transpressor. We liked the SPL Transpressors capabilities a lot. The first impressions of sound quality were impressive as well!

The SPL Transpressor is our award winner!


That concludes our MusikMesse Roundup. The show was good, as well as the Frankfurt food! We would like to hear from you though, why we are wrong in what we wrote! We are waiting for your feedback with YOUR take on what you think is cool, or even better Twitter it around!





Post Your Thoughts