Musikmesse 2013 coverage

I had a quite long but really great day at Musikmesse this year and this time it was less about new gear but more about meeting some old friends from the scene but also to meet and change insights with some sound designers and developers which I did not met ever before. We had great sessions about analog style distortion generation, compressor designs and oversampling, reverb culture and sound design. And finally I’ve met some cool guys like Fabien from TDR and Nico from Bigtone, just to name the two. Anyway, as always I’ve also sneaked around to catch one or another impression and highlight from the show itself and here is a little report.


Akai presented their rather new MPC stuff and I’ve checked the pads and build quality which both felt very cheap to me.


Ion Audio showed a brand new and neat turntable with direct USB connection and a slick and solid wooden made chassis. Can’t say much about the pick-up and arm, though. Price should be 750 bucks and release around June, as they say. I’ll watch the release.


The Arturia Minibrute: It does not have that vibe (IMHO). Definitely to skip …


The Nordlead 4: If you ever liked that Nord’s already or need a VA Synth on stage – check it out!


Boy, there were racks to see – here is an Empirical Labs one.


And knobs, knobs and knobs. SSL Duality large format console in this example.


EveAnna Manley and Matt Ward (former President of Universal Audio) were showing all their companies tube stuff and lots of the UAD users are still waiting for a Vari-Mu Comp and a proper Voxbox emulation.


The new Novation Bass Station II: Quite interesting but the device presented on the show wasn’t connected and working. Though, Sonicstate posted a backroom video on YouTube already:

And then of course we have:


The expensive semi-modular Moog.


Actually, I did not saw any jaws dropped but the Softube Console 1 concept is pretty much straight forward:

Hook a (SSL 4k style) console channel strip emulation – including gate, eq and compressor – in each of your DAWs channel and control them with a hardware controller on demand. Also, existing (aka purchased) Softube plug-ins can be integrated. Price point should be around 800 smackers as they say.


Zee Germans: The geeks of u-he were showing some pretty nifty stuff. Clemens showed me the new Diva (JP8k based digital) Oscillator, the Filter and also the new arpeggiator and step sequencer for Diva and the update will be free as he said – can’t wait for this. Sascha showed Satin, a tape emulator thingy with a really sound usage concept which also brings something new to the table – I’m really curious how it will sound at the end but I’m pretty much sure that this will be a success.


They also showed Bazille with a final GUI – I’m already infected.


Did I already mentioned that they’ve shown tons of slutty racks at MM?


Did I already mentioned that Musikmesse must be a Gearslutz heaven (or hell). The actual state between both depends probably on the available amount of money and/or the attitude someone actually has.


Waldorf showed lots of Blofelds with the brand new Rocket on top. If you are in outboard, definitely to check.


Raise the hands up in teh air, who is the greatest presenter of this fair? It’s Fab of course, celebrating mixing in the church of UA. Apropos UA – whats new in UAD land? There was’nt showed anything particular, but, at the AMS Neve booth there was a poster of an UAD  RMX -16 reverb emulation, so that might be for sure coming. There was also some official video showing a vintage Pultec EQ back again on the lab table, so this means a Pultec mkII – which is quite reasonable since the mk I version did not contain any mojo at all. It’s also clear that there will be some more 3rd party Sonnox stuff (e.g. the Inflator) but who cares since this is already available native and probably at a cheaper price-point.


Hey, Bitwig is indeed a running software (but crashed during demo)!  No specific release date, yet – somewhere 2013, they’ve said. It goes way beyond Ableton but lets see.


Zee Germans, again: As a surprise, the Spatial Audio Designer demonstrated an impressive multi-channel downmix to stereo where the spatial information remains maintained even in a head-phone situation – un-f’n believable but true! Fabien from TDR joined that experience (right after we’ve had an in-depth discussion about compressor architecture around some hours) …


… and we’ve both checked out some other nifty stuff:


… the booth where Dave Hill presented all his stuff and especially the brand new 500 series tube  based compressor. We’ve finally not only had the chance to do some listening tests but also comparisons to all the other Crane Song stuff.

I’ve seen Eric Persing from Spectrasonics sneaking around, but they don’t had any booth or announcements as of today – that is sad. And somehow I’ve missed the three new Korg stufff thingy’s which appears in this video:


  1. I think the Korg Volca series, esp Volca Keys, is the most exciting thing on show. 2nd to that the new version of Diva. So many new analog synths coming out, its great!

    The only thing lacking is there is still no analog poly as good as the old ones YET, probably cost of production is too high. If the new Mini ms20 is as good as everyone says, then the best thing they could make next would be a SUPER POLYSIX!

    No point in just remaking it, get rid of all the short comings of the original and that would be the ultimate! Maybe somehow it could have a software editor that enabled massive cross modulation and semi modular facilities, a Silent Way style interface to merge digital and analog!

    Maybe there is no market for this and the majority would be happy with a straight remake? I wish Korg would prioritize quality and features over price for some of their analog lineup, the result I am sure would be a total bargain, and could really be (warning annoying phrase) ‘one synth to rule them all’ 🙂

  2. Nice review
    Why do you to skip minibrute ?

    • It just did one distortion sound type of thing right but nothing else – a one-trick pony. But thats just IMHO.

      • the thing first-time users of the minibrute don’t understand is that the oscillators will saturate the filter if their sliders are anywhere above 1/4(!) of the way up in their respective mixer. you can get beautiful, smooth tones out of it, but you have to keep the oscillator levels VERY low. Apparently it was designed this way intentionally, but it takes a little time to figure out.

  3. Thank you, nice stuff in here! I’ve learned at a SSL Duality 64CH ❤

  4. Thank you. Nice report. Good point of view.

  5. Nice read. really unbiased POV, much apreciated.

  6. Thanks for the review bootsy.. cheers.

  7. Nice report. Thanks for taking the time. Gotta love zee Germans.

  8. gorgorgathgorgorgor says:

    Are these your photos? great pics man.

  9. brok landers says:

    yeah, was very nice to meet you finally in person, bootsie, after all that time we finally made it… 🙂

    well, to me the really astonishing was my friend saschas plugin satin (uhe)… though i haven´t checked in the studio yet (which is the make or break), my left egg tells me that thisone is going to kick some serious ass in terms of saturation/tape modelling, i know sascha, he´s really knowledged when it comes to such stuff… some things really are awesome and were missing on all tape saturation plugins so far, you will all have to check this thing out, i suppose.
    then i finally was able to listen to the new eve audio speakers (especially sc408)… again, you can´t really judge such things at the messe, however, from what i´ve heard, these do set quite a high margin. i assume that adam will have to do some serious thinking, as the eve audio speakers are minimum the same, if not even higher quality, and from their saying on the booth all these speakers in future will be way cheaper than the adam “counterparts”… so we´ll see, if they keep the promises… 🙂

  10. 750 for the ION? Never! there must be something wrong. Or they gave you the price in russian current 🙂

  11. erm… currency…

  12. recursively burning bear says:

    for me it would be definitely a heartbreaking experience being there and unable to afford about anything :)(

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