Top Brands Launch Latest Products at NAMM 2015
Being one of the biggest tradeshows in the world, NAMM – which is nicely underway across the pond in Anaheim, California – is one of the go-to events for companies in the sound, lighting and performance technology industry. This, of course, includes all of the top brands catering for the mobile DJ sector.
As a result of the sheer size of the show – and the fact that it takes place in January (from the 22nd to the 25th this year) – companies have historically used NAMM to unveil the products they plan to release throughout the coming year. In fact, the past few years were a little sparse, but 2015 sees NAMM back on form, with loads of exciting new product launches giving visitors a chance to check out all the latest gear.
Hot off the press from ADJ were fourteen new products, including some interesting updates to the rejuvenated Startec Series. The three products that really seemed to catch the collective eye, however, were the Warlock, the Inno Pocket Fusion and the DMX Operator 384.
Looking like something taken from the set of Star Wars, the futuristic Warlock – a barrel-mirror scanner powered by ADJ’s 2R discharge lamp – is as robust and powerful as it sounds! And, with 12 GOBOs (plus spot), 12 colours (plus white), continuous barrel rotation, and a 28⁰ beam angle, mobile DJs are sure to be pleased with what this compact but powerful effect has to offer. However, we can’t help feeling like the fixture seems very familiar!
Meanwhile, the latest addition to the seemingly ever-expanding Pocket range, the Inno Pocket Fusion, combines the versatile movement of an LED barrel scanner with the added effects of a 4.9mW green laser. Satisfying the increased use of DMX control within the industry, ADJ also showcased the new addition to its DMX Operator series, the DMX Operator 384. This adaptable new unit offers control of 12 fixtures of up to 32 channels each (totalling 384 channels), while users also have access to 240 programmable scenes and a joystick for controlling movements.
The CHAUVET DJ stand also had an array of fresh lighting products on display. The 6SPOT Quad IRC – an all-in-one fixture equipped with six independent multi-colour LED-powered spots – made its debut appearance. Also showcased was a new compact derby effect – the Mini Kinta IRC – that boasts “broader coverage than derby effects twice its size” and utilises 3W LEDs to create sharp beams capable of cutting through ambient lighting.
The company also took the opportunity to showcase the latest additions to its Intimidator range. The Intimidator Spot 255 IRC, a feature-packed moving head with a 60W LED light source, offers advancements in the way of operational modes; with Totem Mode, Manual Mode and Delay Mode all giving users new options for effective standalone operation. However, the stand-out addition to the range was undoubtedly the Intimidator Wave 360 IRC, which takes the original Intimidator Wave concept and mounts it onto a 360⁰ moving base to provide continuous pan rotation, razor-sharp quad-colour beams and unique aerial effects.
The innovative SlimBEAM Quad IRC, which utilises a dramatic three-beam wall accent effect to allow for creative coloured up-lighting, was another key release for CHAUVET DJ. Along with the EZWash HEX IRC – a multi-colour hex-LED wash version of the company’s popular battery-powered EZPin IRC that offers bright, coloured washing capabilities and quick setup and teardown.
Elsewhere on the showfloor, Numark was busy revealing a wide array of new DJ controllers and other equipment of interest to mobile DJs. The latest version of the brand’s flagship, large-format four channel mixer and controller, the NS7 III, saw its first outing. Numark has added three display screens to the popular all-in-one mixer/controller, meaning that DJs don’t have to rely on their laptop for viewing waveforms and browsing tracks. The entry-level Mixtrack III controller has also received a few updates on the previous mark II model; including added dedicated filter knobs, eight multi-function performance pads and a multi-function touch strip for each channel, as well as new high-resolution jog wheels. Also, offering the same added functions, but with the advantage of an integrated sound card, is the Mixtrack Pro III. Finally, another stand-out product at the show was the Lightwave – a compact, powered speaker system with built-in dual-array LED light strips, offering an eye-catching alternative that’s been designed specifically with DJs in mind. We think that this is going to prove to be a ‘marmite’ product – you’ll either love it or hate it!
Further advancement in the way of controllers came from Pioneer DJ, whose stand-alone XDJ-RX rekordbox controller went down well with visitors, showcasing its CDJ-style, USB-driven platters, central full-colour screen and new Loop Slice feature. Also on display was the HDJ-2000MK2 DJ headphones which, after taking on board years of customer feedback, have been fine-tuned by Pioneer to offer enhanced sound quality, durability and comfort.
Denon DJ, meanwhile, treated visitors to a sneak preview of its all-new MC4000 Serato controller, which packs two decks, touch-activated jog wheels and dedicated hot cue and sample pads into a robust steel housing. The new Axis series of mobile DJ speakers was also demoed, as the first line of this type to be released by the company it’s sure to generate a lot of interest from mobile DJs. The series of high-output, self-powered speakers includes two main satellite speakers (the Axis 8 and Axis 12) and an accompanying subwoofer (Axis 12S), all designed to deliver superb sound for even the most demanding portable playback applications. The Axis 8 and Axis 12 both utilise a novel coaxial design where the high frequency compression driver is mounted coaxially (at the apex) of the system’s low-frequency driver. This design - known as coincident mounting - ensures a time and phase coherent output, which markedly improves definition and clarity. The coaxial driver design also reduces the cabinet height significantly compared to conventional speakers.
Also well worth checking out was Reloop’s RMX-60 Digital mixer, having been designed to build on the features of 2013’s RMX-80 model. A club-friendly, versatile mixer, the RMX-60 Digital is ideal for mobile DJs that want to get more creative with their mixing; boasting a 4+1 channel layout, with 11 inputs and six outputs in total, eight high-quality performance effects in studio quality, and an updateable firmware system that ensures compatibility with future updates.
Overall, NAMM 2015 proved to be a fruitful and inspiring show, especially in terms of product showcases and industry developments. For mobile DJs, this means a year ahead that’s packed with remarkable new product releases from the industry’s top brands. In other words: there’s plenty to get excited about in 2015!