NAMM 2013 – the best music tech on show

Five harmonious highlights from the world’s premier music product trade expo


From US$200 (approx. £130),

The iLoud and its little brother the iLoud MINI are portable, battery-powered speakers designed for fussy musicians that won’t accept terrible, tinny audio; IK claims they’re “2 to 3 times louder” than most speakers their size (the iLoud offers 40W RMS power, the MINI 12W). The iLoud is iPad-sized, while the iLoud MINI is, well, iPad Mini-sized (they’re both thicker, obviously). Look out for them in the spring.

IK Multimedia iLoud and iLoud MINI


It might look like the 21st century answer to 80s toy classic Simon, but the Orbit is an entirely new type of product: a Wi-Fi-equipped DJ controller with 16 backlit pads that can be set to launch effects, samples, hot cues and the like, while the central control wheel and buttons can tweak these effects and filters. The idea is that DJs can use this on stage (whether strapped to their body or on a desktop) in order to “perform” more energetically. Symptomatic of the need for DJs to be seen as stars these days, perhaps?

US$400 (approx. £260),

This MPC features a pressure-sensitive, LED-lit surface and sliders for drums, loops and samples, with everything customisable via a web app. Made of aluminium and rubber, it’s lightweight enough to be carted around to your various “gigs”.

Numark Orbit

US$1,100 (approx. £700),

Very little gets electronic music nerds hotter under the collar than the launch of a new Moog synth, and the Sub Phatty is described as “the grittiest Moog synth ever”. It’s the first analogue synth to offer Moog’s Multidrive circuit, designed to add “warmth and girth” at low levels and a “screaming snarl” at higher settings. The Sub Phatty should be on sale from March onwards.


The third generation of this PC from legendary amplifier maker Orange rocks an Intel Core i7 processor, maximum 16GB of RAM and either Nvidia 650 or AMD HD 7750 graphics, plus studio-quality speakers and £500 of pre-installed recording software. Quite bizarre as a concept, it’s nonetheless incredibly cool if you’re into your cutting edge tech being hidden inside retro clothing.

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Livid Base

Moog Sub Phatty

Orange OPC