Musikmesse 2012: musicroom’s mid-show round-up

Musikmesse 2012 has got off to a flying start over in Frankfurt, with a number of high-profile product launches from some of the world’s biggest manufacturers.

The first two days of the huge trade fair saw announcements of a revamp to Fender’s classic instruments, brand new launches from Roland and Yamaha and more!

Fender refreshes American Standard series.

This is Fender’s first major overhaul of its iconic line of guitars in four years. Along with a few appearance tweaks (with a number of new finish options such as Jade Pearl Metallic available), the 2012 American Standard  Series feature Fender Custom Shop pickups and other hardware upgrades. The range includes new versions of the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass guitars.

So far no sign of any new versions of Fender’s more niche models, but with the recent release of a Johnny Marr signature Jaguar and J Mascis signature Jazzmaster, the lack of any Messe updates is understandable. We wouldn’t advise holding any breath for a new version of Kurt Cobain’s Jagstang anyhow!

Yamaha launch new hybrid digital upright piano with realistic hammer action

The NU1 may look like a modern, traditional upright but should you peer under the hood of the new digital piano you’d be in for quite a surprise. Yamaha are calling their latest innovation a “hybrid” due to its combination of digital technology (including sample sounds from its CFX concert grand) and traditional piano hammer action. Features also include USB and MIDI connectivity and a digital audio recorder.

Korg improves products for PC music production

Korg have unveiled a number of new products in its microKEY USB MIDI keyboard range. The line includes tools handy for amateur musicians just starting out in music production and advanced users wanting to get their ideas down fast onto a computer.

Models will be available with either 25 keys for portability or 61 keys for more substantial set-ups, in addition to its original 37-key model. All of the new microKEY products feature the ‘velocity-sensitive’ Natural Touch feature.

Roland covers all bases

Roland have unleashed a string of new releases, including new top-line synths, mid-range drum kits and digital guitar amps.

Designed to be powerful but affordable, the TD-15KV V-Tour kits offer the brand’s SuperNATURAL sounds and ‘Behaviour Modelling’ sensing technology and includes a TD-15 Sound Module, new lightweight V-Pad for snare and floor tom and innovative VH-11 floating hi-hat (one cymbal pad on affixed lower base which feels like a two-piece hi-hat).

The manufacturer is also upgrading its entry-level V-Compact drum kit series, brand new guitar amps (the GA-112 and GA-212) and a lighter and more portable version of the Jupiter-80 synth called the Jupiter-50.

… as for the rumour mill

The Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard uses the music manufacuter’s ‘singing synth’ software in hardware form. The device can apparantly ‘sing’ in real-time using 16 Japanese consonant, vowel and voicing buttons along with a standard piano keyboard. Auto-tune addicts such as Lil Wayne and Kayne needn’t worry however; this impressive piece of prototype tech is unlikely to go on sale.

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