Due to it a) being just down the road at the NEC, b) a tenner to get in, courtesy of those lovely people at CD Pool and c) I’m off work at the moment and very, very bored, I took a trip down to the BPM 2015 show.
After a day of wandering around looking at all of the lovely shiny, flashy, spinny noisy things I have two things to report on that I consider to be the most important things I discovered at the show (in addition to the most important thing, which was that I got to wear a name-badge with the words “Producer” and “Wrong Camel Records” on it – yeah, that’s right, that’s me arriving right there, kids).
The ROLI Seaboard Rise
This, my friends, is the future of controllerism for live performance. I spent a good 45 minutes playing with one of these and I can honestly say it is the single most revolutionary user interface for music-making that I have ever had my hands on. Described by the guys from ROLI as “a fretless piano”, this gadget provides 3-dimensional control in a familiar keyboard layout. The keys behave as usual, but swiping left or right on the single-piece surface behaves like the pitch wheel on a traditional keyboard or synth (great for those filthy dub basslines). Sliding your fingers along the key (away from or towards you) can be used to control instrument or effect modulations and the whole surface is also pressure sensitive. The range of expression and control that you can get from this thing is simply staggering and the price point is going to be £599 at launch. No word of a lie, I suspect I could get rid of most of the rest of my rig if I invested in one of these. As if that weren’t enough, it can be powered from the internal, USB-charged battery and bluetoothed to your DAW for wire-free stage antics. Awesome.
Check out the product page at ROLI for more details and videos. Seriously, CHECK IT OUT. NOW.
For me, these guys won the show. It was a close thing, though – in a display of true marketing genius, ADJ were giving away free ice-cream.
PIONEER and Serato – no longer a match made in heaven?
As revealed earlier in the year, Pioneer have gone fully gung-ho with their Rekordbox software, turning it into a complete digital DJ platform. Having had a browse around their stand at BPM, I coudn’t find a Serato logo on any of the new-line kit that they had out on demo – everything is badged for Rekordbox. Seems like the classic (and, frankly, awesome) pairing of Serato software and Pioneer hardware might be over. Which, I’m sure, is going to leave a lot of users (myself included) feeling a bit uncertain about where we go when the next upgrade is due. If you’re a Serato user it might be wise to make any step-changes you were planning for your gear over the next 6 to 12 months now, while the kit you need is still available.
That’s my BPM news – if you were there, what was your view of the show? What were the stand-out features for you? Use the form below to share your comments.