Portrait’s NAMM music tech picks

We’ve some special picks from the NAMM Show, by Portrait XO. She’s an Electronic Music Artist, Resident Artist at SAMPLEnHOLD the regular electronic music night in LA, and recent founding member of nonprofit The IASAS (International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists).

Portrait XO and friends, Universal Audio at NAMM

Music Tech Innovation

This selection from NAMM 2018 is about the best innovation in music technology featuring MPE, modular and sonic innovation, and music production goodies.

Schertler Arthur - pic Schertler


First ever commercially available modular mixer

This new modular mixer by Schertler is not only beautifully designed aesthetially, but sonically sounds incredible, especially with its built in real Spring Reverb. Everything from the materials, colours, and design of the knobs to the wooden backing and smooth leather edges, this is suitable for live performance and studio mixing for amateurs and professionals. It doesn’t have the full range of a big studio console, but the modular feature of being able to customize your mixer to suit your specific needs, with this quality, makes this a new game changer. If you’re ready to step up your game and minimize the size of your gear without compromising on sound, this is a great option. Hard to not fall in love. Each module starts at roughly $319.

Schertler Arthur - pic Portrait XO


In a rush, minimalistic, and on-the-go: who doesn’t want lightning speed extra storage that fits in the palm of your hand? Glyphtech has a new range of external SSD hard drives and it’s hard to not want an entire collection of these. Their best offers are in their Glyph Atom RAID SSD range with up to 770 MB/s data transfer speeds starting with 1TB for $429. Some have reviewed up to 770 MB/s read and 875 MB/s write speed. When it comes to data for multimedia storage, reliability, durability, size, and data transfer speed is everything. These little gems come in 2 options of black or gold with a sleek silicone casing.

Glyphtech ATOMRAID SSD - pic Portrait XO

Elektron Digitone - Best of NAMM 2018 (MusicRadar WINNER Hardware Synth)

This new eight voice polyphonic digital synthesizer from Elektron comes with multiple FM algorithms, 4 synth & 4 MIDI tracks, arpeggiator, and MIDI in/out/thru cability for external hardware control (to name a few highlighted features).

Elektron Digitone - Portrait XO

The aesthetic layout is visually easy to navigate and the size is perfect for synth fanatics who want interesting FM sounds to add or start with as a first time digital synth buyer. Diehard analogue synth fans will probably not be the biggest fans especially as it doesn’t have the full range of features of most synths, but it’s a new box of joy down the rabbit hole of knob turning. $739

Electron Digitone - pic Portrait XO

Noise Engineering - Basimilus Iterates Magnus

This modular synth unit is now due to come out in 5U format this year (date TBA). From this entire range from Noise Engineering, this unit creates the most diverse range of textures and beats. Whether you’re a pure modular synth head, a music producer looking to ‘dirty’ up your sound, or just get experimental, this unit introduces you to a rabbit hole of rich heavy to light and airy sonic soundscapes. $555

Noise Engineering, Basimilus Iterates Magnus - pic Portrait XO

JOUÉ - MPE modular MIDI controller

This year’s newcomer in the MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) modular world is JOUÉ with some interesting new options. Last year, we saw Sensel Morph win countless awards for their multifunctional products. Rather than creating a range of skins for different purposes, JOUÉ has focused on making different types of instruments and the option of mixing 3 different panels on one board. Sensel has bigger diversity on different production uses whereas JOUÉ has focused purely on music making. One of their most interesting designs is their skin ‘BUBBLES’. These round 3D MPE balls allow you to control 12 parameters that makes modulating sounds really fun in a new way. €399+

JOUÉ MPE modular MIDI controller - pic JOUÉ