Very much related to drums, but primarily developed for DJ's to get out of their booth, the Zoom ARQ is one of those products that stood out at NAMM 2016. The Zoom ARQ has a detachable ring controller that communicates with its Base Station via wireless Bluetooth. It is a handsome instrument that has 468 drum/instrument sounds, 70 types of synthesizer sounds and many digital effects. Also, you can record and loop your sounds and rhythms to create very dynamic stage experiences. Here's a video demo from the NAMM Show and a complete overview of its features.
Base Station and Ring Controller The ARQ consists of two powerful components—the Base Station (AR-96) and the detachable Ring Controller (AR-96c).
The Base Station The ARQ Base Station houses 468 drum/instrument sounds ("one-shot" sampled waveform sounds), 70 types of synthesizer sounds, and dozens of digital effects. Dual 1/4" line-level audio inputs enable phrase recording and looping. There are also stereo 1/4" line-level outputs, as well as a dedicated 1/4" headphone jack with its own volume control. A USB port allows connection to your computer, and an SD card slot lets you save patterns and loops, import prerecorded audio, and update firmware.
The Ring Controller The detachable Ring Controller communicates with the Base Station, as well as DAWs, via wireless Bluetooth. It offers 96 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads for clip launching and playing drum sounds, instrument sounds, and sequences. Phrases and sounds can be played chromatically, or you can choose from dozens of preset scales in any key. Its unique Grip Detection automatically prevents accidental triggering of the pads under your hand. There are dedicated buttons at the top and bottom of the Ring for REC/PLAY/STOP, as well as Filter/Delay/Reverb/MASTER FX on/off. An onboard 3-axis accelerometer generates MIDI control messages to alter sounds and effects in real time. Its internal Lithium-Ion battery automatically charges when the Ring is placed on the Base Station.
No computer necessary Traditional devices take a linear approach to sequencing. With the ARQ you can visualize your music as a true loop, up to 5 parts at a time.
All the Zoom ARQ features
Drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, clip launcher, and MIDI controller in one device
Includes 468 drum/instrument sounds ("one-shot" sampled waveform sounds), 70 types of synthesizer sounds, and dozens of digital effects
Ring Controller can be used wirelessly as a handheld aerial instrument and to launch audio clips from DAW software
96 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads and 160 programmable color LEDs
Grip Detection to automatically prevent accidental note triggering
3-axis accelerometer for altering effects parameters and sending MIDI control messages
Dedicated buttons for sequence REC/PLAY/STOP and for effects on/off
Use up to 5 effects simultaneously, applied to overall drum kit or individual drum sounds
Split mode allows one instrument to be assigned to multiple pads for ease of input
Onboard mixer for setting volumes and muting/soloing parts
Flexible precount, quantize, swing, and beat settings
Audible and/or visual click
Dual 1/4" inputs for phrase recording and loop creation
Audio capture from patterns and songs, from SD card, or from incoming audio signal
Create up to 99 mono or stereo loops, play up to 32 simultaneously
Loop start and end points can be set on the fly or adjusted manually
Loop tempo synchronization, pitch change, and reverse playback functions
Programmable synthesizer engine
531 oscillator types and 16-voice polyphony
Sound-shaping controls include effects, envelope generators, and stepped and smooth modulation
Play sounds chromatically, or choose from dozens of preset scales in any key
Adjustable pad velocity and pressure sensitivity
Dedicated tap tempo button for synchronization
Selectable LED light-show animations
Dual 1/4" line outputs and separate 1/4" headphone output with dedicated volume control
USB port and SD card slot
Bluetooth LE for low power consumption and extended usage times