We've been seeing prototypes for awhile, but the big news at NAMM 2018 was that the Dasz "Alex" is about to go into production with the company taking pre-orders. It's a complete modular music production system equally suited to live performance or being a studio nerve center, and for musicians who take a hardware-centric approach in either case.
Not modular in the Eurorack sense, but in terms of being scalable. You start with a main module (the wider one that includes the transport buttons), which includes four tracks of sequencing as well as internal sound generators, which we'll get to in a minute. Adding expander modules adds not just polyphony but also tracks - so a main module with three expanders yields a 16-track sequencer.
Each track can host two internal sound sources as well as control external MIDI devices. The two internal synths are virtual analog and sample-based, and there's also a looper/sample player and up to two effects per track. The buttons and knob collars change color to indicate which synth, mode, or track you're working with at the moment.
I was quite impressed with the sound quality. It's warm, full, and beefy, especially given that the analog-sounding components here are virtual. I'd love to get my hands on an expanded system for review when they're ready, but my initial take is that if you don't need to record linear audio in DAW fashion, the Alex offers an experience that's halfway between Ableton Live and a groovebox on steroids.
In the video below, Chris of Dasz talks through the features, then the eponymous designer himself gives us quite an engaging sound demo. Skip to 3:20 to go directly to the sound demo.
Introductory pricing is US$899 for the main module and US$699 for the expander. We have more still to post from NAMM 2018, so keep checking back!