So this became my 1st NAMM in the heat of Summer in Nashville … a year and a half after I created my Christmas stocking wish list from my finds at Winter NAMM 2010.
Summer NAMM was of a smaller scale than that of the Winter show in Anaheim last January, occupying the one hall’s worth of toys at the Nashville Convention Center.
This made my life easier as I quickly honed in on the ones that would excite my musician/geek senses. On entering the exhibit hall it became obvious that guitars would reign at Summer NAMM but the usual giants of innovation were prepared to bombard me with their new delights.
My 1st stop was to visit old friends Westone (1) who gave me the low down on how to wear and maintain their In-ear monitors, Miktek (2) who proudly displayed their new performance microphones PM9 and PM5, and Yamaha who were showcasing their DSR series of active speaker systems, their MoX8 synth and PSR S650 arranger keyboard (3).
On the request of Randy Fuchs of Artist Relations, I visited the guys at Bolt who were demonstrating the Morpheus (4) pedals DropTune, Capo and Bomber. I also spotted Digitech (5) with their Whammy and iPB-10 pedals, the latter, an effects cradle in which your iPad acts as the control center.
I then headed off to investigate the much talked about Roland Jupiter 60 and its supernatural technology before comparing what Korg had for us in their Kronos (6). Scott Tibbs gave us his rendition of “synths throughout the decades” and the “soundtrack from Tron” to demo the Jupiter 60 (7), while Roland pal, Rob Marcello (formerly of Danger Danger) did his on the GR-55 guitar synth (8). I was most tickled by Rob’s presentation and he would grab entertainer-of-the-day award if I were to have such a prize to offer!
And, as someone who writes and produces with the computer, I couldn’t help but notice the PreSonus AudioBox (9) range of rack-mountable recording interfaces and the Virtual StudioLive.
As I walked down the aisles, I captured the hive of activity on camera… The few who snuck in front of my lens included Dr Lonnie in the Hammond booth, the guys at Ergotar who were inspired to create guitar and bass bodies that hugged the players for more ergonomic performance, the craftsman at Creative Touches who were inspired by the guitar to build furniture of any kind to custom order. Bitchstraps produced guitar straps and pouches for a variety of uses, whilst Alto created a compact speaker/mixer pod for the one-man band. In the same booth as Alto was sister company, Alesis, and the I/O Dock for the iPad.
Chatter of iOS connectivity, terms karma footprint, ergonomic, polyphonic detuning effects and organic sounds floated through the airwaves. The latest technology breathed life into the finest musical instruments, sound system and stage support equipment.
How does one end this SummerNAMM without creating another wish list?
I witness the World Extreme Drumming contingent as I walked out the hall. They were gathered there to find the fastest drummer at the show. The winner was, it seems … an Aussie!
I bid adieu to SummerNAMM ’11 … until next year …
VIDEOS : The numbers in brackets within the article correspond to the numbered videos. A montage of the other items mentioned can be found at the end of this list. All the videos can be found on my youtube channel “Oceanachine”.
(1) Westone IEMs
(2) Miktek vocal and drum mics
(3) Yamaha PSR S650
(4) Bolt and Morpheus effects pedals
(6) Korg Kronos
(7) Roland Jupiter 60
(8) Roland GR-55
Photos & videos (c) 2011 Shueh-li Ong (unless specified, all articles written by Shueh-li Ong bear the photography, videography and digital work of its author.)