By M.Joseph Foley, Technology Editor, ProductionHUB
What could be better than starting off 2017 with one of the best showcases of new, professional music products and services? Hot off the heals of CES in Las Vegas, the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show is set to kickoff January 19-23, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The NAMM Show is one of the largest music product trade shows in the world, founded in 1901.
The show will showcase a wide range of products and services related to the music sector DJ & live sound, software & technology, lighting, and pro audio.
With 2000 exhibitors and an estimated attendance of 100,000 plus, the 2017 NAMM Show will continue to wow music professionals with new products, celebrity appearances, smashing workshops and jam sessions, along with insights from some of the top names in the music business. With that in mind, here's a quick look at just a few of the tech and gear excitement that is - 2017 NAMM.
Offers ATM350a Microphone Systems
Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, is displaying its ATM350a Microphone Systems. Offering crisp, clear, well-balanced response, even in very high SPL applications, the ATM350a Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone comes in six specially designed systems that provide discreet, rock-solid mounting solutions for a host of instruments, including woodwinds, strings, brass, percussion, drums and piano.
Following in the footsteps of the popular ATM350, the ATM350a is capable of handling 159 dB max SPL, a 10 dB increase over its predecessor. This allows the mic to cope with an even greater range of extremely powerful, dynamic sound sources. Like the ATM350, the new mic features a cardioid polar pattern that reduces side and rear pickup and protects against feedback. The mic’s in-line power module incorporates a switchable 80 Hz hi-pass filter to help control undesired ambient noise.
C.F. Martin & Co
C.F. Martin & Co. is proud to celebrate the company's two-millionth guitar, to be unveiled at NAMM 2017. To commemorate this remarkable milestone model, the leading guitar manufacturer has partnered with America's premier watchmaker RGM Watch Co., another historic Pennsylvania-based company, to create a stunning one-of-a-kind model that will have a custom working RGM timepiece built into the headstock of the guitar.
Martin Guitar and RGM will also collaborate on the limited edition D-200 Deluxe. This collector's model is limited to only 50 guitars and each model will feature a beautiful watch theme throughout the design, including the pickguard which has pearl inlays of watch gears.
The two-millionth guitar will feature a D-45 style body, with the back and sides constructed from Brazilian rosewood. The top is crafted from highly-figured bearclaw Engelmann spruce. The intriguing aspect of the guitar is the use of a watch motif to mark the anniversary, replete with decorative gears, guilloché (a process of cutting geometric patterns into metal), decorative inlays and a working watch embedded within the headstock. In order to bring this idea to life, Martin recruited the help of one of America's most notable watchmakers, Roland G. Murphy of RGM. Chris Martin IV, Chairman and CEO of Martin Guitars, instantly saw the value in what RGM brought to the table. "The two millionth guitar is complicated, particularly because it incorporates an actual watch into the design. But once you're excited, you sort of put aside the hurdles that you have to jump over." RGM was a perfect fit because they're in Pennsylvania and still make fine handcrafted watches in Pennsylvania.
The guitar will also come with a custom RGM watch. Further details on the Martin Guitar products that will be showcased at 2017 Winter NAMM are below and at www.martinguitar.com/new.
LINX-212A active dual 12inch line array
LINX-212A is a big power active line array module designed for large spaces indoor or outdoor. It is flexible in application from few modules for small and medium auditoriums/ theatres to full size arrays for large outdoor tour performance and public spaces. The main features: Big power, single cabinet reaches 1000W RMS, reliable Class D amplifier with overload output protection, clip limiter ensures easy and fast connection and safe usage. On the amplifier, there are four built-in DSP presets, switchable on back panel for different applications. There is an internet interface on the amplifier so that professional customers can also make their own DSP setting via internet. There are multiple uses of these speakers for small to mid to big venues.
100 WATT Octal-Plex Series Guitar Amps
Boutique guitar amp builder BC Audio is expanding its critically acclaimed Octal-Plex Series – guitar amps based on 1960s British plexi circuits that have been adapted for octal (8-pin) preamp tubes and built with true point-to-point construction techniques – to include custom 100 watt versions. Each amp can be customized with a number of circuit variations and optional features.
Thonet & Vander, the German audio company that merges technology and design for high quality speakers, will be present at NAMM® event in California with the best sound quality and avant-garde designs. For the first time, NAMM® will host T&V with its newest hi-end speaker Titan™ together with M6 Studio™.
With a power output of 180 watts, Titan™ is a high-performance Bluetooth® speaker that manages to offer a powerful and crystal-clear sound. Titan™ is capable of reproducing the whole sound range with detail. It has volume, treble and bass control and includes a remote control to play with your sound anywhere in the room. Titan™ was created for listening to music with power and sound purity.
On the other hand, with a power output of 90 watts, M6 Studio™ is a result of the highest level of audio excellence. This studio monitor is characterized for providing a natural, firm and precise sound, capable of achieving a flat frequency response. Thanks to its high frequency equalizer, any unwanted sounds can be reduced or eliminated just by adjusting the knob. In terms of design, M6 Studio™ has a familiar look, featuring Thonet & Vander’s famous yellow glass-aramid fiber cone and a robust acoustic box.
Digital Audio PC maker
Slick Audio is a USA manufacturer that creates a line of Windows-based PC’s designed to capture and record digital audio for a wide range of applications; from the Professional Music Industry, to Hollywood, Game Design, and PC’s for the home musician. Slick Audio’s mission is to produce the best audio recording PC possible and to simply get the best sound, performance, and stability when recording digital audio.
The first new PC is the M550, which is about the size of a DVD case, just thicker, giving a much smaller foot print. It is completely fan-less and dead-quiet. It packs one heck of a punch for a box this small. It includes an Intel i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, 240GB SSD for the OS, and a 1TB SSD for audio. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet with two video outs. The M550 has two user accessible hard drives for easy swap out if you run out of room on your data drive.
The 2000 series & 4000 series have been upgraded: These PC’s are extremely flexible and powerful, with plenty of expansion, a choice of processors, expanded RAM choices, and 2TB SSD options. It also includes the Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1, adding to its power and flexibility.
The 5000 series is our flagship audio PC line which also comes in either a tower or rack mountable configuration. It packs Dual Intel Xeon Processors, standard hardware RAID, is expandable to 256GB of ECC Registered RAM (soon to be 2TB), six hard drives in either JBOD or any RAID support, your choice of video cards even dual video cards, Thunderbolt 2, and much more.
High-Performance XR Series Studio Monitors
Mackie announced a series of studio monitors to its popular lineup – XR Series Studio Monitors. Aimed at professional and project studios, XR Series offers two models, the 8′′ XR824 and 6.5′′ XR624. With XR, Mackie delivers an accurate studio monitor design that offers the clarity, performance and modern look to meet the needs of the modern studio.
“Mackie is well-known for creating high-performing studio monitors that cover the widest possible range of applications, from our ultra-affordable CR Series to our flagship HR Series,” commented Jon Rundle, Mackie Product Manager. “And XR really hits the sweet spot, with a step-up to truly professional performance at prices far more affordable than boutique offerings.”
Drawing inspiration from the performance and aesthetic aspects of the proven Mackie HR Series monitors, XR features a smart logarithmic waveguide, providing acoustic alignment to deliver precision balance between articulate highs and midrange clarity. Both models feature a high output 160W amplifier and premium transducers including a KevlarLF driver with proven fast-recovery from transients, virtually eliminating resonant frequencies. And, unique to XR, Mackie has developed the new ELP Bass Reflex System which utilizes an extended-length, internally curved port that delivers outstanding bass response and increased output capability.
“The new ELP porting system significantly extends bass response, but its unique design offers additional benefits,” remarks Rundle. “The port exit sits completely flush with the back of the cabinet, creating a zero turbulence design that significantly improves overall acoustic performance.”
XR Series Studio Monitors can be sonically optimized to the specific mix environment, featuring user-controllable acoustic space tuning controls. There are three different acoustic space settings that adjust for monitor placements close to walls, in corners, etc. Plus, both high- and low-frequency EQ controls are available for final sonic adjustment to the mixing space. Other finishing features include an eco-friendly auto on/off functionality that senses when a signal is present and turns that monitor on or off, plus the inclusion of acoustic isolation pads for each monitor.
“Mix translation is so important and having a flat frequency response from your studio monitors is critical. We didn’t want to hype up your mix. If something sounds off, you want to know. And, when it sounds great, you can trust that it will sound great anywhere,” Rundle concluded. “Mackie XR monitors will reveal your true mix and we think that’s a great thing.”
WiC for Computer New Wireless System
PRA Audio introduces WiC for Computer. “After developing WiC for Guitar we saw an opportunity to untether musicians while they play and record. We just could not pass up the chance to create a product that delivers the recorded sound quality you get with a DAW or training software,” beamed CEO Paul Raley.
WiC for Computer is a Wireless Audio interface that allows you to easily connect your instrument to the computer without bulky and expensive interface or special cables and power supplies. The WiC receiver is a USB dongle that bypasses A/D converters, delivering uncompressed digital audio to your DAW, lap top, tablet or even smart phone.
- Compatible with Mac, Windows, Android and iOS
- Long- lasting Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery with USB Charger and Cables
- One -touch Pairing
- Automatic Channel Selection
- Standard 1⁄4” Audio Cables
- 2-Year Warranty
With no wall wart or external power supplies it is wireless and can be completely mobile. This system is ideal for home, tour bus or even hotel room while on the road.
Full range of desktop interfaces, including demonstrations working alongside their Pro Rackmount Range
The DiGiGrid desktop range includes the [M] Musician recording interface, [Q] Headphone amplifier, [D] Desktop interface, and [S] PoE Switch. Despite their compact size these powerful devices offer maximum performance and flexibility, and are ideally suited to recording and monitoring applications, either standalone, or as part of a bigger DiGiGrid networked system.
The Rackmount Range provides flexible high channel count interfacing and real-time DSP for plugin processing, enabling more efficient and fluid creative workflows. Additionally, from the 19 th January 2017, the company is offering a free WAVES “One Knob” plug-in bundle worth $249 with the purchase and registration of new DiGiGrid Desktop Interfaces D, M or Q. The award-winning processing technology of “One Knob” features a set of eight easy to use, intuitive audio plugins, each of which is controlled by a single knob.
“We’re excited to return NAMM to showcase the full range of DiGiGrid products, particularly the demonstrations of our Desktop. This, alongside the offer of a free WAVES “One Knob” plug in will appeal to visitors at the show as it combines the latest in technologies with multiple creative opportunities. The continued strong momentum and worldwide demand for the range across leading studios and facilities has been phenomenal and we look forward to seeing everyone at the show”” said Dan Page, DiGiGrid.”
So, these are just but a very few products amongst hundreds to be seen at the show. But as with any great show and organization there is a lot more than checking out new gear. That is only the starting point.
There are also some pretty special events that are part of the essential NAMM Show. Check this out:
Aerosmith’s Co-Founding Member & Lead Guitarist Joe Perry to Receive Les Paul Award at 32nd Annual NAMM TEC Awards
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer to Perform at Ceremony Also Honoring Band’s Famed Producer, Jack Douglas
As part of its 32nd Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards (NAMM TEC Awards), The NAMM Foundation has announced that rocker Joe Perry will receive the prestigious Les Paul Award. The annual award is given on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation and honors individuals that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of recording technology in the spirit of the famed audio pioneer, inventor and musician, Les Paul. The award will be presented at the January 21st ceremony being held in Anaheim, CA as part of The 2017 NAMM Show. Perry, who was included in Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” is also scheduled to perform live before an audience of pro audio and sound production inventors, musicians and industry friends.
"Anytime my name is mentioned in the same sentence as Les Paul, it’s a huge honor,” says Perry. “Getting an award bearing his name is the icing on the cake."
A long-standing, co-founding member of a group whose music repertoire spans four decades, Perry’s versatile musicianship and influence has helped pave the way for a long list of accolades that reach beyond the band’s more than 150 million albums sold. In the role of principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and as producer for multiple tracks featured on several notable Aerosmith albums, Perry’s talent has helped contribute to the super group’s four Grammy® Awards, (one of which includes Perry’s guitar-based instrumental “Boogie Man”); six Billboard Music Awards; twelve MTV Video Awards; and two People’s Choice Awards, to name a few.
"Joe Perry was a friend of Les Paul's and is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and talented musicians of our time,” says Michael K. Braunstein, Executive Director, Les Paul Foundation. “His ability to push boundaries of the electric guitar with his signature sound and deft playing ability embodies the true spirit of what Les Paul and the award given in his name stands for. The Les Paul Award has been presented at the NAMM TEC Awards to remarkably-distinguished and accomplished individuals from the music industry, including such luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townsend, Slash and last year's recipient, Don Was. The Les Paul Foundation could not be more thrilled to be adding Joe Perry to this amazing list."
Here are a few the links for more information about the awards and other sessions.
https://www.namm.org/news/press-releases/dante- spoken-here- dante-training-program- be
So what could be a better way to kick those winter post-holiday blues to the curb then to dust off the suitcase (or road case) and head out to Anaheim for what is sure to be a kick ass 2017 NAMM Show?
For more NAMM insights be sure check out our ProductionHUB exclusive interview with Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO.
M.Joseph Foley, Technology Editor, ProductionHUB
Mark J. Foley, MBA, BA, is the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB. Foley brings an extensive production background to his role as Technology Editor, having produced and directed award-winning, live college and professional sports, broadcast and documentaries to his credit.