My 2012 Winter NAMM Show Report

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MikeRivers
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My 2012 Winter NAMM Show Report

Post by MikeRivers » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:53 am

My complete show report is now posted. Grab it here. Enjoy.

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Post by kinger » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:30 am

Nice report; thanks!

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Post by tonewoods » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:34 am

Thanks for that....

I was very impressed with a new active ribbon mic at the Cascade booth...
Not sure of the model name...

Incredible off-axis rejection, totally symetrical, and it sounded great, even in the NAMM rumble....
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Post by Jim Williams » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:31 am

You should get combat pay for that as well as aftershow therapy.

Namm gets rougher every year.

I don't think I'll return next year, the web has made trade shows less relevant. This was the first time since 1977 I walked the entire show without really seeing anything.

Hearing?

Forget about it.

I have to use earplugs there to prevent long term hearing damage. Not fun anymore.
Jim Williams
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tonewoods
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Post by tonewoods » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:48 am

Jim Williams wrote:You should get combat pay for that as well as aftershow therapy.

Namm gets rougher every year.
I had a heart attack just after getting home from NAMM Saturday....
I am not kidding.... :shock:

I'm fine, and still resting in SoCal....
Prognosis looks good, and I feel great....

So-ooo, NAMM can indeed kill 'ya.... :wink:
"You see, the whole thing about recording is the attempt at verisimilitude--not truth, but the appearance of truth."
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Post by roygbiv » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:56 am

EDIT - whoa, just noticed your post tonewoods - sorry to hear that!

Glad you caught the symptoms in time, and hope you are resting well - they certainly have good health care knowledge in SoCal.
Last edited by roygbiv on Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by roygbiv » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:03 am

[editors note - my "want" seems rather trivial trivial now in light of tonewoods post...]

Mike

thanks for the in-depth review, interesting stuff to ponder (I've been putting off some gear-acquisition until after some more info like this).

However, one thing that continues to baffle me is that nothing new really appears to have occurred in the control surface environment.

I am reasonably comfortable with my input options for my recordings, but I want more tactile control at mixdown. I can't believe that I'm the only guy with that issue, and you would think this would be a hot item, especially given the capabilities of an iPad.

Did you hear any rumblings or murmers at the show about future future control surface wizardry using iPads, or knobs on the the lower price point like the nanokontrols?
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Post by blungo2 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:18 am

Thanks for the report, very cool!

Tonewoods, i'm glad you're ok.

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Post by tonewoods » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:31 am

blungo2 wrote:
Tonewoods, i'm glad you're ok.
Yeah, sorry....
Didn't mean to hijack the thread... :oops:

Carry on.... :wink:
"You see, the whole thing about recording is the attempt at verisimilitude--not truth, but the appearance of truth."
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Post by Jim Williams » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:32 pm

tonewoods wrote:
blungo2 wrote:
Tonewoods, i'm glad you're ok.
Yeah, sorry....
Didn't mean to hijack the thread... :oops:

Carry on.... :wink:
That settles it, I'm staying home next year!
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Post by tonewoods » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:39 pm

:)
"You see, the whole thing about recording is the attempt at verisimilitude--not truth, but the appearance of truth."
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Post by cgarges » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Damn, tonewoods, glad you're okay. Good luck on a speedy full recovery.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:06 pm

Hey Tone, glad you are well! Cut that out!

MR, thanks again for doing this. I believe you posted last year from both NAMM and CES, yes?

Very cool.

GJ

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Post by MikeRivers » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:22 am

Jim Williams wrote:You should get combat pay for that as well as aftershow therapy.

Namm gets rougher every year.
I keep hoping it'll get easier because I know where to go, but it's harder to get around and harder to find the right people to talk to. More and more it's "You should talk to Joe, but he left yesterday" (or is in a meeting). And although I get hundreds of press releases before the show (and about as DURING the show!) nobody really tells you what they'll be showing, I guess in fear that someone will release the info before the show. I'm not important enough to get calls from the manufacturers before the show telling me what they're up to.
I don't think I'll return next year, the web has made trade shows less relevant.
This is what a lot of the manufacturers think, too. Since NAMM is primarily a business show, they're always going to have the marketing people in attendance, but not always the technical people. Things that I use - primarily hardware - are pretty easy for me to dope out if I can see and listen to them, but I'm sure there's lots of cool software that I pass up simply because I don't know enough to be interested in it. On the other hand, software is indeed something where the Web is the best place to learn about new developments as long as you know where to look for them, and forums like this usually get the word out. Go to the web site and you can see screen shots, hear it in action (though usually at low quality) and get trial versions.
Hearing?

Forget about it.

I have to use earplugs there to prevent long term hearing damage. Not fun anymore.
I do just a quick walk-through in the drums, basses and guitars halls and I always put in my ear plugs for those excursions. I really can't hear what anything sounds like on the show floor, though some of the upstairs demo rooms are OK. Lauten mics had a nice setting with a jazz group playing a few times a day but about all I could say about it (so I didn't) was that the band sounded good through their mics.

I guess it was about 1998 or so, when I was writing regularly for Recording Magazine, that I wrote an article about attending the NAMM show. As part of the article, I wrote, in about as much detail as I do in these show reports, about 4 or 5 products that I thought were particularly special to me, explaining why they were significant, but the editor declined to publish it because he thought it sounded too much like reviews. I should see if I can still find that article and see how it compares to today's shows.
roygbiv wrote:However, one thing that continues to baffle me is that nothing new really appears to have occurred in the control surface environment.

Did you hear any rumblings or murmers at the show about future future control surface wizardry using iPads, or knobs on the the lower price point like the nanokontrols?
I don't find iPads at all tactile and I certainly wouldn't be happy with one as a full time DAW or mixer control surface. There's a lot of interest in using them as individual monitor mix control for live sound, and as a way to "walk the hall" and make small tweaks to mixes. I've read of people who say they mix the whole show on an iPad, but this tends to be the kind of show where there isnt' a lot of active mixing going on.

A few years back, I saw someone (Red Leaf Technology, I think) selling a large touch screen monitor mounted in a slanted horizontal case like a mixer, to be used as a DAW control surface. I thought that was pretty cool because you could do everything you could do with a mouse, but it was bigger and you didn't need the mouse. But it was kind of expensive. But I think the trend is more along the line of dumbing these things down - Garage Band on an iPad - and leaving the serious studio products to people like Avid and SSL who know how to do it and have the customer base that can pay what it's worth to do the job right.

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Post by drumsound » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:22 am

Glad you're OK Tonewoods!

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