NAMM 2012: Andrea's TOP 10 Rockin' Things
NAMM 2012 was AWESOME! Come inside and check out the Top 10 things I loved this year...
1. Alan Parson’s Playing Quadraphonic version of "Money" from Dark Side of the Moon.
Alan Parsons and Dave Pack (Ambrosia) gave the NAMM crowd a great presentation covering not only Alan’s long history in engineering and music (including lots of inside information about working with the Beatles at Abbey Road), but Alan’s use of quadrophonic mixing on Dark Side of the Moon. Alan played the opening loop of his original “quad” mix from 1973 of “Money” and talked about how the loop was created!
2. Motley Crue 360 Degree Drum Roller Coaster
Tommy Lee’s Drum Roller Coaster rig, soon to be used in their “residency” at The Joint/Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas from February 3rd to the 19th is an idea that is just as cool as it is crazy. NAMM goers got an up close look at the platform and a short piece of the coaster track that the platform runs on, as well as a video glimpse of the coaster in action.
3. Line 6's Release of SoundSource Speakers and SoundScape Mixers with a Private concert by Colbie Caillat
What can I say....this one speaks for itself.
4. The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
With funding being regularly stripped from music education, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is filling a crucial need in music ed. The bus gives kids hands-on opportunity with state of the art gear in a studio and video studio environment and allows them to work in a real-world setting with other students and audio professionals to create music and video projects. Executive Director, Brian Rothschild, gave us a personal tour of the bus and some insight into its mission, gear used, and life in touring education.
And if the bus itself wasn't cool enough, Bootsy Collins showed up to funk the house for education.
5. Presonus iPhone/iPad StudioLive Integration
Though iPad integration was at an all-time high this show, Presonus has taken it to an extreme with it’s integration of Qmix, a free app for iOS, that allows you or your audio engineer to assign any iPhone on the stage the ability to adjust it’s own aux balance without giving away too much control to whoever is using it.
6. Molecule Drums
Though a product not without its share of controversy at the show (we heard comments from “just stupid” to “how are you gonna mic them?”), I have to give Molecule Drums props for bringing in one of the most unique design ideas in drumming that I saw at the show. The acryclic globe drum kit actually sounds good, and they can be handpainted and lit from within using LEDs. Though not for everyone, and obviously something purists will hate, it’s a truly different concept that is well executed.
7. Old Analogue Synth Stuff
In a show full of touch screens, iPad versions of everything under the sun, and lots of tech, it was refreshing to see some good old fashioned patch cable analogue synths that remind us that tweaking knobs and plugging in cables can be as much fun as the flashiest digital gadget around.
8. Bad Cat’s Alien Display
This guy got plenty of attention and had his share of photo ops. Bad Cat was one of the very few amp companies that even tried to bring a little extra theatrical artistry to their displays. He is certainly one bad cat...
9. Peavey’s AT200 Auto Tune Guitar
Peavey and Antares have teamed up to create a guitar that integrates Auto-Tune technology. Before everybody gets their panties all in a bunch about Auto-Tune taking over the world and that being bad, let me just say, the coolest part of this instrument isn’t that it automatically tunes for you or keeps your intonation perfect. No - the best thing about the AT200 is the ability to instantly lock into alternate tunings, or even turn the guitar into a baritone in just a few steps. It even has a virtual capo with a two-octave range, and a MIDI interface for updating the instrument and controlling it via MIDI. Check out the video for a truly mindblowing demo.
10. Mackie's DL1608
A product heralded by both musicians and audio pros alike, Mackie introduced it's 16 channel iPad controlled mixer that allows you to remotely mix from anywhere in the room. And an animated video to help explain how god-like you could be using it...
Keep coming back, my peeps, for continuing NAMM 2012 coverage as we empty our video cameras and burn through our keyboards bringing you all the AWESOMENESS that NAMM had to offer...
Love, peace and elbow grease,