By: Fredwill Hernandez
The National Association of Music Merchants [NAMM], kicked off its 115th NAMM show, on Thur. – Jan. 19, running through Sun.- Jan 22, at the Anaheim Convention Center [Anaheim, Ca]. Among companies eager to engage, demonstrate, and [or] also unveil new products [instruments] were Prestini [U.S.A], Korg, Denon DJ, IK Multimedia, C.F. Martin & Co., Yamaha, Numark, Taylor Guitars, Peavey Electronics, Fender Musical Instrument Co., Eventide, KHS America’s Hohner and Hosa Technology, among a multitude of others.
With so much to see, one must decide which instruments, new products, or which booth or activity to attend. As I made my rounds, I stopped at the Hosa Technology booth.
“This year at NAMM were unveiling the CMM-500Y Hopscoth Patch Cables for modular synthesizers, they come with an easy-access pigtail jack for quick signal splitting available in length from 0.5 ft. to 3 ft. based on our color chart,” explained Kyle Lassegard, Marketing Manager, Hosa Technology, who also took the opportunity to mention something about #showyourrig social media campaign. “We are urging anyone who uses Hosa, any of our products, to take a picture of their rig [set up] and post it on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and tag us @hosatech, where it’ll be shared through our company social media platforms as a way to promote each other, where it also enters them to possibly win our swag monthly giveaway.”
Another company who always has a strong presence at the show NAMM is Eventide, this year unveiling Fission, the first plug-in from their new Structural Effects range that allows you to separate and individually process the transient and tonal parts of an audio signal.
“Were separating and individually processing the transient and tonal parts of an audio signal and recombining them analyzing multiple things in a three dimensional way by analyzing level, time domain, and also frequency domain, using advance analysis algorithms to figure out what is tonal and what is transient,” eloquently explained Pete Bischoff, Sound Designer, Eventide, who was showing off what the plug-in can do at Software.NAMM, which showcased music apps and technologies created in concert with IMSTA (International Music Software Trade Association).
As my day progressed I ended up at Korg, an exciting and popular booth at NAMM, and this year was no different, who among other things were unveiling the impressive monophonic analogue synthesizer Monologue, the follow-up to their Minilogue with features designed Richard D James, better known as Aphex Twin. The Monologue possesses the same impressive quality of the bigger synth, with solid, PCB-mounted potentiometers and the same OLED screen with built-in oscillators, and a newly developed analogue circuits with notable differences from its bigger brother, among them, available in multiple colors.
Also available from Korg for limited quantities are the reissues of their popular : ARP Odyssey FS, which will be available in either white, black/gold, and black/orange; the MS-20 mini white monotone; and the Krome Platimum workstation available in 61, 73 or 88-note configurations.
As I walked through the show floor, I ended looking at instruments from KHS America, their colorful [Anacleto] Hohner accordions, and H. Jimenes’ “Colección Palomazo” which consist of six bajo quinto’s to be released later on this year. Their accordions and bajo quinto’s are very popular among musicians, especially within the Regional Mexican genre and acts such as Los Tucanes de Tijuana.
“Four years ago we started working with Los Tucanes, they wanted us to develop some custom accordions for them, so we did that. We came up three different designs, we presented the accordions to them and decided to start a collaboration in not only promoting them on the Hohner side, but they were going to do the same with us, and that’s how the relationship started [really], so they started playing with the accordions, then we started talking about bajo sexto’s as well. We’re continuing to do that as far as expand the product line, probably to Sonor Drums as well,” eloquently explained Gilberto Reyes, Jr., Latin Instrument Business Manager, KHS America [Hohner]. “The custom accordions we make for the group are just for them, not to sell. We however are in talks of developing possibly their own [Los Tucanes] signature bajo quinto’s to sell.”
For those needing pads or reeds for their instruments, there was Prestini [U.S.A], the only company with this type of offering during the [NAMM] show, who has been producing quality pads, reeds, and musical instruments since its inception in 1890, in Italy.
As to what’s behind the company’s quality and longevity, In my opinion, it’s three words: craftsmanship, materials, and passion. There website describes it as, “This focus on sourcing Pad materials goes beyond local — and around the world to provide the finest pad components available. They are then manufactured exclusively at the plant here in the US [Nogalez, AZ] ensuring total control over sizing and quality. Each pad has its own die for cutting and assembling to eliminate variations in thickness and diameter that repair persons have to contend with.”
With a lot of attention and customer interest being paid to Hi-Resolution or Hi-Res audio which starts at 24 bits/88.2 kHz, I was impressed by the size and features of the Sony ICD-SX2000 portable Bluetooth Hi-Res recorder which can capture sound at up to 24-bit/96 kHz, a serious step up from the 44.1kHz frequency and 16-bit rate of CD.
“The ICD-SX2000 is just introduced at the NAMM  show, it has 16 GB onboard memory, but it also has an SD card slot for expansion. We also have an USB direct connection on the bottom of it with an extension cable, it has an internal battery that would give you up to 30 hrs. of record time on it,” explained Sebastian Scala, Marketing Manager, Professional Audio Professional Solutions Americas, Sony. “The recorder has an XY configuration for the microphones that also pivots [3 ways] for a little wider capture, there’s an Android or iOS app that comes with the unit so that you can control it remotely, and it’s retailing at approximately $229.00.”