By: Fredwill Hernandez
The National Association of Music Merchants [NAMM], kicked off its 115th NAMM show, the four day event which started Thur. – Jan. 19, will run through Sun.- Jan 22, being held at the Anaheim Convention Center, [Anaheim, Ca]. Among other companies eager to engage, demonstrate, and [or] also unveil new products [instruments] were also Shure, Roli, Acoustica, Gemini, Tascam, Sennheiser, and QSC, among a multitude of others.
With so much simultaneously going on, one must decide what is of personal preference and taste and what booth, educational sessions, or activity to attend.
With this in mind, I thought I would check out Acoustica, which to my surprise were unveiling the new and impressive Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, a multi-track recording and production [software] that lets you quickly and easily record audio and MIDI tracks, arrange loops, remix, score and edit video, and also mix and master compositions.
About its new features I learned, “that one could record unlimited audio and virtual instrument tracks, the Pro Studio version includes 22 Virtual Instruments and 57 powerful effects with Melodyne pitch-correction technology, and has an Omni Sampler 8 output. The program comes with a library of over 7800 loops, samples and sound effects, plus integrated access to hundreds of thousands of loops from freesound.org,” explained Anthony Conte, Vice President of Sales, Acoustica. “In this new version there is also effects sidechaining, mix down to stems, MIDI Clock/Sync transmission, mixer delay compensation, VST3 and MP4 support, simultaneous one-click publishing, be it to YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Vimeo, and Twitter. This new version also has UI/workflow enhancements to Markers, Track View, Mixer, and Sound Editor, and it will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price [MSRP] of $179 dollars.”
Another company now under the Gibson Brands umbrella, who was also unveiling new products at NAMM, was Tascam.
Among new things being unveiled were the impressive SS-R250N or SS-CDR250N Hi-Resolution [96kHz/24 bit] recorders, available with an optional RC-SS150 Direct Play Remote Control, the DR-10L a portable digital recorder with an integrated Lavalier microphone, the TM-180 condenser microphone with case and shock mount, the MiniStudio Personal US-32 or US-42 podcast interfaces with either single or double amp USB Audio Interfaces with adjustable onboard Compression, dual 4-band parametric EQ, a digital Reverb effect, Voice Effects and three assignable PON sound effects buttons, and also the CD-A580 CD/Cassette player which can record from cassette to MP3, or play from CD, Cassette, or USB.
Tascam also unveiled the Track Factory project, a fully optimized turnkey recording studio-in-a-box that comes with an Intel NUC computer with keyboard and mouse, with Cakewalk SONAR Professional Pre-installed, a US-2×2 USB interface, a TM-80 condenser microphone, and also with TH-02 Studio headphones, all in one box.
At NAMM Tascam, also unveiled the TM-280 Condenser mic with case, shock mount, and pop filter, the TM-60 battery powered small diaphram Condenser mic, the TM-AG1 pop filter, the TM-AR1 Acoustic Control filter.
Another company who also had a strong presence at NAMM, is Gemini, who since 1974 have been known for their DJ mixers, and gear.
At the show they unveiled the impressive SDJ-4000 Professional Dual Deck USB Media Player with high resolution 7” color screen capable of song analysis, beat synchronized effects, and database creation and search without any prior software analysis. The deck also features two microphone inputs with independent mixing and EQ control, High resolution 6” platters with touch sensing for accurate DJ performance, 100mm high-resolution pitch faders for precise track BPM adjustment, 45mm Mini-Innofader crossfader with adjustable curve, and 2 USB drives, or use [of its] Ethernet Link to connect to one of Gemini’s other media players.
Gemini also unveiled the MAS-1 Performance Controller for Ableton Live, which allows users new to Live to maintain the feel of traditional DJing as it combines the traditional feel of a 4 channel DJ mixer with control elements for devices and effects contained in Ableton Live. It has an expanded BPM section to allow for smoother mixing into external sources, and has a built-in stand, allowing it to be tilted towards the user in multiple positions to create the perfect viewing angle that work well in dark environments, with high contrast highlights and backlit buttons.
Sennheiser, is another company who always has a strong presence at NAMM, this year was no different, as the company unveiled the HD 200 Pro, their closed dynamic headphones with powerful bass response.
Sennheiser, also unveiled at the show the XS Wireless 1, series of six wireless microphone sets for the budget-conscious user looking for exceptional ease of use and fast set-up. The audio specialist also previewed the XS Wireless 2, which will become available later in 2017 and will further the benefits of [their] XSW 1 live microphone system.
Simultaneously during the show there are also educational sessions put together by the NAMM Foundation, and The College of Music Society (CMS), one of those educational GenNext sessions I was able to attend Thurs. – Jan. 19th, gave tips and examples about how to Build Your Own Brand (BYOB!)
“Be original, distinguish yourself through your brand identity and your values based on your work ethics. Ask yourself, what are your skills, and are you developing your skills [?] Be more visible, visibility is not just the internet, we built stronger more meaningful relationships face-to-face, the best type of visibility is face-to-face, and being visible takes time. Be consistent, hitting that mark over and over, and over again, as regularly as you possibly can. If you’re original, and you are visible, and you are consistent, that’s how you built a brand,” eloquently explained Tonya Buttler, Music Industry Program Director, Minnesota State University. “You actually have to do it, remember be your authentic self, remember your brand identity, remember your brand image, meaning you never know what other people are going to think, you can’t control what others think, be you, do you and be consistent. Remember, there is no overnight success, you probably just heard of them, but they’ve been doing it for over ten years. You are your own brand, and if they like you – they’ll like everything about you.”