By: Fredwill Hernandez
The National Association of Music Merchants [NAMM], held an invitation-only media preview day Wed. – Jan. 20, 2016, at the NAMM U Idea Center, Anaheim Convention Center, to kick-off the 114th NAMM show. Companies eager to speak, demonstrate, and [or] also unveil new products [or instruments] were Denon DJ, IK Multimedia, C.F. Martin & Co., Yamaha, Roli, Numark, Taylor Guitars, Peavey Electronics, Vinyl Recorder [T560], Fender Musical Instrument Co., The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Aerodrums, among others.
Among the day’s highlights included the T580 vinyl [records] recorder on display dubbed as the, “everything you need to cut vinyl records,” available through vinylrecorder.com
“This is not new to us, we created this machine, the original T560 vinyl records recorder about 15 years ago,” explained Ulrich Sourisseau. “The T580 is the newest version based on the original T560, with a few modification and upgrades.”
Other media preview day highlights include Roli‘s, unique and impressive Seaboard RISE 49, expanding the family after the launch in Oct. – 2015, of the two-octave [MIDI controller] RISE 25.
“The Seaboard RISE 49, we are unveiling here today is a next generation MIDI controller that is touch sensitive, it lets you control sound through five dimensions of touch, just like a piano keyboard you can control sound by striking the surface of our keyboard MIDI controller, you can also control sound by moving your fingers from side-to-side along the keys, very similar to how violinist move their fingers on a violin string. You can change sound through pressure by pressing into the soft silicone surface of our instrument, or you can also modulate sound by sliding your fingers up and down the surface and by lifting off,” eloquently explained Will MacNamara, Senior Communications Lead, Roli. “In one small keyboard interface, it gives you a lot more ways to make music than its possible on a piano, on an acoustic instrument, on a brass instrument, or on an electronic instrument, its bringing all the capabilities and expressive features of acoustic and electronic instruments together for the first time.”
Another cool and unique product unveiled during the event was the Dashboard by Numark.
“The products we are showing at the show are strictly for DJ use, the Numark [DJ] Dashboard, is a solution for computer DJ users that use a controller to control DJ software [Serato DJ in this case] either with vinyl or with a controller, it allows you basically to take the computer, put the computer to the side and have a smaller display right in front of you that is set up in a position that is just with your gear,” explained Chris Roman, Senior, DJ Product Manager, Numark [inMusic Brands]. “The reason for that is one, DJs don’t want to have their computers ruined and the second reason is this, the performer [DJ] needs to be connected to the crowd, does not want to be connected with a computer sitting here [in front] obstructing his view, so we have basically broken the barrier down, we shrunk it down, let’s put it that way, and like on a stereo or CD player at home, it gives you basic information you need [right in front of you].”
Another company eager to unveil new products was The C.F. Martin & Co. [Guitars & Strings], who is also celebrating their 100th anniversary of their iconic Dreadnought model [1916-2016], known worldwide as the most copied body [guitar] size in the world. The guitar company unveiled two distinctive limited edition models, the D-222 Anniversary Edition and D-28 John Lennon 75th Anniversary Edition.
“We have a lot and lots of new products at every NAMM Show, between 10 and 20 new products that we introduce. The two primary products that we talked about today at the Media Preview were the D222 which is a replica of the very first Dreadnought guitar C.F. Martin invented in 1916. We initially made the Dreadnought guitar which is a very [very] large powerfully sounding guitar. We made it for the [Oliver] Ditson company of New York and Boston [exclusively] until Ditson went bankrupt in 1931 as a result of the depression. After that, Martin started making it on its own and it became increasingly more popular especially as microphones and The Grand Ole Opry, and country music was incredibly popular. The Dreadnought was perfect for the stage performers of The Grand Ole Opry, and artist like Gene Autry, and Hank Williams, and Jimmy Rodgers, and Roy Rodgers, and The Cowboy Guitar Players. This influenced the whole generation of people listening to that music that became Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and The Beatles, and The Birds, and all the groups that we grew up with,” historically explained Dick Boak, Director: Museum, Archives, & Special Projects, C.F. Martin & Co. “This year is also the 75th year anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday and in order to commemorate John’s birthday, we’ve introduced a collaboration with Yoko Ono, which is a D-28 John Lennon. It has the illustration self portrait of John Lennon on the headstock in pearl, it’s basically a D-28 with a piece theme and D-28 because John owned two very special Martin D-28 guitars. One of which went to India with him, where he wrote the White Album, Abby Road, and Let it Be with Paul, and the other which he used after The Beatles, and on The Plastic Ono Band and his different solo efforts. One of those guitars is owned by Yoko [Ono], and the other is in display at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. So this is a limited edition of 75 guitars only, they are quite premium, there’s a lot of inlaid and they will be very collectible.”
Another company also unveiling new products was IK Multimedia [US, LLC] also celebrating their 20th Anniversary. They unveiled a cool and neat pairs of iLoud Micro Monitors.
“The [iLoud] Micro Monitors are an extension to our iLoud Bluetooth Monitor series that came out about a year or so. There are actually two volume speakers that have 25 watts a piece, it throws out 50 watts of RMS sound. You got class line digital amplifiers in the back, so you get a nice boom and they sit up on your desktop for a great desktop solution,” explained Derrick Floyd, Senior Account Manager, IK Multimedia [US]. “So if you are talking like doing a pre-mix, post production, or even pre-production where you’re locking video to audio, or vice versa and you would like to see how it sounds [to get a reference] or even doing a small mix. I wouldn’t necessarily use them to do a complete mix, but you can switch between your big monitors and these to get a good reference and your mix proper.”