By : Fredwill Hernandez
The National Association of Music Merchants [NAMM], held an invitation-only media preview day Wed. – Jan. 18, 2017, at the NAMM U Idea Center, Anaheim Convention Center, to kick-off the 115th NAMM show. Companies eager to speak, demonstrate, and [or] also unveil new products [instruments] were Denon DJ, IK Multimedia, C.F. Martin & Co., Yamaha, Sensel, GearSecure, Taylor Guitars, Fender Musical Instrument Co., and Fishman, among others.
Among the day’s highlights included trumpet extraordinaire Jon Barnes, a Da Carbo indorsed artist, who was proudly showing off the world’s first [Da Carbo’s] Carbon Fiber Fluger horn. Barnes has worked closely with [Da Carbo’s] Dr. Andreas Keller, who has previously [at NAMM Shows] also unveiled the “Toni Maier,” and “Unica,” Bb -Trumpets, and Tenor Trombones.
Da Carbo, is unique and uses carbon fiber alignment and composite construction in building of the instruments, not to cut down on weight, but primarily to optimize the instrument’s vibration making possible to suppress [those] vibrations in the tube that simply waste energy.
Other media preview day highlights include IK Multimedia [US, LLC], who unveiled the unique and impressive iRig Acoustic Stage.
“This year, among a couple of other things were unveiling is the iRig Acoustic stage, the first advanced microphone, preamp and digital processor system that provides an exceptional portable true acoustic tone,” explained Derrick Floyd, Senior Account Manager, IK Multimedia [US]. “It combines an advanced MEMS microphone that clips on to the sound hole of an acoustic instrument with a preamp and DSP unit that captures all the tone, vibe and “air” of the instrument when playing live or recording in home or project studios. It’s basically the great sound of a microphone, but the convenience of a pickup.”
Other cool things also unveiled by IK Multimedia include the iRig Pro I/O, the iKlip Grip Pro [iPhone and Camera stand], the iRig Nano Amp, the versatile micro amp with built-in iOS interface for iPhone and iPad, and the iRig Recorder.
Another cool and unique product unveiled during the event was Sensel‘s Morph.
“The Morph is a new pressure sensitive technology that we developed, it’s an array of 20,000 sensors that [can] sense from 5 grams to 5 kilograms, we’ve created some overlays, we have a piano overlay, we have an MPC overlay, and also a drum kit overlay. All you have to do is place the overlay over the device, the device recognizes the overlay and your off and running, it starts speaking MIDI to a MIDI controller whether is Ableton, Garage Band, what have you,” eloquently explained Reuben Martinez, Senior Lab/Process Engineer, Sensel. “Let’s say you’re playing the piano and you don’t want to play the piano anymore, you just peel off the overlay you put on the drum kit [overlay], within a second you can start drumming with the drum kit [overlay]. It’s very versatile and it’s just awesome technology.”
Another company also unveiling a cool and innovative microphone was Zylia, with what they call, “the world’s first portable recording studio,” the ZR-1.
“The Zylia ZR-1 is a special type of microphone with 19 microphone capsules that was designed for multi-track music recording via USB with unlimited simultaneous tracks, then it automatic separates recorded sources, instruments or vocals, and eliminates [unwanted] background noises,” explained Tomas Zernicki, PhD, co-founder Zylia Sp. z o.o. “With the microphone alone, you can record an entire band per se, and it separates the sound [each instrument] into individual tracks, this can be set manually before the start of the recording or [automatically] after the recording, then you can adjust the level of each instrument, mix tracks and produce a good balance recording.”
Another miniature device that caught my attention at the event is built by GearSecure, to be marketed as, “the first anti-theft device designed to be embedded in all sorts of [musical] gear.”
“GearSecure is a super small self-integrated tracking device with a 20 year life span and generating power, it’s like a LoJack but for musical instruments,” explained Adam Mandel, GearSecure. “After a $19.95 a year activation, GearSecure syncs with your mobile device. You set a perimeter and once the gear or instrument travels outside that perimeter, your mobile device is instantly alerted so tracking can begin.”