By: Fredwill Hernandez
A day before the official start of The [118th] National Association of Music Merchants [NAMM] Show, NAMM held [on Wed. – Jan 15th] what it dubs as Media Preview Day at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Among pro-audio, guitars, plug in [software] and drum manufacturers eager to engage, demonstrate, and [or] also unveil new products [instruments]or technology were Hietkamp Advies BV [Wizzdrum], RME [distributed by Synthax], Rebeat Innovation Gmbh, Wave Jones Audio, lumatone [.io], Fender, Gibson, Access Analog and Yamaha — amongst a few others.
“What we have [in the lumatone] is a generalized midi-controller that is designed for playing microtonal music [the use of music of microtones, which are intervals smaller than a semitone, also called microintervals], those are tuning systems that are other than twelve notes per octave, playing all the notes that are “in-between the black and white keys” on a piano. This particular instrument every single key can be assigned or programmed to play any note on any midi channel and can be any color as well, so when your setting up a tuning system to play on the instrument you can use colors to represent tone or pitch, and any single [one of the] key can act as a continuous controller so if you want to do filter sweeps or pitch bends and things like that you can assign keys to do that,” eloquently explained Dylan Horvath, CEO/Founder, lumatone – in reference to their unique and very impressive lumatone [keyboard]. “There’s a configuration software [app] that you use to set up your tuning and the white button that are across the top is where you store the tuning — so ones you have it set up with a piece of software you can recall it by just pushing one of those buttons, so even between tracks if you want to try different different set ups or different configurations between songs you can change that.”
Another very cool thing which caught my attention was the Perfect Groove [vinyl mastering] plug-in software [by Rebeat Innovation Gmbh] which prepares master files for lathe cutting to define the result by detecting critical areas [of virtually cutting the lacquer] before the actual cutting by optimizing “dynamics, frequency, and the play time” of the record by [also] verifying “audio quality” with different audio cartridges therefore transforming [through an optional feature] master files into a 3D topography for HD Vinyl — enabling a faster production with a reduced margin or error, a smaller environmental footprint as well as better audio quality and a longer playing time. The software is currently in development and will be ready for beta-testing later this year.
Not all — but amongst a few new things unveiled by RME for the 118thNAMM, were their 12Mic, AVB Tool, M1610 Pro, and their “very impressive” Babyface Pro FS [which Hummingbird Media had gave me heads-up on] — their 24 channel 192kHz bus-powered pro USB Audio Interface with two digitally controlled preamps that [according to RME] provide individually switchable 48v phantom power featuring a gain range of 76 dB, adjustable in steps of 1Db, a relay-driven PAD resulting in exceptional EIN [Equivalent Input Noise] performance as well as line overloads protection, and enough gain for even the lowest level microphones. Babyface Pro FS supports 12 analog inputs as well as 12 outputs, making ideal for “both” live and multi-track applications.
At the event there was a cool and unique drum set dubbed as the Wizzdrum, [by Hietkamp Advies BV] which boast a 3D innovative and patented tuning system giving them a unique and versatile sound, making them [very] lightweight, easy to transport, move, and [also] set up!
The Media Preview Day ended on a very [Gibson] high note with the surprise guest appearances of Juanes, Los Lobos, Charly Parra, Emily Wolf, and Jared James Nichols, who [played and] were introduced by Gibson’s Cesar Gueikian [CMO], and JC Burleigh [CEO].
Gibson showcased five new guitars, and also showcased a handful of new products from Gibson Custom Shop Acoustics, Ephiphone, and [their] Kramer collections for 2020.