The National Association of Music Merchants’ annual launchfest is later than usual this year (24-27 January), and nearly overlaps with the ISE show. But if you’re smart with your scheduling and your jetlag planning, you can get to see both comfortably. That’s what we hope, anyway.
The NAMM H.O.T. Zone (for Hands-On Training) is hotter than ever this year, with a number of sessions with enticing titles. Immediately grabbing the attention are ‘Getting Killer Drum Sounds in the Studio’ with Beatles engineer Ken Scott and ‘Deconstructing Classic Rock Hits: Secrets Revealed from Classic Multi-tracks’ (both Thursday); ‘Recording Studio Designers Panel: Creative Acoustics for Modern Music Makers on Friday’; ‘Artist Panel: New School + Old School: Melody Still Rules’, with Rooney’s Robert Schwartzman & Ambrosia's David Pack on Saturday; and ‘Lighting Control for Sound Guys’on Sunday.
A session at 5pm on Friday sounds irresistible: ‘Fleetwood Mac's Rumours -The Producer's Inside View’. For the first time, Ken Caillat, the album's co-producer, tells the full story of what really went into making Rumours – from the endless partying and relationship merry-go-round to the creative struggles to write and record Don't Stop, Go Your Own Way, The Chain, and other timeless tracks.
Then on Sunday there’s an exclusive screening of The Wrecking Crew, a film about the session players behind hit records for superstars ranging from The Beach Boys to Sinatra, Jan & Dean, The Mamas & The Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds… and Elvis himself.
It’s described as a “labour of love” by director Denny Tedesco, and a love letter to the legacy of his late father, Tommy Tedesco, and his musician friends in the Crew.
The Annual TEC Awards will be held on Friday 25 January during NAMM. Appropriately enough for this, the TEC’s 28th outing, there will be 28 awards given for the year's finest in audio technology and sound production. Singer-songwriter John Sebastian, founder of The Lovin' Spoonful, is this year’s host; Pete Townshend will receive the much-coveted Les Paul Award; and Record Plant president Rose Mann Cherney will be inducted into the TEC Awards Hall of Fame. Ticket prices start at $65 (€49).
So to the showfloor. EVE Audio will be appearing at the show with newly-appointed North American distributor TruNorth. “We’re very much looking forward to rolling the brand out in the USA and Canada,” says EVE’s Kerstin Mischke. “We will be demoing all two-way and three-way systems there: SC204, SC205, SC207, SC208, SC305 and SC307. Our SC4xx and subs will become available in April.”
IsoAcoustics of Canada will unveil the ISO-L8R130 for small speakers at the show. These speaker stands, specifically designed for small speakers with widths exceeding 5” and weights of not more than 9kg, will be commercially available for professionals and consumers as of this month.
The ISO-L8R130 stands share all the features found in the ISO-L8R155 and ISO-L8R200 including 14 variations in height and tilt, and patented ‘floating’ architecture for audio image stabilising that “have won it numerous fans in markets around the world”, says the company.
The new speaker stands measure 5.1” wide and 6” deep and come with tubing to configure it to either 2.5” or 8” in height; two sets of end plugs provide 14 possible tilt adjustments. The latest addition marks a response from IsoAcoustics to high demand for the ultimate stands for superior audio and authentic uncolored sound.
“They offer a perfect solution to position speakers at ear level and stabilising lateral imaging while isolating them from desk vibrations,” says IsoAcoustics president and founder Dave Morrison.
Software designer Fabrice Gabriel (of Slate Digital Algorithm) presents the AirEQ by EIOSIS at NAMM. The “revolutionary” Character Control of AirEQ goes “beyond analogue”, claims Gabriel, allowing “incredibly transparent, tight boosts and cuts in the digital domain” by adding a new control to the standard parametric equaliser.
“I went back to the drawing board to redefine one of the fundamental characteristics of what an equaliser can do: the ‘Character Control’ is a whole new way to shape your [EQ]. It brings a new set of curves the world has yet to use,” continues Gabriel.
“With the Water curve, you get incredibly smooth boosts and cuts, which is ideal for transparent tone shaping, mastering and any situation which requires natural sounding spectral balance adjustments. Compared to the neutral curves, it can become so transparent that you ask yourself if the processing is still on!
"The Fire curve provides focused, steep boosts and cuts, while keeping the phase response very tight. I like to say that the Fire curve ‘hits’ rather than it ‘rings’, that’s why it’s perfect to add punch!”
MicW promises “new Lavalier microphones for broadcasting and stage work” at NAMM, alongside its acclaimed iSeries of microphones for smartphones. Recently, MicW Audio USA Inc (a division of BSWA Technology Ltd) signed an agreement with Full Scale AV that sees the Nashville-based company take on exclusive distribution of the manufacturer’s professional microphone range in the US.
PreSonuswill be showing the release of Studio One 2.5, a major update to the company's Studio One 2 DAW. This free (to Studio One 2 users) update adds nearly 100 enhancements and features, as well as many bug fixes. All versions of Studio One 2 have been updated, including Studio One Artist, Producer, Professional and Free.
Although the update adds some entirely new features, it mostly builds on existing Studio One 2 features, completing and enhancing functionality based on PreSonus's original vision and on user feedback, says the company. In addition, Studio One Producer 2.5 and Studio One Professional 2.5 users can now download a free copy of Softube's Saturation Knob plug-in.
Other announcements are expected from the Baton Rouge company at NAMM.
QSC Audio Products will demonstrate its AcousticPerformance line of professional, two-way, full-range loudspeakers, targeted at a variety of installed sound reinforcement applications which require higher SPL and a stylish enclosure.
All models feature a 3” voice coil, and a high power-capacity compression driver combined with high-output woofers. Royer Labs will show the SF-2 Active Ribbon Microphone at NAMM. Designed as a premium instrument for use in classical performance applications or to capture acoustic instruments, the SF-2 is a phantom powered version of the company’s original SF-1 ribbon mic and combines Royer’s acclaimed audio performance attributes with exclusive active electronics for ribbon microphones.
Radial Engineering will be consolidating its AES launches at NAMM – these include PZ-DI J-class direct box, the Cherry Picker studio preamp selector, the Gold Digger studio mic selector and the Q4 discrete Class A variable-state parametric EQ – though some NAMM specific launches are also promised.
Just announced as PSNEurope went to press in December, Steinberg Media Technologies announced the release of Cubasis, a multitouch sequencer streamlined for the iPad. “Cubasis for the iPad is what many of our customers have been waiting for, and all Cubase users will instantly feel at home with it,” says Carlos Mendoza Rohde, product marketing manager at Steinberg.
“And with unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, export to Cubase and lots of loops, sounds and effects, Cubasis is sure to meet the expectations put upon a sophisticated music production and recording software.”
See you in California…