Once again it was time to make the annual pilgrimage to Anaheim for the NAMM Music Conference, the world’s premiere showcase of new music technology, instruments, and education. 7,000 of the world’s premiere brands converge to show off their latest releases, prototypes, and product lines.
The sheer amount of things to see is daunting. Ibanez alone unveiled 50 new guitars, and that is just one manufacturer. The Trace Elliot Elf Micro Bass Amp was impressive, packing 200W of power into a tiny box smaller than a DVD player. The Pearl MalletSTATION midi percussion controller was amazing to see. We saw Nick Werth do a live Beastie Boys remix using only ProTools and the MalletSTATION.
We got stuck in the analog modular synth section for a long time. It isn’t often that you get to be hands-on with a pre-built modular synth, and it is addictive to patch cords and tweak knobs, creating your own grooves and sounds. In fact, we saw more than one impromptu performance break out. At the WMD booth, someone hooked up a digital clarinet and jammed while two other guys managed beats on synth racks! Playtime Engineering even created a synth for children, the Blipblox audio exploration module. It had brightly colored buttons and inviting flashing lights. It was super fun for adults too.
NAMM isn’t just gear. There were also tons of performances on five different stages. Bands representing all genres of music performed sets for appreciative audiences. From pop singer/songwriter Kate Brady, EDM legends Infected Mushroom, to R & B acts like Parlor Social and Argentinian hard rock band A.N.I.M.A.L.
Let’s not forget the education. NAMM offered classes ranging in topic from retail sales, music business and music law, to audio production, lighting technology to actual instrument instruction by teachers. They held a retail boot camp to help people grow their businesses including financial management, sales, marketing, and websites.
NAMM is so packed with things to do at all levels of the music business that there is no way you could possibly do and see everything that you want to. We here at Get Some Magazine are sad that it went by so fast, but we are already looking forward to next year.
Find out more about NAMM here.
Check out this short video of Nick Werth going off on the Pearl MalletSTATION: