By: Fredwill Hernandez
Anaheim, Calif(Hollywood Today)1/29/13/ – The weather did not deter the 96,000 plus attendees who have walked through the Anaheim Convention Center for 111th National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM), after all is the world’s most important music products trade show. Part of the enthusiasm in the air could had been due to new products introduced by such companies as PreSonus, Arturia, daCarbo AG, MXL, Magneta Picks, Shure, M-Audio, or the possibility of running into people like American Idol judge Randy Jackson, Latin Percussionist and band leader Poncho Sanchez or Trumpet extraordinaire Jon Barnes walking the isles or possibly the anticipation of enjoying a free live performance by the likes of Jazz guitarist Bernie Williams, Tower of Power, or Mariachi Sol De Mexico.
After all it’s NAMM which is full of surprises and celebrations, like MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) a GRAMMY-winning technology which has kicked off a yearlong “MIDI Makes Music” 30th Anniversary celebration at the show to commemorate the invention created by Dave Smith and Ikutaro Kakehashi which was introduced at the 1983 NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif. or NAMM Foundation’s Support Music Coalition which “Celebrated 10 Years of Music Education Advocacy,” on Friday Jan. 25, which was a theme which resonated through out the entire show. During the celebration Former N.Y. Yankee and Jazz guitarists Bernie Williams and a cappella vocal group Take6 performed. Governor Mike Huckabee, Bob Morrison, President and CEO Quadrant Arts Education Research, Steve West of West Music who was former chairman of NAMM, John Mahlmann, former executive director of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Michael Butera, executive director of NAfME, Mike Blakeslee, COO of NafME were among the special guests who attended the live webcast event moderated by NAMM CEO and President, Joe Lamond. The event was a collaborative effort between the NAMM Foundation and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
During the press conference held by MXL the Mixcraft 6 vocal studio was showcased which is an integrated professional recording system that captures high-quality performance in an easy-to-use computer based recording studio. Acoustica and MXL microphones teamed up to create a streamlined software and hardware package designed to give its user everything needed to create radio-ready, professional mixes. Packed with thousands of audio loops, pro-quality effects, authentic virtual instruments, sound-effects and a high-end, versatile USB recording microphone (Acoustica MVS) which has a wide frequency response to capture vocals and instruments with impressive clarity, Mixcraft 6 Vocal Studio is a musician’s dream come true.
“We are thrilled to be working with MXL Microphones on this joint product venture. MXL’s innovation, professionalism and attention to detail and quality are unmatched in the professional audio community,” said Anthony Conte, Acoustica Vice President of Sales. “We look forward to introducing Mixcraft 6’s easy-to-use recording software to MXL customers worldwide.”
Another MXL product that was also unveiled was the MXL CR89 Condenser Microphone which is part of MXL’s new CR Series. It is engineered to fulfill a variety of recording needs in the studio, from instruments to vocals.
The MXL CR89 is a cardioid mic with a 6 micron gold-sputtered diaphragm featuring low noise circuitry and a very low proximity effect. The CR89’s body design produces a warm, full-bodied sonic character that picks up the nuances of vocals and instruments. The large body reduces body resonance and its tuned grill cavity minimizes standing waves and harmonic distortion.
“The CR89 is a great studio mic. The sound quality and performance of the CR89 compete with mics many times the price,” said Perry Goldstein, MXL Director of Sales and Marketing. “It’s transparent and balanced, and it would be a welcome addition to anyone’s mic collection.” The mic was named and awarded Pro Sound Network Best of Show.
One of a few new things Shure unveiled and introduced is the BLX Wireless Systems, which combines world-class design and construction with easy setup and operation for reliable wireless mic performance. It is ruggedly engineered and ready to take from box to the stage, making it optimal for musicians, singers, and presenters who want the best in professional wireless products at an affordable price.
Another company which also unveiled and introduced something new is M-Audio (a division of inMusic Brands, Inc) with their Axiom 25 Premium Keyboard and Pad Controller,which has 25 synth-action keys with after touch and 16 trigger pads that respond to pressure and velocity, 8 rotary encoded knobs, plus one long throw 70 mm fader.
The Axiom keyboard / controller is also available in a 49 or 61 key versions. There is also an Axiom Air Mini 32, which is the considered baby of the family. “We are very excited to bring M-Audio back after acquiring it from Avid, ” said Nate Lane, Marketing Manager InMusic Brands, Inc., during my visit to their booth. “We have a lot of great new products that will help us push the boundaries of computer-based composition, production, and performance which is something positive for musicians.”
Another product which M-Audio also unveiled were the M3-8 three way studio monitors which provide truly spectacular three-way sound in the same space as a standard two-way monitor. With these monitors you can track and mix with the enhance accuracy and superior imaging that only three-way monitors can provide. For other products also unveiled at the show go to www.inmusicbrands.com
One of the new products PreSonus introduced was the StudioLive 32.4.2 AI digital mixer, the next chapter to the company’s StudioLive 24.4.2 popular model which has enhaced digital signal processing and effects and can be controlled from a laptop, iPad or iPhone using an include d USB WiFi module.
Based on a real multicore CPU on board the mixer’s Active Integration dual-core computing engine packs more than 64 times the processing power and 10,000 times more RAM than the its predecessor the SutdioLive 24.4.2 and features 32 Class A XMAX mic preamps with individual switched phantom power, 14 aux mixes, four subgroups with variable output delay, a 48X34 FireWire S800 audio interface, and 32 line inputs. For more information or specs log on to www.presonus.com
Other new products like the MINILAB Universal Mini Controller unveiled by music software and hardware company Arturia is considered one of the most feature-packed compact control systems on the market. It has 25 velocity sensitive mini-keys with the brand-new pitch and modulation touch-strips control, a two-bank velocity-sensitive backlit performance pads for drum programing and software to tweak what you feel with 16 full-size rotary encoders, a sustain pedal input and a USB bus-power port. One of the coolest features at the heart of MINILAB is the Analog Lab software solution with over 5,000 legendary classic keyboard and synth sounds specially taken from Modular V, ARP2600, Prophet 5, Wurlitzer V, Jupiter-8V, Mini V, Prophet VS, CS-80V, and Oberheim SEM V. These sounds are not samples, but are actually running the full synth engine behind the scenes on TAE (True Analog Emulation). For further information log on to www.arturia.com
Another cool product was based on an idea to cure a problem. “I invented magnetic picks because I kept loosing my guitar picks,” said Joe Risolia, CEO and Founder of Magneta Picks. “So one day I came up with the idea and invention of creating a magnetic guitar pick, so I would not keep loosing them.” For information or to order your customized magnetic guitar pick go to www.magnetapicks.com
Those who attended the 111th NAMM Show would probably tell you they enjoyed themselves, for the show was informative, it was entertaining and full of surprises. For information on how you can attend or be part of the next NAMM Show log on to www.NAMM.org
Photography; Fredwill Hernandez