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NAMM 2020 By the Numbers

The annual MI/Pro Audio convocation was a hit by all measurements.

Anaheim, CA (January 21, 2020)—Held this past weekend, the NAMM Show brought together pros from all corners of the pro audio and musical instrument industries for four days to discover new gear, examine hot trends, network and enjoy great music. With the statistics now out, it’s clear the show was a success.

In all, NAMM 2020 hosted more than 2,000 exhibiting member companies, representing 7,000 brands, across all areas of The NAMM Show campus. Of the 115,888 NAMM Members and invited registrants on hand, international members accounted for nearly 20% percent growth over two years.

Seen on the Scene: NAMM 2020 Media Day
Seen on the Scene: NAMM Show 2020, Day One
Seen on the Scene: NAMM Show 2020, Day Two
Seen on the Scene: NAMM Show 2020, Day Three

The Anaheim Convention Center North building, which hosted the vast majojrity of Pro Audio manufacturers present at NAMM, was packed throughout the event. Three years into the addition of the ACC North edifice to the show, convention-goers have gotten used to the new arrangement and actively seek out the venue and the companies presenting there.

“NAMM is a major show for Shure. Not only does it allow us to connect with the community and its musicians… it gives us the opportunity to introduce new products to distributors from around-the-world. Year-after-year, we leave reenergized and inspired,” said Abby Kaplan, vice president of Global Sales for Musician and Consumer Audio.

Rusty Waite, president of K-Array, said, “This is our third year, and as NAMM is more focused on pro audio and live sound companies, the [show attendees] are a good mix for business. [NAMM] is one of those shows where you have to be there.”

New-to-NAMM company Voyage Audio’s owner, Colin Ritchie, says that he chose to debut his company as “It’s a large trade show that puts our product and brand in front of the right audience. We’ve had many inquiries from overseas and hoped to meet with some of the folks we’ve been in contact with.”

There was more to NAMM 2020 than exhibitors, however, as educational opportunities abounded. More than 200 pro audio sessions engaged emerging and established professionals from all aspects of production and performance, presenting a myriad of opportunities to grow their careers in preparation for the future of all things sound.

At A3E: The Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange, 13 sessions, and 13 workshops explored how advanced audio applications are transforming the music industry, production, and performance. Future-focused sessions included “The Future of Game Audio: Music and Sound Design for Mobile Gaming,” where A3E explored the tools and techniques that are specific to mobile gaming and surveyed the landscape of opportunity for audio developers, musicians and sound designers; “The Future Indie Artist: New Technology for Independent Success,” which focused on emerging technology that every gigging musician must know to maximize their revenue, and more.

AES Academy at NAMM (formerly [email protected]) returned for its third year, with hands-on training, technical presentations, and career development from leading pro audio experts. In total, 11 Academy subject areas—Audio Education, Audio Career, Control Room, Electronic Dance Music (EDM), House of Worship, In-Ear Monitor, Line Array, Live Console, Microphone, Measurement and Optimization, and Wireless Academy—were presented by top thought-leaders, including Sylvia Massy, Leslie Ann Jones, Karrie Keyes, and Mark Frink, among others.

At the popular Main Stage: Studio, acclaimed producer, engineer, author, and technologist Bobby Owsinski returned to offer practical advice and insider tips for improving recordings and mixes, and at Main Stage: Live, AES Academy attendees had the opportunity to learn from industry-leading FOH mix engineers in an intimate, casual and extremely informative series of events.

Colleen Harper, executive director of AES, reflected on this year’s event: “The AES is uniquely positioned to provide authoritative audio training and education for NAMM attendees and our west coast membership, which is reflected in this year’s strongest-ever registration for Audio Engineering Society events during The NAMM Shows. The Society appreciates the resources and opportunities that NAMM made available for the AES Academy as we assembled leading audio experts to bring in-depth session content to our attendees, be they long-time AES members or our new members who now have access to AES resources for on-going professional growth.”

For audio pros seeking big-picture sessions with big names, TEC Tracks uncovered topics ranging from “Mastering in L.A.” to “Recording Vocals Outside of the Studio” with world-famous producer/engineers Ken Caillat, Joe Chicarelli and special guests as they discussed their favorite vocal mic chains in getting optimal sound in less than optimal settings. Other highlights include “Making Virtual Instruments Sound Real,” with award-winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Venable (Twenty One Pilots, MuteMath, Kelly Clarkson); “Elise Trouw, Up-Close and Personal,” as interviewed by Steve Baltin, where she discussed the melding of live instrumentation and electronic music through looping, the ability to be a one-person show using technology and how this plays into being a touring artist;

Other sessions included “Birth of a Record Special Ed-ition: Remembering Ed Cherney.” Hosted by Mr. Bonzai, the session honored the highly-talented and skilled engineer and producer with stories behind his work from his many industry friends; training from Audinate, the maker of Dante, with three training courses spanning Thursday and Friday, designed for all levels of users of the popular media networking technology, and on Saturday, a special five session track for house of worship professionals was presented by TEC Tracks.

If you missed out, fear not—the industry reconvenes at Summer NAMM 2020, July 9-11, in Nashville, TN, and at The 2021 NAMM Show January 21-24 in Anaheim, California.