By Clive Young.
Anaheim, CA (January 19, 2012)—The Winter NAMM Show opens its doors today, bringing with it four days of product introductions, educational seminars and more music than you can shake a stick at.
Held annually at the Anaheim Convention Center, the International Music Products Association’s winter event is expected to draw more than 90,000 people through Sunday, all visiting over 1,400 exhibitors. While traditionally—and primarily—a show for the musical instrument (MI) industry, pro audio’s presence at the convention has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Once confined to the floor of the arena at one end of the center, today pro audio can be found in all forms throughout NAMM.
“The pro audio presence has grown dramatically in recent years,” confirms Karl Winkler, director of Business Development at Lectrosonics. “Part of the reason, I think, is that pro audio in general has become more accessible, meaning that the average cost of the products has come way down. [Also,] the proliferation of computer-based systems has become complete, and thus the involvement of software is more the norm than the exception.” The result, says Winkler, is that pro audio has become more relevant to the typical NAMM attendee: “Where else can musicians and technical people go to see everything involved with making music, from the instruments to the speakers the sound is ultimately played on?”
Wednesday was Media Day at the convention, providing the press with a sneak preview of the show as exhibitors hustled to finish their booths. As an added draw for the mainstream media, which included CNN and Rolling Stone, the convention’s press conference featured John Mayer playing a new signature guitar; Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson accepting NAMM’s Music for Life Award; and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas introducing a new guitar honoring her group.