Seen on the Scene: NAMM 2020 Media Day
Our camera caught pro-audio manufacturers (and a few guitar-slingers) getting an early start unveiling cool stuff at NAMM Media Day.
Anaheim, CA (January 16, 2020)—Every year, the MI field—and now increasingly the pro-audio industry—descends on the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, to introduce the latest and greatest products. The convention starts today, but that didn’t stop many manufacturers (and a few guitar-slinging celebrities) from getting an early start at NAMM Media Day by showing off what they brought this year. Here’s just a little bit of what we saw on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at the annual NAMM Media Day event.
Stephen Scanlon, co-founder of Jones-Scanlon Studio Monitors (Booth 10927), is at the NAMM Show presenting the Australian company’s custom, handmade monitors. Even with all the racket of NAMM Media Day going on, they sounded impressive, and given all the artists that Scanlon has mixed as a live and studio engineer—The Chainsmokers, Yellowjackets, Avicii, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Deep Purple among them—perhaps that’s to be expected. Chris Barrett, founder/CEO of Access Analog (Booth 15329), was on hand discussing Analog Matrix, the company’s unique plug-in that allows engineers to process audio using real analog hardware from anywhere. The plug-in streams users’ audio to robotically controlled hardware in the cloud in real time. ASI Audio (Booth 12512) is a new company, but it has veteran IEM wizard Dr. Michael Santucci (right) of Sensaphonics as its chairman. Seen here with CEO Jim Harris, the two are presenting their new in-ear monitoring system, which allows performers to hear, feel and customize the ambient sound and presence of ‘the room’ in their monitor mix. 64 Audio (Booth 11230) is an IEM brand that only gets more and more popular, as can be told by the crowds that are always around its booth. The company’s big launch this time is the new A18 Stage custom IEMs that Filipp Sklyarov, sound engineer representative, is showing. Sporting 18 drivers in a single in-ear monitor, the IEMs are custom 3D printed. More vinyl records were sold last year than CDs, so vinyl is no longer just a retro fad. Andreas Wagner, head of Software Development for Rebeat Innovation (Booth 12000) wants to ensure that vinyl doesn’t need to sound retro either. The company created the patented HD Vinyl format, which aims to provide a better and faster production process and is now showing the beta of its Perfect Groove software, which prepares audio files for HD Vinyl by cutting them on a virtual cutting lathe without having to cut a lacquer. Colin Ritchie, co-founder of Voyage Audio (Booth 2151), is presenting the company’s Spatial Mic, a second-order ambisonics VR microphone capable of single-wire connectivity to a computer or mobile device. Capturing 360° with its eight-capsule array, Spatial Mic additionally has a plug-in that transforms the raw audio signals to first or second order ambisonics, and additionally can change the mic’s aim at the point of space where the audio was recorded. Adrian Lehmann, product specialist for RME (Booth 14702) was busy showing the company’s five new products, but took a moment to highlight the Babyface Pro FS audio interface. Hail, hail, the gang’s all hair. Gibson brought the event to a standstill with the dulcet—wait, make that roaring—tones of guitarists Jared James Nichols and Emily Wolfe as they traded riffs to help introduce new guitars from the Epiphone brand. When the Media Day event was over, many headed upstairs to Gibson’s own shindig in its demo rooms (Booths 300A/303), where the likes of Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen (left), Gibson CEO and self-proclaimed Chief Guitar Tuner James “JC” Curleigh, and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo were on-hand. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM) It’s the calm before the storm. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)