The 2014 Winter NAMM Show was held from January 23 to 26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.
While prepping for this year’s Winter NAMM Show, the most important thing on my agenda was to pack a comfortable pair of shoes. A year earlier, I attended my first NAMM, where my biggest mistake was wearing the same pair of ballet flats that eventually gave me some painful blisters on my feet. Knowing that this year would include even more time browsing the show floor, I wanted to be sure I was comfortable.
Living in New York City (approximately 2,800 miles from the Anaheim Convention Center, the location of NAMM each winter), I actually walk quite a bit, and as a personal experiment, I bought myself a pedometer to calculate just how far I walk on a daily basis (I walk about 1.2 miles round trip for my daily commute, subway ride not included). I realized that I could just as easily track my mileage at NAMM, so I packed my pedometer to keep tabs on how far I actually walked.
According to the Anaheim Convention Center’s Website, the show floor is approximately 1.6 million square feet in size. Pack in the estimated 95,000 attendees (reported by the Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com/articles/music-598943-parsons-new.html), and I was sure I’d be walking quite a bit each day.
An early morning flight on the first day of the show landed me on the other side of the country in time for my 1 p.m. appointment, followed by a walk around the show floor to build up a total of 2.5 miles for the day. Around the 1.5-mile mark, I caught the TC Group’s press conference, where they announced a number of new products including the Tannoy Reveal 402, 502 and 802 Active Monitors. TC Helicon released the third edition of its VoiceLive vocal processor, which includes a complete selection of Guitar FX with stomp box styles taken directly from TC Electronic’s range of TonePrint pedals, and a phrase looper ideal for song creation.
Kevin Alexander, VP of Business Management MI & HD at TC Group, talks about the new Reveal 402, 502 and 802 Active Monitors.
Day 2 clocked in a total of 2.39 miles, a surprising number given the fact that I had a packed schedule and anticipated hitting at least the three-mile mark by the end of the day. The Waves/DiGiGrid press conference introduced a number of new plug-ins, including the Waves Audio Scheps 73 (a ProSound Network Best of Show for NAMM 2014), the MetaFilter plug-in and the Morgan Page EMP Toolbox (the second two mentioned programs are part of Wave Audio’s new electronic music production (EMP) division).
MXL held its annual Press Reception on Friday morning, introducing its newest line of microphones, called the MXL Mobile Media Series, all designed to record high-quality audio directly to your smartphone or tablet. The line is designed specifically for the mobile reporter, like myself, to help capture audio when recording vocals or video.
Day Two’s afternoon gave me a tour of many of the new products on the show floor. Over at QSC, I got a detailed overview of the new TouchMix series of mixers, designed to help musicians, production professionals and live venues produce at the same level as a large console, but in a more compact, easy to use format.
QSC showed its new TouchMix series during NAMM.
Over at Ultimate Ears, I had a great conversation about the importance of preserving your hearing with their custom in ear monitors before getting my own ear molds done (the company had a station set up to offered moldings to anyone interested in purchasing a pair of custom in ears).
Day Three included the most walking, with just over three miles by the end of the day. Over this hike, I was able to check out JBL’s new VTX V20 line array system, which is expected to start shipping by March 2014.
Eric Friedlander, Product Line Manager with JBL, stands with the new JBL VTX V20 line array.
Universal Audio announced its new Apollo Twin personal mixer during the first day of the show, and I made sure to stop by and get a closer look at the new desktop interface. This device is designed with the musician in mind, providing the same 24/192 kHz audio conversion of Universal Audio’s Apollo series with onboard Realtime UAD SOLO or DUO Processing.
In the arena, past the flashing lasers and smoke machines, I popped into the Monoprice booth, which boasts an array of musical instruments, cables and loudspeakers systems. While Monoprice has typically advertised its musical instruments and cables, its big news at NAMM was that the company now offers pro audio equipment for DJs and small venues.
Day Four turned out to be the shortest walk, counting only .82 miles during the day. This jaunt included a stop at PrismSound to check out the new Atlas USB recording interface, then to Sony Creative Software for a detailed demo of the updated SpectraLayers Pro 2.1 and the Sound Forge Pro Mac 2, and finally over to Audio-Technica for a demo of the new System 10 Wireless Guitar Stompbox.