This year is the 30th anniversary of Mackie, and to mark the occasion, founder and namesake Greg Mackie came back to visit the company, cut a giant cake emblazoned with the famed running-man logo, and reminisce about the company’s first product, seen here: The MicroMix, built with bulk excess spare parts lying around. Inside the ACC North—the building that houses the pro-audio wing—things were hopping. This photo was taken during a slow point, believe it or not. At the Avid booth, Tony Maserati reminisced about recording The Notorious BIG and Faith Evans—with Evans’ wriggling three-year-old, China, on his lap at the console. L-Acoustics’ big sneak peek is small: the 4-inch X4i, intended for installation, HOW, theatrical and more. Depth is about a 2×4 and a side of Sheetrock. LEA Professional makes its debut—a new Pro Audio manufacturer headed by top former Harman Professional execs, including Blake Augsburger as CEO and James Bules heading engineering. New amps to debut at InfoComm. RME’s focus this year at the show is squarely on education, but its Digiface AVB (top) and Dante models are now shipping. The Digiface AVB uses AVB to transfer up to 256 channels of audio between a PC and audio network, while the Dante does that and more. Andreas Sennheiser of Sennheiser talked AMBEO and where immersive audio stands. Look for an exclusive interview in an upcoming issue. Native Instruments introduced a number of new items, including KOMPLETE KONTROL M32, a micro-sized keyboard controller, and KOMPLETE AUDIO 1 and 2, a pair of simple, two-channel audio interfaces that come with a ton of software (a pair of 2s are next to the keyboard, while a 1 is beneath them). Powersoft introduced its new T Series of amplifiers for small to medium-sized touring applications. For instance, here’s the T 302 2-Ch. amp with DSP and Dante. PK Sound founder Jeremy Bridge pauses with the robotic Trinity line array (yes, robotic). Live sound engineers for the likes of Katy Perry and others will be speaking at the PK booth this week about the system. Ashly’s new amplifier checks off a lot of boxes for a lot of small to mid-range installs, will street in June(ish) around $1,799 and will be followed in the coming months with a lot more “related” products, according to the brass at the company. Nexo is introducing its new GEO M12 and MSUB18, out now. Building on the M10, the 12 features more low end, no more panel in back covering the active/passive switch, and more angle splay options than the M10. This one is pretty wild—it’s Ultimate Ears’ new roll-your-own process for making your own custom ear molds for high-end consumer models (same tech as pro IEMs, but different design since user needs are different). You get a kit with a squishy rubber insert and put it in your ear (left), then attach a small gizmo that will cure the rubbery part while it is in your ear, essentially creating a mold in less than a minute (center). Yes, it gets hot. Then you send it to UE and get your custom ear molds in 10 days or less (right). OWC has something for everyone who uses a laptop—which these days means everyone. There’s a slew of silent blade hard drives at their booth for recordists, but for those who record with a modern Thunderbolt 3 mac laptop—the kind with only two USB-C ports—the 14-port (!) Thunderbolt 3 Dock might come in handy, as it sports 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports; a USB-C port; 5 USB ports; SD and Micro SD card slots; a Gigabit Ethernet port; Mini DisplayPort; and more. Roswell Microphones is quietly introducing the Delphos II, an update of the existing Delphos. It offers a large diaphragm condenser, three polar patterns, switchable pad and more for under $1,100. We wrote about the Audient Sono last week, but now we’ve seen it in the flesh. This recording interface designed specifically for guitarists features software from Two Boots. Speaking with designers at the booth, they’d had a zillion guitarists come through and try it out, resulting in them hearing the units used for styles of guitar playing they’d never heard through it before—a prospect that they found exhilarating. One of the most unusual displays is Novation Arcade, with games that are built out of Launchpads, from the giant “Launchpad XL MkII” seen here (you need to wear special Novation socks before you can even get on it), and a tabletop-style Pong game made out of Launchpads. Mixing FOH for Dynaudio’s unique shipping container studio/performance space, an engineer used a tablet connected to a Waves LV-1 mixing system outside the convention center. First rule of NAMM: Stop by the Shure booth to grab the annual free t-shirt before they run out. Neumann has introduced its new NDH-20 headphones, created in collaboration with parent company Sennheiser. The lines at NAMM are crazy—and here’s your proof. …And that’s it for today. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get much of this live off the show floor. We’ll have more Seen on the Scene on Monday!
Anaheim, CA (January 25, 2019)—Every year, the MI field—and now increasingly the pro-audio industry—descends on the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. Day One of the show was an eye-popping, ear-opening, foot-busting trek through a whirlwind of new product introductions and updates. Here’s just some of what we saw.