The first thing you won't see at NAMM is me. I went two years ago with a friend who is a vocalist and a keyboard player. It was a cornucopia of all things musical and geeky. Unfortunately, this year I was too busy to make it. But for all the NAMM announcements and coverage you're likely to hear over the next few weeks of new products, new updates, new features and better prices, I thought I'd touch on a few odd, under-the-radar, or bespoke things you won't see at NAMM.
The first thing you won't see at NAMM is this. Yes, it's a microphone made from a shotgun shell. But at only $35, it's such an impulse buy. Heck, I just bought one! I'm starting to think that I should have bought two. And you can get yours at 12gaugemicrophones.com. Imagine a FOH engineer with these on a bandolier. They also make a cardioid version of this microphone as well that is $45. Both the cardioid and omni microphone require phantom power.
The second item is the FetHead inline barrels from Triton Audio. There are three versions: The FetHead, the FetHead Phantom and the FetHead Filter. The FetHead uses phantom power for a JFET circuit built into the XLR barrel to increase the output of low microphones or line outputs by 20dB at 1000Ω loa. This is a great solution for low output ribbon microphones when you don't have a high output microphone preamp. The FetHead Phantom provides the amplification, but also passes phantom power to the microphone itself. The FetHead Filter is an inline high pass filter. The stock model is set to 220Hz; however you can request other filter frequencies.
Triton audio also offers other little goodies like their AirHead, which is an inline 15dB PAD. They also make inline DIs that they call BigAmp. The FetHead and Air Heads have an average street price (depending on the model) of about $90.
Tube Tech may have some competition coming from this German company called Tegeler Audio. They make curiously similar looking products for the normal offerings from the Tube Tech company. No word on price, but given the nature of studio outboard gear, you can venture a guess at the $$$$ price range.
The last item is a very unusual one, which is a Neve 1272 turned DI in a cigar box from Desert Island Audio. And for a little over $1000, this is one smoking (all puns intended) deal. Desert Island also has a few other custom products featuring old Neve stock parts racked up to offer, including a VR console input strip racked up as a channel strip.
If you've seen anything odd or unusual worth mentioning, please comment below.
Jeremy Blasongame is currently a part-time A3 for a concert production company and a Tech Arts Director at Sunridge Community Church. Over the past seven years, he has also worked in two major recording studios and is the author of Church Audio Blog. Feel free to email him at: email@example.com or find him on twitter at@JBsoundguy, or leave a comment below.