The 2016 NAMM Show Review Part 1
Photos By Chris Loomis and Alex Matthews
Thursday January 21st marked the first official day of The NAMM Show 2016, produced by the National Association of Music Merchants, this large music industry trade convention is the place to see all of the fantastic new music related products being released over the coming year. The convention draws a who’s who of famous musicians, producers, and product innovators to the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center. Estimated attendance for this year’s convention is over 100,000 NAMM members, people who are in some way affiliated with the music product industry. In addition hundreds of live concerts and performances were held in the Anaheim area with all types of music and acts represented.
Many innovative products and technologies were on display at this year’s convention. Highlights from the floor in the Hall D drum section included a Danny Carey Monad 22″ Dry Heavy Signature Ride Cymbal by Paiste Cymbals, based in Sweden. Carey, the well-known drummer for alternative rock band Tool is a popular artist among many drummers and music aficionados. According to Paiste, “the ride was created in collaboration with the eclectic Danny Carey, uniquely known for his infusion of geometry, science and metaphysics into the art of drumming. The newly developed model is based on the traditional Signature Dry Heavy Ride, which has been Carey’s main Ride cymbal since the 1990s. In this reincarnation, the model is coated in translucent purple, using Paiste’s proprietary ColorSound process, and features a lathed bell, using the unique Reflector finish.” The tone of this beautifully constructed cymbal in person was clear and striking and very reminiscent of the live sound Carey achieves with Tool.
Also featured on the floor this year was a fantastic new electronic percussion solution from NFUZD Audio. The NSPIRE series of electronic pads and modules allow drummers to easily retrofit their acoustic kits with full electronic drum capabilities. This product is revolutionary because instead of changing heads, or dealing with elaborate setups and triggers, these great feeling pads simply pop on top of an existing drum set. A drummer can be up and running in minutes and will have the exact same drum position setup they are already used to. According to NFUZD “The NSPIRE series I/O Module uses Open Architecture, enabling access to a sample library that is virtually endless, and includes BFD Eco NFUZD Edition VST software. The NSPIRE Series Advanced Drum Emulation System (A.D.E.) utilizes true WAV sample playback allowing for superior acoustic drum sound reproduction with a wide dynamic range.” This innovative product would be great for studio use, or for any drummer looking to add a huge range of new sounds to their arsenal in an easy way. Playing on the system at NAMM was fun and the huge array of electronic sounds to choose from was inspirational.
Drawing long lines and lots of fans were signings by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist/vocalist Billy Corgan at Reverend Guitars and the multi-talented singer/songwriter and instrumentalist St. Vincent appearing at the Ernie Ball Strings booth. But the biggest sighting of the day was Stevie Wonder walking the convention center floor with his entourage. Fans mobbed every inch around him to grab a photo of the 25 time Grammy winner. As far as performances go the talented and energetic country artist Jessica Lynn played a 20 minute set of catchy modern country songs along with her band and background singers at the RCF booth.
An afternoon spent wandering the floor at NAMM is simply a magical experience, new musical products are almost endless and you never know what famous musician you might see strolling by or demoing a new instrument. The sense of enjoyment from musicians of all ages is easily apparent as thousands enjoy the opportunity to try the next best thing, and to dream of the next big gig.
NAMM Show Photo Gallery