The 2017 NAMM Show Review Part 1
Photos by Alex Matthews and Chris Loomis
The 2017 NAMM Show produced by the National Association of Music Merchants was held again this year at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 19th-22nd. This year’s show was another massive gathering of all things musical instrument related and featured thousands of new products and innovative designs from all over the world. Drawing over 100,000 attendees every year, the show is packed full of musicians of all ages and genres, a who’s who of rock stars, tons of buyers and sellers, and many eager weekend warriors waiting to try out the latest and greatest in musical gear. Fans of nearly any music genre can also get their fix with tons of concerts, clinics, and special events scheduled throughout the Orange County area
Highlights from Thursday’s show floor included a unique demonstration from guitar pickup maker Seymour W. Duncan, a legendary designer who customized pickups for the likes of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Pete Townshend in the 1960’s. Seated at an artisans workbench in his companies impressive display booth, the legendary pickup maker demonstrated his technique for hand winding high output guitar pickups. Based on his experiences working with the late great Jimi Hendrix, Duncan is currently crafting extremely accurate recreations of the late guitarists pickups destined for a special replica guitar being manufactured by Fender.
Another highlight from the show floor was the release of a new line of Color Sound 900 Series Cymbals by Swiss manufacturer Paiste. These vibrantly colored cymbals stood out prominently in the percussion section of the convention and are truly unique. Each cymbal is coated in a specially designed black, red, purple, or blue colored finish that allows the lathing and hammering to still be visible. A throwback to the visual style of Colorsound cymbals from the 80’s these new models sound great and would be a good addition to any drummer’s visual performance. Many popular artists such as Danny Carey of Tool, Stewart Copeland of the Police, and Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden have used this same technology for recent signature models, now the great look of those designs is available in a much wider variety of sizes and sounds.
Last but certainly not least was an interesting new piece of technology being exhibited by Australian company ChromaCoda. Their product The Music Room is musical software that’s much more than a traditional digital audio workstation. The product allows users to experience a virtual reality music environment featuring a variety of playable instruments, including a drum set and chord harp. Utilizing an HTC Vive virtual reality headset the software simulates a practice space where the user can play virtual instruments that then act as a midi controller and trigger sounds in real time. Imagine putting on a VR headset in your living room, grabbing some controllers and stepping into your own personal practice studio. You could also use the software to record or even perform live. The applications for this type of virtual instrument tech are endless, and it’s great to see innovative new products like this at NAMM.
Day one of the 2017 NAMM show was an incredible start to the weekend, stay tuned for much more coverage of new instruments and live performances from this year’s convention.
NAMM Show Floor Photo Gallery