Alex Matthews

The NAMM Show @ Anaheim Convention Center – 01/25/2018 to 01/28/2018

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NAMM 2018 @ Anaheim Convention CenterThe 2018 NAMM Show produced by the National Association of Music Merchants was held at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 25th-28th. An international convention of all things music, the show brings together thousands of music instrument retailers and over 100,000 attendees with booths, demos and classes designed to cover all aspects of the music industry. A new convention center facility made its debut for the massive show this year, the newly opened ACC North building, which features over 20,000 square feet of exhibit space for the always expanding convention. The ACC North building this year held many booths dedicated to recording and music production with brands like Avid, Blue Microphones, Roland, Sennheiser, and Beyerdynamic staging examples of their updated products.

A true highlight of the ACC North experience this year was a booth sponsored by Barefoot Sound called Mixing with The Masters. The exhibit featured a diverse array of hour long demos with top music producers including legends like Eddie Kramer, Chris Lord-Alge, Sylvia Massy, Joe Chiccarelli and many more. Featuring a huge SSL mixing board and amazing studio quality sound this wonderful free program was a great way to get lost in a sea of new recording techniques, tips, and tricks. A session with Eddie Kramer featured the famed producer not only showing off his signature mixing techniques, but also led into discussions on the recording of famous albums by artists he had produced like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

NAMM 2018 @ Anaheim Convention CenterRoland Corporation, a manufacturer of keyboards, synthesizers, DJ equipment, and electronic drums had an impressive room dedicated to their massive display this year. A live DJ in the center of the room played songs that musicians at each of many stations in the room interacted with. Electronic drums, keyboards, and vocalists all synced up with one another while everyone played along, it was a spectacular setup. A highlight of the company’s product showings was the SPD:One percussion pad. This simple and affordable electronic percussion accessory houses a whole library of authentic percussion sounds and unique effects allowing you to easily incorporate electronic triggering in a traditional percussion setup. A “climbing wall” of SPD pads was setup in the booth allowing drummers to go crazy playing hundreds of different sounds and the product seemed popular with anyone who interacted with it.

In the main exhibit hall of NAMM a unique guitar company had some beautiful instruments on display as well. Riversong Guitars is a family owned company based in Canada and they use a special hand built process for all of their instruments. A unique neck-thru body design and resonant body area allows their guitars and other stringed instruments insane amounts of sustain and tone. Just seeing the attention to details in the woods, carving and inlays in their beautiful creations was a treat. Designer Philip Shaheen also showed off a new beautifully constructed Stage Oud model, a Middle Eastern instrument with a beautiful and unique sound. These instruments managed to catch your eye in a room with thousands of other guitars on display.

This year’s NAMM show was another amazingly huge and magical experience. It’s absolutely impossible to take in all of the wonderful demos and products that are on display. Rubbing elbows and talking shop with some of the biggest musical artists in the industry is an added bonus. NAMM 2018 seems to have been a huge success and next year’s show has already been announced; mark your calendars for January 24-27, 2019!

Select Photos by Chris Loomis

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