NAMM Show 2007: What's Next In Music? By
Every year, the Anaheim convention center becomes a gathering ground for anyone
interested in what makes the sound go ‘round: music gear.
Whether its glam rockers, jazz aficionados, or studio recording enthusiasts,
the NAMM show has something for every musician, engineer, vocalist, instrumentalist,
and beyond. After having attended the convention for several years, its
interesting to see the tremendous growth in computer-related (and online) services
offered to musicians. With the advent of Pro Tools, Logic, and the countless other
computer-based systems, virtually anyone can become his or her own engineer for
a rather nominal fee. Obviously, one can quickly spend piles of money on preamps,
digital converters, cables, and everything else that goes into recording; however,
home recording has never been more readily available to the consumer at such an
Despite the fact that the convention was originally intended for merchants to
peddle their wares to diehard equipment consumers (NAMM does stand for the National
Association of Music Merchants, after all), the event welcomes anyone willing
to purchase for a badge for admission. Each year, more and more casual fans attend
and are delighted with the experience. The convention gives the fan a chance to
interact with incredible musicians. ONE WAY publisher, Pat Mavromatis, and I bounced
around the building, trying to take in some of the weekends highlights.
One surreal spectacle we witnessed was the seemingly logical, but somewhat unusual
pairing of Marshall Amplifiers inventor, Jim Marshall, with Slayers
Kerry King, who were casually signing autographs and answering questions for onlookers.
Perhaps the only more bizarre encounter was a run-in with Sesame Streets
Bert and Ernie, who had apparently made amends for the rubber ducky incident in
78. Coincidentally, we bumped into Vernon Reid. We showed him the last issue
of ONE WAY and he got huge kick out of reading the interview with his friend and
sideman, Leon Gruenbaum in the Music Tools section. Keep an eye out for an exclusive
interview with Vernon in the coming issues.
We also saw Joe Satriani unveiling his latest collaboration with Peavey (www.peavey.com)
- the JSX Mini Colossal Amp - an impressive tube amp that is no larger than the
standard first amp every kid gets when he/she begin playing. I can
certainly attest that my 10-watt solid state Gorilla never sounded that warm (maybe
it was my 13-year-old level of play). Both Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen
introduced new Fender products and performed
From the Peavey booth, we wandered a picks toss over to the PRS booth (www.prsguitars.com),
who invited us to take part in an exclusive press viewing of the companys
new line. Paul Reed Smith personally introduced the artists whose signature guitars
would be going on display in showrooms across the world.
Most of the days were spent Peter Janis at Radial Engineering (www.radialeng.com)
was kind enough to give us a thorough demonstration of their latest DIs, amplifiers,
and Tonebone pedals. showcasing high quality products such as the Tonebone pedal.
We also tested a new home pod casting system from Behringer (www.behringer.com)
and digital converters by Apogee (www.apogeedigital.com). Peter Montessi at A-Designs
(www.adesignsaudio.com) showed us his companys latest in pristine microphone
preamps. Needless to mention, these were but a few of literally hundreds of enthralling
displays taking place throughout the week. Theres always more to see and
one can only hope to take in a little bit more the following year!