By Kat Drucker, Strategic Consultant for Canadian Music Week and Digital Media Summit (@kitkat5656)
NAMM kicked off today in Anaheim California, bringing together nearly 100,000 people from 90 countries to their annual trade show. Traditionally viewed as a music product and gear show, the not-open-to-public event is not-to-be-missed for those that can get in. Trade show aside, the educational sessions, performances, autograph signings, and networking opportunities offer the potential for a packed schedule – especially for those busy scoping out competition and trends for the year to come.
The blurring of lines between social, tech, and live performance:
The media preview day taking place yesterday offered a demo of the first ever USB Ukulele; Lanika's "UKESB". The growth of first-time instrument players choosing a ukulele is in a large part due to the popularity of YouTube. Allowing for the recording and sharing of performances via USB capability, Ukelele players now can edit and share their performances on PC, Mac, and iPad.
EDM taking center stage:
DJ tools and accessories are being showcased throughout the tradeshow – both with newer EDM driven brands, and established audio and gear giants diversifying their product offering. Resembling the personalization and interactivity on-trend with gaming and Smart TV, devices like the touch and pressure sensitive Alphasphere (www.alphasphere.com), and Numark's motion sensitive Orbit Midi Controller bring together audio tools and tech-driven innovation.
Apps, mobile, and DIY tools for artists and professionals:
Winning best in show at CES earlier this month, IK Multimedia showcased their newest offering of apps, "iRig" adapters, the first portable, wireless, line of "iLoud" stereo studio monitors, and even a wireless MIDI "iRig Blueboard" pedalboard – all designed for easy connectivity, interactivity and recording via tablet and mobile. The technology, paired with the mobile and tablet mounts, allows for the playing and recording nearly anywhere on both Apple and most recently Android.
Yamaha – celebrating its 125th year, rolls out its MX series synthesizers and their first app designed to record professional quality sounds outside of the studio. The Mobile Music Sequencer app is part of a full suite of software connecting Yamaha's new products to their digital future.
The one-person band?:
TC-Helicon brought an assortment of performance tools that may in may in many ways help eliminate the need for a band. With VoiceLive Touch 2 and a partnered Sennheiser Mic making start and stop of vocal loops even easier, vocalists can loop their own harmonies live from the stage. Further, the tiny Ditto Looper (available March 1st) demonstrated the capability for a guitarist to loop, perform, and add effects to songs traditionally requiring a full band.
For those attending, links to panels, educational sessions, concerts, events, and the tradeshow can be found below:
- Event Website
- NAMM University and Breakfast learning sessions
- H.O.T. (Hands-on-Training) Zone
- Appearances and Events
- Concerts and Performances
- Tradeshow Floorplan