Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Winter NAMM 2020 - The Anderton Report


David Bryce
 Share

Recommended Posts



  • Replies 55
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Well, since I get to start it off, here's something offbeat, brilliant, hip, and retro, all at the same time! The "Perfect Groove" Virtual Cutting Lathe, from the German company Rebeat, is a software program for people who expect to master to vinyl. It analyzes audio files, and lists all the places (with timings) that the project could run into issues - stereo bass, excessive velocity, etc. etc.

 

MvHByt9.jpg

 

It won't be ready until summer of this year (but it's software, so hey, anything's possible). The guy behind it, Andreas Wagner, is really into this, personable, a not-scary nerd, and very much understands the constraints of vinyl. It was fun talking to him.

 

I think maybe it's intended to put me out of a job (my current mastering project an album of jazz "standards" by Martha Davis, of the Motels, for vinyl). I know what needs to be done to master for vinyl, but now you don't have to know - you can prep your file appropriately with this software.

 

Welcome to NAMM 2020! It should be fun....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had to chance to find out more about the Roland MIDI 2.0 keyboard, thanks to Jim Stout and Ari Rosenshein (pictured) of Roland. First of all - it's 88 keys, under a grand, and the keybed feels--well, good!

 

Second, I wanted to know specifically what MIDI 2.0 aspects were included. It has high-resolution 32-bit controllers, a heckuva lot more than the 128 controllers in MIDI 1.0, and expandability for MIDI CI (Capabilities Inquiry), which is a really important part of MIDI 2.0 - among other talents, it's also what allows backwards compatibility to MIDI 1.0 devices for any MIDI 2.0 gear. (And if you've tried to use Mac OS Catalina in the real world...you know about the importance of backward compatibility, or more specifically, the lack thereof.)

 

It's great that Roland is forging ahead with this. I've also heard rumors of MIDI 2.0-compatible synths that take advantage of MIDI 2.0 at the show, but these may be "behind the velvet rope" product previews, if in fact they exist. I'll find out what I can.

 

Make no mistake: MIDI 2.0 matters, and is a Big Deal. To find out more, feel free to come to the panel discussion on MIDI 2.0 - Friday, 2 PM, at the Hilton Level 4, A6. I'll be moderating, and the panelists are a pretty formidable collection of people who Know Their Stuff. There will also be a short presentation at the beginning that gives background on MIDI 2.0.

 

iq2b7Ym.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was very impressed by the ASI audio in-ear monitors, whose heritage traces back to Sensaphonics. The company stresses that these are about hearing protection as well as monitoring, which of course piqued my interest. Lately, I've noticed a correlation between the treble boost people are applying to masters, versus the treble loss that occurs in people over 40. It's scary - they're almost mirror images. No wonder music hurts when you turn up the volume (assuming you haven't lost your high-frequency hearing response).

 

The app uses the Sensaphonics live mic technique, but takes it further. You can blend in as much or as little of the live sound you want, so you don't have to feel like you're in an "IEM cocoon," as well as unbalance it if you want one ear louder than the other. You also have custom EQ. I'll be looking into this further at the show, but this is a new company, and I like the direction they're taking - as well as their philosophy about protecting the hearing of performers.

 

(BTW, sorry about the light reflections off the screens - it's better if you think of them as NAMM 2020 light sabers).

 

9IUv7g7.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Microtonal keyboards...the next big thing? Probably not, given the conservative nature of musicians. Then again, you never know...microtonality is a huge part of much non-Western music, so it's entirely possible they know things we don't...but should. I wanted to find out more about the Lumatone, but just at that moment, Gibson kicked off a loud demo (hey guys - I'm really glad you're back, and making great guitars, but a little humility might be appropriate) and I couldn't hear anything else. But, I'll try to track down Lumatone (probably in Hall E, aka "Island of the Lost Toys," also referred to sometimes as Chinatown) to find out more.

 

eSGjm8H.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reverb.com is producing what's shaping up to be a really cool video on the history of guitar effects and pedals. I saw the trailer, and since half the companies referenced getting started with my "Electronic Projects for Musicians" book, Reverb.com wanted to interview me as well. Don't know how much, if any, of my footage they'll use, but what they have so far is really very, very cool. Their video people know what they're doing...can't wait to see the final documentary.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not too much to show yet, today was a day of running into people, filling them in on what's happening with musicplayer.com, my eBooks, board meetings, and also, several NDA-oriented discussions (which is too bad, especially because one of them is pretty darn cool). But, IK's AXE I/O has done very well, so it's probably not surprising that IK has scaled it down into a more affordable box for solo musicians, AXE I/O Solo. It also has the Z-Tone input structure, for altering response with respect to impedance, pickups, etc.

 

WiHClG7.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, Universal Audio had a big deal at the show and I don't have very many good pictures, so let's stick to text. Luna is a Mac-based recording system, based on their hardware with deep Apollo integration, and it has virtually no latency. Putting aside the issue of whether or not you want to learn another DAW, the reality is that Pro Tools has fallen on hard times compared to Avid's halcyon days. My take is that UA sees an entrance to do Pro Tools with a modern slant, that retains a hardware/software synergy instead of going full native.

 

Think about it: UA doesn't do hardware as an add-on to their software, or software as an add-on to their hardware, but has roots and expertise in both worlds. (Fun fact: E-mu's Dave Rossum is tangentially part of UA's analog expertise.) So it's not surprising they would take that approach, which at one point was so successful for Pro Tools.

 

The Luna DAW software is free for existing Mac Thunderbolt Apollo users. Projected release date is Spring 2020. It's going to be interesting whether Luna gets traction in a crowded DAW market, but one which has yet to produce a convincing replacement for what made people adopt Pro Tools back in the day.

 

J7fDTh9.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is NOT an Apple watch. It is not from Fitbit. You wear S-Control around your wrist, and it generates MIDI controller data in three axes based on your hand motion. The second image shows it being used in conjunction with Ableton Live. I can easily see this as something to give more stage presence to...well, anyone. You know me...I love this kind of stuff :)

496.thumb.jpg.650196113360ff5fbf8c640412cbac01.jpg

497.jpg.39d32d63a50c30599b4e8836e8a60487.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, you're not going to believe this. I may have actually hallucinated it...and the phone's camera had a shared hallucination.

 

When I first got to this booth, I thought it was kind of idiotic to have a sub in your shoe. Remember Buttkicker? Well, I can picture sitting in a chair and being shaken during various sci-fi movies and such...but shoes? So I politely declined trying them on.

 

But then I thought that no sacrifice is too great for the MusicPlayer forums, so at the risk of public ridicule ("HEY CRAIG, how do you like those BLUETOOTH SHOES HAHAHA?"),

I tried them on. Well, it's pretty weird to feel music through your feet. I can imagine that gamers would flip for this, but then I realized there is an actual practical application: If I was onstage using in-ear monitors, these would be awesome for feeling the rhythm, and providing another way to monitor audio. If you're used to tapping your feet to stay in time, these kind of do it for you. Now, they're too rich for my blood...but if I was a touring professional, I could actually justify the expenses. This was definitely quite the surprise.

498.jpg.86e156c84a20b196f01e57cf94d3f45e.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who can resist gun-metal gray retro boxes with warm, glowing tubes? Not I. These boxes are from iknmusic.com, and they also have a ship ton of effects. And tympani mallets. And pickups. And ukulele accessories. You guessed it: they're also denizens of NAMM's mythical Hall E, where many the newbie companies are introduced to the world of NAMM.

499.thumb.jpg.08ada2ebd25c7ec89491fe7106585012.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now, Master 8 guitar picks from Japan. Yes, they're just picks, but some of them have a sort of raised, rubbery surface that makes then a little easier to hold on to. Amazingly enough, they also make thumb picks, so I got some samples to try out.

500.jpg.c02c972e0b4f95a73ffce5cdc042121d.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And what would the Hall E Experience be without some wild and wacky steam punk guitars? Martper guitars from Spain has just what you want. You really owe it to yourself to click on the thumbnails and see the bigger versions of the pictures - especially the second one. (By the way, I didn't take a picture of the guitar with a faux severed, bloody finger placed in a pickup cavity...I didn't want to give anyone nightmares. You're welcome.)

501.thumb.jpg.f02985519d9269c5f65ada6adbc8e901.jpg

503.thumb.jpg.1ff6b91a55988aaa1dd212d4b7e0ee41.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like raccoons, I too like Shiny Things. So when I saw the blingacious keyboard key overlays from Kansas-based company ukeys.com, I was attracted like NAMMsters to anything that says "open bar." Although ukeys didn't have an open bar, the concept was pretty cool. I expect these to show up in music videos soon.

504.thumb.jpg.40611c542ac887eb353fc7d413af810f.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, this PianoArc keyboard is the one Yes should have used for playing "Roundabout." Or Joni Mitchell for "The Circle Game." Oh, you want more song titles with "circle"? Okay, how about "Going in Circles," "Circle of Life," "Circle in the Sand," "Full Circle," "The Width of a Circle," "Circles," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Circle Game"...had enough? Good, because there are 72 more. So let's cut to the chase: This is a super-expensive, custom-made, round keyboard controller. But you had already figured that out...right? Unless you think it might be a cleverly disguised UFO...

 

505.thumb.jpg.de3cb7860a02748c7edaa8ea682b1d5e.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And since we're in a circular frame of mind, how about Artiphon's Orba? It's palm-sized and fun...kinda reminds me of ROLI's blocks, but I've included a picture of the signage to provide a description.

 

506.thumb.jpg.efcc96a388ec50504099aeb2fe55fe3e.jpg

507.thumb.jpg.8c519d3bf4118cf0d0bbaed1901dad9e.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now you know why there were so many representatives of the male species gathered around the Blue Microphones stage. As it turned out, though, she could sing. I actually went there because I heard her singing first, not because she was visible. Really.

509.thumb.jpg.966baf519d43d1184341b5818163a0f7.jpg

510.thumb.jpg.717cca3b2f239b1ea9513111aca8ef7c.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, this PianoArc keyboard is the one Yes should have used for playing "Roundabout." Or Joni Mitchell for "The Circle Game." Oh, you want more song titles with "circle"? Okay, how about "Going in Circles," "Circle of Life," "Circle in the Sand," "Full Circle," "The Width of a Circle," "Circles," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Circle Game"...had enough? Good, because there are 72 more. So let's cut to the chase: This is a super-expensive, custom-made, round keyboard controller. But you had already figured that out...right? Unless you think it might be a cleverly disguised UFO...

I reeeeally want to know who the customer is for this.

 

I reeeeallly do not want to see it in it's case. :shudder:

 

dB

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bob Moog Foundation is doing really cool stuff, period. There's the Moogseum in Asheville, and the programs for school kids that teach about music and sound. This is all thanks to the dedication of Bob's daughter Michelle, people like Lee Sebel, and active directors and advisers. You could definitely do a lot worse for the world than forego that Starbucks Skinny Latte Caramel Macchiato, and make a donation to https://moogfoundation.org/

 

Meanwhile, the foundation had a booth at NAMM...and yes, you can get that T-shirt from the Bob Moog Foundation to help support their programs.

511.thumb.jpg.1310a5045fb79064e818ddfa2b678bf2.jpg

512.thumb.jpg.e4c10a87dc8c180f22e4180208b964e9.jpg

513.thumb.jpg.0081b09f6c5e1bf1dbf480e26e2a90e3.jpg

514.thumb.jpg.2e6d13bb1881d32a367a66f9500e13a0.jpg

515.thumb.jpg.dc0d971749cf0b441c8f219a5817b75c.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I reeeeally want to know who the customer is for this.

For starters...someone with money, who would prefer this to a Tesla :)

 

I could definitely see it in a Vegas residency! Especially if we put the ukeys on it :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Florian Bome is one of those guys where regardless of whether you recognize his name or not, you've probably used something he created. And you may very well end up using the Bome Box he showed at the show, which is a MIDI hub for stage and studio that connects and maps devices via MIDI, Ethernet, WiFi, and USB - without needing a computer. Fortunately I caught him In a moment of weakness, and talked him into letting me take a unit for review...which I'll do after my NAMM debrief.

517.thumb.jpg.33d5aa0db93b9044c210b7955862ab88.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ever hear of the company 14bitMIDI? I hadn't before the show, but they have mondo cool Cubase/Nuendo controller software for touchscreens that's pretty darn cheap. And you don't need to know scripting to create a custom control surface, which makes me very happy. They have three different versions at different prices - Sherlock, Watson, and Morpheus. The images show a control surface for Cubase and some signage with descriptions of the three options.

518.jpg.285d7095d4f8e8980c57be58364d0e74.jpg

519.thumb.jpg.8d947c0c67f163a92213a30cf40b19da.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everywhere you go in California, there are warnings like "Consuming alcohol may slush your brain, cause cancer, lead to cirrhosis, impair judgement, impede driving a motor vehicle, and cause you to be attracted to someone that will cause you grief for the rest of your life." But I've NEVER seen a gas station warn me about the horrors of VST plug-ins.

520.thumb.jpg.8afc5f9e238ce58446ac10d2f3722d2e.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NAMM has its own version of the SuperBooth that broke off from the Frankfurt Messe a few years back, and it's synthesizer/modular heaven...well, not as much as the upcoming SynthPlex in Burbank (DON'T MISS OUT!!!), but it's still pretty cool to see all those patch cords at NAMM. Modulars live!! Yeah baby!!

521.thumb.jpg.698e9d845687480862a272b3a8a88310.jpg

522.jpg.7b30c212cfc3221fd1d6cf4b47083007.jpg

523.thumb.jpg.688f8ebbc3239a38a8f65fa09eb6686f.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Stephan Schmitt left Native Instruments, he decided not to do anything vintage. Good choice!! His Nonlinear Labs showed the C15 - it's not exactly new, it was at the SuperBooth in 2016 IIRC - but it was the first time at NAMM, and worthy of note for sure.

524.thumb.jpg.39492c90eb4a8ccfc68dfe6d10d8e51d.jpg

525.thumb.jpg.415edf09d4c86826cea5292809d38fcf.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...