NAMM 2018 REVIEW

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Well another year has come and gone and the mighty NAMM 2018 (National Association of Music Merchants) did not disappoint. Every late January the NAMM Show rolls into Anaheim, California along with over 100,000 attendees from over 120 countries and regions. I have been attending NAMM since the 80's . After my good friend Charlie Sanborn (bad a** bassist Afrodisiacs, Chicago 1996-2001) reinvigorated my interest back in the early 2000's,  I have been periodically bustling through the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center with my fellow musicians annually. 

For those of you that have no NAMM experience, this is one of two of the biggest music trade shows in the world where every music related company shows off all their new gear for 2018. The show is not open to the public and sale of musical gear is strictly prohibited. There is a veritable amount of famous musicians and producers who traipse around daily , however , my interest is solely in discovering all the new products and making connections with old friends,  such as my pal Jim Haler , Product Specialist with Yamaha Drums. I have played Yamaha Drums for over twenty years and never looked back since I first hit the Recording Custom's back in the 80s! All of the drum companies add their contributions effectively, nonetheless, Yamaha Recording Customs inspire me to play daily and isn't that what its all about? 

Yamaha (as always) was the highlight . Yamaha Drums unveiled their new EAD 10 Drum Module with Mic and Trigger Pickup. A small but mighty package that allows drummers to mic their entire kit with one tiny mount on the bass drum hoop. A fantastic tool that can integrate with an iPad and get your Youtube videos uploaded very swiftly. Check it out here :  YAMAHA EAD 10

I always gravitate towards all the wonderful new cymbals that Paiste, Sabian , Zildjian, Meinl, Instanbul , Istanbul Mehmet, Soultone, Dream and many other new companies offer. My favorites were Zildjian's : K "Sweet" Cymbal Collection and Dream Cymbals : Energy 16" hats. Oversized hi hats are still hot . I'm thinking that the "dirty" looking cymbals that Meinl have brought on the scene have run their course and the once popular brilliant finish for cymbals is on the comeback trail. Sabian gets the extra nod with that amazing wall of cymbals that is now a staple. 

UA Audio had many guest speakers / producers from various hit albums outlining their production tricks and techniques utilizing the great UA Technology. I recently updated my converters by adding the UA Apollo 16 and various plug ins and my drums have never sounded better! 

I was a little disappointed about the floor plan of NAMM 2018.  There was a new area added to the equation to (I'm guessing) spread out the show for spacial reasons. We walked over 20 miles throughout the show!  Another let down was the musical entertainment at night time at the Hilton/Marriott . I'm not sure who books the bands, however, with the exception of the band Venice (who ruled!) the entertainment was lackluster and knowing all the talent attending the show, surely something better could have been staged. 

It is always sad when Sunday arrives at NAMM as its time to go back home and wait another year for this spectacular event. Thank you NAMM, Yamaha Drums and all the people who work so hard to make this such an extraordinary event. Back to work! 

matthias montgomeryComment