March 2014

NAMM 2014

Learn more about the 2014 NAMM show and some of the musical instruments and equipment that grabbed our attention.

Stepping into the Anaheim Convention Center for the 2014 NAMM show—like every NAMM show—was like walking into the biggest and busiest music store in the world. Tens of thousands of musical instrument makers, technicians, sales people, and their helpers were showing there wares to buyers and media. Musicians and clinicians gave demonstrations of everything imaginable, from traditional instruments to electronic gear to the latest software. Looking for a trumpet mouth piece? There were hundreds to choose from. Looking for a guitar amp? There were literally stacks of stacks, as well as the latest in digital simulators. Interested in a keyboard that can do everything, or cymbals, harmonicas, ukuleles, microphones, turntables….? They were all there too. So was a small contingent from the USC Trojans Marching Band, who opened the show on Saturday. In Tune’s editor and publisher were there trying to take it all in, while also meeting with the magazines sponsors, who all wanted to talk about how they could help support music education.NAMM200

Did we see everything? No. But we did see some very interesting things, some of which will appear on the pages on In Tune in the coming months. Izotope’s Break Tweaker, which is a sophisticated tool for programming drum beats and breaks, caught our ear. So did a new family of stereo guitar amps from Line 6, which can also play music from an Bluetooth device (like an iPhone) in full fidelity.

We saw great guitars from Taylor, Martin, Epiphone, PRS, and Ibanez, drum from Tama and Pearl, cymbals from Sabian, and sticks and cymbals from Vic Firth and Zildjian.

As usual, Yamaha had a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments that covered every category, from band and orchestra to rock combo and dub step. Roland a player demonstrating an exciting new keyboard with a performance that had the excitement of an action movie soundtrack.

One of the best things about the show is that MANY of the best thing we saw were inexpensive. Hohner’s affordable Airboard, for example, offers a really exciting take on the melodica (think harmonica with piano-like keys), or a tiny accordion you blow into).

But there was so much more. For comprehensive coverage, we recommend the web channelHarmony Central. See a gallery of pictures from the whole show at NAMM’s website