NAMM Report #3 - How the Show Went for Us
I left Orcas Island Tuesday in another snow storm (the weather this year has been quite strange) and arrived Tuesday night.
We set up all day Wednesday. As usual Murphy's Law was operational, some things didn't arrive and some things did not work, but eventually all the wrinkles got ironed out.
Our little Oasis at NAMM -NAMM is very hectic and chaotic and we wanted to create a calm oasis in the midst of the pandemonium. So this year our booth set up was a comfy Sofa, a fireplace and noise canceling headphones (courtesy of Extreme Headphones) listening to wonderful music. People certainly liked the atmosphere and the opportunity to escape briefly, really relax and see and hear what we were doing. Some people just didn’t want to leave!
The Electronic Musician Editor's Choice Awards were Wednesday night. Tom Hopkins went to receive the award for the Jazz and Big Band library. Congratulations to VSL, Native Instruments (Akoustic) and Cakewalk for winning awards.
Before the show we had breakfast with Steve Oppenheimer and a group of blind musicians organized by Mike Mandell. Also attending the breakfast was Scott Wilkinsen and his wife Joanna, both writers for EM, Jerry Halityn composer engineer, Gordon Kent, Musician and Dancing Dots support, Cevin and Pam Gibbs. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways making music technology more accessible to the visually impaired. There's a lot that is needed in this area and we are working towards making our new sampler easier for the blind.
Thursday was the first full day at NAMM and it started out with a bang. First a meeting with Roger Brown, President of Berklee College of Music and Stephen Croes, Dean of Music Technology and Kurt Biederwolf, Chair of the Music Synthesis Department at Berklee College of Music. We discussed many things about the upcoming year with a number of visits to Berklee planned. After the Berklee meeting I met with Steinway and Sons. We showed our new sample player for the Authorized Steinway Piano and they seemed very pleased. The user interface was designed by Steinway's graphics people and is very elegant and easy to use. Next I had lunch with Martin and Sascha from Native Instruments. We reaffirmed our relationship and talked about future projects together. After lunch I had a meeting with the folks at Finale to discuss various upcoming projects. Afterwards there were meetings with Muse Research and Cakewalk. I also met with Woody from Mackie. At NAMM Mackie was showing the Personal Orchestra for Tracktion and announced the bundling of Personal Orchestra with all Mackie products. We briefly attended a Cakewalk party as well as an Electronic Musician's party after the show and then had a nice leisurely dinner with team Garritan.
Friday was just as busy as the previous day. After another meeting with Steinway we met with a number of distributors and press people. People were impressed with our new player and the sound and playability of the Steinway piano. We also met with future partners for upcoming projects (more on that in the months ahead).
Saturday was the busiest day of all. I met mostly with editors and other press people. We also met with international distributors and other future partners (one very large concern) who were very impressed with our new drag and drop technology. We had another dinner with our team on Saturday night and discussed upcoming libraries.
Sunday morning I attended a MIDI Manufacturers Association meeting. MMA President Tom White presided over the morning's Annual Meeting. Some good things are coming - especially with high definition MIDI. I later had a meeting with Yamaha and another get-together with Native Instruments. We met with some technology partners and then with another major magazines and our UK distributor Time and Space.
Had a chance to meet Stevie Wonder and some of his team and was pleased to learn they use our sounds. We also had the opportunity to see Jeff Pilson from Foreigner, Scott Totten from the Beach Boys, Terry Lawless from U2, Scott Warren from Black Sabbath, Kerry Livgrren from Kansas, Guy Allison from the Doobie Brothers, Ming who plays with Yanni, Mark Isham, Jeff Beal, David Schwartz, Eimear Noone and Michael Andreas from the LA Ballet, George Sanger (Fatman), Michelle Moog, and many others.
Helping us us at our booth was Jim Ortner (Haydn) at our satelite booth, Jeannot, Jeff Hurchalla, Tom Hopkins, Amy Jones, and David and Seb from Plogue. Many thanks for the outstanding job they did.
What a busy show. With 35 scheduled meetings (which did not include all the unscheduled visits and meetings) it was nonstop excitement. New technologies, new partners, wider distribution, strengthening existing relationships, seeing many friends and forum members - the show could not have gone any better.
2007 is shaping up to be our best year yet!
I'll be posting some pictures soon. Good to be back.