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Topic: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

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  1. #1
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    NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    I just returned from the NAMM show and what a show. It seems like the 2008 NAMM show was the busiest yet.

    For those who have never been to the NAMM show, it is an intense industry event where people in the music industry show their new offerings and where business is done. It's a trade show that is not open to the public so you need a know a NAMM member of affiliate to get a pass. NAMM is filled with all things music - like a big bazaar of music products that's packed with people. It's not uncommon to see famous musicians, celebrities and "booth babes" stroll the isles. There are various concerts that also happen at NAMM.

    NAMM is tentatively saying that it looks like the show will have record-breaking numbers - upwards of 88,000 people and over 1,500 exhibitors. The show reputedly comrises over 1 million square feet. Here is a link to a google map of the convention center.

    With about 40 scheduled appointments it impossible to see the entire show. Here's a small sampling of what was presented or announced at the show:

    So Many Sample Libraries and Software Instruments - A new company Realitone was showing their first product vocal library. Bruce Richardson was showing his first Giga library product-Daiko Drums. Dramatic Percussion another new company was showing their new percussion library. Scarbee announced Blue Bass sample library for Kontakt. ChocolateAudio has announced that it will soon be shipping Imperial Drum BFD2. Sonivox announced Anatomy – a collection of human body sounds. BigFish was also showing new libraries. There were other libraries and soundware including our own offerings.

    Mergers, Consolidations & Alliances: TC Electronics and Gibson Guitars announced a merger. Roland announced that they will acquire a majority interest in Cakewalk. And Yamaha announced the MESH Technology Alliance with Make Music (Finale) and us.

    Free Players: Native Instruments announced the Kore Player. Kore Player is a free software instrument designed for use with Kore SoundPacks. Kore Player includes six Native Instruments sound engines under the hood. Kore Player is expected to be released in March. NI also announced 64 bit support for Kontakt 3 later in 2008. SampleBase was also showing a free sampler and downloadable soundsets. A very nice package.

    Spectrasonics was previewing their upcoming Omnisphere - a powerful hybrid synth/sampler that combines a wide variety of realtime synthesis techniques and controls. We were located across the isle from Spectrasonics and saw Eric giving many impressive demos. Eric has done it again with another home-run! Omnisphere is expected to ship September 15th.

    High-end console giants Euphonix has released a pair of DAW controllers - the MC Control and the MC Mix. I had a chance to hear a demonstration by Ashley Witt. The touch screen which communicates with the attached DAW was cool.

    Apple did not have a public booth this year. Instead they had a private VIP Room where they hosted brainstorming sessions and meetings with leading engineers and producers. I had a chance to meet with some of the Apple folks and it looks like some interesting things will be forthcoming.

    Yamaha announced four new KX Series keyboards - the KX25, KX49, KX61, and KX8. Kurzweil is back and was showing a new keyboard, the PC3x with a large collection of sounds combined with comprehensive real-time controller functions. CME was also showing some nice new keyboards at the show.

    Cakewalk updated Dimension Pro - Version 1.3 provides Mac OS X Leopard and MacIntel compatibility

    Steinberg released their VST3 SDK - the latest generation of the VST audio software interface standard. Steinberg also announced Cubase Essential 4 personal music production system.

    GVox was showing Encore 5 - the first major upgrade in over 10 years for the well-known notation program.

    MIDI Manufacturer's Association - There were sessions dealing with High Definition (MIDI) Protocol to finalize the spec. It has been slow going but it looks like this is finally going to be adopted. ARIA will be ready for High Def MIDI.

    Security was tight at the show - moreso than prior years. There was considerable caution about the NAMM badges - checking matching picture IDs with badges, checking bar codes, checking bags, authenticaling, etc. - Being ID'ed every time you go to the rest room or get a cup of coffee felt like a different country at times.

    One of the highlights of the show was seeing so many forum members. Next year maybe we can plan a Northern Sounds get together.

    Overall this was our best show yet. I'll post more about how the show went for us in another thread. Many new opportunties (and some nice surprises) resulted which you'll be hearing more about throughout the year.

    There was certainly a whole lot more to the show that I missed.

    I'll post some pictures soon

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Roland announced that they will acquire a majority interest in Cakewalk.
    I keep getting a hazy picture on that. Did they acquire majority interest or a major interest? My last information was major interest, not total control.

  3. #3

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    P.S. Thanks for the summary, though! Greatly appreciated.

  4. #4

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Ah--found the answer myself. Here's what Hendershot had to say about the Roland investment. Bigger share, but not majority control.

  5. #5
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    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithAdv
    I keep getting a hazy picture on that. Did they acquire majority interest or a major interest? My last information was major interest, not total control.
    Roland Acquires Majority of Cakewalk, Promises Joint Products in 2008

    See: http://createdigitalmusic.com/category/news/

    Music software maker Cakewalk is now “Cakewalk by Roland” after Roland acquired a majority stake in the company. While the new logo raised a few eyebrows around the show floor, especially after full acquisitions of Steinberg and Emagic by Yamaha and Apple, respectively, this deal is more of a smaller evolution than a big change. Cakewalk’s history has been intertwined with Roland’s since the early days of its first sequencer — founder and CEO Greg Hendershott talked with us over the summer about those early days and noted early versions relied on and were even engineered specifically around Roland’s MPU-401 MIDI interface. Formal business collaborations began as early as 1995, with a specific commitment in 2003 to work on joint products and an investment by Roland.


  6. #6

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Welcome back Gary.

    It has sounded hectic. It all sounds very successful and worthwhile.

    Looking forward to the pics.
    Michael
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  7. #7

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Music software maker Cakewalk is now “Cakewalk by Roland” after Roland acquired a majority stake in the company...
    Amazing. That flatly contradicts the announcement Hendershott just made to current customers: "Although Roland now owns a bigger share of Cakewalk, they didn't acquire the whole company. Cakewalk is not becoming a 'division' of Roland."

    Oh well--I like both companies so it's no big deal no matter what the real story is. I think it's a good thing.

  8. #8
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    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithAdv
    Amazing. That flatly contradicts the announcement Hendershott just made to current customers: "Although Roland now owns a bigger share of Cakewalk, they didn't acquire the whole company. Cakewalk is not becoming a 'division' of Roland."

    Oh well--I like both companies so it's no big deal no matter what the real story is. I think it's a good thing.
    It is a good thing and there's no contradiction. It seems Roland acquired a majority interest but not the whole company.

    GG

  9. #9

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    It is a good thing and there's no contradiction. It seems Roland acquired a majority interest but not the whole company.

    GG
    There's a fun thread over on the Cakewalk forums about this. The fact that the Cakewalk logo on the main page now reads "Cakewalk - by Roland" is pretty indicative, I think. Roland now owns a controlling share.

    But Roland has been pretty involved with Cakewalk for several years now, so I have reason to believe all its influence (and R&D funding) will be for the better.

    Reegs

    Edit: And imagining native REAC support in Sonar has me very excited. (REAC is like MADI or ADAT only it sends audio over ethernet with reported 1ms latency)

  10. #10

    Re: NAMM Show Report - A Brief Overview

    Of course I want Garritans Steinway, but am very interested in Bruce Richardson's Gigas stuff.

    Is it on Tascam's dime, or has he his own site with products?


    Thanks GG.
    JimmyV

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