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. 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