NAMM 2012 Report by Shing02 with Yamato Kaneko for the Amoeblog
As he did for the NAMM 2010 & NAMM 2011 conventions in SoCal, once again my man Shing02 has filed a report on the this year's annual NAMM 2012 convention exclusively for the Amoeblog. The renowned Japanese producer/emcee/multi-instrumentalist/all round hella great guy headed to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA music gear/tech convention a couple of weekends ago (January 19th - 22nd, 2012) to file this report (video above, text & photos below) with help from host Yamato Kaneko in which they visit DJ TechTools, STOKYO, Teenage Engineering, Vestax, AKAI, Tiptop Audio, McDSP, KORG, KDJ-One, RANE, Emulator, SlipmatsOnline.com, Vintage Vibe, NORD, Slaperoo and some other booths too. Thanks Shing02!
The annual NAMM convention in Anaheim showcases a convention center full of eye-candy for the gear geeks, and 2012 proved no different. Although the music and recording industry seem to be stuck in an age of meticulously fine-tuning software with no big leaps in ideas and technology, some brands still managed to stand out. My personal favorite was the OP-1 synthesizer by Teenage Engineering from Sweden, which was introduced last year at NAMM, but came back stronger with upgrades. In essence, OP-1 is a synth / drum machine that feels more like an old-school game than a modern machine, which creates a fun learning curve to create unique grooves. (It actually has a game-mode built into it!)
Vestax upgraded the VCI series with the rugged 400 with more assign capabilities than ever. Korg continues its success with niche instruments like the Kaosillator2, Monotribe, and Monotron ribbon synthesizers (Delay and Duo). Hip-hop heads were excited about the flurry of new MPC series unleashed by AKAI (originally from Japan, purchased by Numark in 2004). MPC Renaissance is a megatron of previous MPC series, while the MPC Fly controls the iPad app (available for only $10), and MPC Studio serves as a MIDI controller. AKAI also released the MAX49 with CV/Gate so you can trigger older analog synthesizers. Speaking of analog synths, the world of modular synthesizers seems to be going through a resurgence, as evidenced by popular soundtracks for recent hit movies such as The Social Network, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (both by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross), and Drive (score by Cliff Martinez et al). Whether it is purely analog or a work of digital sounds, more musicians are getting into creating sounds through experimenting with synthesizers, much like the 80's.
Thanks to Billy Jam and all the artists who gave shouts in the video version of this report above: DJ IQ, Kat Ouano, DJ Quest, Albert Mathias, P-Trix, Mike Relm, Z-Trip, Yamato Kaneko for hosting, Ralph Richbourg of McDSP for the software support, and a big shout to Chuck Ono of Stokyo / Vestax for hooking up the pass for the four-day event. Adieu! - Shing02