Shing02's Amoeblog Video Report from NAMM 2013
Once again my man Hip Hop Slam correspondent Shing02 graces the Amoeblog with another in his ever informative digests in the ongoing exclusive Amoeblog reports (video above, text and pics below) from NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) - the annual DJ/producer/music-tech trade show that happens each January at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year's was held over the past week/weekend: from January 24th to 27th, 2013. Thanks to Shing02 and all of the folks he talked to for their contributions to this piece including DJ Q-bert, OP-1, Yoga Frog, DJ Platurn, DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ P-Trix, DJ A-1, Vestax Spin2, PDJ, Numark Orbit, Apogee Quartet McDSP, Stylophone, Elektron AnalogFour, Gittler Guitar, Chord Dice, Wheel Harp, and Koichi Sanchez aka Nightshift.
Shing02's Amoeblog Report on NAMM 2013The NAMM Convention in Anaheim, CA proved to be on par with previous years as it featured hundreds of exhibitors showcasing digital and analog instruments, complete with colorful participants who packed the convention floor. Despite the cloudiness for most of the days, the feverishly festive mood is an annual destination for music industry heads worldwide.
In the DJ / Hip-Hop / Electronic music realm, portability and integration are two key (sometimes competing) trends. Ever since Serato Scratch took over the market several years ago, DJing has focused on combining digital crates and a controller surface. A laptop and two turntables remain the preferred choice of most professional DJs, but companies are now also mindful of a more convenient platform, namely the latest iPhone and iPad (or smartphone and tablet counterparts). You can now DJ using your iPhone with the Vestax Spin2, or make high-quality multi-track recordings with Apogee interfaces. The PDJ is a portable DJ player with a crossfader which eliminates the need of a computer altogether. For both experts and novices, incorporating hand-held devices is an easy way to perform or record on-the-go.
Major software brands are stepping up the game to launch new hardware as well. Native Instruments (Traktor) released the Kontrol Z2 mixer last year, and Ableton (LIVE) introduced its own hardware Push. NuMark Orbit boasts a game controller-like device that you can trigger sounds and adjust effects with. The latest line of MIDI-based machines provide a high degree of freedom to the user by integrating a lot of functions. Although they feature amazing versatility, most surfaces prioritize sophisticated design over intuitive control.
Independent makers are still producing stand-alone machines that are fun to play with. Teenage Engineering's OP-1 is definitely one to watch, and Elektron AnalogFour was quite impressive in creating synth grooves. I also enjoyed Stylophone and Gittler Guitar, both revived versions of vintage instruments that made the debut this year at NAMM. Personally, I always look forward to walking around the downstairs section where you can find some interesting and wacky inventions every year. The Chord Dice booth that came with a friendly presentation was a nice touch, too. It's certainly impressive how far the instruments have evolved over the past decade, and as it turns out, the future is in our hands.
Thanks to: Billy Jam, DJ Q-bert, OP-1, Yoga Frog, DJ Platurn, DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ P-Trix, DJ A-1, and Koichi Sanchez aka Nightshift. And big up to Chuck Ono / STOKYO, Vestax for the hookup!