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Review: 2016’s NAMM Show and She Rocks Awards

posted January 27, 2016, 12:22 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Live Show Reviews, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


21As Blizzard Jonas battered the East Coast, music vendors, DJs, producers, musicians, enthusiasts and fans alike descended in droves upon Anaheim from all over the world for the 2016 Annual Winter NAMM Show. A hybrid of music geek camp, your family reunion, part people/celeb watching (i.e. Stevie Wonder, Miss America etc) and convention, folks who hadn’t seen each other in a while frequently greeted each other everywhere I turned which goes to show, even among a large crowd, the music community is tight-knit. Many attendees split their time between visiting the halls filled with booths (over 1,700 exhibitors showcasing 6,000 brands) boasting the latest technology for live concert playing, production, leisure and intensive musical instrument study.

33 What better way to see the products for sale than actually being demoed by esteemed musicians and DJs, filling each hall with guitar wails, saxophone solos, deck scratching, flute melodies, piano ivory tickling and kit smashing? Taking a break from booth binging, patrons ventured outside to view performances on the outside stages, John Lennon Bus and Marriott and Hilton hotel lobbies.

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Punctuating the show experiences during the day on Friday were the lively She Rocks Awards sponsored by The Women’s International Music Network (WIMN) that night. Working the red carpet, I chatted with several of the night’s award recipients, performers and past honorees. Most notably, I connected with Divinity Roxx who was Beyonce’s musical director of her all female band about her intense audition process, Raining Jane’s Mona Tavakoli about her Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls LA and touring with Jason Mraz, Nik West about jamming at Paisley Park, Gaby Moreno on her recent Latin Grammy-winning experience, Karmin on receiving a platinum plaque from LA Reid and Chaka Khan’s WTF moment being on “Dancing With The Stars”. Former honoree Malina Moye raucously opened the show and set the tone for the evening with award recipient Jennifer Batten, who performed later, continuing the rock out vibe.

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As I wandered into the convention center halls for a second day, below were my fav products on display:

Roadie Tuner- Roadie led Gizmag’s list of top musical innovations for 2015 and was featured on Amazon’s top gift ideas, BBC world service, Guitar Player and Guitar World, being able to tune your guitar in seconds. Roadie Tuner can now be found at Sam Ash, Guitar Center, Musician’s Friend, B&H, Full Compass, Unique Squared, Thomann, Music Store, and others. Lightweight and comfortable in the palm of your hand , check out more info on Roadie HERE!.

Teton Guitars– Teton Guitars has introduced six new Teton Guitars Arm Rest models. Usually found on custom models, the Arm Rest models start at the exceptional value of $799 MSRP and come in the following body shapes: Auditorium, Dreadnought, and Grand Concert. All Arm Rest models come in solid, rarefied Sitka Spruce tops and Rosewood back and sides. Cutaway models feature Fishman electronics. Also on display were Teton guitars with rarefied solid wood tops which are on all guitar models produced in 2016. Rarefaction provides the same benefits of torrefaction without wood discoloration. This chemical-free, low heat process ages solid tops in a vacuum environment before entering guitar production without affecting the appearance of the wood. Teton Guitars is now manufacturing rarefied guitars that are entering the 2016 market starting at $299 MAP. For more info, visit their website HERE!

Peavey– Peavey® announced the new 6505® subwoofer, the latest addition to their long running 6505 Series. Engineered for use onstage or in the studio, the 6505 subwoofer was designed specifically to support extended-range guitars and today’s ever-popular drop tunings. Its size and design matches conveniently to the rest of the 6505 product line and makes it easy to transport to gigs and recording sessions. The Peavey 6505 series has been forging the sound of metal aggression for over two decades. Since 1992, it has defined the sounds of extreme rock guitar into a package equally suited to clubs, rehearsal rooms, and studios. Some of the biggest names in metal, including Machine Head, Asking Alexandria, and many more, trust their tones to the 6505 Series. For more details, go to HERE!

Slaperoo Percussion– Inventor, musician, and founder of SLaperoo Percussion, Andy Graham has invented a pedal configuration to allow the full-use of a foot-operated hi-hat with a cocktail drum kit. Nicknamed the ‘Green Machine’, Graham’s kit was made from two floor toms. He wanted to keep a one-piece look of the cocktail sets of the 1940’s while keeping the snare drum separate. For more info, check out their site HERE!

Pioneer DJ- Pioneer DJ has partnered with Pulselocker which lets you stream tracks from your Pulselocker account directly into rekordbox dj performance software. This will give users the freedom to perform with the streaming service’s 44 million tracks, from 500,000 record labels, simply by connecting the performance software to your Pulselocker account.Pulselocker is currently available in the UK, USA & Canada. Pulselocker support is planned to be available spring 2016.W

Pioneer’s CDJ-2000NXS2 now has a 96 kHz/24-bit sound card and added FLAC/Apple Lossless Audio (ALAC) support – paving the way for more producers to create music in this top quality format. Browsing and track selection are even more intuitive with the high-res touch screen, Qwerty keyboard and Track Filter search. The screen also packs in a multicoloured wave display, more detailed rekordbox™ information and instant access to all the most popular features. The player now has 2 banks of 4 Hot Cues – 8 in total. And, if that isn’t enough, you can connect the DDJ-SP1 controller to add even more Hot Cues and loops and control 4 players from one device using Pro DJ Link.

The DJM-900NXS2 takes mixing to another level with our first ever 64-bit mixing processor for a more natural, warm and detailed sound. The controls are even more responsive, with a new gain structure, improved EQ and fader curves. The Sound Colour FX section now has a parameter knob for even more nuanced manipulation. Plus an independent Send/Return means you no longer have to choose between Beat FX and external FX: you can connect your choice of external FX controllers, including apps on your iPad, and layer it on top of the on-board FX. Add to that 4 phono inputs, DVS support and 2 USB ports for easy connection to PC/Mac – and the DJM-900NXS2 is a crucial tool versatile enough for any professional booth.

For more deets, check out Pioneer’s site HERE!

Can’t wait for NAMM Show 2017!

Photo Credits: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM
Photo Credits: Kevin Graft
Photo Credits: Anjali Lynn White

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