1/25/2014 12:04 AM
One of the highlights of every Winter NAMM Show is the TEC Awards
, which has evolved from its beginnings with Mix magazine into a function of the TEC Foundation and the NAMM organization itself. TEC, which stands for technical excellence and creativity, serves to celebrate the accomplishments of companies and individuals in the fields of music and audio. Tonight was the 29th annual event, hosted by EDM artist and producer BT (aka Brian Transeau) and attended by hundreds of recording industry insiders, musicians, and representatives from gear manufacturers and other companies that support the recording industry.
Highlights of tonight's festivities included two inductions into the TEC Hall of Fame. Legendary studio drummer Hal Blaine, whose playing has appeared on more hit records than any other drummer in history, lived up to his reputation for humor and all but refused to leave the stage, sharing one hilarious story after another. The other inductee was John Meyer, founder of Meyer Sound, a company whose impact on concert sound reinforcement can scarcely be measured. Both men gave fascinating if long-winded acceptance speeches that earned them standing ovations from the audience.
In addition, makers of instruments and music equipment in numerous categories were recognized by receiving the lion's share of the awards. Many of tonight's winners were also recipients of the 2014 EM Editors' Choice Awards—hardly a coincidence considering their gear is so easily recognizable as the cream of the crop. Winning products included the Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12, Eventide H9 Harmonizer, Native Instruments Komplete 9, and Zoom H6 Handy Recorder, and well as Avid Pro Tools 11, Universal Audio Apollo 16, and many other worthy candidates. The night wrapped up with a performance by Todd Rundgren, who accepted the TEC Foundation's Les Paul Award for his lifetime contributions to popular music and technology.