More than just an orchard of new gear, NAMM is a place where industry masterminds meet, competitors collide, and trends unfold. Rarely a show goes by without major insight being gained into the future of musicmaking — and this year was no different. In convention center corridors, show-floor booths, hotel elevators, restaurants, bars, and even restrooms (!), there were constant conversations about our industry, its health, and its past, present, and future.
Unlike in recent years past, the underlying feeling on the show floor this year was upbeat and positive. Business has been good, and it showed on the many smiling faces from Halls A to E. After several difficult years, this came as great news. For us, the producers of music and consumers of gear, it means that the wheel of innovation and product development will keep turning, and perhaps at a more rapid rate than before. Fierce competition between manufacturers ensures that the bar will continue to be raised, and we all stand to benefit from it.
The entire EQ editorial team arrived at NAMM a day before the gates opened, and immediately went about scouring for news and clues. What would be this year’s hottest topics? Would there be a single item that had the entire show abuzz? Five days later, we came away with enough product info and insight to fill a book, but alas we had to distill the bags of lit into the “greatest hits” that starts on page 14. One thing is certain — many upcoming product reviews, tech features, and how-to articles will result from our time spent in Anaheim.
A few words about this month’s Band Stand Q& below. . . . Our aim isn’t to break our arms patting ourselves on the back, but to let you know that the EQ editorial team practices what it preaches. We enjoy the journalistic aspects of the gig, to be sure, but more than anything, we love making this magazine because — like you — we’re absolutely passionate about the recording process and all that surrounds it. Ditto for our ace freelance contributors. We hope that message comes through loud and clear in every article we write.