Recording industry legends, musicologists and titans of the audio universe came together for an evening of musical celebrations and honors at the 29th Annual NAMM TEC AWARDS (Technical Excellence & Creativity).
Winners were announced in 30 technical and creative categories at the show, which was held at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, Calif., January 24, 2014. The awards event recognizes the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and other media.
“The TEC Awards are a natural extension of the NAMM Show’s ‘gathering of the tribes’ to recognize the important products and people in our musical ecosystem,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “In making the TEC Awards a signature event at NAMM, we celebrate the innovation and creativity that happens when those who make wonderful music and sound products connect with the artists who then use this gear to create the music that has changed the world.”
Held as a signature event during the global, four-day NAMM Show, the TEC Awards featured video tributes and rollicking performances before a live audience of the sound industry’s most revered representatives. Trance music artist and host for the evening, BT, opened the show with his thumping hit instrumental “Flaming June.”
Creative sound wizards behind Hollywood blockbusters, hit records and interactive entertainment were honored. Winner highlights in both the Technical Achievement and Outstanding Creative Achievement categories included Record Production / Single or Track: “Skyfall,” by Adele; Television Sound Production: “Game of Thrones;” Remote Production / Recording or Broadcast: “The 55th Annual Grammy Awards;” Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers: JBL Professional PRX 700 Series portable loudspeakers; Headphone / Earpiece Technology: AKG K712 Pro Headphones; Workstation Technology: Avid Pro Tools 11 software; the complete list of category winners can be accessed at http://tecawards.org/tec/13winners.html.
Les Paul Foundation Trustee Jeff Salmon presented music revolutionary Todd Rundgren with the Foundation’s highest honor, the Les Paul Award.
“It makes a big difference that I am being honored by my peers, especially when the namesake for the award is someone so influential and pivotal to my career,” said Rundgren, who recently launched The Spirit of Harmony Foundation to offer music education and support to school programs. He performed three signature songs: “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me” and “Open My Eyes.”
New inductees to the NAMM Foundation’s TEC Hall of Fame included Hal Blaine and John Meyer. Blaine has performed drums on more than 5,000 records. “I’m absolutely thrilled at being recognized for creating an amazing career that has managed to survive for much of the golden era of recording excellence,” Blaine said. “A thank you to the ‘techies’ for their never-ending inventiveness that keeps the world connected.” He was inducted by Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jim Keltner, a famed session drummer.
John Meyer, an engineer and sound researcher, who was instrumental in significant developments to loudspeaker acoustics and technology was inducted by Dennis Leonard of Skywalker Sound. “To turn a concept into a useful piece of technology requires hard work and risk taking,” says Meyer. “By rewarding engineers’ contribution to the industry, the TEC Awards has inspired us to pursue ambitious new ideas and fostered an innovative spirit in our field.”