Dateline: ANAHEIM, CA, USA – So I was a day late in showing up for NAMM… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because this is pretty much an annual event akin to the Bill Murray film “Groundhog Day” (where the same nonsense happens day after day until the lead role “gets it right”).
Late or not, I arrived to find the same vendors of “custom” (in other words, off the rack) guitar pick guards… The same drum companies showing their latest versions of the same drums… The same Marshall booth with a massive line for autograph signings… And the same posers who were wearing spandex 10 years ago but now have dyed black hair and multiple piercings.
As for audio-related hardware… Well, I saw some of it, but not all quite yet, which is why the show runs for several days.
“A Hall” has really become more of the “audio hall” over the last few years. It seems more like the core of an AES show than the rest of the place, while “E Hall” (in the “basement”) has some of the smaller – and in many ways cooler – “boutique” manufacturers.
In A Hall, I learned that Universal Audio is going to be coming out with Manley Labs “plug-ins” for their UAD card.
From what I’ve heard of the plug-in world, UAD seems to have some of the best of the best.
And while I know that plug-ins are years from replacing actual hardware, and am somewhat (quite, actually) repulsed by the thought of “digital necrophilia” in plug-in design, I have to say I’m quite excited to give these plugs a run around the block.
Chandler Ltd has come up with a new EQ and compressor for the “500 Series” frame size format that I’m rather interested in hearing.
It’s like a new series, really, with a different design goal and sound. I’m looking forward to giving them a try as soon as they’re ready.
Meanwhile, down in “E Hall”… Amidst the guys selling wood to make guitars and proliferations of companies knocking off legendary products for a dime on the dollar of what the real legends are worth… I found a new 500 Series frame size compressor from Dramastic Audio.
Which, if it sounds as good as their regular rack unit, will be quite a hot product as well as a pleasant coup because it will free up a rack space in my studio’s racks… T
hough it may cause a quandary as to which two units are forced to leave my 500 Series frame.
There’s a lot more to see as the show continues… I’ll let you know what I find interesting in the next day or two or three… (Fletcher’s NAMMservations continue on the next page.)