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Marshall Amps

NAMM Show PRO AUDIO Saturday and Sunday January 27-28th 2018 REVIEW


NAMM Show PRO AUDIO Saturday and Sunday January 27-28th 2018 REVIEW


Saturday January 27th at NAMM 2018 I covered the Pro Audio section and it brought me back to a time in my early 20's with noOoOo money, tinkering with the idea of becoming a “recording engineer.” For me, back in the early 2000's I played in several rock bands and fell in love with the prospect of "recording." Every decade has innovations and in that time-frame line-ins analog to digital for example, came in 8 channel firewire or SCSI PCI driven recording interfaces.  PCI express, USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt did not exist. The early 2000’s was a big push from analog to digital recording but the communication outputs/inputs still needed innovation. Cubase, Pro Tools, Presonus, Roland and MOTU were among the brands I remembered pioneering digital interfaces. It was great to see some of these brands still innovating and pushing the quality of sound engineering from analog to digital at NAMM 2018. 

Intel Setup with Digital Mixer NAMM 2018  Photo by: Helen Velez

Intel Setup with Digital Mixer NAMM 2018

Photo by: Helen Velez

The kids today and professionals now have their hands on a wide variety in the market to choose from. Pro Audio is streamlined and very easy to proclaim oneself a “recording artist” when a “musician” can be at home with an iPad and input-interface from lets say Rode, open up the software, input the XLR/1'4" instrument cable, and start recording right away!! Here is where I have my subjective opinion about what a musician is... there are some out there who are digital musicians meaning they never played in a marching band, guitar, bass guitar or drums. The modern day "digital musician," as I like to prescribe, get all their sounds from sampled software. The individual will purchase software with pre-recorded sounds, figure-out the software, then take one of those money gobbling recording engineering classes posted on buses or billboards. Now they are a "sound engineer!" The individual understands the Metronome and start to lay down tracks!  It is all done in the software.  Technology has advanced, streamlined and it is that simplified. 

VOX Amplification NAMM 2018  photo by: Helen Velez

VOX Amplification NAMM 2018

photo by: Helen Velez

Digital Software NAMM 2018  photo by: Helen Velez

Digital Software NAMM 2018

photo by: Helen Velez

Any turd can be a self proclaimed recording artist whether it be PC or Apple products. Processors today have 4 to 10 cores paired with strong motherboards, Solid State Hard Drives and communication outputs like Thunderbolt (Apple), USB 3.0, or PCI Express. The bandwidth from analog to digital has been perfected because back in the early 2000‘s when I started, for example, a MOTU 8 input firewire technology was not efficient, you NEEDED a strong AMD or Intel chip otherwise you will get a lot of background noise in your recording and sometimes a ticking noise from the magnetic hard drive spinning parts at 7200 rpm. Now the glory of the solid-state hard drive is instantaneous data transfers communicating with Thunderbolt... it’s just amazing what the recording industry has become from analog to digital. The software out at NAMM 2018 is marketed to that intermediate person and with time the person can become a professional sound engineer. The consumer can get their hands on literally vintage sounds to modern digital sounds all within a packaged software. However, there is still a fine line between the "recording engineer" and a "producer," that actually understands mixing and mastering. Mixing and Mastering tracks is what distinguishes the "PRO"-ducer from the recording engineer. 

Analog Mixing Board into Digital Interface NAMM 2018  photo by: Helen Velez

Analog Mixing Board into Digital Interface NAMM 2018

photo by: Helen Velez

I am glad to notice at NAMM 2018 huddled in small groups those old-school mixed in with the new school technology, sound professionals, that blended analog and digital. I personally enjoy the sound engineer/producer blending analog and digital utilizing mixer's, microphones and live-sound inputted into a digital interface. Pro audio is still costly and if you cannot afford the nice beautiful microphones and preamps, the market offers line-in interface devices and  software that programs your guitar sound or piano, into digital and you can select over thousands of types of percussion, cabinet speakers,  guitar amplifiers, and microphone presets  or  “samples.”

In the end, I enjoyed my time and invitation to NAMM 2018. There was just too much to see, review, and demonstrate in a few days. What I have noticed is how simplified the market has become. Anyone can be a recording artist with the right knack and whit, one can piece together music whether be R&B, Rap, DJ, Rock Bands, Metal, Country, and Classical, the music industry is indeed digital. 

Ludwig Set NAMM 2018  Photo by Helen Velez

Ludwig Set NAMM 2018

Photo by Helen Velez


NAMM Show Friday 26, 2018 Anahiem California REVIEW


NAMM Show Friday 26, 2018 Anahiem California REVIEW


NAMM show for Friday, January 26, 2018 possibly one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. It included all forms of music and if you’re interest revolves around this type of professional industry, this is the place for you! I’ve traveled to many conventions across the nation and by far the NAMM show still keeps it industry related and media invite only, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with young adults and families attending but NAMM is NOT Comic Con. Sometimes children and young adults take away from the professionalism of some of these events which, are to showcase to the big investors, developers and those who bring the money to these events. Yes, there is a component with the consumer because at the end of it all retailers need to sell their products while at the same time getting developers and investors to see their products too. 

Regardless,  expos, shows and cons are now catering more to the consumer for example E3 Expo selling 5,000 passes to the consumers. I am subjectively reviewing that the NAMM show does it but in small quantities which, is still a controllable enviroment between media/industry and consumers. A industry/media professional at NAMM and events like it could still demonstrate, touch and go to media panels without the OoOOOs and awWwws of ongoing consumers trying to get a glimpse of a celebrity. 

ALRIGHT! enough ranting...The NAMM show is something that people have to experience. It does not matter if you interest is into classical music,  rap and hip-hop, if your DJ, rock-star, or  want-to-be rock-star, country or digital music...NAMM is the place to showcase and demonstrate getting your hands on the new technologies to grow your individual creativity and or business! A fantastic show with phenomenal sound to go with it. 

For me personally (please see photos below) I am a guitar player and have some experience with piano. One of my favorite vendors is VOX Amplification and Orange Amplification. I recently found out that the founder of Orange received a distinguished award and was highly pleased to hear. I have been personally buying and collecting Orange products for years. 


In the end, I recommend bringing ear plugs and some Advil because after sometime there is so much sound going off in the convention I believe the heavens themselves are nodding their heads to the tunes expressed out of NAMM.