NAMM 2015: A Few Of Our Favorite Things

As we watch the first months of 2015 receded in the rear-view mirror, it is—as always this time of year—time to debrief from the giant instrument and audio “store” known as Winter NAMM.

For the newbies, NAMM is a giant trade show where makers of everything musical from guitars to line array loudspeakers gather to show their wares to dealers and music store owners. At least that is the idea. In truth, every musician who knows someone who works at a music store seems to get their hands on a badge and they come to check out new stuff, trawl for autographs from rock stars and try to get in to private performance parties sponsored by the gear manufacturers.

As always, we had a full team of contributors and supporters on the floor and you will find reports from several of them in this issue of the L2p/SPL ezine. call this piece a kind of Best Of. We asked each of our reporters to pick one item that really caught their eye.

And here are the SPL/L2P Favorite Things at Winter NAMM 2015.

Larry Hall
Vue h-5 fill box

The perfect compliment to our 100+ box Vue inventory. It's a very versatile loudspeaker. It has several M10 points on it so it can be used as an under balcony fill, it also has rubber pads so it can be laid down as a lip fill without the worry of it sliding around, It has a 120x40 coverage pattern, it's powered, and it is compatible with the powerful control software SystemVue. All of this basically makes it out spec a K2 :)

Jay Easley
D.A.S. UX-221 double 21" subwoofer

It rocks a pair of 4.5" voice coils, 6800w power handling, 145db peak 21's. The UX-221 pairs perfectly with our DAS Aero40 rig as well as to supplement any system needing bone crunching bottom end. Our growing EDM client list will enjoy the ‘drop the bass’ power handling. Bring on the brown note.

James Elizondo
RCF TTP5-A

The TTP5-A has some serious work put into it, it's rockin a high powered    15" woofer and beefy 4" HF driver. It is of the constant curvature persuasion; with integrated rigging it makes it very easy to array them either vertically or horizontally. 138db output makes it pack quite a punch. When you couple that with 96khz, 32bit processing, and RCF's RDNet control you have a small loudspeaker that turns into the little engine that could.

Tim Hemingway
Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork

I love new pedals, and in my opinion, this year’s coolest new pedal award goes to Electro Harmonix’s Pitch Fork.  Simply put, this pedal does everything when it comes to pitch shifting.  Different keys, check.  Alternate tuning, check.  Harmonizing leads, check.  It’s awesome!  The only thing to keep in mind, your amp has to be turned up loud enough so that you can’t hear your strings.  While actually re-tuning your guitar is what you’ll want to do in the studio.  This pedal will solve lots of headaches, and tuning breaks, for those who use several tunings live.

Jamie Rio
ISP Theta Pro DSP

The ISP Company has been making really great audio gear for many years now. They also have been building guitar and bass gear but this year they knock it out of the park with their Theta Pro DSP guitar preamp/effect processor. The THETA PRO DSP is a floor controller with the programmable digital Theta preamp plus built in studio quality effects processing. Basically it has more gain than anything else on the market and zero aliasing.

Jim Roese
Waves Tracks Live

Waves, who you'd expect to move forward in the world of live recording and DAW's introduced new software for live recording called Tracks Live. Rather than a robust DAW, it's a completely stripped-down piece of software designed solely for live recording as a virtual "tape machine". Tracks Live has limited functions and does not allow for plug-ins to be used. Most engineers who record live use their DAW for this purpose, using the recorded tracks as a linear source for virtual sound checks then hand the audio files over to their artist to do post with on the platform of choice. Now there is a program designed for this simple need that utilizes minimal CPU power.  Tracks Live is available from Waves now for only $99.00.

Darth Fader
Shure MOTIV MV5

Shure introduced the MOTIV™ line of digital products designed to capture audio through direct connection to an iOS, Mac or PC device. Products include the MOTIV MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone, MOTIV MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone, MOTIV MV51 Digital Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, MOTIV MVi Digital Audio Interface, and the their newest iOS app, ShurePlus™ MOTIV Mobile Recording App. All of these devices incorporate various DSP modes to ensure that entry-level users can achieve great sound by specifying the program material while gain, EQ and compression are adjusted automatically. http://www.shure.com/americas/news-events/press-releases/shure-unveils-new-motiv-digital-product-line-and-ios-mobile-recording-app

Rev. Bill
Presonus StudioLive RM32AI and UC Surface

This is the Holy Grail for the Rev. A mix system that can sit on stage in a rack because it is just a 4U reck-device with I/O and processing and it can be controlled via direct computer connection or wirelessly from a Mac a PC or an iPad. And if said PC is touchscreen-based… You get 32 inputs and enough mix outs for me to easily do stereo in-ear mixes for my entire 8-piece band with a few to spare. All the Fat Channel coolness we have come to expect from the StudioLive mixers in a totally new format. I am already gathering gear to sell on eBay because when the review unit arrives in the next few weeks, it is not going back. Ever. This is gonna be my new mix system. Can’t wait…

Eddie Fluellen
Ravenscroft Pianos

They were located on the third Floor at Lounge 88. My friend, Matthew Pittman (monster keyboardist/vocalist/writer/producer) took me on a tour and showed me their product line. I'm sure the 'big boys' are looking over their proverbial shoulders throughn the throngs behind them and wondering where that thunderous and beautiful sound is coming from. All I have to say is, 'Look out that what is behind you doesn't suddenly overtake you and end up just that far in front of you.' Ravenscroft Pianos have a distinctively rich tone and wonderful touch. It's response is awesome and you are literally washed away in its depth of sound.