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My First NAMM Show

  01/26/12 14:47, by , Categories: BFMN Exclusive, Review, Shaun McIntyre, NAMM 2012 , Tags: avid, bfmn exclusive, dan grigor, namm 2012, newtek, peavey electronics, peavey_, presonus, shaun mcintyre

Publishers Note: It’s funny how you meet people and you know in a moment they will be a long-time friend. I met Shaun McIntyre when he showed up at my July 4th stage one year with his band “Rural Oddities.” Not one of them over 16 years old and they played their hearts out for about 1000 people and absolutely rocked it. The quiet, unassuming kid with the stars-and-stripes guitar got up and played the Star Spangled Banner during the fireworks and it was a thing of beauty. Grown-ups wept openly. Since then I have enjoyed watching him mature. He plays so well and he’s fun to jam with. He’s been to Pro Audio School and is opening a local label and has been helping us with our shows. He does sound for my band. I’ve counted on him as crew, as a friend, a guitar buddy and a protégé. There was no better choice of crew for the NAMM show. It was such a treat to be able to call him up and tell him he had a pass. Then to see his face as we walked around for his first time. Priceless. I think he has an interesting perspective of the show and we’ve asked him to share his experience with you all. Enjoy!

by Shaun McIntyre

First, please understand a single column is not enough to describe what I’ve experienced in the last four days, and if you’re not familiar with audio or music products in general, a lot of this is going to go right over your head.

Regardless, I had fun, I learned a lot, and I wrote an article about it. Here ya go.

Click through for Shaun’s view of NAMM

Ever since I first got into music and production, I’ve wanted to go to the National Association of Musical Merchants convention in Anaheim. This year, 2012, my wish came true and I got to attend NAMM for four days with a press pass as a Contributor for BareFoot MusicNews. This was, no doubt, the coolest, most awesome four days I’ve ever experienced in my life.

NAMM is like Disneyland for music: almost 100,000 people, 1400+ manufacturers, 4 days in music heaven (or noise violation hell).

My first day was a bit overwhelming. With so many people there, it took some time to get into the groove. After a while, I began to see that people noticed the little press pass I had, and THEY actually wanted to talk to ME. Once I began using the press pass for all it was worth, it was smooth sailing from there on out.

First stop was the Gibson room at the very top floor, and man was that impressive. Got to see a Brian Wilson show and a ton of Gibson’s finest guitars.

There were so many vendors there, and most of them were very kind and knowledgeable, and almost everyone had cool products to show.

I really, really enjoyed my trip to the Avid booth. I got to interview an Avid representative, and even an Avid teacher from my school. The guys at the Avid booth really set me up with everything I needed to know, and they let me play with the Eleven Rack for almost an hour. That thing was so cool, it makes me want to pick up the guitar and play like I used to. I learned all about their VENUE system and their control surfaces, including the ICON. As if two years in their education program hadn’t already convinced me, the service and plain courtesy I received at the Avid booth really sold me on them for life. If I ever need a product, and Avid makes it, I’m going to use it no doubt.

Newtek’s booth was also awesome. Their Tricaster and 3Play systems are absolutely wonderful products. Although I don’t know a heap about video products, I know enough to be able to say that they made one hell of a product. If I ever win the lottery, they’ll be seeing me for sure.

Another booth I really enjoyed was Presonus. I’ve been searching for the perfect interface for my studio, and I figured I had found what I needed at Tascam. There it was, the Tascam US-1800, in all it’s glory. I asked their rep ONE question, and here’s basically how Tascam made sure that I wasn’t going to buy any of their products.

Me: What’s the latency like on the 1800?
Tascam: Well, it’s got 8 microphone inputs on the fro…
Me: No, the latency. The delay between input and output.
Tascam: Well, on these inputs you can use Mic and Line conne…
Me: Latency. I know what it has, I just need to know the latency.

The Tascam recording rep gave me a catalog because he had no clue what I was talking about. As much as I have liked some of Tascam’s products, I’m afraid they’ve lost me with that awful display, and I am extremely disappointed in them. So after a little searching, a rack unit at the Presonus booth caught my attention. When I asked the rep about it, he not only answered every question I had, but he also let me demo the product and gave me the ACTUAL price of the unit. $400, plus it comes with software. Deal! You don’t have to twist my arm. The Presonus rep and I had a good laugh over my Tascam story too.

I also really enjoyed Peavey Electronics‘ booth. They had so many cool new products. I can’t even begin to describe how cool their Black Widow speaker system is. Field replacable, quick-change speaker baskets. WOW! That’s going to make a lot of people switch to Peavey speakers. And the auto-tune guitar is just awesome, instant tuning, anywhere and everywhere. Again, a company whose products I already use sells me on them; I’m super impressed. Peavey is the place to go for speakers.

Publisher Dan Grigor and Contributor Shaun McIntyre at NAMM

I learned a whole bunch at NAMM. I found out about company loyalty, and how the way a company carries itself really reflects on their products. I would much rather spend a little extra money knowing that I’m getting the right product that was engineered with me in mind, rather than go cheap and buy whatever works. It feels good knowing that someone is always there for you whether you bought a huge and expensive recording system or a $50 midi controller. The most important thing I learned is that the music community is a strong, team-oriented business. Regardless if everyone is from different companies, different facets of the business or whatever, everyone is of the same mindset and we all work together to achieve the same goal: to make music possible. Without that spirit, that one thing that binds us all together, things like NAMM couldn’t be possible, and there would be no music industry. I’m proud to be a part of the music community, and I’m definitely sure that I picked the right career. 20 years of music, and a lifetime to go. I’m looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.

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