Sorry for the late notice, but I just got the word. A long list of manufacturers of synthesizers and other electronic music production tools are presenting Knobcon, a weekend geek-out for synthesizer afficianodos. Hands-on demos of modern and vintage instruments, boutique trade show with designers demonstrating and selling their gear, performances, and build-it-yourself workshops where you can learn workbench skills including soldering, and actually build something useful.
Admission for the full weekend is $35, with separate kit fees for the build-it-yourself workshops.
If you’re into electronic-based or experimental music and the tools used to create it, particularly if you’re in the Chicago area, this is the place for you this weekend.
Location:The Hyatt Regency Schaumburg
Schedule: Party with performances Friday, exhibits and workshops 10-6 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday
Full details at the Knobcon web site
On September 9, 2016 (#909day, a hash tag for those who lust after Roland’s classic TR-909 Rhythm Composer), Roland will be hosting a 24-hour streaming online musical instruments festival which they’re calling “The Future. Redefined.” More than 30 new products will debut during streaming video broadcasts from VIP events in eight major cities around the world. Artists performing during the festival will be autographing and contributing a variety of Roland gear to MusiCares®, the non-profit organization established by The Recording Academy® to help music people in times of hardship.
For information on what it’s about and what new products will be shown (honestly, most of it is behind a curtain as of Sept 1 other than hints by product category) click here.
To go directly to the schedule of presentations, click here. Remember to convert the Pacific Daylight Times into your local time zone.
Boz Digital Labs along with Toontrack and Groove3 are having a contest in which you download tracks (there are a lot of them), mix them to your taste, and submit your mix. The first three prizes are for what’s judged to be the best mixes (by their admittedly biased judges). Fourth prize is a random drawing among the losers, so you could win prizes even if your mix sucks. And if you decide not to enter, you can have fun mixing some well tracks including MIDI tracks for the drums should you want to edit the drum parts or substitute your own sounds for theirs. It’s a metal-punkish song, not my bag at all, so don’t worry about competing with me for the big prizes.
Prizes include Toontrack’s Superior Drummer (1st prize) or EZ Drummer (other prizes), Groove3 on-line classes (a year for 1st prize, a month for other prizes), and a Boz Digital plug-in of your choice. Contest closes at midnight Pacific time September 4.
Details, downloads, and entry information here.
My 2016 NAB Show report is now available. Visit the Trade Show page or just click here to download it. As usual, it’s a PDF. The photos are at fairly high resolution, so you can zoom into the PDF to get a closer look,
I finally cleared the snow away (well, it was warm and it rained all day yesterday so I had some help) and I put together my full NAMM show report for 2016. Visit the Trade Show Reports page to download it, or just jump right to it here. As usual, it’s a PDF that you can read at your leisure. By the way, some of the pictures are at fairly high resolution, so you can blow up the PDF page and see some details. All the links to the product web sites should be good, at least for a while.
Sunday is the best and worst day to visit the show. Best because it’s not as crowded as the other days, worst because, since there’s not much traffic at the booths, the booth staff takes the opportunity to wander around the show floor, leaving a skeleton crew who doesn’t know enough to answer technical questions. I wanted to have a look at the Tactus mixer control surface from Crest (not really new, but I wanted to add it to my control surface ramblings) but nobody there knew anything about it when I got to their room Sunday morning. Oh, well.
While many of the usual plug-in and software manufacturers had booth space in the main halls, this year NAMM devoted one of the upstairs rooms to software, with more than 20 exhibitors in a fairly quiet room. I don’t know enough about the products to learn much there, but I did chat with a couple of the exhibitors about how they liked having that dedicated space. They really liked it, but because it wasn’t all that well publicized, and was at the far end of hallway that spanned the full width of the convention center, a lot of attendees just didn’t make it up there. I only stumbled across it when looking for the Crest Tactus in the Peavey room next door.
Stevie Wonder is a regular visitor at NAMM shows, and this year, not once, but twice, I was overshadowed by The Wonder Experience. Once I had to wait to cross an aisle while his entorage was given the right of way with escorts from security. Not a big deal. But Sunday I wanted to stop back at the Waves booth to get a little quieter demo of the Waves NX, which, as far as I could tell, is a plug-in to simulate listening room environments. Focusrite had something like that a few years ago (there’s a review of it here) and I was curious as to what direction Waves was taking with it. Their blurb was about how you could have a high class mastering room in your headphones. Well, wouldn’t you know it – Just as I snagged someone to give me a demo, he looked around and said “Stevie Wonder is heading over here and I have to give him a tour.” Of course I couldn’t tag along.
I’ll get all this stuff organized into a real report next week. I live in the Washington DC area and I’m not coming home until Saturday. There’ll be plenty of snow to keep me indoors and working. My neighbor got someone to shovel out my walkway, but he didn’t realize that my car was in the garage about 150 feet back from the street. Oops!