Here are some rough notes, which I’ll try to post some of daily during the show. There will be a full, consolidated report next week.
NAMM 2015 Preview Day Notes
IK Multimedia – iRig Mic HD-A yet. Hoped this would be the digital mic that I could use with my Android phone and tablet, but without one to try, I can’t be sure. They know that it doesn’t require the Samsung Pro Audio operating system extension but think it might require Android OS version 5 (I have vesion 4). I’ll try to get deeper into this when the actual booth opens. Their new Android product is a guitar interface, as well as a bunch of apps for Android.
iZ Technology – Lots of buzz around the pro audio forums about the new Radar Studio. The excitement is about that it it’s a one-box DAW. It integrates iZ’s highly respected A/D and D/A converters (as well as an assortment of digital I.O options), recording software, and system controller (a keyboard with a button for everything you’ll need).
That’s pretty much what they’ve been doing for over 20 years. The thing that puts it all together is that it’ll run Pro Tools, or any other DAW that runs under Windows. It’s not quite perfect, yet, thought. Radar and Pro Tools can’t run simultaneously in the same box. It’s a dual-boot system and when you boot it up, you get a choice of what you want to run. So, you can do your tracking on Radar and not have to fuss with a mouse, and then switch to your DAW for editing and mixing. It comes pre-loaded with Pro Tools 11 Native and Harrison Mixbus, but (I’m pretty sure) you have to provide your own license. It has a port for an external monitor, but there’s a touch-sensitive LCD on the front panel so you really don’t need anything but the single box if portability is an issue.
GTC Sound (a new company) – Revpad is a system that consists of a pedalboard-sized box that contains four of their own effects, along with a wireless controller that you can stick on to your guitar to select the effects, which can be chained as presets, and adjust parameters of the effects with a small touch pad. That’s not all that special, but wait! There’s more!
Two features caught my eye, and they can be cleverly integrated. First it has jacks for an (just one) external effect processor input and output. This can be a single effect by itself, or can be incorporated into a chain. The other cool thing is that it can send MIDI control data, which can be controlled by the remote controller. So, in effect (pun intended) you have a wireless remote control for an outboard MIDI-controllable effect processor or for a VST plug-in running in a computer or mobile device,
Relish Guitars (new to me) – A Swiss company that makes solid body electric guitars with a couple of interesting features. They have a solid aluminum “backbone” inside the body that mounts the pickups and tailpiece together on a solid metal block. Their claim is that this increases sustain. But the thing that caught my eye was the wiring and control of the pickup system. They offer a plain old three position mechanical switch, but they have an alternate switch that’s electronic, operated by a pair of touch-sensitive buttons on the guitar. Advantages? The obvious one is no noise, and no contacts to get fussy during a show. They have models with standard wiring, but they also have a modular option with plug-in connectors for the pickup, switch, and pots so that it’s easy for the owner to customize the instrument by swapping components without soldering. What caught my eye (and prompted me to stick around for a demo) was that all of the internal wiring is shielded cable, and it uses SMA (or maybe the one that’s a bit smaller – neither they nor I were sure) coax connectors. That’s really classy.
So much for a pre-show teaser. The real show starts today.