Winter NAMM 2024 highlights
The NAMM show, short for the National Association of Music Merchants, is a yearly conference that showcases the latest in musical instruments and audio equipment while hosting demos and clinics from some of the top musicians and vendors from around the world.
Starting back in 1901, it was originally called The National Association of Piano Dealers, which, as you can guess, only featured pianos.
Today, the show is renowned for its diverse array of gear, tech, live performances, workshops and networking opportunities with other professionals. Exhibits range from instrument manufacturers to music software developers, making it the place to be if you want to see the latest trends in the industry.
A few things that made this year’s show special included a custom Yamaha piano that was crafted for Prince for an upcoming tour before he sadly passed away. Other offerings from Yamaha included the launch of their flagship synth as well as their newest electric guitar.
“Other than my personal enjoyment in the drum section, I focused my time checking out the instrument accessories and products designed to carry, protect and manage your gear. Some of the concepts gave me inspiration on ways we can help our customers coming to TFI for custom bags and fasteners for organizing their cables, accessories and more.”NAMM attendee and TFI General Manager, Carlos Gonzales
And while we can’t go through every company that showed their stuff, strangely, a few of the industry’s heavy hitters such as Fender, Gibson and DW drums did not have a presence at this year’s show. Which isn’t such a bad thing as it left lots of room for smaller, newer instrument and pro-audio companies to promote their gear to a more captive audience.
Other new and notable products at this year’s NAMM were brand new offerings from Laney, Peavey, Vox and other amp companies, as well as the latest drum gear from brands like Gretsch who released their limited edition Tony Williams six piece US custom kit. Not to be outdone, Tama also had a large display which featured their extensive line of drum kits while celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Iron Cobra kick pedal.
Carlos adds, “It is surprising to me to see the consideration and effort put into NAMM booth design, but then the exhibitors forget to route, protect and brand all the cables running to and from their gear. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d want the cables leading to and from my products- branded, dressed and organized.”
Like shows in the past, there were also plenty of top tier musicians giving demonstrations. Legends such as Stevie Wonder, and Geezer Butler were on hand, as well as studio musicians with incredible resumes like Nathan East who played bass on over 2,000 songs across his decades-long career including artists like Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton.
From drum manufacturers, to keyboard, sound gear and orchestral instruments this year’s show featured rows and rows of cool, innovative new products – including a huge amount of hi-tech digital effects and studio gear, which allowed attendees to tap into sounds which they may have never heard before.
All in all, this year’s show was a return to what was, and continues to be, a gathering of artists, buyers, manufacturers and fans who come together from around the world to discover the latest gear and share in their love for all things music.
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