Hi Folks,

I just got Linda's NAMM report back. She covered it for us this year (along with Larry William who hasn't gotten back to me yet). There's a discount that expires in a couple days, so if you want it (on loops) take advantage right away.

Enjoy and thanks to Linda!
My Visit to The NAMM Show ‘08
Linda Kraemer
Chapter Coordinator, Orange County

I am a NAMM newbie, having visited the NAMM show for my first time this year in order to report on some of the latest and greatest gear and gadgets for Just Plain Folks. Although initially overwhelmed by the sea of signs, cars, and black clad folks making their way to the Anaheim Convention Center, I quickly learned to navigate with pen, paper and a cup of coffee.

The January 2008 show had 1,560 exhibitors and a record-breaking 88,100 attendees, (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAMM). This year, the show even filled the Arena area of the convention center. If you’d like to see some highlights of the show, you can check out several videos at www.thenammshow.com. I’ve compiled some of my own highlights from my three days of visits which I think would appeal to Just Plain Folks musicians and songwriters. They are organized into the following:

1) Cool deals from NAMM (hurry and read because some of them expire at the end of February)

2) My top five list of favs’ from the NAMM showroom

3) A sampling from the showroom floor on some of the latest equipment, software and services for musicians, songwriters and music professionals


1. If you like loops, you can go to www.loopmasters.com until the end of February and get 20% off all titles online. Use the code NAMM20 for the special offer. Loopmasters has many different loop download packs, various genres of music and a new artist series. A few of the new artists loops are: Harley and Muscle (deep house loops), Producer Marshal Jefferson, House Generation (house samples), TraFik (progressive dance act), and Aquasky, (“cone melting bass and electro breaks production”).

2. Cakewalk (now owned by with Roland incidentally) is offering $150.00 off its Intel based audio computers (ready to go recording stations). Go to www.pcaudiolabs.com. Deal is until March 1st.

3. Music recording magazine Sound-On-Sound is offering a 50% reduced rate on subscriptions, $39.00 for 12 issues. Go to www.soundonsound.com/Namm

4. Roland/Boss is sponsoring a 2 for 1 admission deal to the Bob Dillan American Journey exhibition (in Los Angeles from 2/8/08 to 6/8/08). Call ahead for reservations at 877-scc-4ttx. The promo code for the deal is 97075. Go to www.skirball.org.


1. An artist/musician named M. Sean Vennett makes beautiful musical symbol/peace sign art. Everything he sells is classy. His shirts/hats, etc. are good quality. I personally love the simple, but quality designs, and the message behind them. Check out www.musicalpeace.com.

2. Hal Leonard has put out several great instruction books. One in particular, is called Hal Leonard Guitar Hero, for $24.95. It is a great way to attract students if you are a guitar teacher. Announce that you teach people how to play guitar hero songs for real. One music retailer shared how he has a sign on his shop that says, “We teach guitar-hero style lessons”. As he put it, “Guitar Hero is not going away”. “We might as well work with it to get people interested in learning”. Hal Leonard also has instructional series booklets. At-A-Glance is the latest instructional Book/DVD series: The series is easy to understand with excellent video, (guitar, bass, etc).

3. Riffworks, by Sonoma Wireworks, has put out a nice musical collaboration software for the internet that is reasonably priced, $129.00. You can use it on macs or pc’s. It’s user friendly and intuitive. Riffworks “offers an exclusive riff-based workflow, where looped guitar tracks with professional drum loops and effects are instantly recorded as layers”. The RiffWorks interface looks like gear, not a complicated DAW. It’s fun and productive because the focus is on playing, not engineering. Features include a unique InstantDrummer, 7 effects, plus AmpliTube 2 Live. You can then post to the collaboration site, www.Riffworld.com.

4. Audio Cubes by Percussa, (www.percussa.com) were introduced at NAMM and are a one-of-a-kind product. They are visually pleasing, glowing, colorful cubes which can be used as midi-controllers and wireless digital/analog signal synthesizers and processors. They are being called a performance piece, as they are eye-catching. Picture this: You are on-stage, manipulating loops with psychedelic cubes which you twist and turn to create sound. A bit pricey, $849.00, but still worth checking out at www.percussa.com.

5. Watching Paul Reed Smith use his Waves/PRS Studio Guitar Interface was pretty exciting. Paul Reed Smith has designed a hardware interface that works with the Waves GTR3. I don’t know if it was Paul or the software, but the sound was pretty realistic and versatile. The hardware features a transparent pre-amplifier, custom-designed circuitry, audiophile-quality components, and studio-grade jacks. The GTR3 software is a virtual instrument with 19 classic and contemporary guitar amps, 22 custom speaker cabinets, 7 “slamming” bass amps, 11 top studio mics and 26 “smokin” stomp effects. You can check it out at www.wavesgtr.com

3) Other Cool Info:

1. MusicCares is the Grammy’s charitable arm which provides financial assistance, confidential resources and a safety net of support for a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies. Music pros who can document five years of employment in the music industry or credited contributions to six commercially released recordings can be eligible. Contact www.grammy.com. Click on musiccares.

2. Little Kids Rock is helping put music programs back into schools. It’s a non-profit that provides funding and assistance to for teachers to give free music classes and musical instruments to children in public schools. It is supported by Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, BB King, Joe Satriani, (to name a few). If you’re interested in contributing or learning more, go to www.littlekidsrock.org.

3. There was a lot of emphasis on TV and Game composing at NAMM. One company, Heavyocity media unveiled its virtual instrument Vol 1: Evolve - designed by Pro TV and Game composers. It boasts an emphasis on the dramatic, cinematic driving rhythms, and vast explosive impacts. Check out www.heavyocity.com.

4. Celemony’s Melodyne analyzes the musical content of audiofiles, displays it as notes and offers windows or mac operating systems “unparalled powerful and intuitive editing possibilities”. More at www.celemony.com.

5. Roland has a very cool, portable SD/CD portable recorder called the Roland CD. It’s small, a battery powered, has stereo mics and a stereo speaker. It has a 3 step recording – 3 step CD burning program and emphasizes user friendly simplicity.

6. www.berkleemusic.com is now offering on-line classes on Sonar, as well as Pro Tools. Many other cool classes and certificate programs are at offered too.

7. Seiko has made a tuner that fits on a Key Ring (included), called the ST01. It has a quarter inch plug on the end to attach to electric instruments.

8. Every one of the major DAW presentations I went to was emphasizing the powerful new digital audio management capabilities they have. Basically, we’re getting to the point in which we can manage audio files just like we manage midi, easily stretching time without changing pitch. Protools 7.4 calls it “Elastic Time”, Cubase 4 boasts being one of the first to incorporate it, and Sonar 7 calls it “Audio Snap”. Pretty impressive stuff.

Well, that does it for my report. I’ll end by saying that I sat in on the NAMM “Best of Show” presentation on Sunday morning, in which 6 industry panelists share their best finds of the show. My favorite presenter was Ted Eschliman from Dietze Music. He wore a brilliant psychedelic colored shirt and made the following statement, “I’m boycotting NAMM black”. “We look like frickin’ morticians”. “Folks, no more black at NAMM”. I’ll have to remember my fucia pants in the future!

Linda Kraemer
Chapter Coordinator
Orange County Chapter
Just Plain Folks

Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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