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  • Writer's pictureMatt Skoda

NAMM2020 - Just Wow!

Updated: Jan 18

So, I just got back from the NAMM2020 conference in Anaheim, California. And all I can say is wow! The amount of manufacturers, vendors and products for the music industry is just remarkable.

Before I talk about the experience, I want to thank ATV Drums for sponsoring me as an Exhibitor Artist. I was really excited to be there and to be able to be a part of their promotion and of course, play their latest kit.

The show is held in the Anaheim Convention Center and it is just a huge facility. Including the Hilton and Marriott hotels, the entire show takes days to go through and you can only skim the amount of products to see, play and consider. The cool thing is that much of the convention is laid out based on the instrument, technology or applications being presented. Percussion, guitars, audio, video, lighting, software and many others are all presented at this convention. For a gearhead like me, it was a dream come true. And I got to play my favorite kits and discover new ones.

There are live concerts running every day until about 1:00 am and you can find everything from jazz, to country, to rock, to a cappella music. Of course there are also workshops on everything from the music business to retailing to building your brand and of course product reviews. There is even an awards show for the Best in Show product introduction.

For me, drums were the reason for the season! And I wasn't disappointed. ATV aDrums are one of the best electronic kits in the market that play and look like an acoustic kit. They also have some of the best drum sounds in their aD5 module as they focus on recording and rendering actual drums in their Japan tech center. My aDrum kit will be forthcoming and I will do an unboxing and review on my channel and my site when they arrive.

ATV announced a strategic relationship with CANOPUS acoustic drums to do additional sounds for their module. I went over and checked out their kit and was sold immediately. They make custom drums and are big internationally. Not as well known here in the US but I wanted their acoustic kit for my studio and gigging. Along with ATV for my eDrum kit, it's the best of both worlds. We're meeting one of their sales execs to play all their kits and select the right one for my studio and for gigging. More to come on both of these relationships later!

One of the more interesting sessions I attended was presented by NAMM's president, Joe Lamond, made several important points about the industry and music generally. He pointed out that more vendors were at NAMM than ever before and the show is the biggest music manufacturing industry in the world. But what he said about music was even more important. His view was that one of the reasons that so many instrument manufacturers are producing product is because music is a community experience. Man has been making music for over 5,000 years and it's only in the last 100 years that recording has been part of that experience. And while a lot of good music is being "produced", in the end someone has to actually go out and play. And you can't do that by threading together a bunch of MIDI key strokes, stems and samples. Live music, performance and the organic experience of live music is what moves people and it's why concerts, community events and local music venues are all proliferating. It is a good time to be a musician and be able to actually play the music you record to that same live audience.

In closing, I had the chance to meet Justin Greenawalt, one of my favorite YouTubers from his channel 65 Drums, and I thought his video would be a great review of some of the remarkable and wild kit that was exhibited at the conference. Enjoy and make sure you check out Justin's channel. He reviews all things eDrums and is a great talent in his own right!

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