Canadian Music Trade - February / March - Page 25

THE 2018 NAMM SHOW IN REVIEW Sessions presented by FOH and PLSN magazines, Dante Certification training, and plenty more. That was in addition to special events like The 33 rd An- nual TEC Awards and, for its first time held in con- junction with NAMM, the live production-focused Parnelli Awards. Ultimately, organizers did a great job of catering to the MI, recording, live sound, and pro- duction technologies industries with well- segregated exhibition spaces and educational programming that were nonetheless united underneath the NAMM Show banner. In the end, The 2018 NAMM Show bene- fitted from a significant boost in both exhibitors and attendees, attracting just over 115,000 registrants – a nine per cent increase over 2017’s record-breaking numbers. Included in that was an eight per cent increase in international attendees with 19,356 registrants representing over 100 countries. On the exhibition side, approximately 7,000 brands were represented by nearly 2,000 exhibiting companies – a nine per cent increase from 2017’s total. Impressive figures, to be sure. Our team from Canadian Music Trade arrived on Wednesday afternoon, with just enough time to get settled into the hotel and off to Downtown Disney for Yorkville Sound’s annual Pre-NAMM Party at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. As usual, they had a smoking band onstage that got some help throughout the night from some members of Yorkville’s team, including an animated cover of Beastie Boys’ classic “Fight for Your Right” that had the room shaking. Couple the good music with some good company and southern U.S.-inspired eats and you’ve got the ingredients for a great informal kick-off to The NAMM Show. The morning of the opening day of the show is always a busy one, with many companies competing for the press’s attention at overlapping press conferences. Even before the show opened, though, we were hit with a series of major news announcements affecting Canadian companies or the Canadian market. Among those was the fact that Levy’s Leathers had been acquired by Gator Cases, while Radial Engineering had been acquired by Ultimate Support CEO Mike Belitz. The other big one was that MI and pro audio giant Peavey would once again be going direct to dealers in Canada with a new distribution hub in Ontario. Some interesting shakeups. Anyhow, I started my day at the Korg booth while CMT Senior Editor Mike Raine headed over to see what was new from our fellow Canadians at Sabian. Korg introduced a series of new products, including the now-flagship Prologue polyphonic analog synth. I quite enjoyed the short but satisfy- ing demo performance by European artist Knobs. Over at Sabian, we were introduced to the new frequency-reduced FRX cymbals and the com- pany’s new Custom Shop, launching in the spring. We spent the next few hours walking the expanded exhibit space, getting a lay of the land while searching for cool things to check out over the following few days. The main goal, though, was distributing invitations for that night’s NWC NAMM Canadian Reception to sponsoring companies and other Canadian attendees we happened upon. Early afternoon, I headed over to the ACC North for the first time and was impressed with the facilities and exhibit layout. Sennheiser was hosting a press conference to introduce, among other things, Evolution Wireless G4, the fourth generation of the company’s flagship wireless series. I stuck around to wander the new halls before a meeting with the team from GerrAudio to see what was new from their exhibiting companies, in- cluding Clear-Com, Digico, DPA, and Meyer Sound. They seemed quite pleased with the increase in pro audio offerings and the space dedicated to that (L-R) Sabian’s Mark Love, Luis Cardoso, Andy Zildjian & Stacey Montgomery-Clark introducing the FRX series market segment, which was good to hear. My last appointment before heading over to the Sheraton Park to get things going for the NWC reception was with Efkay’s Dan Ellison, focusing primarily on the new offerings from Tama and Ibanez. Even though there are apparently only four allocated to Canada, Ibanez’s 30 th anniversary Chrome Boy Joe Satriani signature guitar was a hot topic of conversation. Mid-afternoon, I got to the Plaza Ballroom at the Sheraton to meet with the folks from Renkus-Heinz and Contact Distribution who, as the perennial PA sponsors for the event, get to, as Contact’s Bill Coons eloquently puts it, “play roadie for the day.” Can’t thank those gents enough for the time and help. It was great to finally connect with the guys in Toque, who were our much-hyped performers for the evening. The group is comprised of some Knobs performs during Korg’s press conference CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE • 25