Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NAB 2010 - A Yawner Of A Show

Most trade shows, even the ones held during the most dire economic circumstances like we've recently lived through, usually have something interesting or unique to offer, even if it's only the vibe. Not so for this year's NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), which was about as limp a show as I can remember.

Why do I say it was limp? Let me count the ways.

1) Traffic was down. Granted, I was there on a Tuesday (the 2nd day), but the attendance seemed significantly off from previous years.  Sure there were people in the aisles, but they weren't filled like always. But a sure signed was that a lot of the overpriced food vendors weren't even open, and the ones that were closed by 5PM. The economy has finally caught up with the broadcast industry.

2) Exhibitors were down too. This used to be a pretty big audio show, with an entire hall dedicated mostly to it. This show, the pro audio exhibitors were significantly less although the ones that cater specifically to radio or television where there as always. In fact, audio and radio were relegated to a small portion of hall C, instead of the huge North hall as before.

3) The vide wasn't too exciting. It was just dull. No excitement anywhere. Nobody talking about gear, deals, even parties. I heard a lot about where people were going to eat that night, but that's about it.

4) No new product big announcements. There was 3D, more 3D, and even more after that. That and the fact that incandescent lights are pretty much going away in favor of LED's, which just follows the trend from last year. And let's face it, when the biggest announcement is Avid buying Euphonix, you know the show is pretty lame. And why did Avid buy Euphonix anyway? Very curious and a topic for a future post.

So what did I see? Not much but here goes:

A) 3D. If I hear or see one more thing about 3D I'm going to puke. Some of it looked cool, but much of it had so much parallax in it that it could, in fact, make you throw up. Still a parlor trick, and it will continue to be so until you can view it without the stupid glasses. And by the way, if it's supposed to make the picture look more real, it's failing miserably.

On the left we so an unbelievable complex 3D camera setup.

B) What happened to Sony? This is a company that has really lost its way. We've known this for a long time in both the record and consumer electronics businesses, but now it's even true for broadcast television equipment, a market they once owned. Everything just seems a step behind. Panasonic and Canon have hipper cameras at all price ranges, and Sony's 3D stuff really seemed like a me-too product line (lamer than most). I think one thing kind of tells the whole story - every camera manufacturer used LED lighting in their demo scenes. Sony still used old-fashioned, hot, tungsten lighting. Sometimes, it's the little things that tell the story.

C) What exactly is Avid? It's a bathroom cleanser; it's a hair conditioner; it's a chewing gum; no, it's a shoe polish. They make editing gear, they make speakers, they make DJ equipment, they make recording software, they make keyboards, they make recording and sound reinforcement consoles, they make....., they make........., they make...... Since all of the companies that they absorbed are now called Avid instead of their original brand names, Avid just stands for confusion.

On the left, the screen that started the beginning of a confusing Avid demo.





D) The Vocal Booth. This is the coolest thing I saw. I don't know how I've overlooked these guys all these years. This is the perfect add-on to just about any home studio. Want a well-isolated, acoustically treated vocal or overdub room? These guys have it. For about $10k you have have something that really works, complete with air conditioning (which is the hard part). Check them out at vocalbooth.com













E) Hard Drive Boxes. Hudzee had a great idea for this DAW world with plastic boxes designed especially for hard drives. Remember tape boxes? It's the same thing, just for drives. Makes it easy for storage and identifying what you have.

Check them out at hudzee.com.

There you have it. At least there were a couple of things that weren't 3D.
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