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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NAMM 2011 Report Part 4

Here's my final report from Winter NAMM 2011.

The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec is another significant product that appeared at NAMM (sorry I didn't mention this sooner). This is a mastering tool that enables the engineer to compare multiple encoders both visually, numerically and audibly in order to tweak and pick the best one. In other words, if you wanted to make an MP3 file, you could immediately listen between the audio of the original file and the encoder (without having to actually encode the file), listen to the difference audio, and make any minor level adjustments so there are no overloads (encoders are notorious for outputting hot). Plus you're able to do 5 encodes simultaneously and enter a ton of meta data. It's the best tool for mastering online audio ever. Plus, it will only be about 500 bucks, and available as a PC or Mac plug-in for virtually any DAW.

For some reason, this show featured a lot of small guitar tuners and this Snark was one of them. I especially liked the Abbey Road reference.

The Soft Step by Keith McMillan Instruments is a USB foot controller that's different because each key provides pressure, side to side and up and down motion, as well as rotation information. As the sales literature says, "It's a mouse at your feet."

I actually saw a "Sound Control" guy walking around with an SPL meter, although it was obvious that he never stepped foot into Hall A (the drum hall), which was so loud as to be disorienting sometimes.

For those of you who want the coolness of tatoos without the pain or the potential social stigma that goes with it (let alone trying to cover up at work), we have the "tat sleeve." All you do is slip it on and you instantly become a bad mutha for the gig.

Most vocalists are hip to Entertainers Secret, which has been a singers secret for keeping moist vocal cords for ages. I've always been surprised that there wasn't a competitor, but it looks like there is now, with Superior Vocal Health coming out with a whole line of products designed for the vocalist.

And finally, for the geeky techy engineer in your life, comes the Vari-Ohm from Magneto Audio Labs, which allows you to correctly match the impedance of your microphone to you mic preamp. Sometimes you can hear a big difference when you do this, and sometimes you don't, but it's way worth it when it works.

That's it until next year. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

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