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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Look At NAMM 2012 - Part 3

Here's the last of my NAMM 2012 overview, and this time it's more about some of the odd or unusual things that I spied during my all-too-fast gallop around the show. I was actually at NAMM for 2 entire days, but the problem was that I was involved in meetings most of that time, so my floor time was actually pretty limited. Sometimes that's for the best though, since you tend to see the big picture a little better as you race through the 4 giant halls, the basement, and 2nd and 3rd floors (yes, NAMM is pretty big). Let's see what we have.

Molecule Drums image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blogFirst up is a rather interesting drum kit from Molecule Drums. As you can see they have this round bulb on the bottom where the bottom head should be. Surprisingly, they actually sounded really good for the brief bit that I heard.

LED drum head image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Speaking of drums, this company puts blinking LED overlays on drums, heads and guitars. You can't see them blink here, but it probably looks pretty good on stage.

Stained Glass Drum Head/Speaker Cabinet Grills image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Here's a company that makes stained glass drum heads and speaker cabinet grills. This is definitely a case where image wins over audio quality, but if that's important to you, contact

Footbass image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

With Mumford And Sons so big at the moment, having a guitar player also play a rhythm instrument has become an important musical element. This piece (I think it's a "Footbass") is just the thing for that acoustic act that needs a heartbeat.
NAMM hats image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

If you want to be cool, you need a hat. What better place to buy one than at NAMM?

Slaperoo NAMM 2012 image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Here's an interesting instrument called a "Slaperoo" that's a combination upright bass and percussion instrument. I can actually see this going somewhere as it seems to have some real possibilities in the right hands.

Hand-Built Piano Co. NAMM 2012 image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Just won the lottery and want to buy the fanciest piano known to man? The Hand-Built Piano Company can help you out. I don't know what they sound like, but they sure are ornate.

Grand Illusion Piano Shell image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Want everyone to think that you're playing a real grand piano onstage instead of your synth? Time to get a Grand Illusion piano shell. This looks like the real thing from every angle except that of the player.

Unique Piano NAMM 2012 image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Okay, imagine you're playing playing in a piano bar in Afganistan and you want to keep the Taliban away. What better way to do it than to make them think that you have a Predator drone at your disposal. Yes, this really is a real grand piano.

string keyboard device NAMM 2012 from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Let's say you're a piano player that never could get the hand of guitar fingering, this device let's you use what's familiar.
Big City Music organ NAMM 2012 from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

Believe it or not, this is really an organ with 5 white keys on the left hand and 5 on the right. The songs aren't great but the sounds are good. It was found at Big City Music.

NAMM 2012 sound police image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog

And finally, the sound police were out in force at NAMM. Here one regular sound cop and one undercover one check the sound level of a dobro player with a Radio Shack meter and an iPhone app. At the same time, none could be found around the various drum, brass and amplifier booths.

That was NAMM 2012 through my eyes. The other stuff you can read on any blog or website, but you have to come here for the cool stuff.

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Joel said...

Bobby - do you know who makes that piano/string instrument? Looks like Marcotti from the picture but I can't find any information on it.

Bobby Owsinski said...

Sorry, Joel, I don't know. The guy was playing in front of a NAMM display and wasn't at a booth.

Bobby Owsinski said...

I received the following from Derek at Stained Glass Designs in an email:

Hi Bobby and thanks for the press on our product!

However, contrary to peoples first conclusion about the tone being compromised is not true, In fact when we had the initial idea for this product about a year ago, it was our first concern. It was so important for us that is did not compromised the sound that the very next thing we did is had an independent sound engineer do extensive "white and pink noise" testing. The proof came in and the glass did not negatively effect the sound between the sound graphs of a stock Marshall cab and our triple paned glass backed Marshall cab.

There is no vibration between the triple paned stained glass unit. There is tempered glass on the outside and stained glass in the middle. Further these three panes are all spaced from each other which all have and 1/8" void between them. Our glass replaces the back of your cabinet. The stock wood plank on any speaker cab is 3/4" thick, and our triple paned stained glass unit is 3/4" which make for an easy switch.

The stained glass is played toward the audience and the speakers are micro-phoned from the rear.

It also double as a table when you get home.

The "Mexican day of the dead skull" speaker cabinet you pictured was bought by Andy Vargas
(lead singer of Santana) for Carlos Santana as a late xmas gift!

Take a look at our speaker cabinet conversion kit and sound graph below comparison chart below.

Thanks for your time and the press!


Derek Schmid
1 888 50-MyGlass

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