Archive of the Show Buzz Category

Microsoft at NAMM 2007

Hey, our friend Dan Moore from Microsoft is here to check in with old NAMM friends, spread the word about Vista, and overall, help make Microsoft easier for developers to work with…in his words:

I had the pleasure of enjoying my first NAMM in nine years not having to demo anything, sell anything, yell over the din of guitar amps and control room monitors…and yet my voice is still shot! To make things more fun, I was joined by two NAMM first-timers and they soaked it all up. Overall we had a great time, walked the floor and reached out to our partners, listened to what our partners need from Microsoft, and eventually will turn that feedback into a tighter worknig relationship between Microsoft and the audio/music development community.

After developing recording and computer audio products for Mackie for last eight years of my life, I really enjoyed having an objective perspective on the needs and wants of our partners as it applies to the Windows platform. I feel incredibly lucky to be in a position where I can apply the years of experience in pro audio to bear on what I perceive to be some of the biggest undiscovered business opportunities we have yet to realize.

There are so many compelling stories to tell around creativity and technology, and NAMM is great place to capture those. With Vista hitting the streets shortly, there will undoubtedly be more. I was amazed when I first learned about the new audio stack in Vista, the fact it was completely re-written to be more efficient, powerful, and reliable, and overall easier with which to work for the audio/music developer community. The launch of the Crossfader web site ( at CES provides a channel to tell those user stories, and highlight some of the great video content our partners have been doing for years.

Overall you get to the larger goal by hitting the smaller goals along the way. Having a presence and visibility at NAMM, reaching out to the partner community, and building these relationships was a necessary first step in reaching the larger goal of bringing the audio/music communtiy closer to what Microsoft has to offer. I am incredibly proud and grateful to be a part of that effort.

Mix Loves Lee Sklar!

I’m sitting here at the Mix booth on the last day of the NAMM show ’07 and Erika Lopez has once again saved my ass by her kindness and concern. An oasis in the middle of a sea of, well you know! It is always a ball to see the gang here. The show is always ‘interesting’ and makes me want to go home and do yard work for a week. I am going to run now and see the last of the remnant friends I have here and then start the drive home. Most difficult part of which is driving by the In N’ Out Burger and trying not to stop. I failed last night and damn, IT WAS GOOD! Take care and all the best wishes to all. Lee Sklar

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Bob Martin, Bob Martin, Bob Martin

Hi Bob – What you seeing here at the show that’s interesting?

The most interesting thing I’ve seen is the Chandler Abbey Road line of hideously expensive, insanely great processors and plug ins.

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The Bald and the Beautiful

l to r: Matt Ward (Universal Audio), Frank Wells (PSN) and Kevin Becka (Mix) at the UA dinner
Universal Audio put on quite a bash for the press on Saturday night at Catal in Downtown Disney. Over 20 editors from audio magazines worldwide including Mix, Remix, EM, Pro Sound News US and UK and more were on hand to talk turkey and eat some fantastic food.

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Another Good Day @ NAMM

So here comes Erika’s daughter, Elizabeth, to offer some insights from the younger set. Lizza?
What can I say? Another awesome NAMM show. Every year this show just gets better and better. Hanging out at the Prism booth, resting my feet, watching all the people go by. I think the highlight was Bootsy Collins, but it’s tough to choose. The Martin booth was exceptional, and literally took my breath away. Interesting to walk around and see what’s new, while revisiting some of the old. Only makes me look forward to what’s in store for the coming years. As always, it’s a pleasure to stop by and see the wonderful staff of MIX, Remix, and the rest. Never a dull moment here at NAMM!

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We’re here with Frank Serafine who’s roaming the floor looking for cool stuff…Frank what do you see?
Well I have been having a great time here with all my old friends. The future is here! East/West collections are incredible, such as Storm Drums 2, Gypsy, EZ Drummer, Fab Four and much more. Vienna Symphonic Library also has some new stuff that I can’t wait to hear on my studio system. Yesterday I went by the Yamaha booth with my good friend Suzanne Ciani and was blown away by the demo I was given by Yamaha bigwig Jim Presley, who demoed the new technology behind the Disklavier 3. And above all, I went by to see my friends Manfred and Alec Little at the Apple booth, which was the hit of the show. The Logic software is progressing like a dream. And finally, I brought my 34-foot 5th-wheel mobile studio down from Simi Valley. It’s outfitted with Optocore fiber optics, a JL Cooper virtual mix system, hi-def monitoring, and the Holophone 7.1 3-D surround microphone system, which we’ll be showcasing at S.I.R. in L.A. on February 3.

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Waldorf Returns!

Okay, you might already know about the Waldorf Collection, an update of three popular plug-ins once distributed by Steinberg. The latest news is that Waldorf has returned to the hardware arena. In addition to limited-edition models of the MicroQ, Q, and Q+, Waldorf is showing three new hardware instruments: the Blofeld, the Stromberg, and the Zarenbourg.

The Blofeld is probably best described as a MicroQ in a small tabletop device with only eight knobs, five buttons, and a backlit display. It should be available in the springtime with a street price around $500, including a Mac/Win editor/librarian.

The Stromberg is a full-tilt keyboard synth specializing in wavetable and virtual analog synthesis. It is a thing of beauty to behold and probably deserves to win many industrial design awards. It’s said to render Wave, Microwave, and Q sounds, but it was behind glass and I didn’t get to hear it. It’s supposed to be available in autumn for under $4,000.

The Zarenbourg was the only Waldorf instrument available for anyone to play. It’s a physical- modeled electric piano that physically resembles a Wurlitzer (right down to its size and weight, thanks in part to 76 real wood keys). It felt and sounded great, though no ship date or pricing information is available. Long live Waldorf!

Grammy Sound Table

I just got back from an absolutely stellar Grammy Sound Table, based on the topic of how people work today. Extremely relevant in today’s on-the-go world of production. Maureen Droney and her crew at the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy put together a panel of four very talented, and very different, producers. And guess what, they all work very differently. After the intro and general-interst questions about vocal chains and favorite pieces of gear and working with artists, Moderator Michael Molenda of Guitar Player asked each one of them to play back a track and then tell how it came together. The selections and the methods were stimulating in both their variety and their care and attention.

Nick Raskulinecz, fresh off production on the upcoming Rush album and known for his work with Foo Fighters, Stone Sour, Queens of the Stone Age, selected a track from Stone Sour that was completed after the record was done and the flights had been booked home. Turns out Cory Taylor woke up that morning with the song in his head, brought it in and recorded everything, except the drums, right there in the control room. First he laid down a scratch vocal/guitar (the vocal mostly stayed intact throughout the day). Then he pulled out a Martin guitar from the basement, did the acoustic, then bass, then guitar, then drums in the big room, then sweetened and peppered with tambourine. Done, basically in a day, and it’s their hit. The vocal chain? Very common one for Nick: Soundelux 251 into a Martech pre and dbx 160XT.

Carmen Rizzo, the underground darling with high-end appeal, then selected Azam Ali’s “Endless Reverie,” a haunting sexy track with all types of world beat floating through. Her only mandate was that she didn’t want any ordinary sounds. Carmen started with high-hat and snare, programmed by hand in Kontakt 2. He also employed Reaktor and scads of NI gear. Then came guitars by Trey Gunn of King Crimson, then a guitar-viola. His sexcret? He does his processing in Reaktor, mainly for delays and effects. He also makes liberal use of Echo Farm. “I like glitchy sounds,” he said.

Next up was Harvey Mason Jr. from super-duo producers The Underdogs, fresh off the massive success of Dreamgirls. He played the track “Change M

Then came Butch Walker, an artist who also happens to produce the likes of Pink, Avril Lavigne and Hot Heat. He was the rebel onstage, and played a song he scratched down in Garage Band after waking up in an L.A. hotel room at 5 a.m.. Got out the guitar, then brought it to the band for the next record. He likes to record live in the room…the vocal did end up being a mic and acoustic guitar in a room, then overdubbed bass but had guitar live in a booth. He kept it sparse, then brought in…you guessed it. Strings! Beautifully done to fil out the track. Then on mixing, he said, “I asked him to put tape slap echo across the whole track at 150 ms. Ruined the sonics, but I loved it!” Much laughter in the audience, along with applause.

Our hats off to Maureen Droney and the Academy. And to Mike Molenda for moderating a great forum. These Sound Tables do feel like the living room they strive for. Now let’s bug the Academy to get these darn things up online so we can all hear!

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Bob Moog Foundation

We have the pleasure of welcoming Michelle Moog-Koussa, daughter of the legendary Bob Moog. Since her father’s passing, she and her family have established the Bob Moog Memorial Foundation for Electronic Music. She tells us that her dad never really let the family in on what he was up to, but that when she hit the NAMM floor with him in 1990, it was completely surreal, with at least one man bowing down before him. Quite an eye-opener. Well, she’s back and letting the world know about the foundation and the plans for a museum in his beloved home of Asheville, N.C. Plans include endowed scholarships, an electronic music outreach program for disadvantaged youth and a series of concerts and competitions. The outpouring from the floor has been overwhelming, she says. Now let’s the rest of us pitch in and honor the man who did as much for the sounds of today as any man who walked these floors. The foundation is starting from the ground up, unfunded and reliant on donations from people whose life Bob touched, either through his instruments or his humble and giving spirit. After all, his legacy lives on. Let’s all be a part of it. Visit the website,, to make a contruibution. Any amount is appreciated.

Circling Planet Beef

What do you get when you add one obscure restaurant address, 6 intrepid culinary adventurers and a cab driver who is willing to deliver said adventurers into the jaws of Garden Grove? You get a FANTASTIC meal! Friday night after the show, a bunch of Mix-ers endeavored to get away from the standard Disney-fied fare and found a gem. The BO7 Mon Thien An Vietnamese Restaurant’s (714-530-4955) 7 Courses of Beef offered veggies, sauces, platters of thinly sliced meats plus 6 other savory offerings on the hoof not to mention other unidentifiable goodies. We were certainly strangers in a strange land and drew stares from the other diners, but the help couldn’t have been more friendly. They tutored us in the proper sequence and assembly of the food which came on no less than 20 plates. It could be described as nothing short of a feast and the shocker was that dinner for six with drinks was under $90.

The whole experience was a mind blower and stretched our taste bud’s paradigms. We knew we had gone where no other NAMM-er had gone before when we saw the business next door was named the Mother & Kid Nutrition, Fresh Water, Western Union and Shooting Range! Ok maybe not the shooting range part, but the rest is true.

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