The vibe before the 2013 Winter NAMM show is very different from previous years. Is this a sign of things to come beyond just the show?
Normally, one writes about the NAMM show after it happened; and given when this newsletter ships, it has indeed already happened. But the roll-up to this year’s show is also noteworthy, because it has had more announcements, more PR companies saying “come to our booth,” and more of an upbeat vibe than it has in quite a while.
It’s no secret that the music business has been sort of treading water the past few years—but then again, who hasn’t (well, aside from the mega-banks)? If you turn on the news, you’ll see economists talking cautiously about a recovery that’s fragile and tentative, but measurable. Granted, it’s fragile enough that a bump in the road could derail it; but Japan and Europe are getting a handle on their issues, and aside from the clown car known as Washington politics, the US may be starting to lurch a bit more toward rationality.
So where does that leave us? The music industry isn’t really a boom-and-bust business. The booms, like we had when MIDI and digital hit in the 80s, are really more like boomlets; and the busts aren’t total crashes. It’s a small and resilient industry, populated by people who are so passionate about music they made it their lives—low pay and job insecurity be damned. And somehow, we pretty much all make it through another year.
A decade from now, we might end up looking at 2013 as the year the world started to turn a corner, and have fun again. And if not? Well, we’ll still cope. And in either case, we’ll have more material to write songs about!
by Jon Chappell
We decipher the language of guitar distortion pedals—those unique, inscrutable “black boxes” that adhere to no known standards for parameter definition
by Craig Anderton
You’ve recorded the vocal—but don’t touch that mixer fader until you’ve prepped the vocal properly for mixdown
by Craig Anderton
When you’re on the road a lot, you don’t want to have to deal with jet lag
|We Want to Hear What You Think About the New Site Design
We knew the site wouldn’t be fully polished at launch, because the performance of the old site dictated that we push the new one “live” as soon as possible. But, that gives us the opportunity to get your feedback as we fine-tune the new site. Please let us know what you think—good and bad! We’re taking notes.
|Use a Chrome Plugin to Better View the New Forums
Until the design folks finish tweaking the look of the new site, a clever forum member has come up with a stylebot in the Chrome browser that greatly improves the forums’ overall look.
|FAQ—How to Quote, and More
We understand it will take a little time to learn the ins and outs of the new software, but FAQs like this help make the learning curve a lot less steep.
|Having Problems Logging in Because You Lost Your Email Address?
If you can't log in because you're unable to reset your email address, or if you've created an alt account and can't remember the email address of your old one and need help recovering your account, this thread has the info to get you back to where you once belonged.
|New Pedals From EarthQuaker Devices at NAMM
The pre-NAMM show press releases are rolling in, and the Effects community is excited about some of the new offerings from EarthQuaker Devices. Check them out here!
|Vocal Production Tips
This thread from The Studio Trenches forum contains extensive advice on how to produce and record vocals, with an emphasis on achieving a "modern, processed, indie-rock sound."
|Roland Studio-Capture USB 2.0 Audio Interface
The Studio-Capture interface features pro-level performance, generous I/O that includes 12 premium-grade mic preamps, and a flexible, mobile design that’s equally at home in the studio or on the road.
|Eventide Announces the H9 Harmonizer
The H9 delivers Eventide’s acclaimed sound and can run all of Eventide’s stompbox effects. It features a simple, one-knob user interface and also connects wirelessly via Bluetooth.
|Roland G-5A VG Stratocaster
The amazing G-5A gives you the ability to completely change your tone at a moment’s notice, with fingertip access to a library of coveted vintage instruments, plus a selection of COSM-powered “ideal performance” pickups.
|Shure Introduces BLX Wireless, GLX-D Wireless Systems for Voice and Guitar
The GLX-D systems offer bodypack and handheld configurations, including vocal, headset, and presenter systems, as well as a new pedal-mounted guitar option that’s ideal for guitarists and exclusive to GLX-D.
|Behringer U-PHORIA USB Interfaces with MIDAS Preamps
Behringer has introduced four new USB audio interfaces that span the needs of professional engineers on the go, home project studios and musicians looking for an affordable yet high-performance input to their favorite recording software.
|Aphex Introduces HeadPod 4
HeadPod 4 is a compact, portable headphone amplifier capable of driving four separate stereo outputs with individual level controls from the selected input source.
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