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Top 5 Coolest Things We Saw at NAMM 2017!

By Modesto Briseno

There’s only one way to describe NAMM, which stands for the National Association of Music Merchants, and that is totally, Super-Duper, BADASS! Why? Because if you’re a musician or in any way involved with the music business, you GOTTA be there.


Every January the biggest and baddest music industry companies conglomerate in Anaheim, California in the shadow of the big eared mouse, and bring music merchants some of the best new instruments from guitars to tubas! The whole spectrum of music is represented. Now, you might be thinking, “alright man, so, how do I get tix?!?!?!” NAMM is not open to the public. Which is a downer if you’re a regular ole consumer hoping that this is just an over sized Guitar Center, where you can just jump on a drum set, keyboard or guitar and just jam away for a few hours. But if you’re a merchant, seasoned buyer, distributor of music instruments, and yes even an audio student (thanks to NAMM’s Gen Next initiative), you’ll be warmly welcomed  into the Anaheim Convention Center for a real treat.

This was our first year going to NAMM and we were wholly overwhelmed by the breadth of manufacturers and brands involved in the industry. So we had a lot to cover in the short time we had. But here are the TOP 5 Coolest Things We saw at this years NAMM show!

5.) Presonus StudioLive 16 Series III

The Presonus StudioLive 16 series III console. The much larger 32 is in the back.

Hot Damn. This was actually the first booth we hit up. We recently got our hands on a Presonus StudioLive 16 ai console and absolutely love it. Only thing is that we got it just before Presonus announced and released the brand NEW StudioLive 16 Series III. With new motorized faders and a redesigned FAT channel with 6 (SIX!) bands of parametric EQ. And if you’ve had your hands on one of these types of consoles, you know how clutch this thing is when it comes to live mixing. Absolutely jealous of anyone picking this bad boy up this year. Great job Presonus!

4.) Billy Cobham on Electric Drums!

Wasn’t too far from this legend. Hearing Stratus live is definitely something else.

Yes you read that right. Billy Cobham, hands down one of the best drummers alive and the godfather of Jazz Fusion drumming took to the Roland Booth stage and played some of the hits from Spectrum! Holy fuck were we surprised to see this. Never in my life did I think I’d see Billy, but on an Electric Drum Set? You’re kidding me. And thankfully the set sounded just like a REAL drum Set.

3.) Allan Holdsworth

Who doesn’t like Allan Holdsworth? This guy is probably one of the best guitarist to walk this earth. Maybe you don’t know him. Well check out this cool clip then:

Anyway, we got to meet him. But we’d be lying if we said it was the first time. Caught him once at the illustrious Baked Potato and was surprised to learn how real humble this guy is.

Allan Having a quick sip of something.
Allan Having a quick sip of something.

2.) Universal Audio Booth

NAMM 2017 UAD Booth.

If you’re into mixing and mastering, then you gotta check out the Universal Audio booth. Not only can you get your hands on some of the most sought after and hella expensive sound equipment, you will also be privy to lectures and tutorials from some of the creme de la creme of audio engineers on the planet. We were lucky enough to catch one from Grammy nominated engineer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, Buddy Guy, Modesto Mouse….) who had some cool tips and tricks for mastering.

Jacquire going over some mixing stuff with the audience.

1.) A Chinese Lady Playing Harmonica

Now I know what you’re thinking, wtf? Really? This is #1 Bro? Hey man it’s not every day you get to see someone tear it up on the Harmonica. I just thought it was pretty neat to watch. It just goes to show you the diversity of music that’s to be shown at NAMM. And yes, there are a bunch more cool things that didn’t make our short list. We just want YOU to hopefully be able to experience this great event and see all the action for yourself. But Hopefully this clip below can keep you hanging in there until 2018.

Modesto Briseno
Founder and Creator of Kilson Street. Also a full time parent to a Tuxedo Cat.

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