The awards season is upon us, and just like the Golden Globes, the Grammys, and the Academy Awards, the hype, buzz and anticipation of the NAMM TEC awards tends to make us all giddy with excitement. This year was no different, and the Hilton Conference Center was packed with the very best talent in the pro audio industry.
Los Angeles-based comedian, Demitri Martin, was the master of ceremonies for the second year in a row, and he admitted that he still had trouble understanding what NAMM was, and why it even existed, announcing 'I didn't know what NAMM was until I went through the exhibit hall, and then I realised that it's a massive Guitar Center that they don’t let you leave'.
Martin asked that someone in the audience help him with a new start-up called 'DigiThief', which is a technology that lets you steal someone else's music while it's being composed: basically, let's develop an app that forewarns an artist how much of an asshole their sound man is gonna be at the gig later that night! He was very entertaining, and did a great job moving the awards along.
As always, the audio gear awards were the most exciting; nothing like a room full of gear-heads giving metal boxes with a series of letters and random numbers standing ovations as drunk product managers were finally allowed out of their workshops and into the natural sunlight to be allowed to have some dry roast beef, some vodka, and walk away with an engraved glass award that will sit and stare at their receptionist in their office lobby for the next 20 years.
Of course, these major advancements in technology allow artists, engineers, and producers to create in ways that were once impossible to even dream of - and it was great to see Rupert Neve’s team continue to deliver year after year with incredible products: they won an award for their mic pre-amps; and Neumann and Sennheiser received awards for their incredible microphones and wireless technology.