With NAMM almost upon us, it's time to prepare for the onslaught of announcements that are heading our way. Unfortunately, brands that haven't quite reached the status of the likes of Fender or Gibson can end up lost in the wonderful chaos that is NAMM, which is why we scoured the web to find 11 brands to watch at the 2019 event.
We’re starting on a strong note with the first entry to this list. Acoustic Masterminds has set out to revolutionise acoustic analysis with the truly innovative AcoustiTools, designed to make professional-grade live sound analysis and diagnostics as easy as can be. Basically, AcoustiTools uses high-tech modules to ensure you can view everything you need to at a glance. The best part? It presents audio information in augmented reality. Simply use the AR Spatial module to tag locations in a venue and calculate volume levels for each tag through the wonders of AR. Innovation at its finest.
If you’re a singer, chances are you’ve spent a great deal of time engaging in endless warm-ups to get your vocal chords going before stretching your voice to its limits. Luckily, Voxercise has arrived to ensure this process is smooth and stress-free. The new app is versatile, with a plethora of options for every voice. Users can choose from singing with another voice or piano melody to match pitch, while the app also keeps you updated on whether you’re staying in tune. It’s available as a free download and includes a demo pack and breathing pack.
It’s always nice to see a brand that genuinely cares about what they do. One look at Anthology Gear’s website and you know this statement applies to them. Producing an impressive variety of leather guitar straps and drumstick bags, these guys are sure to catch the eyes of anyone wandering around NAMM. Their products for drummers are a definite highlight, with the cymbal bags in particular offering a reliable transportation option with bucketloads of character.
Photo via JM Photography.
For those of you who remember picking up a guitar for the first time and attempting a barre chord, the subsequent pain and questioning of whether the feat is humanly possible is hard to forget. Rock-iT Barre seeks to solve this issue, offering an alternate way to learn guitar. But the real winning aspect of this revolutionary design is the implications for musicians suffering from arthritis. Created by an arthritic guitarist, the Rock-It Barre can fit on any finger, be used with any guitar, and doesn’t require you to bend your finger. It can also be used by those missing a finger. This is one product that will undoubtedly make a difference.
Vanflet advertises itself as “Music gear for modern musicians," a statement that is an entirely accurate description rather than a throwaway marketing spiel. This French company offers everything from amps and cabs to pedals and cases, all emblazoned with a stylish and sleek logo. Judging on looks alone, the amps definitely require some further investigation as they instantly pique your interest. The designs of the Generation and Prestige series are especially striking, with a chassis partly constructed from glass to offer a unique look at the inner workings of the amps.
Photo via @ghanaianbluesman.
Finding the ultimate answer to a common problem is an absolute goldmine if you do it well, and Barefoot Buttons has hit the nail on the head. This innovative company brings “music to the sole” through an easy-to-use accessory that attaches to your effects pedal. Simply step on the button and you’ll activate the effect with unprecedented ease, comfort and accuracy. To top it all off, each button is also able to be purchased with custom etching. Step up and play.
When it comes to music gear, the orchestral sections can often be overlooked in favour of a shiny new effects pedal or updated guitar finishes. While guitarists certainly aren’t complaining about the endless stream of advancements on offer, it’s nice to see other corners of the instrument world benefit from some clever innovations too. Key Leaves has done exactly this, presenting a unique solution for sticky saxophone pads. This handy little device totally prevents sticking malfunctions of G#, C# and Eb, plus reduces the stickiness of other sax keys by 98 percent.
Starting out in music production is a daunting task. Thankfully, Beatbox has arrived to act as the optimal all-in-one solution for a quick, easy and inexpensive introduction to the art of production. This cardboard DIY drum machine is an ideal introduction to production, with each individual Beatbox able to be personally customised with distinct buttons, knobs and designs. Better yet, there are a bunch of helpful tutorials online to get you started.
If you’re tired of being attached to cables and relying on power outlets during a gig, the Jamstack could be the product for you. The compact device attaches easily to the base of any standard electric guitar for hassle-free amplification. Adding another level of intrigue, Jamstack can integrate with a smartphone to allow guitarists to incorporate effects, loops and more into their playing.
Untangling cables is the bane of a musician’s existence but with Cable Wrangler, it looks like the process is about to get a whole lot easier. Up to 12 cables weighing a total of 100 pounds can be wrangled by this invention, which organises each cable in its own space – free from the headache-inducing tangles we’ve come to dread. It’s all the push you need to keep your cables in order.
There’s something so satisfying about a company that delivers a quality product to fill a gap in the market you didn’t know was there. Decksaver is this company, manufacturing protective covers for the latest innovations in audio technology. Designed by a former DJ, the Decksaver catalogue consists of more than 200 products, protecting from dust, fluids, smoke and impact. The covers also protect units during transportation to ensure your prized deck arrives in one piece.
Keep an eye on Mixdown for our coverage of NAMM 2019 from Friday January 25 to Monday January 28 (AEDT).