Leaving the Golden State for the Music City, Audionamix took in all the best of Summer NAMM 2015 this past weekend in Nashville. Rick Silva, COO and Product VP, and Scott Pederson, VP of Business Development, hit the floor to try the latest instruments, listen to incredible musical talent, and introduce the wonders of ADX technology to unassuming bystanders.
After being eliminated in the first round of the World’s Fastest Drummer competition, Rick and Scott soothed their sore egos in the Uke Circle. This stirring and spiritual event required no previous ukulele experience, thereby increasing business ten-fold for an opportunistic young earplug salesman on the corner.
Lady Luck smiled her toothy smile on Rick at the Musician’s Institute booth, as he spun the prize wheel and won an MI bandana. Normally this would have been great news for the man who considers bandanas formal dress, but alas, the MI logo is red. Rick hates red. He would not confirm or deny that this is the result of a Carrie-like mishap during high school prom. Despite this setback, Rick proudly donned an alumni pin in support of the school’s soon-to-debut Guitar Craft Academy program in Nashville, and set off to shamelessly promote his alma mater.*
Next on the agenda was the Les Paul Big Sound Experience, a mobile exhibit celebrating the life of the electric guitar pioneer. After wandering through the 1,000 square foot exhibit, a trek that took over three hours due to an overabundance of pony-tailed men deciding to stop walking suddenly in the middle of the floor when it’s crowded and you’re right behind them and HOW ABOUT SOME CONSIDERATION, Rick and Scott agreed that Les Paul truly was More Paul.
After another long day in the exhibit hall, Rick and Scott put on their very best bolo ties and explored Music City with Pepper of Pepper’s Proshop, and Rodney of Fame Studios. Pepper is a Nashville insider and his shop is the go-to place to get the best deals on everything pro audio in Nashville. Fame Studios is the Alabama-based recording studio once graced by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and many other incredible musicians. The studio was recently the subject of a documentary (“Muscle Shoals”) you’d probably watch if it were on Netflix streaming and you were tired of hearing your father tell you to watch something educational for once and make something of yourself and why can’t you be more like your Uncle Ewan and the reason is because it’s pretty tough to compete with Obi-Wan, OK Dad?*
With Pepper and Rodney, Rick and Scott crashed several invite-only industry parties, including bashes held by ADAM Audio, Ocean Way Studios and Sputnik Sound. They enjoyed the mood lighting, weird oddities, vintage gear, Nashville’s top analog consoles, great Tennessee grub, and of course, free drinks (such a wide variety of soda pop!).*
At Ocean Way, Rick was pleased to see that the little things in audio still matter at some studios. The results of a (non-violent) shootout showed that just switching a cable can make a substantial difference in the sound quality. Asterope cables went up against a very well-known cable brand and was the clear victor. (Don’t go running out and buying cables like this though or we’ll be very disappointed in your judgement).*
Following a 3 PM “brunch” and an incident involving Eggs Benedict and a small child, the Audionamix team bravely ventured into the workshop “Use Instagram to Build Your Brand and Customer Base”. Here, Scott learned that he makes a great duck face, and Rick learned which filters work best for all of his photos of cappuccino swirled into a vaguely fern-shaped design sitting on a wooden table that looks like it has been through the last four major hurricanes and might collapse under the weight of the perfectly placed tiny ribbon-wrapped mason jar of organic soy milk.
Then, as quickly as it started, it was over, and the team headed home with hundreds of business cards of future Audionamix partners, audio geeks thrilled about the possibilities of ADX products, and one of a traveling magician who had surreptitiously stolen (and later returned) Scott’s wristwatch. They had gained friends and lost hearing, and knew that in the following days, things would slowly return to the mundane as they always do. “But Summer NAMM,” they’d say, with a crinkled corner of an eye and a rainbow-hued tinge of sadness. “We’ll always have Summer NAMM.”
*Starred paragraphs are true. Mostly.