Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2016 Edition

Packrat Barry

Techno Geek Toys


I love it when technology feels organic, and this is one of the most organic controllers I've ever played with. It's definitely going on my wish list.

The Island Of Electronicus

A story about a scientist who attempts to convert synthesists into people, or vice versa.


Already Missing Him

Don Buchla was never one to stick with a basic musical interface and the 252e Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator is no exception.


Look Ma, No Control Surface

The use of the webcam in the laptop as a virtual controller was pretty damn cool.

…By Any Other Name

If you're familiar with the products from Metasonix you will know that clicking on the following link is only something that should be done by those not easily offended. You have been warned.



A Second Engineer Might be Cheaper

This remote mic positioning system is pretty darn cool. It's a little pricy though.

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Preamp

The L7 is a mic that has a line-level output. It does have five different tubes to help it get there. Oh, and it only costs $18,000.


The Wizard of Oz

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Cum On Feel the Noize

With a frequency response of 1hz-200hz it's pretty obvious what the Subpac does. They offer the seat version (shown) but they also have a a version that you wear that looks like body armor and they've also got a backpack equipped with it.


Check Out Those Cones

The pointless inclusion of lights continues, one-upping least year's entry.

Instant Party

Who doesn't need a 350 watt PA system built into their cooler?



As in Massive Multi-touch Object.

The Blue Screen of Death Metal

The CyberAxe system is a preset routing system with an external 1-space rack unit. It goes beyond the usual switchers in providing preset pickup selection and volume control.


Time Flies

Or at least spins around quickly.

A Double Header

Lightning Wave was showing their pedals that allow you to "draw" arbitrary LFO shapes using the fader. You can store up to five custom waveforms for use as modulators.

They also had prototypes of their illuminated pedal knob caps.


Listen and Learn

Mic up an acoustic guitar and play it for a bit for the Tone Dexter. Then when you plug-in direct it's DSP algorithms figure out the difference between the original mic and direct sound and compensates, giving you a much better live sound with your acoustic guitar.


The Tiniest Light Show

When the venue doesn't have lights, bring your own as part of your pedalboard. I would like to see these guys create a full pedalboard system with these built right in.

Deep Cover

The Nord Stage is a favorite backline piece for traditional keyboard sounds. Visually it really doesn't fit with the other acoustic instruments on stage. This solves the problem beautifully.


Bridging the Gap

The Alpha Piano uses a real wooden piano mechanism with felt hammers that strike a bar that in turn triggers digital samples.


Multipurpose Grill

I liked the fact that the mesh head that Aston uses is actually a spring that can absorb impact force should the microphone be dropped.


Sheer Indulgence

The grill on Ocean Way's RM-1 ribbon mic is essentially a thin fabric pop filter. There's not much between you and the ribbon here.


Gratuitous Lighting

This looks like technology from the 70s, which it kind of is.

80s Flashback

The Kontrol Fighter (apparently now called the Kontrol Master) has buttons that will warm the heart of any former video arcade denizen.


Time Lord

Slowhand will slow down both the audio and the video to help you learn those tricky fast licks. The version I saw running at the show wasn't bad but the audio algorithm still needed a little work.


For Those Seeking Power

This much power would undoubtedly come with a hell of a lot of responsibility.


Be the Biggest Hipster on Your Block

Don't just listen to vinyl, record your own.



This is one of the more interesting user interfaces that I've seen on a virtual instrument.

Oompa Loopa

Yes, this is a looping device built into a microphone. It was bound to happen.


Fully Networked

Forget snakes and mixers, the ArriaLive system puts cat5 on everything. The iPad app lets you change the color of the light in the ring on the mic so you can figure out which is which.


Don't Worry, Be Haptic

Having had to personally deal with click track bleed into mics, these haptic metronomes are intriguing.

A Piano for Lenore

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only that one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour: Digital Piano.

Next Up: You Figure It Out

©2016 Barry Wood