Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2018 Edition

Packrat Barry

Techno Geek Toys

Gateway Modular

You're prescribed phenobarbital for insomnia and the next thing you know you're mainlining smack. I could see the same path from the Phenol modular to a full blown Eurorack system.

It's About Time

The only thing surprising about ZVEX making Eurorack modules is how long it took them to finally decide to do it.


While I understand the concept of using a fake head to make binaural recordings, I find these mic systems visually unsettling. The white surround system looks like something out of Westworld.

Goodbye Patch Bay

If you've still got racks full of mics, preamps, compressors, or other analog gear, this could simplify your life significantly. Each module has 32 in/out connections and you can patch and chain them in any order you like and recall the whole mess. It even can provide phantom power if needed.

No Strumming Required

This is a MIDI guitar system that uses the act of pressing a string to a fret to close a circuit and trigger a note. Since strumming doesn't do anything it would seem perfectly suited for tapping instruments.

All Up In Your Grill

Integral is supercardioid mic built into a ring that mounts in front of the speaker in your guitar cabinet. Instead of putting a mic in front of it, your cabinet will now have an XLR output.

Much More Than Finger Bling

The angle of the ring produces a control value that you can use for modulation. In the demo video you can see it controlling pitch.

Ready DJ One

VR has been the Next Big Thing™ for some time now. I got to play a bit with this DJ toolkit app and while I had fun, the technology has a long way to go before it could be used in a truly musical fashion.

It's All in the Branding

How could you not buy the "The New Generation III Big Superstar I30" mic? Don’t you want to be The New Generation III Big Superstar?

A Massive Coloring Box

The CEQ is a 6-band passive EQ with four different makeupgain amplifiers. Marshall Terry, the chief tech/R&D at Shadow Hills, builds (and presumably hand paints) the units.

Crunchy Digital Shell, Chewy Analog Center

The sexily-named F610 UE1 is a double-wide 500 series module that has a spectrum analyzer and a digitally controlled 4-band analog filter. You can use the knobs and touchscreen or you can connect a computer for finer control.

A Solid Slap to the Forehead

The Hot Holder is one of those "why didn't anyone think of this before" products. Having wrestled with the standard third hand clips, this heat-resistant silicon looks like a brilliant accessory. Most importantly it's not a heat sink, which ought to make soldering much easier.

Prologue 16: Judgment Day

I kept expecting this Prologue 16 design concept to turn into Robert Patrick.

Fiddling with the Monomyth

This widget clamps onto a violin and wirelessly transmits to an app on a tablet that will act as a tuner, practice time tracker, and song trainer. Everything an aspiring hero needs for their journey.

Acoustic Transmissions

This soundhole-mounted mic transmits to a flash drive-sized receiver that can be plugged into a device like an iPad. This should increase the audio quality of solo guitar YouTube videos everywhere.

No Speaker Required

This is an audio playback and effects system that uses the sound board of the guitar as the speaker diaphragm.

Not For the Faint of Heart

I've done a couple of mic mod projects, usually with the assistance of a friend who really knows what they're doing. The idea of building something as delicate as a ribbon mic frightens me. Maybe the Minion is there to lighten the mood.

For the Next Maker Generation

Bose has created a number of projects that kids can build that will introduce them to electronics and troubleshooting. The project shown is a powered Bluetooth speaker.

Organ Transplant

If you can't bear to part with your finicky Leslie, you can give it a new lease on life with this replacement motor controller.

For the Black T-Shirt Crowd

Goodbye stage plots, hello instant communication. As the stage crew connect mics to inputs, they can update the stage plot on this app and front of house will have the information nearly instantaneously.

This Goes To 107

This hot-rodded Juno 106 features an updated paint job and features such as patch cycling through all eight patches in a bank for successive notes.

Swiss Army Effects Box

Zoia is a ridiculously programmable multi-effects/synth box that you can program using pure data and max. Each process shows up on a button and you can connect them however you like.

All Hands on DEK

The DEK is a MIDI controller with a slew of pressure-sensitive buttons. You can play it chromatically or constrained to a scale. Each row is a different octave and there are also one-touch chord buttons.

For the Computerphobe

If you don't want to be one of the laptop crowd, ALEX might be for you. Each module that you add provides four voices of synth/sampler/sequencer/looping.

Fan Light Show

These sequenced LEDs on fans are getting pretty sophisticated. The gaps you see in the video are a function of recording the video. Check out the 3D strawberry at the end.

Next Up: You Figure It Out

©2018 Barry Wood