NAMM Oddities 2005 The Other Room
Guitars Goodies Percussion Instruments Techno Geek Toys You Figure It Out
Techno Geek Toys


The was the most impressive piece of technology that I saw at the show this year. Calling it an orchestral sample library is misleading and far too limiting a desription. Where GigStudio is the brute force approach to convincing orchestral sounds, Synful is the elegant approach. What it essentially does is analyze the MIDI performance while tailoring the sound according to how you play. This makes it sound incredibly expressive with very little tedious editing and avoids having to deal with switching layers. You know I must be impressed to gush like this because I'm a Mac guy and this is only available for PC right now. Go listen to sound clips on their site and you'll see what I mean.

Synful, LLC



Buchla Synth

Buchla 200e

This is an update of the venerable 200 series synth from the 70s & 80s. They've added a MIDI interface as well as some new modules, but it's completely compatible with the earlier systems. The reason they decided to come out with this new version is simply that it was Don's favorite, and he wanted a new version. By the way, this is not for the weak of pocketbook.

Buchla and Associates
P. O. Box 10205
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 528-4446


Roll Up Keyboard

What we've got here is a 49 key, polyphonic, GM synth, drum machine that can roll up and get stuffed in a pocket. They've even got a model with MIDI. I was surprised at just how playable it was. This would be a nice companion to the flat Mac keyboard I saw a couple of years ago.

Guitarparts Co., Ltd.
#301, Dongyang Bldg., 482, GaebongG-Dong
Kuro-Ku, Seoul, Korea

Roll Up Keyboard


Shadow Hills

Shadow Hills Surround Controller

Here is one super-industrial strength surround controller. Personally, I think that they've stumbled upon a cold war era missile control center that's the source of all their components. This box is built like a tank. Those magic eye meters are great too.

Shadow Hills Industries
9451 Wayside Drive
Shadow Hills, CA 91040
(818) 951-6092


Frostwave Sonic Alienator

Now the stompbox crowd can do downsample decimation that the workstation folks have had for some time.

6/249 Rathdowne Street, Calton
Victoria, Australia 3053
+613 9347 5853

Frostwave Sonic Alienator


Chicipick Box

The Chicipick

This is a system that lets your computer know when your pick makes contact with the string. That data fed to their VST plug-ins allows you to do processing that would be impossible with a simple audio trigger.

Steve Chick Research
14/122 Todman Ave.
Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia
+61 2 9663 1751

Chicipick Pick


Vermona Spring Reverb

Vermona Spring Reverbs

Vermona has a couple of very nice spring reverbs. The top one incorporates an envelope that you can modulate for a number of interesting effects. The bottom one is simpler, but incorporates a tube preamp.

HDB Electronic GmbH
Badesteig 20
08265 Erlbach, Germany
+49 (0)3 74 22 - 25 30


Portable DVD Duplicator

This tiny DVD duplicator will work stand-alone as well as a USB 2.0 external drive. It will do 4x DVD writing and 24x CD writing. It's also got drivers for both Mac and PC.

EZ Dupe
11875 E. Telegraph Road
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(562) 205-1688

DVD Caoch


eRay Lights

eRay LED lamps

The high ouput LEDs are showing up everywhere. These are battery or AC powered units that have interchangeable elements.

J & R Electrical Company, LTD
No. 185, Chian Ping 3rd Street
Tainan 708, Taiwan


FlipTone Amp

Here's a guitar amp that looks like a laptop. It uses the NXT flat speaker technology that GenX was showing at NAMM last year. Those speakers send the sound both forward and backward so it can act as a monitor and a speaker. It's got built-in effects, EQ, and a built-in battery that will power it for four hours.

Traveler Guitar
325 Alabama St #8
Redlands CA 92373
(909) 307-2626

FlipTone Amp



Thin Amp

Like Hollywood movies, new ideas at NAMM often come in sets. Just a stone's throw away from the FlipTone I ran into the Thin Amp. This very similiar to the FlipTone except that it uses conventional speakers: two facing forward and two facing back. It's also got on-board effects and EQ.

The Music Link
380 Valley Drive
P.O. Box 162
Brisbane, CA 94005
(415) 570-0970


The Banana Keyboard

This is a MIDI controller designed to allow people with disabilities to participate in musical activities.

Sound House Music Alliance
+61 (03) 9355 7596

Sound House Keyboard


Orient Express PA

Orient Express PA

I've worked with several all-in-one PA systems and they have all left me wanting more. The Orient Express actually has some kick to it. But I thought it was a nice touch to have the mixer on one side and the sub on the other.

Alto Professional Audio Products
No. 1, Lane 17, Sec. 2
Hanshi W. Road., Taichung, Taiwan

Orient Express PA


C2T Media Case

Yin-Yang CD Case

I thought that this single CD case was particularly nice. When it's snapped closed it looks like the Yin-Yang symbol. If you're more attuned to corporate identities, then I suppose it would look more like the Pepsi logo.

C2T Media
4356 Baldwin Ave.
El Monte, CA 91731
(626) 448-8830


SFX Space Station

Here is a self-powered PA speaker that generates a stereo field by doing the opposite of what Mid/Side micing does. You plug in a stereo source and you get a nice wide output from a single cabinet.

Groove Tubes
1543 Truman Street
San Fernando, CA 91340
(818) 361-4500

Space Station


Tapco USB Interface

Tapco USB interface

It seems that everyone is jumping on the computer interface bandwagon these days. With that being the case, packaging becomes more of a driving force and you get boxes that look like the MBox, the Spike, and this one. I suppose it's not that unusual that Tapco has jumped into the interface business. I'm sure it's just some technology that slipped over from their new owners, Mackie.

16220 Wood-Red Rd. N.E.
Woodinville, WA 98072
(877) 827-2669



Tonelux Modular Mixer

Tonelux gives you a mixing board construction set where you can build what you like using their high end API-like modules. The input gain on the mic pre modules can be controlled remotely via software.

3957 Triad Ct.
Woodbridge, VA 22192



Visual Volume Pedal

This was originally released before I started the Oddities. Now that it's been re-released I thought it deserved some attention. As is probably obvious, this is a volume pedal with ten LEDs that show you where it's set.

Visual Sound
804 Stacey Street
Thompson Station, TN 37179
(615) 595-8232

Visual Sound Volume Pedal


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©2005 Barry Wood