NAMM Oddities 2006 The Other Room
Guitars Goodies Percussion Instruments Techno Geek Toys You Figure It Out
Techno Geek Toys

This Ain't Your Grandma's Pipe Organ

Here's something you don't see every day: a digital pipe organ that uses touch screens to control the stops and is based on 192khz/24bit samples recorded in 7.1 surround. To run a fully-loaded system you only need 8 dual-processor 3.6ghz machines with 8gb of RAM in each one.

Audio Impressions
5258 Twin Oaks Rd.
Hidden Hills, CA 91302
(818) 704-4606




Hot Hand, Cold Heart?

The little sensor you put on your finger will track the motion of your hand vertically as well as horizontally (away from your body). This motion is used to control parameters in the effects unit. It's designed primarily for wah-like effects but is closer to something like the Mutron III in the range of control. It sounds and works great but the only drawback I saw was that your hand ends up tethered to the device. They tell me they're looking into a wireless version.

Source Audio
120 Cummings Park
Woburn, MA 01801
(781) 932-8080


S-1000 Wretch Machine

When the makers of a tube stomp box called the "Butt Probe" decide to make a tube synthesizer, I feel kind of sick and interested at the same time. Maybe it should have been called the "retch machine." I just love the stuff these guys make.

870 South Main Street, PMB 109
Lakeport, CA 95453
(707) 263-5343




Trumpet MIDI Controller

At the Samson/Hartke booth I ran across a guy named Jimmy Wilson playing this very cool trumpet MIDI controller. It's made by a company called Morrison and available through Patchman. The keys on the side control the range (octaves and 4ths) of the notes generated. There are also a number of other buttons that control trill, portamento, sustain, patch change, etc.

Patchman Music
1600 Saint charles Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 221-8282


Buchla Touch Controller

Buchla was showing a new controller for their 200e line that uses technology from their Thunder MIDI controller. These pads will not only generate gate signals but also generate control voltages based on your finger position as well.

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




A Metronome and a Tuner in a Pen

Very James Bond, or maybe it's really more Austin Powers than 007.

Cherub Digital Musical Intrument Manufacturer
8/F, Nanshan Bldg., No. 15 Industry Rd.
Shekou Shenzhen 518067, China


Laser Metronome

Say goodbye to headphone click bleed on tracks. Just send MIDI clock to this unit and you get a cylon-like sweeping red dot projected on the wall for everyone to follow. There's also an LED readout on the side that will display the tempo that it's reading.

If this were combined with the previous product you'd be back in 007-land with a laser pen metronome.

Tailgator Inc.
(978) 270-3193




More Lasers

These two laser products are designed to aid in speaker alignment primarily in live sound situations.

The top unit is designed to mount on a stand in the audience. It can then be precisely aimed to point at the locations you need to put speakers.

The lower unit works the other way around. It's magnetic and is designed to attach to the speaker and will project toward the audience. It can either project a point or an arc that's set to the dispersion angle of the speakers so you can visualize speaker coverage.

American Recorder Technologies
P.O. Box 1450
Simi Valley, CA 93062
(805) 527-9580


Guitar Max and LoBat

Guitar Max is a great little device that digitally controls the pickup switching in your guitar. You can program any combination of pickups in series, parallel, and in or out of phase. You can then switch between them using your normal pickup select switch. It will also handle the addition of a second switch that can be used as a bank select to allow you to have a couple of dozen pickup combinations readily available.

LoBat is a simple LED that you mount on your guitar or bass that will tell you when the battery in your active pickup is running low.

Precision Music Technologies
2350 W. Mission Ln., Ste #6
Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 795-0631





This is the most high-tech solution I've seen for eliminating wall warts. You hook this up to your computer via USB and plug-in your wall warts one by one. It will read the voltage required for each one and you can program the setting for each port. You can even set the power sequence for the outlets.

535 Sutton Place
209 E. William St.
Wichita, KS 67202
(316) 262-8788



In-Ear Innovation

Sensaphonics was showing an interesting in-ear monitor innovation that incorporated small microphones built into each in-ear monitor. The user can dial in a specific amount of ambient sound to be mixed with the monitor send. This allows for better on-stage communication and a more natural sound for the acoustic instruments on stage.

Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation
660 North Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622


Full Circle

Now we have truly come full circle. What we have here is a digital Mellotron and a digital step sequencer. Manikin is making these based on the idea that the interface is just as important as the sound. While the reissue Mellotrons I saw last year were nice, I think this would be much more road-worthy.

The MIDI step sequencer had some cool features such as independent steps for each sequence and the ability to program MIDI controller values into steps.

Manikin Electronic
Attilastraße 87k
D-12247, Berlin



Looperlative LP1


Not only do you have 4 minutes of stereo loop time, you have eight completely independent loops. These lines can operate in sync as multiples of each other or they can be completely asyncronous. By far the geekiest feature is it's ethernet port and can connect to Looperlative's server directly to download firmware updates.

1560 Montellano Dr.
San Jose, CA 95120
(408) 323-9626



Just plug in and start recording. This is a class compliant USB audio device so there are no drivers required. You just plug it in and start recording. Fire up NI's Guitar Rig, Waves GTR, or IK's Amplitube and start rocking. All the electronics in the guitar are USB bus powered.

Brian Moore Guitars
P.O. Box 540
LaGrangeville, NY 12540
(845) 486-0744





What? Like you could come up with a better name for an envelope filter stomp box?

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



Enter the orginal key and the new key and this little guy will tell you what each chord (or note) transposes to.

Jambarrey Music Products, LLC
Tucson, AZ
(520) 624-1424




Solo Performer Show Controller

This USB footswitch controls software that plays your audio and MIDI, does lighting control, and even displays lyrics on screen. You can set up multiple set lists and this handles the rest. It runs on both Mac and PC machines.

Alien Apparatus Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 761
Horsham, PA 19044d
(888) 533-6012


TranSend Wireless Pickup System

The TranSend acoustic amplification system consists of custom piezo pickups coupled with special circuitry at both ends. The results are excellent, the guitar sounded completely natural and there weren't any of the usual companding artifacts you often hear using wireless. On top of that, all the electronics were internal so the guitar just looks like a regular guitar.

Greener Sound Designs Company
215 Walton St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 407-0004



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©2006 Barry Wood