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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Mar-18 > THE FUTURE OF MUSIC


Perhaps the most important fixture on our yearly calendar, the NAMM Show over in gloriously sunny Anaheim, California, is where we get to see the newest music technology from pretty much everybody on our radar, as well as an opportunity for us to meet new manufacturers and developers. This year’s show was a tremendous, eye-opening experience, so here’s the lowdown on what we saw – and what will soon be available to buy – at NAMM 2018…



The NAMM Show is our yearly opportunity to get hands-on with brand-new tech and talk to the industry among the towering palm trees and golden sunshine of Southern California. It’s historically been quite an important one for us editorially, as it allows us a window into the next 12 months’ worth of product releases (as well as off-the-record whispers in the ear concerning what else we can expect to get our hands on as the year progresses). As a show, it’s always been phenomenally big, but this year, it got even bigger with the addition of a brand-new hall devoted entirely to music technology. Perfect!

Though this year was mired somewhat by increased security (meaning our scheduled meetings took twice as long to get to!) what was on offer, in terms of tech, was marvellous. From innovative machine-learning software, semi-sentient room-aware calibration apps to modern recreations of classic gear and everything inbetween, NAMM 2018 had something for everyone in the music-making world.

Our intrepid Editor At Large Andy Jones was roaming the show every day, taking in some of the most exciting and mind-boggling sights that NAMM had to offer. His daily diary has become a yearly staple for MusicTech and this year (despite contracting the dreaded NAMM-thrax), it’s bigger and more in-depth than ever. So without further ado, let’s start at Day Zero…

Kagura. He’s swaying and dancing to control his DAW. No, we’re not sure, either…


Every NAMM, we try to write something of a diary from the show, where we capture the excitement, gossip and gather some exclusive pictures and news. Here’s Andy Jones’s full 2018 show diary…

For those of you who don’t know, the NAMM show (NAMM standing for National Association Of Music Merchants) is a huge music-gear show held every January in California, and has become something of a Mecca for the industry since its first outing back in 1902.

In fact, with over 7,000 music brands exhibiting over several massive halls and the addition this year of a huge two-storey ‘North’ building, NAMM has arguably become the greatest gear show on Earth, especially as its main rival, the Frankfurt Musikmesse, has experienced something of a torrid time of late.

I first started coming to NAMM some 25 years ago and over its history, it has moved around the US, but the show now has a permanent residence in Anaheim, just over the road from Disneyland – where preparations are surely being made for Disney’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park set to open in 2019. The buzz around the show is not about that, however (well, some of it is), as there is a huge amount of excitement about the new NAMM buildings, especially for us here at

MusicTech, as they’ve been dedicated to music software and pro-audio companies, the producers of the kinds of hardware and software that get us (a little too) excited.

Sure, there are guitars and drums in their traditional positions in Halls B, C and D and some pro-audio companies still hanging out in Hall A, but whichever way you look at it, this show will be MusicTech’s biggest ever. So over the next few pages, we’re going to be going through the show with a fine-tooth comb, soaking up as much as possible. We have press conferences, gear demonstrations, awards ceremonies, and much more lined up.

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About MusicTech

Now settled into 2018 we look ahead to the future of music. With NAMM 2018 behind us we had a chance to ponder on the many new and exciting pieces of tech we saw and their impact on music creation. In this issue, we bring you our annual show report, containing info on all the latest tech that you can expect to get your hands on in 2018. In keeping with the ‘future’ theme, our lead interview highlights the work of the legendary technological pioneers at the Bell Labs and their collaboration with artist Beatie Wolfe. Their augmented reality, 3D work Raw Space reimagines the album as a multi-sensory, immersive experience. We also speak to Aki Mäkivirta from Genelec about the advanced tech at the heart of the award-winning The Ones monitors. Elsewhere this issue, we have a guide to taking your mixes to the stage, our usual tips and tutorials and an expanded reviews section. We hope you enjoy the issue…