NAMM 2020: Top Don’t-Miss Sessions and Events

Music, audio and entertainment professionals will converge in Anaheim, California, on January 16 through 19. NAMM 2020 has more than 115,000 registrants from all around the world, and during those four days, they’ll talk all about sound and technology.

There’s a lot to see at every NAMM show, and without a plan, it’s easy to miss out. We’re highlighting the sessions we’re most excited about. And be sure to stop by to see us in the exhibit hall!

Stage Electrics with Richard Cadena

We’re cheating a bit by including this on the list, as it begins on Wednesday, January 15, and continues the next day. It’s called “Stage Electrics: Clean, Safe Power for Audio, Video and Lighting.” Attend, and you will understand how to power up, meter, test and troubleshoot any stage setup.

Your trainer is Richard Cadena, president of the Academy of Production Technology and technical editor for PLASA North America. He is an ECTP recognized trainer with 31 years of experience in entertainment.

Thursday Morning Breakfast with Joe Lamond

Kick off your conference with an 8 a.m. panel discussion, led by the National Association of Music Merchants president and CEO Joe Lamond. In this “Breakfast of Champions,” Lamond will interview MI, entertainment and sound tech experts about their career paths and plans for the future. It promises to be a valuable talk, especially if you’re wondering how to take your career to the next level.

Control Room Design with John Storyk

John Storyk is a bit of a control room legend. He’s been working in those spaces for more than 50 years. Storyk is the founding partner of the Walters-Storyk Design Group, and during his career, he’s worked with musicians like Bob Marley, Whitney Houston and Russ Freeman.

His session starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, and it’s called, “Control Room Academy Masterclass: Control Room Design Evolution, Form, Function, Aesthetics, and Acoustics with WSDG’s John Storyk.”

In this session, Storyk will explain how control rooms have changed, and he’ll make predictions about what the future holds.

Subwoofer Alignment with Charles Hughes

This session, called “Subwoofer Alignment with Full-Range Systems with Charlie Hughes,” also starts on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Filling a space with sound means using plenty of subwoofers. But getting those components to work together in perfect harmony isn’t always easy. This session will help you troubleshoot and prevent common problems.

Your speaker is Charles Hughes, principal consultant with Excelsior Audio Design and Services.

NAMM 2020

Dynamic Parametric EQ with Duane Wise

Set aside time on Thursday at 11 a.m. to attend “Elements of Dynamic Parametric EQ for Intricate Spectral Control with Duane Wise.”

Learn more about how parametric EQ can help you fine-tune and shape sounds you share with the world. You’ll learn about the architecture of the tools, and you’ll find out how to use them like a pro. This session is led, in part, by Duane Wise. He is the founder and president of Wholegrain Digital Systems, and a frequent speaker at NAMM events. 

Phase Alignment Essentials with Jamie Anderson

Do you know how to measure the phase response of loudspeakers? Do you know how to align loudspeakers? Get your crucial questions answered in this session that starts on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Your instructor is Jaime Anderson, founding member and owner of Rational Acoustics. He is a proficient and experienced instructor who has taught more than 3,000 students during his career.

Live Performance Panel with Doug DeAngelis

On Thursday at 4 p.m., we hope to attend the session, “The Future of Life Performance: Next-Generation Concert Experiences.”

How will the YouTube and Instagram generation change concerts as we know them? How will technology, including immersive audio, transform passive audience members into passionate fans? This panel discussion will tackle those fascinating questions. The discussion is led by Doug DeAngelis. He’s best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, but he’s worked extensively in the music industry.

Dante Training

Audinate will host three training sessions during the show, but you won’t need a NAMM 2020 registration badge to get in. You will need preregistration. You have several classes held on Thursday and Friday, to choose from including:

  • Working knowledge. Pick up the basics of building a Dante network, and find out how the components work together. This is a hands-on class, and it’s best for people that learn with a touch of action involved.
  • Certification. A consolidated approach lets you prep for your Dante Level 1-2 certification in one day.
  • Networking. If you’re hoping to prep for Level 3 certification, this is the session for you. It will cover topics appropriate for enterprise-grade networks.

Stage Lighting with Daunté Kenner and Susan Rose

A spotlight is just right for some live performances. But the technology is changing fast, and modern choices hold both opportunities and pitfalls. This panel discussion will help you understand how to make the most of the tech available to you. It’s happening on Friday at 11 a.m., and it’s called “More Than Pretty Pictures: Moving Lights and LEDs on the Concert Stage.”

Daunté Kenner, production designer and creative director of DK Production Design is one of your speakers. He’s produced events for artists such as Chris Brown, Jaime Foxx, and Mary J. Blige. Lighting designer Susan Rose is your other panelist. She’s toured with artists like Ringo Starr, Louise Mandrell and Hank Williams Jr.

NAMM 2020

EDM Lighting with Aron Altmark

If you’re scheduled to light up an electronic dance music show, this is the session for you. The session starts on Friday at 1 p.m., and it’s called “Lighting for EDM.”

Your presenter is Aron Altmark, owner and creative director of Visual Endeavors. He’s created the visual backdrops for some of the biggest EDM shows out there, and in this session, he’ll talk about the tools he uses and the methods he’s found helpful in his work.

Mobile Music with 5G Technology

We all know 5G networks are coming. In some cities, they’re already available. This session addresses those networks. It’s called “The Future of Mobile Technology: Mobile Music in a 5G World,” and it starts Friday at 2 p.m.

Once music can stream through powerful networks, with nearly no distortion, how can that open the door to collaboration? The panel discussion will include speakers from Bandlab, and that’s interesting. That company encourages fans to make music, and speakers are likely to have interesting thoughts on real-time music-making over 5G.

In-Ear Monitoring with Mathias von Heydekampf

If you’re working with artists complaining about in-ear technology, you’re not alone. This session called “In Ear Monitoring Advantages and Personal Monitor Mixing with Mathias von Heydekampf” starts Friday at 2 p.m., and it may help.

This talk will help you explain how to set up a panel with effects to reproduce natural sound. You’ll have a chance to tackle a setup yourself. Your instructor is Mathias von Heydekampf, managing director at Synthax. He’s a 25-year veteran of the audio industry, as well as a passionate instructor.

NAMM 2020

Machine Learning and Musicians

Mark your calendar for Friday at 4 p.m. for a panel discussion called “The Future of Machine Learning: Data Analytics for Musicians.” If you’re wondering how AI and other technologies will change the way we listen to music, this is a session you’re certain to enjoy.

Panel members include:

  • Jonathan Bailey. He is the chief technology officer with iZotope. The company specializes in technology for musicians and their sound engineers. Bailey specializes in music software development.
  • Pouria Assadipour. He is the chief technical officer and cofounder of Beatdapp. His company helps creators pick up the royalties they might be missing as their music is played across all devices.
  • Rene Merideth. She is the cofounder and chief operating officer of Exploration Group. Previously, she’s worked for companies like BMG Chrysalis and Bug Music. Her current company manages digital rights of songwriters and publishers.

This lively and diverse set of speakers is sure to produce an interesting discussion.

Professional Sound at Home with Wes Maebe

Saturday and Sunday are devoted to musicians. Your calendar will be packed tight with amazing performances and plenty of instrument-based session. We’re looking forward to all of them, but there’s one we’re really interested in on Sunday at 1 p.m.

This session is entitled, “Getting a Professional Sound in Your Own Setup,” and it’s led by Wes Maebe. He is a freelance recording, mixing, master-of-all-trades in the audio world. In his work, he tries to strike a balance between high-tech perfection with a touch of British authenticity. We can’t wait to hear his tips.

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