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  • jim68848

A Productive time in Orange County, CA (aka NAMM update)

Updated: Jan 29

Marie and I just returned from our annual pilgrimage to NAMM. Some years, there isn't a highly specific purpose for us being there but most years there is. This was one of those highly specific purpose years. We covered a lot of ground with a lot of different people and companies - all of which are somehow related to the completion of our Wyoming 'destination' recording studio.




The obligatory pictures - had to get those out of the way.





We kicked things off with our old friends from NY. They opened up NAMM with their live performance first thing on Day 1.




We stopped by the Bob Moog Foundation booth to see Patrick Moraz and had him sign a poster for the studio. While there, Geoff Downes shows up so I got this unique picture. If Wakeman showed up, I wouldn't have been surprised.







I was worried Marie would be terribly bored listening to Tchad and Sylvia talk about mixing but (she says) she was very interested and enjoyed the talks! I hope that's true!



One of the big meetings we had was with our studio designer and acoustician, Sam Berkow from SIA Acoustics in NYC. We covered a lot of ground in discussing the design and getting closer to a finished product. Even more important than his legendary knowledge and guidance is that he is a heckuva nice human being and seems to know everyone in the industry! While wrapping up our discussion, George Massenburg (he is on the Mount Rushmore of professional audio) walked by and came over to see Sam. I know him too from two previous workshops so it was a cool and spontaneous moment! The smiles tell you all you need to know.


We literally bumped into (Producers/Engineers/Studio owners/record label owners) Kenya and Oscar Autie. We've known each other from the Recording Academy and Producers & Engineers Wing but had only met via various Zoom meetings with our chapter throughout Covid and beyond. We just happened to be in the same place at the same time which isn't easy in such a large space with > 100k people. It was great to meet them in person properly. They have the same mixing console that we selected for our new studio so we share that in common among other things.


Special shout outs without pictures to Mark Venezia at Wind Over the Earth & BeesNeez Microphones, Derek Bargaehr at Vanguard Audio Labs, Phil Wagner and Fadi Hayek at Solid State Logic, Jeff Harris at Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences and John McJunkin.



We also managed to spend some time with new friend, Miguel Blasini and 'old' friend Jeff Bernstein (which may or may not have involved a 6lb fresh lobster).


Mark Venezia from Wind Over the Earth (our friend who runs an awesome studio about 20 mins from us in Colorado as well as a pro audio retail business) was working in the BeesNeez microphone booth and it was good to see him (regrettably no picture). Mark and team will be working on the new studio cabling for us.


We connected with Mike and Miriam Risko, friends of our from NY - we go WAY back. A big congrats to both of them for their recognition and contribution on the retail and education side of the equation. They run an awesome retail/school music business that we have ties to that go way back to the 70s. An even bigger congratulations to Mike for being appointed to the Board of Directors at NAMM! Huge accomplishment and we are thrilled for Mike and Miriam!


Marie and I left NAMM accomplishing more than we had expected so really feel it was a huge success for us and worth the time and expense being there. It was nice to be there in the traditional January time slot again and, while it still is smaller than pre-covid years past, felt 'normal' which was great to see and experience.


Until next time,

Jim

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