Friday, January 25, 2019

Stylophone GEN R-8 at the NAMM Show - Friday

I have been sharing my experiences at the 2019 winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California this week. In case you don't know, this is a huge convention for the music industry. The trade show features more than 2,000 vendors from all over the world, showing their latest instruments, recording gear, stage lighting and more. The attendees -- besides the manufacturers -- are music store owners, musicians, music teachers, and recording studio folks. I am spending part of my time here in Dubreq's trade show booth, helping spread the word about the new Stylophone GEN R-8 analog synthesizer and other Stylophone products.

My Friday began with breakfast at my hotel. At first, I sat with a couple of vendors from Slovenia.  I think they said they work for D'Addario, the guitar string company. There was a bit of a language gap, so I am not certain. After they left, I ended up spending the rest of my breakfast in conversation with an executive from one of my very most favorite synthesizer companies (other than Dubreq, of course.)

Then while waiting for a shuttle bus ride to the convention center, I had a great conversation with Nashville-based drummer Vincent Dee. We talked about his long career as a country music drummer and my short career as a TV producer at TNN, The Nashville Network. We also had a good laugh about Nashville's world famous "nun bun," a cinammon pastry that looked like Mother Teresa.

After arriving at the convention center, I visited several of the other booths. In my travels, I happened to meet Bobby Kimball, the original lead singer of Toto. Nice guy!

Finally, I made it over to the Dubreq booth to find that company owners Marcella Kavanagh and John Simpson had turned the table on me... literally. They rotated the display table 90 degrees so more people could play our various Stylophone instruments at the same time. We had a rather steady stream of people stop by to check out our gear. Among them were several friends of mine that I had met at various synthesizer trade shows, including Mike Learmouth, the co-founder of the upcoming Synthplex festival in Burbank, CA. I also got to demo the Stylophone GEN R-8 for the publishers of the Synthtopia blog. We had some record producers and music store executives visit with us today. One visitor told me about a trippy song called "Living Room" by David Holmes that features a Stylophone S1 played through a wah pedal. I think the highlight of my time at the Dubreq booth today was hearing a guy who tried out the GEN R-8 say "this is the best thing I've seen" at the convention.

I wrapped up my day at NAMM by shaking a tambourine for awhile in the 20th annual NAMM drum circle, and enjoying a fun outdoor concert featuring Sarah McLachlan and James "J.T." Taylor from Kool & The Gang.

Now, back in my hotel room, I can hear fireworks exploding in the sky above Disneyland. It's a fitting ending to a fantastic day!