The 2024 NAMM Show: A Very Big Event for Music Merchants

The 2024 NAMM Show: A Very Big Event for Music Merchants

Written by B. Jan Montana With Photos by Jayvee Volanski

Last January 25-28, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) gathered all types of music makers together for the 2024 NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. It featured all kinds of equipment for musicians, studio engineers, and sound-reinforcement professionals.

The show attracted 1,600+ exhibitors representing 3,500+ brands from around the globe, and 62,000 attendees, including 10,000+ international attendees from 125 countries.

They filled four large exhibition halls and both levels in the north halls. It was a huge show.

The day started off dark and cloudy, but that didn’t hinder attendance as people lined up all the way down the street to get in. They were entertained by the sounds of the band in the foreground.

The roller coaster in the background is situated in Disneyland, which is located across the street.

Getting through the door merely introduced attendees to stage two of the line-up.

The walkways soon filled with people,

as did the hallways.

The first live music Jayvee and I encountered on the Yamaha stage was this enthusiastic steel drum band from one of the local high schools. I was amazed at the sophisticated tunes these simple instruments can produce, and how well these kids played them. Although the day was still gray when they started, their exuberant music drew in the sunshine.

Annie charmed the socks off of everyone watching this performance. She was so cute and adorable, I just wanted to bundle her up and take her home. She played both sides of the frets on this Japanese dulcimer.

I would have liked to hear these Augspurger monitors presented by Pro Audio Design, but alas, they didn’t play while we were in the building.

ElectroVoice, on the other hand, offered a live demonstration of their latest monitors. I was impressed with the startling dynamics of even the smaller units.

The largest ones assaulted the senses with the hip-hop music they were spewing.

I’ve always liked PMC speakers from Britain and these didn’t disappoint.

Some companies went great lengths to make their monitors as compact as possible. These speakers are produced by Yorkville. Although they looked to be well made, I didn’t like the joint at the top left corner in this photo.

Not enough bass? These woofers featuring Alnico magnets are made by RCF.

It was great to be able to speak with speaker engineers, who are usually not available to the public. The affable Paul was the chief engineer for Celestion.

Celestion brought their own RV, which they used as a business office.

There were lots of headphones available for audition. The best of these AKGs had a natural, non-fatiguing sound, even at high volumes.

I don’t know anything about microphones, but these looked stunning.

There were lots of pro cables presented at the show, but none of them carried stratospheric prices. When I mentioned the cost of some audiophile cables to these two British attendees, one of them commented, “That’s rather like over-eggin' the puddin', in’t it?”

There were lectures and demonstrations available everywhere to help engineers keep up with the latest technical advances and opportunities.

This lecture was presented by Sony’s pro audio division.

Mixing engineer Dave Pensado has mastered music for such diverse artists as Elton John, Paula Abdul, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Justin Timberlake, Brandi, Kelly Clarkson, the Neville Brothers, Boyz II Men, Beyonce, Celine Dion, LL Cool J, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, and Michael Jackson. His council was keenly sought out by other professionals in the industry.

My photographer Jayvee insisted on taking this photo because, “Next to that guy, you look good.”

It’s nice to have friends.

No NAMM show is complete without light shows, and this was one of the most interesting.

Musicians were auditioning instruments throughout the show.

Most were professionals, as evidenced by their playing.

Others were demonstrating product.

These interesting guitars are manufactured by Timberline.

This guy’s fingers were faster on the keyboard than a speeding bullet. He impressed everyone.

To a visual artist, the most interesting part of the show might have been the brass instruments. I have no idea how this horn was treated to produce these vibrant colors.

Even saxophones have become more colorful in the last few years.

The workmanship evident in these products is breathtaking.

What a feast for the eyes!

Covering a show like this is stressful and exhausting work.

Fortunately, I’d remembered to bring a single-malt energy drink to lift the spirits.

There is a refreshing feeling of enthusiasm and optimism at the NAMM show that I find very appealing. Those involved in the production of music in any way ought to make an effort to attend and benefit from the education, entertainment, and networking available here.

Many thanks to photographer Jayvee Volanski for his contributions to this report. 
Back to Copper home page