NAMM 2015 Recap

NAMM 2015Having escaped NAMMthrax I’m going to recount some of the fun I had at NAMM 2015.

NAMM

I’m a fan of NAMM. Its a bit like experiencing Guitar Center if it were on Steroids. A lot of steroids. The main reason I go is to see all the fun new gear. Usually I’ll go for 3 days, on occasion I’ll go all 4. This year I only took it in in 2 days. Partially due to scheduling and partially due to seeing if I could fit everyone in that I needed to in 2 days. Hindsight says it was too short a time for how much I had to see and do.

For the cool new thing, this year I think hands down it’s gotta go to Omnisphere 2 by Spectrasonics. I already use Omnisphere, so this is a very cool update. Looking forward to when it drops.

My surreal experience of NAMM occurred on Saturday. I was walking along when I hear “Hey Jody, do you want a pen?” I turn to look and its Dave Pensado offering me a pen while standing outside the Izotope booth. For the non music world, Dave Pensado is a premier top level mixing engineer who has mixed some of the massive hits you’ve heard on radio. The shocking thing was how tall he is. For some reason I always pictured him to be like 5’9″, but he’s easily about 6’2″. Nearly as tall as me. We chatted briefly and then he did a presentation for the amazing new Izotope plugins Ozone 6, Alloy 2, Trash and more. Super nice and friendly guy.

The other great thing about NAMM is seeing certain people that for some reason I don’t run into other than at NAMM. Great time to catch up on what other fellow musicians are creating!

I did happen to see a purple microphone by Sennheiser that matched the purple shoes that I’ve got. Check that featured image for this post where I’m posing with the microphone. Think I need to color coordinate my mic and shoes?

I also helped to create a slogan for one of my endorsers. It’ll be interesting if Studio Devil starts using “Studio Devil, putting amps into storage for years.”

Stay tuned, more musical stuff is coming.

Putting My Producer Hat On

Pick up a gig as a producer is how I’m getting the new year kicked off with a bang. Though I actually got a really great bang of a kick-off this year as I rang it in in Sydney Australia.

As I freeze frame the video above from Sydney, I can see a pretty brunette looking at me shooting the crowd. Funny what you catch after the fact. The other fun thing is that its the first video I’ve put online that actually had a slightly viral take. Over 234,000 views in less than 12 hours. I now understand the desire to have big numbers.

Beyond the video, I’m sitting down to be the producer for a Utah metal band known as The Book. Chances are you’re asking yourself, why the hell would a pop/rock artist be producing a Utah metal band. One that’s slightly thrashy at that. The answer is: The lead guitarist was my first rock guitar teacher. I wanted to give back to the man that got me started down the road to musical amazingness.

There was one stipulation to them that I mentioned prior to starting the process. They had to be open and willing to allow me to have them change anything without a fight. No, I’m not going to make them do a pop song. Instead I had them play me what they thought were their 4 best songs and I chose the one that I felt had the most potential.

Act one: After getting the demo I chopped up the arrangement so that it would make more sense.

Scene One: Recording the drums. That was an adventure to say the least.

Scene Two: Editing drums.

Scene Three: Recording Guitars part one.

So far no issues with the process. Phrase that made me laugh the most so far, “I worked my ass off.” I merely responded with a chuckle and a quick quip stating the work hasn’t even begun yet.

At the studio for recording the drums the engineer mentioned that he’d never witnessed a producer that actually had the balls to tell a band or band member what to do in the recording process. I let him know that the band agreed to allow me to push them in the appropriate direction as needed to get the best possible result. Besides, the ideal job of a music producer is to let band know when something isn’t working and they can’t hear it.

So far no arguments and only a lot of hey that’s turning out really cool comments.

Dragging an 80s style metal band into 2015 is certainly going to be an adventure for me as a producer. Thrash Metal will never be the same after this gets dressed up and unleashed on the world.

The saga will continue.