SPARS SoundBite | Why Participate in NAMM?

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Kirk Imamura and Paul Christensen


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The National Association of Music Merchants produces two shows annually—the NAMM Show in Anaheim and Summer NAMM in Nashville. This month, the NAMM Show will again take over the Anaheim Convention Center. The mission of NAMM, established in 1901, remains the same: “to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.”

SPARS continues its participation by presenting a SPARS Studio Summit in the H.O.T. Zone. This is the only major show related to our industry that takes place near Los Angeles. The gathering is huge by any stretch of the imagination. The audience is primarily music product dealers and hordes of musicians, even though, technically, the show is not open to the public. In 2011, the show drew 90,000-plus registered attendees (including more than 10,000 international attendees) and more than 1,400 exhibitors. SPARS began participating at the NAMM Show when the H.O.T. Zone was first established in January 2010, believing that there is a great need for the intangible skills of mentoring and coaching of musicians, artists and engineers.

As NAMM has grown, so has the interest of pro audio manufacturers, who are finding that more and more musicians also record. Last year, pro audio participants filled an entire exhibit hall. In addition, the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio recently teamed up with NAMM to host the TEC Awards.

SPARS will host a four-hour Studio Summit to examine the role of professional studios in the recording process. SPARS will be pairing studio operators with recognized artists, producers and engineers. Panelists will share case studies of recording sessions to highlight the thought processes that went into decisions like room selection, recording setup and establishing a creative environment. We anticipate that these summits will become an annual event as we continue to explore how we can raise awareness on the value we can provide to musicians and artists. We welcome other pro audio service providers to join us in this discussion to put together a unified front to educate and mentor the musicians and engineers and producers who have joined our industry.

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