Posted by
Jan 29, 2013

Another year, another NAMM convention. Every January the National Association of Music Merchants sets up shop at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA and provides thousands of vendors with the opportunity to show off their goods and/or services. We had the pleasure of attending this year again on behalf of The Deli Magazine and Delicious Audio. This year was very exciting and we saw a lot of new products from some of our favorite manufacturers including Boss, TC Electronic, Dunlop, Electro-Harmonix, and IK Multimedia just to name a few.

From Boss we saw three new pedals. The TE-2 Tera Echo according to Boss is neither a Delay nor a Reverb. So what is it? Powered by proprietary technology baptized “Multi-Dimensional Processing” (or MDP), this is a dynamic stereo ambiance effect that goes far beyond traditional delay and reverb. It’s one of those pedals that can’t be described as well as it can be shown so we recommend checking out the videos to get a better feel for what this pedal is capable of. We were told that Boss’s MO-2 Multi Overtone and DA-2 Adaptive Distortion, also new products, work really well when connected together with the Tera Echo. The Multi Overtone also uses the MDP technology to analyze the instrument’s sonics and is said to use the harmonic content to create rich tones. The Adaptive Distortion utilizes MDP as well to create a distortion that is said to sound good no matter where you play on the fret board. It adapts to your playing dynamics so that the tone is always ideal.

It was great to see some fresh designs from long time pedal leader, Boss.
TC Electronic sported a few new guitar-related items including the Ditto Looper and TonePrint Editor. The latter is a free software editor program for Mac and PC that allows you to edit TonePrint enabled pedals’ parameters to create your own custom tone that can be saved back to the device as a TonePrint preset. TonePrint is TC Electronic’s way of allowing pros and users of TonePrint compatible pedals to customize their tone using the editor while unlocking special parameters and knob range settings that are not available on the hardware interface. The user can then store the TonePrint back to their device using either USB or the TonePrint app for iOS. This is an amazing breakthrough for my fellow tweakers using TC’s TonePrint stuff.
Next up we have some smaller footprint Fuzz Face reissues from Dunlop. Dunlop had a big year at NAMM, but the thing that caught my eye was the fuzz. They come in three flavors: the Fuzz Face Mini Germanium, Fuzz Face Mini Hendrix, and the Fuzz Face Mini Silicon. The germanium iteration is essentially the original Fuzz Face of the ’60s. It uses a germanium transistor that is said to be warm and silky smooth. The Hendrix model is supposedly an exact recreation of the circuit that was in the one he used, but with the miniature footprint. The Silicon model uses silicon transistor that was prone to the 70’s designs. All three pedals are more pedalboard friendly  and affordably priced.

Loopers seem to be popular this NAMM and also Electro-Harmonix showcased one, the 45000 Multi-Track Looper. This is not your simple looper as it combines the familiar controls of a multi-track digital recorder with state-of-the-art features making it possible to create complex multi-track loops quickly and easily. Each loop has four mono tracks and one stereo mixdown track. The 45000 records non-compressed, 44.1 kHz / 16-bit CD quality audio direct to a removable SDHC card (4 to 32GB). Each card holds up to 100 individual loops accessed with the optional 45000 Foot Controller. The RTG or Random Tone Generator is a faithful reissue of a rare EHX synthesizer first introduced in 1980. The palm-sized synth produces wild, randomly changing tones over a four-plus octave range. It creates sensational soundscapes, especially when used with other effects! This excites us because we love simple one-trick ponies and synth sounds.

In conclusion, we saw way too many things to post, but we decided to highlight some of the most interesting and diverse findings. IK Multimedia‘s most recent products are the iRig Blueboard and iRig HD. This Italian company has become sort of the kings of iOS music peripherals. The iRig Blueboard is a bluetooth wireless foot controller for iOS and Mac. It features four backlit soft-touch pads housed in a sturdy, stage-worthy chassis, two TRS expansion jacks for connecting additional MIDI controllers like expression pedals, and is powered by four standard AAA batteries. It is the perfect companion for AmpliTube for iOS but works with any MIDI  compatible software. The iRig HD is a high definition audio interface for iOS and Mac that integrates perfectly with AmpliTube and other audio apps. iRig HD features superior digital audio quality, and offers a premium 24-bit A/D converter for a crystal clear digital signal that’s free from noise and crosstalk. Plus, its ultra-low-draw power-consumption circuitry eliminates the need for batteries – it’s powered by your mobile device or computer. An onboard gain control allows you to dial in the perfect signal level for your instrument and apps, and a multicolor LED lets you know what’s going on with your interface and signal. – Gus Green and PDG