The first day of set up for a trade show is always interesting because you get to see all the behind the scenes action. Like most trade shows in the US, Freeman is the company that provides all the infrastructure for the NAMM show from carpet to drapes to the AV gear in all the big halls like the Hilton Pacific Ballroom.
The NAMM show starts off looking like a big empty concrete room. The photo below was taken on Wednesday morning.
There was a Star Wars convention in Convention Center over the weekend before NAMM and they were late in getting loaded out so everything for the June NAMM was delayed. But the Freeman crews are all dedicated, professional trade show people and got everything caught up by Thursday morning.
You can see how industrial everything looks. So how do you take a bland industrial space and create a vibe? Read on and find out.
The MIDI Association booth is in a great high traffic spot, but it is also oddly shaped being very long (60 feet) and very thin (5 feet).
So we divided the space into 5 distinct areas.
This area had a number of devices that are being used for MIDI 2.0 prototyping including the Roland A88 MK II, the Embodme Erae Touch, the MIDI Workbench MIDI 2.0 Self Certification tool and Whirled Notes ( pictured on the iPAD).
Here is the video that we ran at NAMM explaining the current state of MIDI 2.0. None of the videos have audio as NAMM was simply too loud to be able to hear any voice overs.
Much of the focus at June NAMM 2022 was on the Protozoa MIDI 2.0 UMP Prototyping tool.
Just prior to NAMM, Amenote shipped out over 40 ProtoZOA units around the world to jump start MIDI 2.0 development.
The Amenote ProtoZOA also supports Analog Devices MIDI 2.0 over A2B, another major announcement at the NAMM show.
Groovesizer is an open source synth that has been modified to support MIDI 2.0.
We had many of the entrants to the MIDI Innovation Awards displayed at the booth. You can see the Jammy MIDI Guitar with some Ukranian flags around it. Jammy is based in Kviv and all of their staff are now either refugees or in the Ukranian army.
Tanya, who was the graphic designer for Jammy was on vacation in the US when the war broke out so we enlisted her to do all the graphics for MIDI Association NAMM booth with the help of volunteer "Art Director" and MIDI Association Exec Board member Lawrence Levine.
Check out this short compilation of the highlights of the MIDI Innovation Awards and the announcement of the winners.
The attendance at June 2022 NAMM was not as large as previous NAMM shows, but this was anticipated. What was interesting was the percentage of educators was far higher than before. We not only met with educators at the booth, but also participated in many educational sessions. In fact, all these Saturday A3E sessions had participants from the MIDI Association.
Dan Leonard from Chapman University arranged for some of his music technology students to be at our booth helping guide people and scanning badges. Anita Xu, Clarisse Guevarra, Isabel Roney, and Hailey Leonard did an amazing job and really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the NAMM show. They helped demo the MIDI Innovation Award entrants that were educationally focused like the Digitiaze MIDI Violin, the Oddball, the Artiphon Orba and Big Ear Games.
Check out this short video that was played at NAMM to explain our MIDI In Music Education initiative.
On Saturday evening, we co-hosted an event where Jordan Rudess opened the show with a performance on Geoshred and then we thank all the entrants and winners of the MIDI Innovation Awards. Finally we also announced that with current pledges and matching donations from the MIDI Association, the MIDI Fund in the NAMM Foundation would start off with $47,000 of funding.
Los Angeles, CA (June 9, 2022)—The NAMM Foundation and the MIDI Association have announced the MIDI Fund, a new donor-advised fund in The NAMM Foundation, which launches with the initial development of a MIDI curriculum and certification program.
The MIDI Fund will support projects and programs that advance engagement in music-making and the varied and unique options to make, create and explore music made possible by MIDI, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface that allows musical instruments to connect to computers, tablets, cell phones and each other.
For the past several years, the MIDI Association has delivered programs for the public benefit. Between 2020 and 2021, the MIDI Association raised $50,000 and donated that money to the Children's Music Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides music therapy programs to children affected by chronic conditions or life-altering illnesses, to help them on their journey towards a better quality of life.
The MIDI Association had planned to create its own 501(c)3 to focus on these and other projects for the public benefit. However, at the recommendation of NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond, and with the help of NAMM Foundation executive director Mary Luehrsen, this move enables the MIDI Association to avail itself of the considerable experience and administrative resources of the NAMM Foundation.
The first major project the MIDI Fund is focusing on is the development of a MIDI curriculum and certification program to raise awareness about MIDI in education at secondary and post-secondary schools, and for manufacturer and reseller staff members. Current work includes the establishment of standardized, readily/publicly available MIDI education content and the creation, launch and active management of a MIDI certification program.
This next short video (again with no audio as it was used at NAMM) explains the deepening relationship between the MIDI Association and NAMM.
The NAMM show was bittersweet because just before NAMM, Dave Smith, one of the acknowledged founders of MIDI passed away at the age if 72. He was planning on being at the show to celebrate the release of a new Oberheim instrument. Tom Oberheim and Dave had been friends and competitors for many years. It is somewhat unique to the world of synths and MIDI, that companies can compete, but the people who lead those companies are close friends.
Bob Moog and Dave Smith did as much to shape the musical instrument industry as Leo Fender and Les Paul.
We are looking forward to working closely with NAMM to celebrate the 40th anniversary of MIDI at the April 2023 NAMM Show in Anaheim.
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