The NAMM Show: Thursday, Jan 23rd, 2014

It feels like every year the NAMM show gets a little larger, sort of like how SXSW takes off Austin, TX – not just downtown Austin, but the whole town now. And this year I definitely felt like Anaheim was consumed by NAMM. Opening day was relatively quiet in what I believed would be the calm before the storm (of Friday/Saturday), so I scheduled most of my product meetings for today.

First up, Anvil Cases. As a road dog myself I’m no stranger to Anvil’s road cases, so I was extra excited to learn about Anvil’s new consumer line of cases for your iPhone, iPad and MacBook that looks like the road cases I love so much. And while I remain one of the biggest BlackBerry enthusiasts of today, this Anvil iPhone road case could push me over the top to make the big phone switch (it’s that beautiful). I’ll be needing this entire product line in white.

After a quick run through Rock N Roll Relics, Orange Amps, and Taylor Guitars I found myself enamored by a new booth Earasers, a new hi-fi earplug. These babies retain clarify by allowing sound to travel closer to the eardrum before being filtered, thus no more underwater or muffled effect. I had to try them out to believe it for myself and then quickly found myself buying a pair. It was amazing, I could clearly hear conversations happening nearby without struggling (or asking, WHAT?!) over all the drum sounds of Hall E. The best part? If the filter it comes with isn’t strong enough at the end of the night, they will send you a stronger pair. Thanks Earasers!

Next up, IK Multimedia to try out their iRig microphones and play with their new iRing. The iRig itself has three microphones available (the compact mic cast, the iRig mic, and the latest iRig HD mic) that all easily plug into your iPhone or iPad. This was most exciting to us because we conduct most of our artists interviews on our iPhones / iPads. We took the mic cast and iRig handheld mic home with us and plan to implement regularly use out of them at SXSW this year, stay tuned.

Musically my day was made when I happened upon a band from Liverpool called Xander and The Peace Pirates. Their sound and image reminded me of the Southern California music scene in 2005, one of my favorite years of my musical career. I was a very happy camper.

Knowing I had three more full days ahead of me, I called it a day around 3:30p to get some dinner before the entire High Voltage team would make it to a very special Imagine Dragons pre-grammy event at Wiltern. Thanks to Citi!

Tomorrow we’re bringing John Flanagan around NAMM with us, can’t wait to see what happens! – Chelsea Schwartz