Three things I learned at NAMM:
1) Whenever there is a ginormous event like this, drawing in people from around the world, anyone who can will rip you off.
2) While all the digital stuff is really cool and shiny and pretty—I mean, really, really cool and shiny and pretty—I really hope we never lose the raw, organic sound of real instruments when making music. When it comes to emulating multiple instruments off of one contraption, why would you want to? The one man band might be cool for a song or two, but no more than that. Besides, when you're recording a song you just can't compete with live instruments. The reason I don’t buy as many CDs anymore, or why I’m so nervous about buying CDs these days, is because everything is too clean and overproduced. I recently met a band that was incredible live, but I was really glad I heard and saw them live before I heard their CD. And it’s not that their CD wasn’t made well; it was made really well, actually—but it was too clean, and I feel like when that happens, you lose the rawness and the emotion of the song. Basically, the songs sound washed out. Obviously, if you’re producing music like EDM, then you want all the fun gadgets and effects; but not all music needs special effects. Sometimes the greatest magic happens between just the naked voice and one other instrument. Maybe I just have weird ears…
3) Many artists today are becoming more and more business savvy, but they’ve become so knowledgeable on the business side of things, that they’re actually dumber, because they think they can do everything themselves. A panelist mentioned this and I can't help but agree. I can't tell you how many times I've met artists who take one piece of information and then think they know everything. Especially in this industry, you just can’t do or know everything yourself. If you think you know everything, then you know nothing at all.
Everything about NAMM excites me. I mean, I know little to nothing about the production side of music, but all the gadgets and cool contraptions made me giddy. Of course, playing with instruments is always fun; but the panels I also found really really fun. I love a good panel, because it's always nice to hear other people's perspectives, whether or not you agree with them. I was like an incredible sponge and my eyes and ears went into a bit of sensory overload--but I loved every second of it.
I wish I could return for the last couple days of it, but alas, I have to behave like a proper and responsible law student wrapping up her final year; but I’m so glad I got to go this year. It was fantastic! I even got to catch up with someone from Nashville, who spoke at a most interesting series of panels. We need more people like him in this industry—creative people.
BIG LOVE & HUGS