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....its that time again

Despite being a personally exhausting experience between all the walking and hotel beds, the NAMM show in Anaheim always seems to recharge one's batteries. It may just be the fellowship of being around so many likeminded folks who, by one way or another, have made some small corner of the pro audio/live sound/lighting/computer audio/component mfg/technology/music business/studio business world forefront in their lives. I think this will be my fourth or fifth show, which is just enough trips to cement certain traditions such as the Indian restaurant I love to go to on the second or third night or the places I try to always pass through within the convention center. This show promises to be the biggest yet, with the all new 2 level pro audio building opening up for the first time... a building that's been under construction for years, finally coming online. If I'd gone to these things in my younger days, it would have been all about the gear and not much else. These days, while still an absolute gear-nut, it's really mostly about seeing and talking to the many long time friends and associates I've stayed close with across the ups and downs of my career/obsession in audio. It really is sort of a second family, and I've definitely become a bit more nostalgic with age about the people I've stayed in touch with over the past 2 decades. It's interesting how companies and allegiances do tend to shift, but much of the people really remain the same. My favorite trade shows were the Tape Op Cons (later named Potluck Recording Conference) because they seemed to be the least corporate and the most focused on real learning and on meeting the real people who use the products on a daily basis... not the buyers, not the reps, but the recordists. Plus the Hilton El Conquistador (Tucson) is such a gorgeous oasis. But at the end of the day, a show is what you make of it; and I like to make it about people more so than things.

Just about any trip tends to leave me a bit exhausted (I'm not a very well acclimated world traveler and I never sleep as well on strange beds/pillows as I do at home); but once rested up, I always tend to feel re-invigorated with new ideas and new energy that come from attending the show. And I usually come down with some terrible sickness from all the germs. Conventions are usually a convention at the microbial scale as well as the multi-cellular. ;) As with audio design, there's always a trade-off in anything you do...

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