Readers — what did you think of NAMM 2014?



 

namm dj people

When we do what we do, it’s very much a matter of “here’s what we think”, with the hope that  you’ll be engaged enough to proffer your opinion about the subject at hand. And we certainly had a lot to say about NAMM, so before we close this off, I ask one simple question — what are your thoughts and feelings about what you saw and didn’t see at NAMM, and the immediate future of DJ technology?


That’s it — no more from me or the team. This is entirely over to you. We really want to know what you think. Engage with us and let the industry know what you think, because rest assured that they’re all reading this.

  • http://www.mixcloud.com/heartyparty/ heartyparty

    No big announcements was pretty telling. I’d like to think that this was because some good stuff is in the offing at some later date but it may be a case of “where do we go from here? ” from the big manufacturers.

    Dj Tech are stand out in that they are bringing pro features and build to cut down budget gear.

    Proving that budget gear can have some of the key features which are now expected as standard on more expensive kit is hopefully going to be a big thing. …. Lower barrier to entry will mean new tricks in the upper echelons of gear…… More complete hardware controls, better vinyl emulation with spinning platters a la ns7 ii would be good. More stand alone hardware to eliminate the need for a laptop would be a big thing – could serato/traktor be fully integrated in a controller so you only need to use Flash drives to store your music? Think I’d like something like that. .. standardised hardware specs to compliment and bring the best out of the software.

    The again it could just be a lull while the industry takes stock of the US “edm” explosion which has no doubt pushed up sales massively in the home dj market. Question is how to tempt these users to step up to the next level of tech.

    I know I’d like to move up to the next level of kit but space, cost and differentiators from what i have now to warrant it all play a big part.

    It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

  • Guest

    The past 3-4 years we have seen djing technology go thru the roof…yet djing skills and the Dj community as a whole has not improved one bit, if anything else it has gotten worst. just look at the Dmc Battles Pre/Post Serato, lots of lots of scratching but no musicality, even the judges are bored to death. Listen to any DJ mix from 10 years ago…now listen to any DJ mix from today…no journey no excitement and so predictable that boredom tears can’t be stopped. it was a breath of fresh air to see some manufactures making their already great gear better instead of trying to cram more unnecessarry gimmicks. I think that DJ tech will kick ass because they are doing exactly that, not trying to re-invent the well, but making it better, much better.
    ps. To MANUFACTURERS: You gave never-sastisfied-always-complaining-techno-geeks 3-4 years of your time, no matter what you all did, they ALWAYS complained, NOW, would you please ignore the techno-geeks for another 6 months and continue your recent trend of improving what you already have instead of trying to satisfy those basement dwellers, please? (better latency, faster software glitches repair, easier software integration, durability, analog anything, better/faster customer service, more vinyl support, even better timecode response….you get the point). Mark thank you and your team for such great coverage!

  • Ricardo Thomas

    The past 3-4 years we have seen djing technology go thru the roof…yet djing skills and the Dj community as a whole has not improved one bit, if anything else it has gotten worst. just look at the Dmc Battles Pre/Post Serato, lots of lots of scratching but no musicality, even the judges are bored to death. Listen to any DJ mix from 10 years ago…now listen to any DJ mix from today…no journey no excitement and so predictable that boredom tears can’t be stopped. it was a breath of fresh air to see some manufactures making their already great gear better instead of trying to cram more unnecessarry gimmicks. I think that DJ tech will kick ass because they are doing exactly that, not trying to re-invent the wheel, but making it better, much, much better.
    ps. To MANUFACTURERS: You gave never-sastisfied-always-complaining-techno-geeks 3-4 years of your time, no matter what you all did, they ALWAYS complained, NOW, would you please ignore these techno-geeks for another 6 months and continue your recent trend of improving what you already have instead of trying to satisfy those who have nothing better to do but to complain, please? (better latency, faster software glitches repair, easier software integration, durability, analog anything, better/faster customer service, more vinyl support, even better timecode response….you get the point). Mark thank you and your team for such great coverage!

  • Ragman

    First off, just an excellent job by Mark and the DJWORX staff. I know it’s not said often enough but we really appreciate all that you guys do for the scene. You guys hustle and work your asses off and it shows in the news content, reviews and visuals on this website. DJWORX keeps me grounded, rooted and updated in all aspects of the DJ scene and I, for one, am forever grateful.

    I felt NAMM 2014 mos def belonged to DJ Tech. Just some awesome new gear coming out and staying true to the old but introducing features to accommodate the new was terrific. I’m still a little leery of DJ Tech’s low price point for some of their new products though. Can they provide good quality to go along with the awesome pricing? Only time will tell. Pioneer’s DDJ-SZ was a nice head turner for me. It’s crazy but when everyone thinks Pio is missing the boat, they come out and typically jump to the head of the class. I feel the SZ will be a game changer for club and mobile use from a controller standpoint. And it appears that with Pioneer’s stable of Serato controllers they’ve made it very clear on what DJ software/DVS hook they are hanging their hat. I still believe the NS7II is a sick controller as well. The feature set combined with motorized platters will continue to put Numark in a class to themselves, however Pio has met the challenge with the SZ. Lastly Serato made 2 shocking announcements that was a little bitter mixed with sweet. First the anticipated wait is over as they will finally bring Pitch-n-Time to Serato DJ. Major kudos to them for that as everyone knows the current key lock is ass and was somewhat tarnishing a quality product. I can’t wait for the release of PNT in March and was shocked even further (in a good way) to learn the plugin will only cost $29. REALLY! (remember PNT for Pro Tools cost over $600). Second was the announcement that Sam was stepping down from Serato. That really caught me off guard, especially with SDJ being so new and all the new controller additions and new SDJ feature announcements. But hey, it’s good to see him step away on top. It’s going to be interested to see where Sam will end up down the road. He’s still a young man and spending time with the family will get boring after a while once he get’s the itch back (no pun intended).

    I know there are more cool things that came out at NAMM, but those are the things that stood out for me. Overall I think DJWORX did a fantastic job being our eyes and ears and reporting back to the site in a timely manner. It was so cool jumping on DJWORX throughout the event to see what goodies were coming out. Here’s to a great start to 2014 Mark. -Ragman-

  • Onno Suave

    Heads off to DJWorx for the wicked coverage and all the pictures!

    To me Dj Tech definitely “won” this namn. Nice products and very, very, very good prices!
    Let’s hope that the quality hasn’t suffered!
    I’d only wish they would also have come out with a newer/updated version of the DIF-Is (with Master Cue and filters but minus the midi buttons)!

    The Pioneer DDJ-SZ was a head turner and looks completely amazing.
    Eventhou I am a big fan of all-in-one as well as add-on controllers and have owned and S4 as well as an S2, most all in-all-one controllers always felt and looked like toys to me. The DDJ-SZ and the Numark NS7 were and are the first ones that feel solid and true to me, so Good Move Pio!!
    =>Native Instruments – Your move!
    Personally I’d love a bigger version of the S4 with bigger platters, Maschine Pads and XLR outs!

    Keeping my fingers crossed! ;)

    • The_KLH

      While the SZ is neat, I suspect it won’t sell because of the pricing. It’s a better looking SX at twice the price… without more features. If it supported RekordBox without a computer (meaning an R1 updrade), it’d sell like hotcakes… but the CDJs would be obsolete. And Pioneer isn’t going to kill the CDJ market.

      • Gulli Johansen

        would not say the SZ is without more futures.
        2 sound cards (you can now record external sources, SX can’t do that) Color FX, Better and bigger Jog wheels, Jog tension, Oscillator and being bigger also give it a better layout

      • stefanhapper

        Still think the SZ will sell very well – not least *because* of its price. Don’t forget that there are plenty of people out there who just want the best controller available, no matter what it costs.

        It’s like with cars, many people buy the symbolic value. The same applies to DJ controllers as well (at least for some people).

      • Stevenson Roberts

        The SZ actually does a ton more than just about every controller on the market. Just a fact.

  • steve brown

    I think namm, and dj culture in general is missing excitement. I think it is sad that we create a bunch of boring nonsense with controllers, while someone like girltalk, for example, makes awesome mixes with just a laptop keyboard. We are, in short, pathetic (myself as much or more than anyone) and all of the “innovations” from namm-joke :(…didnt do anything to change that.

    • The_KLH

      Umm… I disagree. The fundamental problem – if you want to call it that – is that most DJs are happy with what they have.

      While synchronized sample triggering is augmenting traditional mixing, it isn’t replacing the way most mix. Add to that the fact that most DJs simply mix two sources, and you’ll understand that manufacturers have moved beyond what most DJs do.

      The next frontier is trying to get computer-based flexibility without using a computer… by hiding it.

  • Clay Ford

    Whole lot of Serato support out there….

  • Oda

    Synopsis: No new gear, no hype. DJ exhibition stage was not promoted. Lacked educational DJ sessions. Need for DJ community growth.

    There was less excitement than the past years, as the larger companies did not have new product to be released (Rane, Vestax, Numark, and somewhat Pioneer). Therefore, there was less to promote and to bring various DJs. The new equipment (turntables, controllers) were promoted by newer companies to the DJ industry (DJ Tech, Reloop), but they lacked schedules, efficient staging or video camera’s (such as those at the Rane booth). Other than Rane, there were many demonstrations, but not many presentations (describing functionality, use, comparisons, along with a demonstration of DJ equipment).

    The Pioneer Stage was filled with potential; a complete lineup from before the opening of convention doors ’til after the convention closed, headline by DJ Qbert and it was OUTDOORS and free to the public. Again, there was a lack of cameras and screens (the GoPro stage had a wonderful visible setup) and there was little demonstration of the potential of Pioneer gear. I saw a few great DJs as I ate lunch, but I felt sorry for them because there were only a handful of people listening as the stage or the location were well advertised. I was also a bit upset that one DJ on the stage had a prerecorded mix, because he had a half-hour set and he was on stage for an hour (yes, he played the same recorded set twice). Another disheartening situation I heard about was the fact that the Pioneer stage was not able to connect all the DJ equipment together prior to Qbert’s performance (a four-DJ set was planned, but did not happen).

    There were a number of presentations on music production; new software, new versions of software or some hardware (I did not attend any). I did attend one DJ presentation, but was not as productive as I hoped; the presentation was mainly 2.5 hour DJ set with an ongoing open Q&A session. Although useful information was gained, I would have been more appreciative of a formal lecture/discussion on predetermined topics. A number of years ago, a small group of DJs created scratch notation; NAMM would be a great forum to present such information.

    NAMM is a trade show with focus on selling music equipment, of which, DJ gear is only a fraction of the entire show. But it seems NAMM is an ideal place and time for DJs to communicate, share and discuss on a formal level. Discussions on the future of DJins, rules and limits of DMC, formal/unified naming of scratch variations, and possible formal definitions of turntablist or DJ. A few years ago, Stanton and Scratch Academy had a room in which six or eight open turntables allowed people to session with each other. Creating an open community for people to interact and communicate would make a gratifying NAMM experience.

    Personally, I would love to see more in the area of DJ education in high school and middle school. This would be a change in direction for both the traditional music industry and in the DJ industry.

  • stefanhapper

    Not a single Traktor controller. That is the main NAMM news for me (apart from the DDJ-SZ which only proves the point)

    • Paco Loco

      This is clearly because NI no longer want to work with any other hardware makers, not the other way round.
      And they wouldn’t do that unless they had a really good reason/plan… I’m excited to see what they have in store for us next year – my bet is it will be a whole lot more exciting than anything that was announced at NAMM.

      • stefanhapper

        Hmm, not sure. Just because this is said so often it is not necessarily true. Or do we have any confirmation from the hardware makers out there?

        As much as I would like it to happen, I don’t expect any major new DJ device from NI for the coming months.

        • Paco Loco

          NI just dropped the price of the Z2 for a month which bodes well for something new coming at MusicMesse next month… fingers crossed.

    • Loudist

      Native Instruments normally wait for Musikmesse to unveil their new goodies…

    • Mark

      NI don’t do trade shows

  • Mutis Mayfield

    Djs get older, controllerism get abused and very few taking care of musicality…

    New gear will come from kickstarter and genius people like John Beez or similar bringing back the roots from dub (modding/hacking/creating stuff) including the technics (or oem) into the new step.

    Pendulum law at last…

  • rick

    What I want to know is…. Is Denon dying? Apart from a mk2 that uses the same tooling as a mk 1 they have been very quiet. I hope they do, they seem to struggle to get software support for their products. Prob better if they were sold off to the likes of NI imo

    • Dan White

      Worth noting, they didn’t seem to have a booth this year.

  • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

    Lots of readers, but not enough commenters. Come on people – let’s hear what you have to say.

    • Mark

      I suppose we don’t feel qualified to comment… most of us didn’t see anything at NAMM because we weren’t there(!) Enjoyed your articles though.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQnd5ilKx2Y

    • Game Ov37

      I have been following the NAMM 2014 on your site. I am always interested in(for lack of a better word) controlism Dj tech. Personally for me there was not much to absorb, just lots of cosmetic upgrades and less of proper break throughs in the Dj world.

  • Mark

    Truthfully, meh – nothing really outrageous that blew my mind…

  • http://www.serkankocak.net/ Serkan Kocak

    FYI, I’ve never been to NAMM and never will so it’s the online coverage to me only.

    What’s up with the hype with DJ Tech? Put a Mini Innofader into a crappy mixer, hire Qbert and you’re good to go?
    What else did they show? That weird looking turntable which is not even close to the Super-OEM? Have you ever used one of the Not-Uper-OEMs – the tonearm is one of the worst ever introduced to the DJ industry.

    For me the biggest news were the Pioneer DDJ-SZ – the best controller ever made, for now at least. And Serato Pitch ‘N Time DJ which just is a plug-in, but one we’ve waited for for a long time. I’ve already bought it and it’s totally worth it’s money.

  • http://www.synthetrix.com/ Synthetrix

    The show was typical NAMM. The best shows I went to were in the 80s. Of course there were no DJ related booths back in those days, but they just seems to be more fun back then and there was a lot more swag to go around.
    One thing I noticed is that most of the DJs that were demoing products were not very good.

  • redjohn

    I went to NAMM looking to see some awesome demonstrations and was very disappointed Last year the Numark booth stole the show with some awesome DJs.
    This year they fell short.
    Not sure If I will go next year.
    Bummer!

  • DisappointedDj

    Went to NAMM 2014, every rep looked at your badge and if you weren’t a buyer/higher-up member they didn’t care to talk to you or give you ‘freebies’. Very disappointed with that, and what really hurt me the most….. Wished I had a chance to get a 7” DJWORX vinyl… maybe next year!