No NAMM for OD!

Why OD Wasn’t at NAMM 2013

Well, NAMM was a few weeks ago now, but in the interests of starting afresh and making sure you guys know what we’ve been upto and why, I wanted to touch on why OD’s NAMM 2012 coverage was so extensive and why our NAMM 2013 coverage was limited to five posts, talking a little about our favourite products.

Depending on which way round you read these articles, you may or may not have read our post on the changes we’ve made, and are making, to OD this year. Those changes were informed in no small part by our NAMM 2013 experience (or lack of it). The crux of our no show boiled down to one fact: my press pass was denied. Now, a phonecall or two and a long email thread could have been all it took to get a pass (after all, there were no problems in NAMM 2012), and indeed, I have other journalistic responsibilities that would ensure my foot through the door anyway, but being refused entry did somewhat make me think about exactly what the point of OD going on such an expensive trip was.

In 2012 we produced some of – if I do say so myself – the stand out coverage at the show, from boutique brands to interviews with some of the most important people there. Whether it was chatting MIDI and the real pros and cons of analogue and digital with Dave Smith, getting to the root of the new generation of MPCs’ design process, goals and aspirations with Akai, talking about the importance of a creative user interface when making music with Teenage Engineering, or any of the other coverage we did, it was all about using the time we had to talk about the important issues, not just find out how many buttons something had. It’s something we pride ourself on, and yet (and before I go further this isn’t a blanket statement because any pedestal I put us on would be inherently shaky) most coverage at any trade show is essentially an identikit sales pitch delivered to camera that doesn’t really do anything that the spec sheet doesn’t do just as well.

It was exactly that attitude that got me thinking about what I set out to do with OD, and honestly speaking the incessant chasing of new gear isn’t really it at all. New gear can be exciting, but all too often it’s, well, not. Pretending otherwise is a disservice to you guys, who trust our opinion, and a disservice to ourselves, because it’s not what we’re here for. The road less travelled is always the most interesting, and that, in a nutshell, is what I alude to in the post about what we’re doing from now on that you should read now!

That said, I will be at Musikmesse this year – in no small part down to some of those aforementioned responsibilities with our friends at DJWORX, but how much OD coverage we’ll do depends on what we find interesting and most importantly what you find interesting – so please let us know if there’s anything you really want to see us doing!

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