NAMM: Sonic NAMM Diary - Part 1

The Road to NAMM - UPDATED!!      24/01/04

Buying Choices
This years NAMM show promised to be the biggest yet. With an improvement in the world economy a certain feel good factor had returned to the music technology business. This year we were hoping for news of exciting new products rather than shaky finances and consolidation. In this and a couple more stories I hope to give you an overview of the Sonic NAMM experience. Some of the photos have been taken with my phone (a Nokia 7250i - brilliant piece of kit) so the resolution and lighting are a bit suspect. Our NAMM experience started earlier than ever before. We had been planning our campaign since mid-November and in December we had to journey to the US embassy in London to pick up our Visas (apparently now we have to register as Journalists to avoid deportation – they’ve obviously never read our reports). This was a horribly early start (05:00 is when we left Bath - dedication beyond measure!!).

Nick, Geoff and Andy shivering outside the fortified US Embassy
The planning then fell into full swing then. Many beers were drunk, pizzas ordered and arguments had. Eventually we agreed Video was the way forward and that’s what we majored on this year.

Tech frenzy
Early into the new year we started packing. We were taking 4 laptops, a mini cube PC, 19" display for video editing, 5 cameras, audio kit (DAT, microphones (wired and wireless) , etc.), tripods, monopods, magic arms, etc, etc, etc. How all this fitted into our luggage was a miracle. The car was loaded and we set off for Heathrow (again stupid o'clock in the morning). At Heathrow the security was tight but it was efficient and polite.

Dodgy Characters
We had an uneventful flight to the US (no fighter escort, nobody trying to light their shoes, just airline food and free booze).

Don't give me the camera - you'll regret it!

Bleary eyes from Geoff and Nick, Andy's under the blanket

Greenland - lots of ice
Arrival into the US wasn't the horror of endless lines snaking into immigration. The whole process was quick and efficient, including the finger prints and photos (which was a little weird). This was probably helped by us not making jokes about bombs in our bags. Then off to Hertz to pick up our car.

Andy - it's behind you!
We had a weird experience on the way to the Hotel from the airport. A police car decided to stop the whole I105 by itself (all 6 lanes at 75 MPH). This mad policeman swerved back and forward before spinning round into the oncoming traffic. He jumped out and started shouting at one guy in a pickup. We thought at one point he was going to open fire on this guy. Eventually he calmed down and drove off. If only we had the video cameras to hand - it was definitely a candidate for "Worlds most stupid Policeman" Dave B

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