NAMM 2014: Five Unusual Finds on the Showroom Floor

NAMM 2014: Five Unusual Finds on the Showroom Floor
Andrew Youssef

If NAMM is a veritable candy store for musicians, this feral blogger spent the weekend looking for the black licorice--and I managed to find a few oddities on the convention floor.

See also: Protestors Outside NAMM Encourage Attendees to Boycott Guitar Center

NAMM 2014: Five Unusual Finds on the Showroom Floor
Brandon Ferguson

Specialty drum keys

These bad boys will give drummers, tired of being sequestered in the back of the stage, the opportunity to break free from the pack and become a fierce individual. Not really. But these drum keys, sold by Massachusetts-based Dojo Co. are fun. They come in an assortment of shapes including: pot leaves, skulls, hearts or your favorite state. Average cost for one of the standard designs is in the $17 range. Custom orders are possible as well.

Hand-painted beauties from Zvex
Hand-painted beauties from Zvex
Brandon Ferguson

Zvex guitar pedals

This company employs three artists who painstakingly paint each one of their guitar pedals by hand. For those not interested in dropping a huge chunk of change, affordable pedals such as the Wooly Mammoth are available in a standard template. But custom orders are also possible--just expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for one of these beauties. Musicians such as Jack White have been known to use these pedals, but according to Zvex sales manager Andrew Richardson, White is also known to paint over them in mono color depending on his mood. Seems like putting a primer coat over the Mona Lisa if you ask me.

 

Scott Fernandez of Prat Basses plays an extended range bass
Scott Fernandez of Prat Basses plays an extended range bass
Brandon Ferguson

Prat Extended Range Bass

The top three strings on this bass are actually smaller than standard guitar strings. We didn't get a chance to find out how much this bad boy costs, but it's a safe bet that it would be outside of the price range of the average Weekly reader (or writer for that matter).

NAMM 2014: Five Unusual Finds on the Showroom Floor
Brandon Ferguson

The Music Easel, by Buchla

With its protruding wires and dizzying array of faders and knobs, this bad ass futuristic piece of equipment looks (and sounds) like something out of Logan's Run. But it's actually a throwback to the 1970s. This machine, which features a sequencer, oscillators, spring reverb, as well as beaucoup other sound modulating options, is the size of a suitcase. Buchla Artistic Consultant Todd Barton demonstrated the Music Easel, which pulsed with foreboding sounds reminiscent of Edgar Froese (or perhaps some post-apocalyptic cinema). Barton likened the controls on the machine to paint brushes with which to continually add colors. "In 1974 this thing was ahead of its time, and I think it's still ahead of its time," Barton said. But save your pennies, the Music Easel retails for close to $4,000.  

Paul Jennings demonstrates the Sela Cajon
Paul Jennings demonstrates the Sela Cajon
Brandon Ferguson

Sela Cajon

The cajon boasts an informal attitude and begs musicians to gather 'round to enjoy making some music. The folks at Sela told me their product, which is available as a kit to be assembled at home, sports a unique removable snare feature. We watched as Sela rep Paul Jennings pattered away for folks as they passed the booth. I'm told he plays in a Scottish band known as the Red Hot Chili Pipers. See also 10 Punk Albums to Listen to Before You Die 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time: The Complete List

Follow Brandon Ferguson on Twitter @FeralFerguson Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality.

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