D' Addario Evans Level 360 Drum Head
Whether or not this proclaimed advancement in drum-head technology is all its cracked up to be I can't say–I don't play drums. But what's cool is that it doesn't cost extra. According to panelist Mike Guillot of Mississippi Music, the new drum head features a unique collar that allows it to sit level making it easier to tune. Later in the day, a rep giving a demonstration at the Evans booth was heard making the pitch "Who picks up a pair of drum sticks and says to themselves, 'I want to spend my time tuning?'"
Ernie Ball Slinky M-Steel Electric Guitar Strings
Ears perked up when panelist Alan Friedman mentioned this product from the popular string manufacturer was made of defense grade steel. "They make bombers out of these things," he declared. Supposedly these new strings allow for a greater output of sound and are break resistant. Though it's unlikely Friedman had a chance to put the product through serious paces in the last four days, it sounds like it might be worth while for guitarists to pick up a pack or two and give them a rigorous strum.
TC Ditto Looper
If you've ever had a chance to see Orange County's local bar band phenom Danny Maika, then you know what looping is. Though I hate his music, he makes impressive use of the technique which involves playing a phrase on his guitar or singing a verse, then using a pedal to record said phrase or verse, then layering said phrase or verse with other phrases–all live. The TC Looper Ditto Looper features a simple interface with two knobs for adjusting the level and recording. It can record up to five minutes of material at a time. If you think you need more, I contend you don't.
Taylor Guitars Grand Orchestra Series
For fans of beautiful guitars, this was one of those mouth watering moments. Taylor acoustics are among the most coveted in the market. According to panelist Donavan Bankhead the Grand Orchestra Series features the boominess of a jumbo body without the mass. "It sounds like a grand piano," he said.
This was the "future is now moment" of the morning. If you're not familiar 3D printing, the technology is what its title purports to be–one day we're all going to be using digital printers to make everything from breakfast to prostitutes. Panelist Billy Cuthrell of Progressive Music Center in North Carolina showed off a small rocket ship made of plastic that was literally printed by the 3D systems machine on display. The machine capable of producing the rocket will set you back $1200 and is still sort of a novelty item. Less novel was the red, white and blue colored electric guitar with Statue of Liberty embellishments in the body. It was printed in a larger machine, which frankly you can't afford. But a guitarist can dream.