Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 

Tags: NAMGLA


January 22, 2016

The New Style...

by Chris Randall
 



Day One of NAMM is in the books, and we've unveiled our four new hardware products. First up is ADM14 BoomTschak (or "BT," as we call it. We're hip to brevity at AD.) This is our first 100% analog product. Not a single line of code. Our motivation was to create a quality high-end analog drum voice, and I think we hit this one out of the park. Accent and choke inputs, a stonking self-resonant multi-mode filter of our own design, three envelopes with curve controls, and a waveshaper give this thing a wide palette. It is a real bruiser, and since it will join Sequencer 1 at the top of our ecosystem, you'll be seeing a lot of it here and in my Instagram feed. We haven't got all the quotes in yet, so we're not 100% on what it's going to cost, but we feel like $450 is attainable, despite the ludicrous parts count. (It has 16 knobs on it, for the love of all that is holy.) We should be shipping these in about 6-8 weeks.



This little fella is DubJr Mk2. It's basically DubJr, at a much higher build quality, and with all the features that people have asked for since the original was released. (Was it 4 years ago? Wow.) Tap tempo, clock input, selectable "free" or "jump" times, and a feedback loop cover all your clocked delay needs, in a 6HP package. Like all of our 6HP effects, this will be $289, and will be shipping in about 3 weeks.



Aaaaand ADP01 Fluid and ADP02 Freqshift. These are stereo guitar pedals. They have true analog bypass, assignable expression pedal destination, and custom laser-cut steel chassis. Having done my time on stage, I know what a bullet-proof pedal needs to be able to take, and these are as tough as they come. ADP01 Fluid is a direct descendant of our super thick 6-delay chorus in our Fluid plugin, with the alterations present in the ADM11 Dimensions Eurorack module. (There already is a Dimensions pedal, so we just named it what it is, Fluid.)

ADP02 Freqshift is a derivation of our original Freqshift module, with alterations for the stereo guitar pedal context. I have never personally really bothered with frequency shifting as an effect in my music, so I was unprepared for what this thing can do. Adam did a hell of a job with the DSP on this one, and it is a super useful and unique effect that can go from the widest, deepest stereo phaser you've ever heard on up to insane screeching and pure industrial craziness. Every guitar player that came to our booth yesterday went "holy shit..." when I kicked that bitch on.

These will be shipping in about 5 weeks, theoretically, but as this is our first foray in to pedal manufacturing, we're approaching it with some caution. I'd rather they took a little more time and we got them absolutely right. So we'll see how that plays out. These will be $290 each.

Anyhow, as for NAMM itself, Eurorack has gone complete honey badger. It seems every company that makes anything is making a Eurorack version of that thing. I haven't really had a chance to wander about aside from our immediate area; hopefully I'll have some more time today to look around. I did have a good long play with the new DSI Obie, and it is a thing of beauty. Very excited to get one of these. Much like the Prophet 6, it is quite easy to get those classic sounds you'd expect to be able to get from an OB-Mx or that ilk, along with all the modern conveniences and some surprises. I'm calling that one a "win." I also had a fiddle with the new MakeNoise desktop synth, the 0coast. I think you should put that in your "must buy" folder. Tony really hit that one out of the park. Simple, inexpensive, and with a tonal range that isn't, to my knowledge, occupied by any other company.

And we soldier on. Day Two starts in an hour.

 
January 13, 2016

Different Drummer...

by Chris Randall
 



Whelp, I just have a bit more welding to do, and a couple prototype panels to silkscreen, and we're ready for NAMM. 2015 was a big year for Audio Damage as we got further in to our Pivotâ„¢, and 2016 will be bigger still, as we begin to make mass-market music tech products (initially guitar pedals, but soon to be other things as well) to go along with our continuing Eurorack offerings.

We'll be unveiling four new products at NAMM, at least three of which will begin shipping not too long afterwards. And we'll have at least a couple prototypes and experiments to gauge interest. We're really swinging for the fences this year, and a larger facility here in Phoenix and some local hiring are no doubt in our immediate future as we expand the operation to encompass The New Shit. I've spent most of 2015 learning about large(r) scale manufacturing, while Adam has been studying up on analog design. Even though most of the year was a learning exercise, we still managed to release three new modules (Kompressor, Dimensions, and Neuron.)

We're officially starting 2016 with NAMM, and we will also be attending an as-yet unannounced event in February in LA that promises to be pretty big, and of course the Superbooth 16 in Berlin at the end of March. I will also be giving my scatterbrained clinics in New York and Portland at some point in the first half of the year, as time and finances allow.

In short, it's already been a pretty big year and it's only three weeks old. The cats are nervous, is all I'm saying. If you're attending NAMM, be sure to stop by booth 5000 and say "hi" to Adam and I. Keep in mind that I'll be adding roughly 15,000 new people a day to the several million I've already met over my career, so give me some context and don't expect my middle-aged brain to automatically know who you are. All evidence to the contrary, I'm simply not that on-the-ball.

 
January 26, 2015

NAMM Wrap-Up...

by Chris Randall
 



Okay, I know long-time readers are used to a daily NAMM round-up, wherein I make biting comments about the latest and greatest from our fine business. Long-time readers also know that I'm not, as a habit, an exhibitor at NAMM. That all changed this year.

I'm not going to apologize for not walking the floor and trying out every new thing under the sun. While I would have greatly enjoyed doing exactly that, the simple fact of the matter is that it was virtually impossible to make the time. Not only was I generally tied to the Audio Damage booth, but this NAMM was unusually crowded, at least relative to the last few I've been to. And the Eurorack format is really exploding. At this rate, we'll have an entire hall in two years.

So, as I say, I was unable to either poke or prod any new things. The only instrument I did spend a total of about 45 seconds with was the Sequential Prophet 6. That was long enough to decide it was the modern analog synth of my dreams. Keybed: great. Control surface: great. Sound: great. I saw almost nothing else during the show, I'm sorry to report.

We did get a lot of good business done, which is, I guess, the point of the operation. We discovered that both Adam and I are really shitty at giving demos and doing sales pitches. Adam gets in to the minutia of the device so quickly that the potential customer's eyes glaze over, while I take a more patronizing "well, it's shit-hot, and you should buy it, unless you're stupid or something" meta-approach. We will, in the future, be paying Jeremy Highhouse to do our pitching for us, because we suck at it, plain and simple.

I had big plans to film the 10 Questions answers on the show floor, but a raging bout of insomnia that waylaid me for virtually the entire trip kept me in this sort of strange FML zone that prevented me from being extemporaneous, at least in any intelligible fashion. I'll do the answers in the next couple days.

Anyhow, if I was able to meet you during the week, rest assured that I think you are both handsome and charming, and I'll tell anyone who asks. Don't bother posting anything like "hey, did you check out the new DeeJay EZ-Tron 5000 XS?" because I didn't.

A very special thanks to WMD for organizing the group booth, and to Stan Cotey and Fender for saving our bacon in at least two ways. When the largest American music equipment company takes time out of their ludicrously busy show schedule to help out one of the smallest, it makes you feel good about the future in general, and this business in particular.

(Side note: those in the general know of things might view the previous paragraph as an attempt to lay the blame for the noise warnings WMD received at Fender's feet. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!)

 
January 15, 2015

January's 10 Questions, Special NAMM Edition, And Some Other Shit...

by Chris Randall
 

For the January edition of 10 Questions, I'll be at NAMM, obviously. So I'll do the answers video at the show itself, on Saturday, Jan. 24th. The Google Moderator page for asking your questions and voting on your favorites is now open.

One thing I noticed last month: the people that get their questions in early naturally tend to come out on top, because everyone that follows them is encouraged to vote by the Moderator software. So your best bet is to get in early. And not ask something idiotic, of course.

A couple other things:

1. We're entertaining the thought of adding hardware bundles to the AD store. If anyone has any thoughts on this subject, now would be the time to voice them, and this would be the place.

2. When I get back from NAMM, Audio Damage t-shirts will once again be available in the store. We got a new style done. I _think_ it'll be all awesome and shit, but I won't know until I have them in my paws on Monday.

3. There will be some prototypes from a couple new manufacturers in our racks at our NAMM booth. Come visit and see some new shit in the WMD Manufacturer's Booth, Hall A, booth 6990.

 
November 14, 2014

It's Gettin' Hot In Herre...

by Chris Randall
 



So, a glance at the calendar (well, a glance at Calendar.app, which is the functional equivalent) shows that NAMM 2015 is just around the corner. It seems like only 10 months ago I was at NAMM 2014, trying to keep the secret of this massive sequencer we were about to make. How time flies!

Anyhow, I'm pleased to report, for those of you that attend this heady event, that Audio Damage will have a booth for the 2015 show. Or, rather, we'll be part of the WMD "Manufacturer's Booth." Which is conveniently chock full of all your favorite Euro guys, along with some other various things. (Let's just say that Audio Damage will be the only ones there with software.) The WMD booth backs up to the Schneidersbureau booth, so that whole neighborhood in Hall A is gonna have some ridiculous bleepings and bloopings going on.

Adam and I will both be attending the entire show, as well as our little booth betty, Jeremy Highhouse. Jeremy is picking out his outfit now. I personally lobbied for "Naughty Elf," but I think he's leaning towards "Naughty Leprechaun."

My next task, which will hopefully not prove too monumental, is to design our little mini-booth so that it looks cooler than the other mini-booths, since that's important to me. Cutting of aluminum will be involved.

Which brings me to the actual point of this post: I'd just like to mention that I am extremely grateful for the support of this community of musicians that allows me to do cool shit like having lasers blasted at a sheet of metal until a robot appears, instead of having to go to an office every day and do stupid shit for other people that I hate. I honestly love everything about my job, and am incredibly lucky that it pays the mortgage. I don't think I say that often enough, so I'm saying it now.
 

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