NAMM Summer Session: Day Two and Epilogue

I forgot to mention yesterday that I stopped by the Samson booth. They had their USB mic out, but not plugged in. The feel is what you’d expect from a condensor, minus the whole “this thing is heavy and really expensive” feel. Focusrite didn’t really show the Saffire either, but after seeing Edirol’s offering I’m not convinced that the Saffire is for me. I want something compact, and the DSP FX are pointless with a faster computer. Plus, I really do like the sound of Guitar Amp Pro.

Note to self: It is NOT bad to spend money on your hobby…right?

So much gear at the NAMM show it makes me jealous. On monday I might hit the credit card like a ho.

I didn’t spend much time on the show floor today. I found the Line 6 booth (which was actually hidden away in another room of the convention center), and it didn’t look like they were showing off Reason 3. I prepped myself this morning by watching James Bernard’s demonstrations on it. I really want it, but will try to wait until version 4, or until I get a new Mac.

I went back to Roland’s booth to play the R-MP3 again. I also tried some of the digital pianos they had. One actually would go through and teach you lessons. The first lesson was the melody to Mary Had a Little Lamb. I only got a 78 (didn’t know the count-in or key signature at first), but the 2nd time through I got a 100. YAY!

I also went back to Edirol’s booth (which really is Roland anyway). I asked more questions about the FA-66. I was concerned about the price and whether or not I could record all inputs at once.

Me: See, right now I’ve got a nudging with my head over at M-Audio’s booth Firewire Audiophile. Edirol Rep: Well, that’s your first problem. LAUGH IN UNISON

Turns out that the FA-66 will do all inputs at once. It also has 2 1/4 inch pairs for outputs and digital ins and outs, so laptop DJing should not be a problem. List price is actually $499, but as is common with list price you’ll never see it sold for that much unless you buy direct (M-Audio’s direct prices are INSANE). $399 is the typical retail price. I spent $200 for the Firewire Audiophile and around $80 for a small Behringer mixer. If I sell those on Ebay I could recoup my losses pretty well.

The ONLY issue I have with it is that it doesn’t look like I can daisy chain any other firewire devices to it. Right now I’ve got my laptop connected to the audiophile, which is connected to my external hard disk, which is connected to my iPod. I could buy a Cardbus Firewire solution, but I don’t think that they power devices. Not sure.

But, if I’m getting a new interface, I might as well get new monitors! I’m not happy with having my stereo hooked up to my Mac. It’s big, bulky, and it actually makes some noise when nothing is playing. If I got new monitors with digital in, nothing would sound like nothing. All audio would be clean, the signal would be flat, and I like dat.

Why stop there?! I’ve always wanted a big, brand new USB MIDI controller, and let’s throw the Reason 3 upgrade in there.

So…what are the numbers?

  1. FA-66 = $399
  2. Edirol MA-15Ds (any better suggestions?) = $179
  3. Edirol PCRM50 MIDI Controller = $230
  4. Reason 3 Upgrade = $130 Grand Total = $938

OUCH!

Minus $200 for selling old equipment. $738. Not as bad, but still a bit ouch. That’s alot of baloney eating. How much do crack addicts spend on crack each month? Is it this much or more?

The show has given me a jolt of creativity. I didn’t bring my Logic XSKey because I thought that I’d be able to use Reason for jotting down ideas, but when I started it this morning it asked for the Orkester CD, which is at home. When I get back I want to try recording some vocals and REXing them up. I’ve got one idea that I think would sound cool…it’d just be easier if everything in my studio was accessible without moving a bunch of stuff around. I’d be more willing to record vocals if I actually had my microphone setup all the time. That’s the key.

So, a good trip had by me.