Here we go, finally getting to write my show report. My time for coverage was limited this year, but I got through it, although quicker than I cared to. I also wound up missing at least one room with affordable high-end I did not know about. It happens.
Still, many of the exhibits I was to cover turned out to be outside the scope of this blog, it allowed for a little more time on other exhibits, but still not quite as much as I would have liked. I wish I could have given more time to a few of them, but that’s audio show coverage for you.
I was not present for the opening ceremonies as I was working elsewhere, but here is a video of the ceremonies kindly provided by Michael Fremer.
Also look for Michael Fremer doing a joke from the headline news right after the announcement of John Atkinson and an impersonation of Bob Levi towards the end of the video. (Leave it to Michael to bring the humor and it is always appreciated).
When I go to cover an audio show I do so with an open mind and no great expectations. While it is up to the exhibitor to properly set up the room, we are talking hotel rooms and sometimes you just can’t get past certain things. Many of the rooms at the Sheraton had noticeable frequency bumps no matter what treatment was attempted. That’s ok though, it just is what it is and while some have problems with accepting that, I approach it recognizing that both hotel rooms and many living rooms and what have you are odd and sonically challenging, I tend to try to learn about and listen to the gear in and of itself, looking to see if it performs as claimed in spite of the sonic changes the room presents. As I wrote about earlier, just because a said pair of speakers or what have you sounds sketchy or worse in a hotel room, in no way denotes how it will sound in your own living space. I tend to listen to music with more than just my ears anyway. I usually listen with my whole body in a sense, so if something I hear, be it speakers, etc. affects me in a visceral way (I’m not talking about feeling thumps in my chest from bass, but actual feeling the music on the whole), then that makes it go to my short list to find out more.
This is why all this “Best sounding room”, “Best of show” etc. serves no purpose in my mind except for someone who wants to just seem like the smartest person in the room using such smoke and mirrors. Obviously, I focused on “affordable” High-end gear. (As we know “affordable” is a relative term, but for us here at It’s About The Music, I developed a human-based algorithm taking an average and sprinkled in some of my own definition of “affordable high-end” to come up with the price range for different types of gear for this blog which can be found on the About page. Of course, your mileage may vary). In my opinion, audio shows like this are about more than just the gear. The gear is just the vehicle to deliver music. Audio shows are more about meeting friends, making new friends, education, discovery, etc. and most of all, having a fun positive experience.
By the way, I am delighted that I ran into a few friends I have in the industry several times. I also did manage to meet some nice exhibitors who granted me their time for filming, usually reserved for the more well-known people and bigger publications and for that, I am profoundly grateful, thank you very kindly guys, it means a lot to me! That said though there is a sad note: I had an unknown equipment failure. While the video portion turned out very well, the sound is not there. Unknown to me, the fresh new battery in my microphone drained in less than 60 seconds! There was no indication that anything was wrong as my mic does not have indication lights or what have you, but it was definitely off before use. I thought this only happened in paranormal investigations. What caused the drain will remain unknown because checking the camera upon arriving home and discovering the issue, I put in another new battery and everything was fine. Almost needless to say, this will be a different report than the one I had planned. This will be a one article, no frills report, but at least the info will be there.
(I will be visiting a couple of facilities soon enough and will be taking video then, so you can look forward to that at least).
Ok, so on with the show as they say: (Continued on page 2)