Join Natalie, as she sits down with Erin Kessler, Marketing Director at Maple Leaf Strings and Vice President of NAMM Young Professionals. Erin shares her journey growing up in the music products industry, how joining the army made a profound impact on her life, and most importantly how she found her own confidence through comedy and improv.
This podcast is co-produced and edited by Natalie Morrison, Stephanie Lamond, and Julia Olsen with music by Lucky Lamond. A special thanks to AKG who are sponsors of this podcast.
The At-Thohir mosque which sits just outside the bustling city of Jakarta, Indonesia, recently debuted its all-new sound system from NAMM Member, L-Acoustics.
Built by the extended family of the late automotive tycoon Teddy Thohir, the house of worship features 29 domes meant to represent the family. The stunning white interior, ornamented with gold calligraphy, represents the 99 meanings of Allah. The mosque can house up to 1,900 worshipers and was a gift to the local community from a government minister and one of Thohir’s sons. This past spring it was dedicated by Indonesia’s president.
With its unique interior and large capacity, At-Thohir requires a powerful and pristine sound system that not only provides superior audio to the Muslim community but would discreetly fit into the building’s aesthetic. Adding another layer of technical difficulty in finding the right audio solutions for the mosque is the Indonesian government’s recent guideline that caps sound volumes at 100 decibels and limits amplified audio inside buildings.
Mosque leadership tasked local Jakarta-based pro-audio supplier PT Gracia Auvindo with the challenge. Its project manager, Hendra Halim, found a system that not only met the specifications and restrictions imposed by the government and building code but fit the installation space inside the main prayer hall, an area only measuring 28.5 meters by 28.5 meters. Hendra said, “The hall is constructed of marble and granite, creating reflective surfaces throughout, compounded by the inner side of a dome-shaped roof.”
Hendra partnered with L-Acoustics Application Project Engineer APAC Chung Wah Khiew and used L-Acoustics Soundvision to outline a system that could minimize reflections by keeping sound in the audience area, avoiding the domed roof and reflective walls. Soundvision is a software that allows users to input their venue and build 3D models to design the most precise sound system for a specific site. In addition, the software can place any L-Acoustics loudspeaker, line array, or subwoofer within the environment and quickly assess the sound pressure level distribution over the audience. This feature, paired with the real-time mapping function, allows for instant measurements and quick modifications before the sound systems are installed and mitigates the need for readjustments of equipment.
Since its installation and calibration, the new sound system has received praise from its community, who have commented on the increased clarity of prayer services. “Working as a team with L-Acoustics and the At-Thohir committee, we’ve succeeded in overcoming important challenges to getting great sound in this space. Soundvision was especially helpful in ensuring that our team proposed and installed the ideal system. The satisfaction of the committee and those who worship at the mosque are a great honor for the PT Gracia Auvindo team.”
For more information on L-Acoustics, please visit https://www.l-acoustics.com/.
Bari Woodwinds is known for producing only the highest quality products to achieve a unique and coveted sound. As a small-scale manufacturer of mouthpieces and synthetic reeds, the NAMM Member is committed to producing reliable and innovative products that help musicians achieve their ideal sounds while creating as little impact as possible on the environment.
Musician Wolfe Taninbaum designed the original Bari reeds and mouthpieces to achieve a unique sound. Playing in orchestras alongside Les Brown, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and the CBS and NBC orchestras under his stage name, Wolfe Tayne, Taninbaum became frustrated by the inconsistency of traditional reeds on the market. As a result, Taninbaum was motivated to solve his problem the best way he knew - by creating a reed of his own design. After experimenting with traditional cane reeds, he eventually turned to synthetics as an alternative material type. In 1952, Taninbaum developed his first synthetic reed, one of the first synthetic reeds on the market to be accepted by some of the world’s leading musicians.
While Bari Woodwinds and its CEO, Ron Van Ostenbridge, wholeheartedly believe in its synthetic reeds, the company understands the ties cane reed users may have to their instruments. It encourages even the most committed cane reed player to consider tossing a backup Bari synthetic reed into their case.
We spoke with Van Ostenbridge about the differences between cane and synthetic reeds. He shared that synthetic reeds tend to last longer than their traditional counterparts. This longevity is due to many factors, including the reality that natural reeds come from cane, a member of the grass family, a versatile crop that can have different properties each year based on environmental factors that influence the crop’s growth. Because of this lack of predictability, traditional reeds are often inconsistent compared to synthetic reeds and their refined manufacturing process.
Synthetic reeds also offer a more sustainable solution for musicians. Synthetic reeds tend to last longer and can be relied upon for a consistent sound, and in the case of Bari’s reeds, the products are produced from recycled materials and housed in recyclable packaging. According to Van Ostenbridge, the goal is not only to reduce pollution in the manufacturing process but to continue to seek solutions that prohibit materials from entering landfills. He said, “Bari Woodwinds wants to help the planet while helping improve the musician’s playing experience.” In addition to its commitment to using recycled and recyclable materials, the NAMM Member also recognizes that the longevity of its products also reduces waste by eliminating the player’s need to purchase more reeds.
Bari Woodwinds is excited to bring its synthetic reeds and mouthpieces back to The NAMM Show this April and encourage current and prospective synthetic reed customers to stop by their booth and check out its latest innovations.
In October, Germany-based Duesenberg Instruments unveiled one of its latest projects, a commemorative James Bond-themed guitar, on the stage of the legendary Royal Albert Hall as part of the Sound of 007 In Concert.
In 1978, Dieter Gölsdorf started producing and selling guitars and parts and rapidly acquired the experience needed to execute his vision for the electric guitar. By 1986, he established Duesenberg Instruments and the NAMM Member's first iconic instrument, the Starplayer TV, debuted nine years later. The instrument was designed to have a voice of its own and to serve as a visually stunning and reliable companion for any musician. The creation of this guitar spawned a series of ten additional guitar lines from Duesenberg.
Since its inception, Duesenberg Instruments have maintained an aura of versatility and solid, roadworthy construction that has appealed to many iconic musicians, including Mike Campbell, Bob Dylan, John Mayer, Robbie McIntosh, Joe Walsh, and many more. Professionals and enthusiasts attest that Duesenberg’s instruments are "designed, crafted, and fitted" by its team of experts utilizing parts found only on a Duesenberg. The NAMM Member reports that this enables them to “constantly push hardware design forward and create handy solutions in every detail of the instrument.”
In October, the company continued its over 40 years of success when it announced the creation of a 60th-anniversary James Bond guitar. This special order build commemorated the big screen debut Dr. No (1962). First conceived by novelist Ian Fleming, the beloved spy has appeared in 27 films over the last 60 years. The custom-built guitar honors the bond legacy by incorporating many iconic features associated with the MI6 agent, including the recognizable “Gunbarrel” logo on the instrument's body that appears in the title sequence of many Bond films the 007 logo on the headstock.
Chris Distin, who was Duesenberg's lead for this project, said, “We, as a company, have been part of many exciting projects over the years but being part of the James Bond franchise by making a special 007 guitar for the Sounds of 007 In Concert was a highlight, even for us. The guitar, played by David Arnold and Hans Zimmer, was auctioned off to help two charities, Nordhoff Robbins and the BRIT School, who help young upcoming musicians and artists, and it raised £32,750 for these great causes.”
After the event, the Bond guitar was sent to the famed Christie’s auction house. Proceeds from this auction went to the UK's largest music therapy charity, Nordhoff Robbins, and the Brit Trust. The Brit Trust draws on “the transformative power of music and the arts to do good and to enable positive life pathways for young people of all backgrounds – recognizing that this can best be achieved by embracing accessibility, diversity, and inclusion as key values.” Prior to its arrival at Christie's, Arnold, Dame Shirley Bassey, who recorded theme songs for Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, and Moonraker; Barbara Broccoli who was involved with The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, and The Living Daylights, and producer for the films led by Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig; Sounds of 007 In Concert performers, Celeste and Jamie Cullum, Conductor Nicholas Dodd, Ella Eyre, Paloma Faith, Garbage, John Grant, Emma Lindars, Lulu, and Skin; Michael G. Wilson, who was involved in production of The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill, and cameos in every film produced by Eon Productions since 1977; and Zimmer signed the guitar.
Transformative ideas and insight
Education at The 2023 NAMM Show will take a future-forward look at business, audio production, and entertainment technology while spotlighting the most vital strategies, ideas, and trends to accelerate your business. Join your peers and industry at The NAMM Show to gain valuable insights and inspiration for success, straight from leading thought-leaders and experts.
As you plan to make the most of your 2023 NAMM Show experience, we invite you to explore some of the most dynamic and relevant topics in today’s marketplace. The best part? Access to each and every session is included with your NAMM Show badge.
Looking to grow your business? NAMM U sessions are curated to bring forward-thinking ideas center stage at the NAMM Idea Center, NAMM U Breakfast Sessions and NAMM Marketing Summit. Hot topics include:
- Proven branding strategies and ideas
- TikTok and Instagram marketing tips
- NFTs for small- to medium-sized businesses
- Future vision and innovation in an era of disruption
- Inspirational leadership for the new normal
- Inventory management in the post-pandemic world
- Video marketing strategies
- Music lesson program growth
Audio Production & Music Technology
Discover new ideas, insights, and inspirations for recording, live sound and music technology professionals at TEC Tracks, A3E, and the Worship Musician Summit
- Immersive audio mixing techniques and artistry
- Iconic producers and engineers share their insights
- The convergence of AI and music
- Free Dante training by Audinate
- Insights for house of worship audio professionals and musicians
- New developments in wearable technologies
- In-ear monitor technology, safety, and servicing
Sessions and trainings for live event professionals from ESTA, Pro Production, and ESA. The NAMM Show also presents an opportunity for free ETCP (Entertainment Technician Certification Program) renewal credits.
- New insights in lighting design and networking
- Top lighting and production designers discuss their biggest concerts and tours
- The latest event safety considerations and tips
- Strategies from expert event riggers
- New innovations in entertainment technology
Connect with other artists and gain the strategies and tools to help level up your career as an artist with insightful sessions and panel discussions:
- DIY tips for musician and band success
- Music for film and TV
- Branding and promotion strategies for artists
- Social media marketing tips for artists
- Promoting your music in a streaming world
- New revenue streams for artists
For music educators, students, and non-profit professionals, The NAMM Show offers a suite of educational sessions curated to meet the ever-evolving demands and professional development opportunities for these communities.
To start planning your 2023 NAMM Show experience today, head to https://registration.namm.org to register for your NAMM Show badges and secure your hotel reservations today using NAMM’s official housing partner, Eventsphere, at https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/hotels.