The National Association of Music Merchants will hold its annual trade show in Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 22-25, and this year, showgoers can expect a retro experience.
Musicians are buying more acoustic guitars and analog synthesizers than ever, NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond told USA Today in a Soundcloud audio report. (You can listen to the entire interview at the bottom of this article.)
But there is an overwhelming presence at the show of the latest in music technology, ranging from apps that mix music to iPad-based music systems, microphones and gadgets that enhance the music experience.
"The trends within the industry confuse even the most saged watcher," Lamond told USA Today.
Lamond said: "You can scratch your head about where the industry might be going next year. I think it's the ongoing battle between traditional handmade instruments of intrinsic value - that our great grandkids will play some day - and the technology side of our industry that is coming out with new and great products that will be obsolete in six months.
"There is a real the conflict in the industry about how to use all these products and how they work together."
Lamond used the example of how mixing music is done today, as many artists appreciate both the old style of mixing using faders but consider mixing on an iPad.
He said as those worlds "continue to collide," artists are figuring out how to incorporate both old school and new school techniques for a harmonious blend.
Lamond said there is a tremendous interest in old vintage analog synthesizers, likely based on nostalgia and the boom in electronic dance music.
"We have a 20 percent increase in analog synthesizer exhibitors," he said. "People want them again. You see, that's the continued conflict between old and new that we continue to see play out."
More than 130 brands that produce synthesizers and related equipment will exhibit at the global music products trade event. The synthesizer market has nearly doubled its show floor square footage since last year, the organizers said.
But in addition to the tech, Lamond said there has been renewed interest in acoustic guitars, drums and grand pianos.