November 28, 2006


by Chris Randall

So we have a bit of a connundrum. I'll be attending NAMM this year, and I wanted to be wearing an Audio Damage badge instead of another company's, just as a point of pride. So, we go to join AD up with NAMM, and hit a brick wall of sorts.

See, it seems the National Association of Music Merchants is technically only open to retailers and the companies that sell to them. Since Audio Damage doesn't sell boxed copies to retail or a distributor (because, quite frankly, for a 1 meg plugin it's just a stupid waste of plastic and paper, sort of like a CD longbox, and it's, like, 2006 and stuff) we don't qualify for NAMM membership.

I spoke at length with the person nominally in charge of such things, and was told we could have a Provisional Membership, where we could join now, get the badges I want, and in six months they would check back in on us to see whether we were selling to retail or not. I assume this is to provide new companies with a way to hock their wares at the show.

Since I am, at heart, an honest person, I pointed out that (a) it was 2006, and there was no need for a company like ours to go to retail at all, and (b) it was unlikely that Bob's Country Banjo Shoppe was going to want or know what to do with our products, so we'd just be stuck with the mass-market retailers like Musician's Friend and Guitar Center, which we didn't have any interest in working with in the first place.

This was something of a surprise to the lady I was speaking with, I think. She just couldn't get her head around the idea that a company would be happy with selling less product if it meant not dealing with the Wal-Mart and Target of the music industry, respectively. Apparently, in this business, principle and making money are mutually exclusive.

In any case, fuck all that shit. I don't have the time or energy to try and get the board members of NAMM to understand that yes, we are Music Merchants, and no, we don't need a retail store to sell our shit. So I guess I have to go begging for a badge. Whee.



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Nov.28.2006 @ 4:35 PM
Chris Randall
We don't need the exposure at all. The entire point of my going is to get some "face time" with my industry peers. We have no intention of ever having a booth at NAMM. If we were going to have a booth for some bizarre reason, it would be at AES, a convention far better suited to our temperment and disposition.

A side benefit would be witty commentary and pictures for this very site, but that's completely tertiary to this conversation. In any case, I'll be going regardless. I just didn't want another company's badge. You'd think they'd have some sort of "associate member" for companies like ours. There's no shortage of them.



Nov.28.2006 @ 5:33 PM
Wouldn't your deal with Cakewalk qualify you? Or is it really just brick and mortar?

Nov.28.2006 @ 5:47 PM
Chris Randall
Like I said, we could gin something up. But it doesn't change the overall gayness of the process. Besides the deal with Cakewalk came to pass after all this occurred. It happened more than a month ago. The reason I posted it now is that I was lying in bed this morning thinking about it, and getting quite mad.



Nov.28.2006 @ 6:06 PM
And rightly so. It's lame.

Nov.28.2006 @ 6:39 PM
I understand your dont want to package something just for the sake of NAMM. That is an outdated rule. Maybe they should rename themselve the National Association of Music RETAILERS if that is who they are really set up to accomodate.

if and if ......maybe you can set up a special retail package just available for Analogue Haven .


Nov.28.2006 @ 7:30 PM
Perhaps you could get a media pass considering you have this blog which is essentially a media outlet. Post a pic from the show on this page and there you have it, press coverage.

Also regarding Musician's Friend and Guitar Center. . . they're the same company.


Nov.28.2006 @ 8:03 PM
I think you're just avoiding the inevitable: you're going to have to manufacture a keytar.

Nov.28.2006 @ 9:10 PM
one solution could be the audiodamage equivalent of NI komplete? then you're charging enough per unit to make the box out of recycled cardboard, and maybe even offset the carbon emissions if you wanted to go all out. sounds pretty 2006 to me.

Nov.28.2006 @ 9:19 PM
A bit sucky no doubt, but actually completely understandable, even in 2006. The reason those big box music instrument places thrive is because most people making music are just some joe shmoe rock band types who dont use all those fancy gizmobobs that people here get into. Hell I'm sure theres more keytard players out there than "us folk".

CR I'm sure you are well aware that you are catering to a relatively niche market, I'd be curious to know if you ever want to bother approaching the NAMM show managers with your position how they would respond.


Nov.28.2006 @ 9:54 PM
If you're not selling to Guitar Center, why would you dream of buying a 10x10 booth someday? And if you're not planning on buying a 10x10 booth someday, why am I still talking to you?

As someone who has to give 80 product demos a day at NAMM, I can appreciate the effort they put into keeping out the riff-raff. ;)


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