NAMM 2021: Universal Audio, JBL and AKG among TEC Awards big winners

The 36th annual TEC Awards took place as part of the NAMM Believe In Music Week virtual event on January 22, with Universal Audio, JBL and AKG among the big pro audio winners.

The TEC (Technical Excellence and Creativity) Awards were held digitally this year, with the annual NAMM Show forded to migrate to the digital realm this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event recognises the finest achievements, companies, producers and individuals from across the music making industry from the past 12 months.

Universal Audio scooped the highest number of awards in the Technical category for its Apollo x 4 (Computer Audio Hardware); Neve 1084 Preamp & EQ Plug-In (Signal Processing Software-Dynamics/EQ/Utilities), and the company’s LUNA Recording System (Workstation Technology/Recording Devices). Also in the Technical category. JBL and AKG were honoured for professional gear in several categories, including Amplification Hardware-Studio & Sound Reinforcement, Headphone/Earpiece Technology, and respectively, as well as additional categories listed below.

“Despite the global pandemic, the industry continued to innovate, creating one of the largest collectives of product Nominees in the 35-year history of the awards,” said Eric Geer, TEC entries and nominations supervisor. “And given the world engaged in virtual interaction on an unprecedented level, the products honoured helped connect us all by delivering music and sound across the world.”

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The TEC Awards also inducted five historical audio products into the TECnology Hall of Fame. The inductees were selected by a panel of audio experts, including authors, educators, engineers, and other professionals. The TECnology Hall of Fame honours audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology and production. The inductees included the Western Electric 639A Ribbon Microphone (1938); RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer (1957); 3M M56 16-Track Recorder (1968); Constant Directivity Horn, Don Keele (1975), and the Near Field Monitoring, Ed Long (1977). 

If you missed the event live, parts of the ceremony are still watchable online after registering online


Amplification Hardware – Studio & Sound Reinforcement
JBL – DSi 2.0

Audio Apps & Hardware/Peripherals for Smartphones & Tablets
Eventide – Blackhole

Computer Audio Hardware
Universal Audio – Apollo x4

DJ Production Technology
Native Instruments – TRAKTOR KONTROL S3

Headphone/Earpiece Technology
AKG – K300 Series

Large Format Console Technology
Solid State Logic – ORIGIN

Microphone Preamplifiers
Neve – 1073OPX

Microphones – Recording
AKG – Lyra

Microphones – Sound Reinforcement
sE Electronics – V Series for Drums

Musical Instrument Amplification & Effects
Ampeg – Heritage 50th Anniversary SVT

Musical Instrument Hardware
Moog – Matriarch

Musical Instrument Software
Celemony – Melodyne 5

Production Essentials
Audinate Dante AVIO Adapters

Signal Processing Hardware
API – 2500+ Stereo Bus Compressor

Signal Processing Hardware – 500 Series Modules
AMS Neve – RMX16

Signal Processing Software – Dynamics/EQ/Utilities
Universal Audio – Neve 1084 Preamp & EQ Plug-In

Signal Processing Software – Effects
Waves – Abbey Road Saturator

Small Format Console Technology
Allen & Heath – Avantis

Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers
JBL – EON ONE Compact

Studio Monitors
Genelec – W371A Adaptive Woofer System

Wireless Technology
Shure – Axient Digital AD3 plug-on wireless transmitter

Workstation Technology/Recording Devices
Universal Audio – LUNA Recording System

Studio Design Project
Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU-FM Design

Film Sound Production
“1917,” Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/Entertainment One

Interactive Entertainment Sound Production
“Star Wars Jedi – Fallen Order,” Respawn Entertainment

Record Production/Album
Hyperspace, Beck, Capitol Records

Record Production/Single or Track
Fear Inoculum, Tool, Tool Dissectional and Volcano and RCA

Remote Production/Recording or Broadcast
“Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince,” CBS

Television Sound Production
“The Mandalorian (Season 1),” Disney+

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