NAMM 2022 - The biggest music trade show

NAMM 2022 Exhibitors Focus

Ahead of the show kicking off in glorious style on Friday June 3rd, we catch up with some NAMM 2022 exhibitors. With their wares ranging from microphones to guitars, keyboards to interfaces, and many other facets of  one the greatest trade-shows on Earth.

As we discovered in our recent chat with NAMM’s outgoing president Joe Lamond, the watchwords for this year’s returning live show are both ‘transformation’ and ‘tradition’. Back after a two-year hiatus, the rescheduled winter (now technically summer) convention, kicks off on Friday June 3rd, and will welcome back multitudes of exhibitors from across the industry, spanning manufacturers, engineers, distributors, musicians and press, all of which will be competing to make the biggest splash at a show where, more than any previous year, trend-setters and tastemakers will be trying to gauge where the future of music technology might be heading, in the wake of one of the globe’s biggest public health emergencies. 

NAMM has long been at the intersection of the sector’s numerous sub-industries. It’s where instruments, hardware, software, speakers, microphones, lighting, outboard gear, apps, synths and everything in-between collide. This makes NAMM an ideal place for new relationships to foster the innovations of tomorrow, and also where the media can get a handle on upcoming releases, as exhibitors finally reveal what they’ve been secretly squirrelling away on over the past few years.

A globally renowned manufacturer that have been attending NAMM for decades is the venerable Focusrite. Like the rest of the world, the respected makers of the world’s most popular interfaces – the Focusrite Scarlett, have been conducting their vital in-person NAMM-business remotely during the pandemic. Now, they are warming up for the opportunity to resume face-to-face meetings and exhibit their latest wares to the hungry eyes of the industry. “In an increasingly digitised and video-calling world, NAMM remains a unique and valuable opportunity to get some of the most interesting and exciting characters in the industry in one place at the same time” explains Focusrite’s Head of Brand, Nicholas Howlett. “You can have conversations that would often take weeks or months to pull together arranged within an hour, because everybody’s here and ready to talk. It’s a great opportunity to put your emails away for hours a day and be present with friends, peers and partners; past, present and future. Some great ideas are born at NAMM.” 

As is customary with NAMM 2022 exhibitors, Howlett is understandably coy about what Focusrite are bringing to the table this year, but does explain that the brand is excited to bring some new ways for creators to get the best possible sound of their content: ‘We’re already a popular choice for content creators, but soon we’ll be able to serve their needs better than ever. You won’t want to miss it.”

NAMM 2022 - Packed show floor


While some NAMM 2022 exhibitors have been struggling with supply chain issues, and have re-arranged their product release schedules around the difficulties of the pandemic, others have been sitting on new tech, saving their releases for the show. Aside from the booth-packed halls, multinational heavyweights Yamaha will once again be taking over the nearby ballroom of the Marriott, turning it into, effectively, a bona fide hall of their own. “We are pumped to be back in person and look forward to creating a one-of-a-kind experience for attendees with an incredible lineup of musical performances and notable product launches.” Yamaha shares, before telling us some of what we can expect in what has become known as ‘the Yamaha Hall’, “Attendees will get to see in person for the first time and get hands on some of our latest products and technologies, such as our next generation, handcrafted CFX grand piano, the ultra-cool Revstar guitar line, which draws on our heritage in electric guitar design and is inspired by the Café Racer motorcycles. The DTX high-end electronic drum kit series, and more that will be revealed at the show…” Additionally, Yamaha are eagerly excited to reveal their live, in-person concert series. “This year’s Yamaha All-Star Concert will feature performances from remarkable artists such as Tank and the Bangas, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Kandace Springs on Saturday, June 4, at 6 p.m. We will also include the highly awaited Night of Worship showcasing Fred Hammond and Saddleback Worship performances on Friday, June 3, at 6 p.m.”.

NAMM 2022 - Players get their hands on new synths

Two of the world’s most revered microphone brands, the legendary Shure and the Danish micro-mic giants DPA Microphones are both carefully planning for a show that will once again allow them to present their latest voice-recording wonders to the world. “Shure is switching things up and heading outside to the plaza this year.” Explains Sean Bowman, Senior Director of Retail Sales, UCANZ at Shure Incorporated. “We will have several tents along the Shure branded plaza for attendees to test the latest products from Shure including the newly launched KSM11 Wireless Vocal Microphone.” 

Bowman is positively evangelical about the importance of NAMM for exhibitors, particularly this year. “Shure has been a member of NAMM since 1965. The NAMM show allows us to reconnect with the industry and musicians who know and love Shure, while also introducing products to new customers around the world. It’s the perfect opportunity for the entire music technology industry to come together and inspire each other to create innovative products and plans that help move the industry forward. We are thrilled to be back in person and excited to see what is in store for this year.”

DPA’s Anne Berggrein also stresses NAMM’s importance to their globally respected lavalier and pro audio condenser microphone specialists. “[NAMM] is the place where we interact with the live community, get important feedback from the market, and get to introduce the DPA brand to new people as well as existing users or customers. We have a huge introduction this year and we have looked so much forward to sharing it with everyone at NAMM. It fits perfectly with the show and is a natural extension of our product offering to the live scene.”


This eager sense of anticipation, that this NAMM is going to be both different, familiar and more exciting than ever, is palpable amongst the numerous NAMM 2022 exhibitors we spoke to ahead of the show’s launch. While the technology side is typically more about driving the anticipation for long-term use of their new products as they become available, in the guitar-world, new instruments are often on display, and fully playable (and therefore judge-able!) on the day of launch. “We are ecstatic that the Anaheim show is in person this year after a two year hiatus. We always look forward to NAMM and wouldn’t miss it” Martin Guitars giddily explain, before teasing an exciting new artist signature model which they’ll be launching at the show. “We’ll also be unveiling serial #2.5 million. A major milestone for the 189-year-old, family-owned company.” The premiere guitar-makers divulge, “It is a work of art created for the Martin Museum which is a tribute to C. F. Martin, Sr.’s journey to America. We’ll have it on display at the booth and it is a must-see at the show for sure. It’s a time to celebrate our new models, connect with media and artists, build community, and share our knowledge.” This will undoubtedly be a port of call for guitar-scribes and enthusiasts. So too will be the likes of Barnes & Mullins, Taylor, Washburn, ESP and Faith, each of whom will be rocking up with fresh axes to grind.

NAMM 2022 - Axes on display


Since its opening in 2018, the North Hall has become the go-to venue for music production-heads, and this year there’ll be a slew of software and plugin makers among the NAMM 2022 exhibitors, such as Leapwing Audio, Soundtoys, Antares and Sonarworks, each of which – via interactive booths, will be able to demonstrate how their latest software works in real-time. Also in this hall you’ll find headphones from the likes of Audeze, Austrian Audio and Audio Technica, microphones courtesy of Royer Labs, Cathedral Pipes and more. Over the promenade in Hall A is where you’ll find most of the hardware synths, including such luminaries as Oberheim, Dreadbox, UVI and Mellotron, sharing their latest analog and digital beasts at NAMM’s Synth Showcase. “The Synth Showcase is a dedicated environment focused on highlighting the latest products, trends and personalities shaping the modern synthesiser marketplace.” NAMM explain, “The showcase acts like a show within itself and places a sharp focus on the ever-popular synthesiser industry, celebrating the instrument, inspiring audiences, and powering sales.”

With thousands of excited NAMM 2022 exhibitors, companies, journalists and attendees starting to think about what to pack in their suitcases, one thing is clear, there’s going to be a lot to take in this year…