NAMM Show 2013 was held at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 23 through 26. The big Yamaha drum news for this year’s show was the announcement of the new Live Custom series!
The new Live Custom drums feature oak shells using oak layers that are 20% thicker (1.2 mm) than the Oak Custom models, resulting in a huge, powerful tone that is ideally suited to contemporary live performance. The lineup includes Black Shadow Sunburst, Emerald Shadow Sunburst, and Amber Shadow Sunburst gloss finishes, plus a lusty Black Wood finish. Black painted interiors and dark silver hardware add to the overall visual appeal. Newly designed features abound, including strainers, floor tom brackets, bass drum legs, and more.
More detailed information about the Live Custom drums can be found on the web here:
An eBook catalog for the Live Custom series is available here: http://ebook.yamaha.com/v2/catalog/?58512
At the press release event on the second day of the show Tommy Aldridge and Matt Halpern played demonstrations that dazzled the crowd with big, punchy sound.
See and hear how leading artists are responding to the Live Custom drums at the official Yamaha YouTube channel:
Since this year is also Yamaha’s 125th anniversary, we decided to display a little history at the drum booth. A Recording Custom kit in Quartz Grey finish was set up at the entrance, and then as visitors entered the booth they encountered the hybrid PHX/Recording Custom setup that Carter Beauford actually uses on stage, and a double-bass carbon fiber kit that was used by Tommy Aldridge.
At the back of the booth was a PHX kit set up in Dave Weckl style, along with Birch Custom Absolute, Recording Custom, and Club Custom models with backdrop graphics of Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, and Dave Weckl. The overall effect was a fitting tribute to Yamaha’s 125-year history of musical instrument innovation.
As in previous years an artist autograph and photo session was held at the Yamaha booth, providing a rare opportunity for fans to rub shoulders with their favorite artists.
Artists who participated in this year’s event included Bill Gibson, Bobby Blotzer, Dan Needham, Dave Weckl, David Garibaldi, Donald Barrett, Gorden Campbell, Jamie Oldaker, Matt Halpern, Ndugu Chancler, Paul Bostaph, Phil Ehart, Prairie Prince, Rick Marotta, Teddy Campbell, Tom Brechtlein, Tom Hunting, Vince Wilburn Jr., and Xavier Muriel.
The long line of fans waiting for autographs extended to outside the venue, and the event, which started at 11 AM, overran the original schedule by a wide margin and continued until 2 PM. Although this was a gathering of some of the most respected players in the music business, smiles and friendly conversation all around attested to how much these artists value the opportunity to spend time with their fans. Seeing so many happy fans carrying drum heads covered in autographs from their idols was a memorable experience.
The Yamaha drum division is constantly working with artists in pursuit of the perfect drum sound for the times. We sincerely believe that it is our mission and duty to always stay in touch with that goal, providing the tone and playability that artists need to deliver today’s music without compromise. The Live Custom series introduced this year presents a new facet of the Yamaha drum sound that we’re confident will become an important and highly regarded feature of live performances by our “family” in years to come.
If you’re a drummer, it’ll be worth your time to hear and play these exciting new drums for yourself.