Sure, the sound of guitars and basses booming through amps ring true throughout the Fender Showcase at the 2014 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., but every so often the concussive blast from electronic dance music cuts through the strings.
Let’s just say it’s not difficult to find the Fender Audio booth.
Located across an area highlighting Fender’s selection of bass amps, the Fender Audio crew is certainly bringing the bass themselves. Theirs is coming through the new Fender Expo System.
The full-powered unit boasts an integrated subwoofer and is perfect for audiences of up to 300. All week, it’s been the source of audio from the Fender Audio booth and the acoustic performance stage on the other side of Fender’s NAMM headquarters. The Expo’s stout base and tall, thin speaker tower makes this product not only ear-catching, but also eye-catching.
“If you’re a coffee shop performer or a worship leader, you don’t really want a traditional portable PA system blasting an immediate area of sound,” said Alex Latus, Fender Audio Product Specialist. “This will disperse the sound to a larger crowd.”
The Passport Studio – the first truly portable world-class monitoring system – sat next to the Expo System, and observers had a chance to test its portability by lifting the 18½-pound speaker set right there in the booth.
“One thing a lot of people have had trouble with is traveling with their monitors and having them get damaged,” said Latus. “Your essential components are at risk, so we’ve addressed that issue with this product.
“We’re partnering with a few high-profile artists and engineers, reaching out to determine if it makes sense for their needs. The response was a resounding ‘yes.’”
The Fender Slide is another product from the audio team that has garnered a lot of buzz. Essentially, it allows the user to become their own recording engineer by connecting an instrument to a mobile device or personal computer. Pair the Slide with the Rock Prodigy app, and it becomes an effective way to learn guitar, too.
Fender has long been a pioneer in the portable PA system game with the Passport line, but it is clear that Fender Audio has an eye on innovation.
“We feel like we’re broadening our horizons in the audio world as a whole,” said Latus. “We’re really excited about it, and we have some great stuff in the works. We see a bright future with these latest offerings.”
Also seen around the Fender Showcase on Friday:
- Bassist Marcus Miller drawing a huge crowd to the Fender bass booth as he wowed everyone with his expert jamming.
- John Spicer bringing his brand of rootsy country rock at the acoustic stage. He charmed his audience with both his instrumental tracks and his soulful vocals.
- Bruno Mars guitarist Phred Brown and bassist Jamaero Artis checking out a few choice instruments before their upcoming gig at the Super Bowl halftime show.
- Strung Out bassist Chris Aiken perusing the basses – and taking in a set from fingerstyle guitarist Doyle Dykes at the acoustic stage.
- Noted guitarist Vic Flick – who famously played the theme to the James Bond movie franchise, in addition to appearing on the soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night – taking in the Fender festivities.